During the 2010-2011 school year, 108 NHS and NJHS chapters were recognized in “Chapters Doing Great Things” – a regular feature of the e-newsletter, Honor Society News, produced by NASSP each month August through June. These short accounts of chapter activity originate in news stories brought to the attention of the national staff. This year, stories come from schools in 32 states and two countries overseas. We provide this collection of each month’s stories as a resource for other chapters. Chapters wishing to submit reports can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with CDGT in the subject line. Congratulations to all of the chapters referenced below.
Most of the Honor Society news that comes in to the national office during the summer revolves around students being awarded scholarships, being selected as a member of a college athletic team, or a member being crowned “Miss Peach Festival” or other local celebration. We value all of this individual recognition of NHS and NJHS members and appreciate their membership being included in the news stories.
But even with this vast amount of individual recognition, stories about chapters continue to come in. Here are some highlights from the summer news.
- Teamwork for Teachers. Bismarck (ND) High School NHS members volunteered at local elementary schools to help teachers unpack and prepare for the new school year. In addition to helping the teachers get their classrooms in order, the project triggered lots of memories of the elementary years for the participants.
- Police Partners. 30 NHS members from Pascack Valley HS in Hillsdale, NJ worked with members of the local police department to clean up some the town’s parks. Parks, playgrounds, and nature trails were cleared of debris and litter
- Orientation in Owosso. NHS members at Owosso (MI) High are planning their new school year orientation for later this month. New students are being guided through the school with schedules in hand, locker assignments and locks are being provided along with parking permits and other activities for students and their parents. The event is called “Trojan Days” for the school’s mascot and has been run successfully for the past twelve years.
- Projects in Pittston. Pittston (PA) Area High School’s NHS chapter completed 24 service projects last year – that’s nearly 3 projects every month of the school year. Among their activities was a banana split project at the local nursing home. A healthy theme was incorporated with an emphasis on fruits. Chapter members played games and activities with the residents while enjoying their ice cream.
- Caring in Kuwait. Al-Bayan Bilingual School in Kuwait completed 23 major projects this past year. Among their activities, they organized a project to raise money for a local children’s hospital. They made small buttons attached to cards that identified the needs of the hospital and sold them each for 1 Kuwaiti dollar. While the chapter made nearly 500,000 buttons, we’re still awaiting the final collection tally from the effort.
- The NHS and NJHS chapters at Rabat American School in Morocco joined with other student groups at their school to raise more than $10,000 last spring to send to Haiti to assist in the post-earthquake relief efforts. The campaign succeeded in being the school’s largest charitable fundraising effort in recent memory.
- Can the Principal. Menahga (MN) NHS members collected nearly 1,000 pounds of food and nearly $200 in donations in their food drive last spring. They used the “Can the Principal” technique to try to fill the principal’s office with collections. For their efforts, the Minnesota FoodShare organization awarded the chapter the “Most Creative Food Drive” award for 2010.
- Active in Arizona. The NJHS chapter at Huachuca City MS was busy last spring. The chapter collected over 100 toys for a local children’s home, ran a food drive for the same institution, ran a free clothing bank every 2nd Saturday of the month to clothe 30-40 families during the year, and collected pop tops to donate to the local Ronald McDonald House.
- Bake sales and Bears. Palmetto Middle School in Miami, FL sponsored a bake sale through their NJHS chapter raising more than $200 to donate to the American Red Cross for use in Haiti. They also collected more than 300 stuffed teddy bears and other animals to donate to the state’s Department of Children and Family Services.
- And to round out our trip of NJHS projects, we note the chapter from Conwell Middle School in Jersey City, NJ that sold Valentine’s Day cards and donated more than $500 to Hudson Cradle, a local infant group home providing full care for homeless infants. We commend the chapter for caring for those too young to care for themselves.
Let's start out with some good news about chapters all over the nation who have shared their projects and activities with the national office over the summer.
- The NHS chapter at Licking Valley HS in Newark, OH, sponsored a 5K Fun Walk last April. They raised $5,000 in college scholarships for the graduating class of 2010, which was awarded to 11 students.
