Scholarship Building Activities Preschool Reading Project
At Public School #12 in Paterson, New Jersey, the members of the National Junior Honor Society have been participating in a 'read across' well beyond the Read Across America Day. Since the 04-05 school year, the members, students from grades 7 and 8, joyously read to students at a local preschool, the BJ Wilkerson Child Development Center.
The members go into the classrooms and read to students ages 3-5 every other week. The members enjoy this as much as the preschoolers. In fact they 'fight' over which classroom to read to as each class is named after a college, 14 colleges in all, from Harvard and Yale to Morehouse and Columbia, just to name a few.
To end the activity, NJHS holds a book drive to give each student at the preschool his or own book, reaching about 200 students. At the end of last year, the left over books were donated to the center for its new library. These NJHS students also participate in the Read Across America readings at our own school, going into classes, grades K-3, to read.
The members are active with many other community service activities throughout the year, however this is the one the students feel most proud of. They all know the power of reading and want to pass this on to all other students. Submitted March 10, 2008.
Juniors at Tri-Cities HS in East Point, GA, get a little extra help as they prepare to take the Georgia High School Graduation Test. The 12-hour Study-Thon gives them the opportunity to brush up on any subject they are unsure about. NHS students tutor or assist teachers who are tutoring juniors, make coffee for students and teachers, copy worksheets, and do whatever else they can to make the session productive. To receive service points, the NHS students must stay for the entire session-from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
NHS Information Night
Medford (MA) HS holds an information night each year for potential members of the National Honor Society and their parents. During the program, chapter officers and their adviser explain the qualifications for acceptance to the NHS, the importance of membership in the organization, and the dimensions of the application process. Sophomores and juniors who currently have a grade point average of at least 3.3 or who could earn that GPA in time to be considered for NHS membership in the junior or senior year are invited to the program.
Instead of providing the usual advice for students prior to standardized testing--get a good night's sleep, skip questions you don't know and come back to them, bring an extra pencil--the student council at Goza MS in Arkadelphia, AR, decided to get ready for its round of spring tests with a Benchmark Bash that involved both students and parents.
The Bash was a school dance and a question and answer session for parents on the Benchmark Exam, a state-mandated test that measures students' proficiency in math and literacy. All students at the middle school were invited to attend the dance and the entry "fee" was to bring a parent. Students went to the cafeteria for a dance while parents were able to choose from a variety of presentations on topics related to the testing such as four-year planning for eighth graders, test preparation, and how the test affects students in special education classes. The sessions were videotaped for parents who were unable to attend and would like the information.
Teachers at East Hartford (CT) HS choose students who do their work and get good grades to participate in monthly Pride Nights, where students can play sports and games, dance in the cafeteria, eat refreshments--sometimes donated by Ben &Jerry's and Subway--and participate in a raffle for prizes. The event lasts from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
College Life Preparation
Each January, the NHS chapter at Wright Prep School in Mobile, Ala., invites four or five recent graduates to return to speak at an assembly to students in grades 9-12 on a variety of topics concerning college life. The graduates offer information on topics as diverse as time spent studying, social life, tips on roommate selection, and expenses. "Both returning grads and the present student body really look forward to this annual event," said Anne Smith, NHS adviser.
Freshman Care Packages
To help freshmen survive their first round of midyear exams, National Honor Society members at Randolph (MA) HS prepare care packages with snacks, pens, and other goodies. The packages are delivered to every freshman in the school along with good luck wishes for their exams.
Celebration of Seuss
In honor of Dr. Seuss, National Honor Society members at Sampson HS in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, conduct a weeklong series of activities with elementary school students. On Monday they read Dr. Seuss books for an hour to each grade. On Tuesday they give out Dr. Seuss hats, stickers, and pencils. On Wednesday they create their own Dr. Seuss-style story. Thursday is green eggs and ham day. On Friday they celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday by making a cake with the children and eating it. Ed. note: For information about the Read Across America program, a national program by the National Education Association that promotes reading by celebrating Dr. Seuss, visit www.nea.org/readacross/.
Holiday Storybook Readings
National Honor Society members at East Jessamine HS in Nicholasville, KY, take up a collection of holiday storybooks that they take to a local elementary school. While there they team up with students to read the books.
The National Honor Society chapter at Manchester (N.H.) HS West coordinates its service activities around a central theme of promoting literacy. The group has sponsored school book drives where members of the organization bring in children's books which are then donated to local schools. They have also participated in a statewide book drive. Their Book Buddies program involves bussing NHS members to local grammar schools where they read to children. In addition, they participate in the Kid's Café program in which members tutor low-income students after school.