The current state chairman for Fraternity Education is Jan McNeill. Her contact information is available on the International Website as long as you are logged into the website as a member.
Click on each item below for a printable file of ideas
Greek Alphabet Importance by Jan McNeill
One thing that we all need to review is the Greek Alphabet. Why? Our chapter structure and order of chartering are based on this alphabet. So many words in English come from these beautiful letters and they’re really FUN to learn and to say out loud! I learned it as a song in college and then taught it to my language students this way so a song or a chant is the easiest way to learn the Greek order.
(The Greek Alphabet is shown in a chart below for your use with the information and activities discussed here.)
There are 24 letters and many are the same or similar to our letters. Learn them in groups, such as A, B, (C), D, E equals Alpha, Beta, (Gamma), Delta, Epsilon. Then you have three rhyming letters: Zeta, Eta, Theta. Next come I, (no J), K, L, M, N, (extra letter), O, P, (no Q), R, S, T, U; in Greek, these are Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, Nu, (Xi), Omicron, Pi, Rho, Sigma, Tau, Upsilon. Then, there are three more rhymes: Phi, Chi, Psi. And the last, or 24th letter, is “the end”: Omega.
Notice also the similarities many Greek letter symbols have to our English letters, e.g., Alpha=A; Beta=B; Zeta=Z; Tau=T. The different ones are the fun ones to learn; I especially like the letter symbols for Delta (Δ), Xi (Ξ), Pi (Π), Sigma (Σ), Phi (Φ), and Psi (Ψ). Just practice and have fun with them! Draw them. Make words or your name with them.
You can list the chapters in your District and have your ladies put them in the correct Greek order, such as what is used for lining up chapters at our State Convention for the Presidents’ Walk.
1.) Omega is ONLY used as the chapter for all our sisters who have passed away.
2.) Chapters 1-23 in each State, Province, and Nation are named in the order of Alpha through Psi as each is chartered.
3.) The next chapters 24-46 have Alpha plus Alpha through Psi, such as Alpha Delta).
4.) The next chapters 47-69 have Beta plus Alpha through Psi, such as my chapter Beta Phi which is the 8th chapter chartered in the Dalton District.
Do you know these facts?
1.) Alphabet comes from Alpha (A) and Beta(B).
2.) Iota (I) is the smallest Greek non-capital letter and it means “a very small amount” in English.
3.) Chi (X) is the first letter in the Greek spelling of Christ; therefore, “Xmas” is simply a shortened “Christmas” in our language.
4.) Why do you think our word “delta” has its meaning as the shape of “the end of a river pouring out into a sea or ocean”?
5.) The early symbol for Christians to recognize each other was a fish, commonly known as their ”Jesus fish” in the shape of two arcs crossing each other.
Christians would draw half of a simple fish shape in the dirt with their foot and see if a stranger would finish drawing the other fish half. So, during a time of severe persecution of Christians in the first century, Christians could secretly recognize each other. But, why the fish shape? You will see in early art and drawings on walls and in the catacombs a fish with the Greek letters for the Greek words “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour” (Iota-Chi-Theta-Upsilon-Sigma) (IXϴYΣ). The first letter of each word makes a new Greek word which means “fish” or “ichthys”; therefore, the fish became the early Christian symbol.
Can you draw an ichthys with the Greek letter symbols inside?
For a Valentine’s Day game with your chapter, you can make 24 hearts and cut them into two halves. On one half put the Greek letter word (Beta) and on the other half put the letter symbol (B). Mix the same halves up. Have your members (or teams or some volunteers) match the word to its symbol. Time the participants. Have a little prize. (If you are meeting online, email copies of the hearts for your individual sisters to cut in half, mix up, and match to have some Greek Alphabet practice!) Of course, you could make any shape for matching for any month’s Fraternity Ed activity!
Greek letters really can be FUN! Enjoy!
Invite me to your online meeting to go over the Greek Alphabet if you’d like. I’ll try to join any meeting that I can! I can even do a short presentation during your online spring district meeting if you’d like.