- NHS members teamed up with student council reps in August to assist teachers at Ford City (PA) HS. Students welcomed staff, moved boxes, set up computers, put up bulletin boards, and more. The staff and workers were treated to a lunch made possible by donations from local businesses.
- NHS members from Pittston Area HS in Yatesville, PA, made an appearance at their local school board meeting in August. Students asked that a local landmark, the Stauffer point star, be relocated to school grounds. The star had been removed from its local mountaintop perch and put in storage. The students proposed replacing the lighted piece with LEDs to save energy and to have the star mounted near the school. Students sold donated goods at a raffle at the local tomato festival to help raise money to support the project.
- NJHS students at Union Grove MS in McDonough, GA, planned and organized their first "Extravaganza Bonanza" for all upcoming sixth graders during the week before school started in August. Activities included a school scavenger hunt, a locker organizing contest, a locker opening segment, ice-breakers, team-building games, and more to help new students learn about the school and their classmates. More than 300 new students attended.
- NHS members at Lansdowne HS in Baltimore, MD, organized their third annual summer crafts day for special education students enrolled in a summer program. Seven craft stations were set up and members staffed the sites to teach crafts to the 40 participating students. In addition, chapter members dedicated more of their summer hours to help stamp and organize more than 2,400 new novels for the English book room at their school.
- NHS members at Avon (IN) HS raised more than $1,500 for a local shelter for women and children affected by domestic abuse by sponsoring a 5K Run/Walk. The event, known as the "Run Over Domestic Abuse" project, had more than 70 people participating.
- Harney MS in Las Vegas, NV, had a great year last year. Even with the economy suffering, the NJHS chapter collected more than 1,800 cans of food for the local food bank and nearly $2,000 for the local "Pennies for Patients" campaign. Their adviser, Jolana Jensen, noted, "Our students have been fabulous and unbelievably generous."
- The NHS chapter at Bucks County (PA) Technical HS raised more than $2,200 for Haiti relief through UNICEF last year. They convinced students to contribute one dollar each by avoiding snacks. The school bakeshop closed, clubs stopped selling refreshments as fundraisers, and even the cafeteria stopped selling snacks for a limited time. The result was 100% participation by the student body—a success in and of itself.
- Mandarin Christian School in Jacksonville, FL, showed support for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research last April by sponsoring several activities to raise money for the local MS walk. Restaurants shared 10% of their revenue when school families came to dine-out night and the school sponsored a dress-down day and sold awareness bracelets in the community.
- NHS chapter members at Destrehan (LA) HS sponsored "Soldiers Angels Operation Overseas Mardi Gras" last winter. They sent 15 boxes of Mardi Gras trinkets and treasures along with notes of gratitude to Louisiana military currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq in time for those soldiers to enjoy their own Mardi Gras while knowing that their service overseas was remembered and appreciated.
Too many times we get wrapped up in the technical aspects of work with chapters and forget to take a look at the great things our chapters are doing to make a difference at school and in their communities. Here is a sampling from news reports and chapter submissions that we’ve received in the last month.
- “Small Army of Service Warriors.” That’s how the chapter adviser from Lockland HS in Cincinnati, OH described her seven chapter members. Last year, this small chapter raised money for cleft palate surgery for a child in South America, provided Christmas presents to 12 homeless veterans, tutored at-risk students every week, and sent a truck load of hygiene supplies to Haiti, not forgetting to share some with a local homeless shelter as well. Miracles come in small packages.
- New and Strong. The brand new chapter at George Steinbrenner HS in Lutz, FL got involved right away. The 148 members stuffed nearly 1400 bears for the Rough Riders Association which distributes stuffed animals to children in local hospitals and shares them with law enforcement officers to have for children in need during police interventions. In addition, the chapter collected 578 pairs of used jeans to donate to the “Teens for Jeans” drive administered through Aeropostale stores and www.dosomething.org.
