E-SU Promotes Education, Service, Understanding
The English-Speaking Union, an organization originated in England in 1918 at the end of World War I, has for more than 90 years adhered to its mission to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in the global community.
The original concept was to continue the close association between England and the United States and to draw together in the bond of comradeship the English-speaking people of the world.
Through the efforts of Sir Evelyn Wrench, who traveled to the United States with this purpose in mind, President William Howard Taft was persuaded to form a national organization and serve as its first president.
Membership grew rapidly and by 1920 numerous branches had been established. Under the leadership of national figures, including ambassadors, notable businessmen and educators, the organization expanded throughout the world.
Today there are 72 branches in the United States and active branches in 50 countries.
Recognizing that English is a binding world-wide language, E-SU has broadened its mission to provide Shakespeare competition for high school students, debate and public speaking programs, book awards and a program of instruction in conversation and language for those learning English.
Founded in 1980, the Sandhills (Pinehurst) Branch of the English- Speaking Union is an active participant in the accomplishment of this mission through the promotion of international and cultural scholarship.
For many years, the E-SU has given scholarships to teachers for study in England which has been accomplished through the British University Study Seminars and the Walter Hines Page Scholarship Program.
This past year, the local chapter launched a different and exciting program by offering teachers from Moore County secondary schools the opportunity to participate in a workshop on teaching Shakespeare to secondary students.
In addition, a new debate program in the middle schools has been created through a partnership between E-SU and the Associated Leaders of Urban Debate. Multiple sites, including the Sandhills, will be used to provide an inaugural debate contest for middle school students, sixth through eighth grades.
By promoting education, service and understanding, E-SU is able to enlighten its members through expert presentations on timely topics while serving area students and teachers through debate, drama and fellowship. Simultaneously, it continues to achieve the third part of its mission by communicating world-wide with English-speaking people.
Regular meetings of the Sandhills Branch are held on the second Wednesday of each month, October through May, at the Country Club of North Carolina. E-SU is a nonpolitical organization. All residents of the Sandhills area are welcome to join and to participate in its activities.
Membership information is available by calling Martha O'Connor at (910) 235-0635.
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