- Cherokee Trail HS in Aurora, CO started out last year by helping a local non-profit that rescues and shelters animals. They then went global and raised money for KIVA, a microloan organization that allows local businesses to surface in developing nations. To focus on education, they tutored at the local middle school and also conducted various book, clothes, and food donation drives. Chapter president, Jiyong Shim, summed it up by noting, “We create change, one canned good or brownie at a time.”
- Members at Kenton (OH) HS ran a book fair at a local elementary school, collected a van load of Christmas toys for low income families, collected old cell phones to be reprogrammed for military families, made posters to encourage better student performance during state testing week, and collaborated with the student council on their “Penny Stall” (collect money to avoid class starting – collections donated to a cause) and blood drive. Collaboration and commitment in action.
- E.C. Goodwin Technical HS in New Britain, CT completed 3 blood drives last year, contributed to the Heifer Foundation, conducted reading sessions with the local elementary, and collaborated with the same school in doing a food drive in March.
- Pampered Pooches in Texas. NJHS members at Coppell (TX) Middle School washed 71 dogs in a 3-hour dog wash last May. They also sold homemade treats to the dog owners and sold tickets to raffle off gifts donated by business of NJHS parents. The money raised, nearly $800, was donated to the local animal shelter.
- Strides for Seniors. NHS members from Silver Stage HS in Silver Springs, NV walked five miles from the school to the local Senior Center to raise money in support of the “No senior goes hungry” program. Through pledges for their “March for Meals” activity, the chapter, with support from the student body, raised nearly $1200 in this the third year of the campaign.
- Athens (PA) HS has a busy fall planned. They collaborated with the administrators and teachers in sponsoring sophomore transition day just before school got started. They have adopted a 2-mile stretch of highway 220 to keep clean. This month they will host the “Pink Out” for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and in November and December have committed to ringing bells for the Salvation Army and a holiday food drive with a goal of exceeding last year’s 12,000 food items collected. We commend the chapter for their effective planning and goal-setting and look forward to reporting on the results!
- Bryant (AR) HS NHS members fed more than 100 families last year with their Thanksgiving Meal Baskets project. They also raised more than $5,000 for the American Red Cross efforts in Haiti – one of thousands of NHS and NJHS projects undertaken for earthquake relief.
- Hometown Heroes. When a member’s hometown in Jamaica identified that they needed school supplies, the NHS chapter at Science Park HS in Newark, NJ responded with a school supply drive that collected more than $900 worth of supplies being shipped to Jamaica this year.
- NJHS members from Bayside Academy in Daphne, AL have written thank you notes to the World War II veterans in Alabama thank them for their service to the country. In addition, the chapter has donated more than $550 to the Honor Flight Network to send Alabama veterans to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. For an additional story on the Honor Society Network, tune in to the story starting on page 32 of the October edition of Leadership for Student Activities magazine.
- Spirit Fest Record. NHS members at Stevenson HS in Lincolnshire, IL sponsored their annual Spirit Fest last month and raised more than $20,000 for the Saving Tiny Hears Society which focuses on responding to young children with serious heart disorders. In addition, as part of their Spirit Fest events, the chapter broke a Guinness Book of World Records record by having 525 participants in the group “Mr. Roboto” dance. A video of the event is scheduled to be posted on the homepage, www.nhs.us, later this month – tune it to watch the fun.
We conclude this month’s CDGT by highlighting some members who have been singled out for recognition in the news.
- Last spring active NHS member Ramonia Dixon from Tempe (AZ) High School was identified as the National Youth of the Year from the Boys and Girls Club. For this award, Ms. Davis won more than $80,000 in scholarships to attend Arizona State University starting this fall.
- In Florida, NHS member Kasey Fagan of Dunnellon (FL) High School was selected last spring as the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year. Ms. Fagan was pieced from more than 368,000 high school softball players nationwide. She graduated salutatorian and was active with her chapter, local sports, and church service projects.
- Military Service Academies and NHS. A survey of the Class of 2013 (high school classes of 2009) at the 3 major military service academies (USMA, USNA, and USAFA) finds that on average more than 58% of those enrolled include membership in NHS among their credentials. The US Air Force Academy had the highest percentage with 65%. We are proud of the fact that NHS members with strong academics and skills in leadership, service, and character are a majority of those being trained to lead our country’s armed forces.
Too many times we get wrapped up in the technical aspects of work with chapters and forget to take a look at the great things our chapters are doing to make a difference at school and in their communities. Here is a sampling from news reports and chapter submissions that we’ve received in the last month.
- Coastal Clean Up. Members of the St. Edward’s School NHS chapter from Vero Beach, FL participated in the Florida Coastal Cleanup in October. The 25 participating members were among more than 500 individuals who showed up along Florida beaches between Daytona and Miami. This is the 25th anniversary of the International Coastal Cleanup campaign.
- Big Sweep in NC. Clean up of waterways continued in Rocky Mount, NC last month as members of the Rocky Mount Early College NHS chapter joined more than 150 volunteers to clean up local creeks and areas along the Tar River. All 100 counties in the state participate each year in this project designed to keep the states parks and waterways litter free.
- Emissions Reduction. Student leaders from NHS and student council at Edwardsville HS in Alton, IL have rallied behind a new cause. They are promoting a “No idle” campaign to ask drivers of waiting cars to stop idling while waiting for their students in school zones. Backed by local parents and the school superintendent, student leaders are hosting a poster contest and a Clean Air Day on November 17 with outreach to elementary, middle, and high school families alike.
- Halloween Reading. NHS members from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School in Verona, NY created the Halloween Story Hour this year. The event was hosted at the local public library. Students in grades 1 – 3 were invited for stories, crafts, snacks and other activities including a costume contest.
- Thanks Bus Drivers. The NHS chapter at Fremd HS in Palatine, IL used National School Bus Safety Week (October 18-22) as the occasion for thanking more than 175 district employees who serve as bus drivers. The school district has 160 buses and vans that travel more than 7,700 miles each day to transport students. The chapter handed out goodie bags to the drivers after school on October 19 as a way of thanking them for their work.
- Welcome Home. On Saturday, October 9, NJHS members from Heritage MS in Colleyville, TX gathered at DFW Airport to greet men and women of the armed forces as they returned home from their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Homemade signs were made and gifts of water, gum, and snacks were shared with the returning troops.
- Race for the Cure, Denver. NHS members at Denver’s East HS organized a team of 85 members to participate in the region’s Race for the Cure sponsored by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization. In addition to the race participants, the chapter invited the school’s cheerleaders to cheer on all 50,000 participants as they streamed by the starting line on race day.
- Feeding Future Phantoms. West De Pere (WI) High School’s NHS members sponsored a food drive for local families during Halloween Week this year. They collected enough food to help over 140 families in the community with their “Feeding Future Phantoms” campaign.
- Book Swap. New Buffalo (MI) Middle School has nearly 40% of their student body on free and reduced meals. Needless to say, money for books is hard to come by for many of these families. In response, the NJHS chapter at the school decided to focus on increasing literacy by ensuring that any middle school student who wants to read is provided with a slightly used, age-appropriate, and interesting book. The chapter coordinated a book drive for the middle school and high school in town and collected more than 900 books. The books were counted, sorted, and categorized, then made available to students during the week of October 25-29. Students who donated books could pick out the number of books they donated from the pile; other students could pay a quarter for each book (monies raised were donated to the local food pantry). Provisions were made for those students unable to pay to also be able to take home books at no charge.
- Babies in Need. NHS chapter members at Swansboro (NC) HS sponsor an annual drive to collect donations of baby food and other infant items to give to the local Women’s Center. More than 230 jars of baby food, 15 containers of baby formula, and bags of personal supplies for the mothers were collected and shared. This was but one of the projects that helped the chapter earn nearly 1,250 hours of service last year.
We conclude this month’s CDGT by highlighting new of an NHS member who has been singled out for recognition in the news.
- Congratulations to Tiffany Rogers, graduate of Niles (MI) High School for having been selected recently as the National FFA Eastern Region vice president. The election took place at the 83rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis held in October. Miss Rogers was an active member of her NHS chapter during high school and served as the Michigan FFA state president. As a national officer, Miss Rogers will travel more than 100,000 miles representing National FFA around the world. See www.ffa.org for more information about the mission and activities of the important national student organization.
- Caring in Kansas. During their fall all-school service day, members of the NHS chapter from Mulvane (KS) High School volunteered at the Cargill Kansas Food Bank in Wichita. There the 55 members packed over 3,800 bags of food to be used with the “Food 4 Kids” program that provides a weekend’s worth of food for students in need in all 88 counties in Kansas.
- Trunk or Treat. NHS members at North Rockland HS in Thiells, NY brought in their cars and decorated their trunks for Halloween. Flyers were sent to all the elementary schools in the district inviting children to “Trunk or Treat” at Halloween. Each car passed out treats to the children. Donations were requested for each care that came to the event and that money was donated to UNICEF. The chapter collaborated with the Junior and Sophomore classes at the school to sponsor a Haunted House and an Arts and Crafts area at the same time.
- Toys in Texas. The Robert E. Lee High School chapter in Tyler, TX has been collecting and providing toys for a local foundation for the last six years. The foundation provides Christmas for families that are struggling. The chapter members buy toys to stock a “Santa’s Shop” where parents can select toys for their children. This chapter has collected on average 200 toys per year and members often continue their relationship with the foundation during the summer by volunteering to work on repairing homes in the neighborhood.
- Letters from Santa. For the past 20 years, NHS members of the Abnaki Chapter at Fall Mountain Regional HS in Langdon, NH have acted as Santa’s elves. When local first graders write letters to Santa, NHS members write personal responses to each child and decorate the letter, often with glitter. The responses create fond memories – now being shared by NHS members who recall receiving their glittered elf letters in the past.
- Bread for Life. Members in the Houston, TX Cypress Falls HS chapter have committed to a global project this year. The are raising money in support of Lifebread that builds ovens as part of a bakery project to teach people in Africa how to make bread. The chapter has turned its focus to local concerns by providing shower kits (soap, shampoo, etc.) for a local church that provides shower facilities for the homeless in Houston.
- Busy in Florida. The NHS chapter at Cardinal Gibbons HS in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is helping the school celebrate 50 years of excellence and education this fall. They have been guides at Parent Night and College Night, and were waiters during the school’s anniversary gala. They volunteered at Broward General Hospital at Halloween providing decorations and candy bags; sponsored a Brain Brawl competition for seven local middle schools, and have sponsored a blood drive every 2 months, collecting 120 pints at each drive. Tutoring and an All Night Read-a-thon are on the agenda for the new year.
- Junior Bankers. The 14 NJHS members at St. Stephen School in Grand Island, NY handle the school banking program connected to First Niagara Bank. Members process student deposits at school and the adviser takes the money and information to the bank each Friday afternoon. Prizes are provided to students in grades K through 8 who make regular deposits into their accounts. They supplement this service by doing an annual presentation to the school on the value of saving money.
- United for UNICEF. Seeing that school donations for UNICEF had been dropping off in recent years, the NJHS chapter at E.J. Dillon Middle School in Phoenix, NY hosted a walk-a-thon and a hat/pajama day to increase participation by the upper grade level students. Students paid $1.00 to wear a hat or pajamas and when combined with the walk-a-thon, donations nearly tripled from $332 in 2009 to $1,025 in 2010. An innovative response to an identifiable problem – job well done.
Correction: Last month we incorrectly identified the location of Edwardsville High School in Illinois. We inadvertently listed the school as being in Alton, but as the chapter adviser was quick to point out, that is the home of their rival school (the school that must not be named), and Edwardsville HS is located in Edwardsville, IL. We regret the error.
A special appeal Last June, an EF4 tornado destroyed Wadena-Deer Creek High School in Minnesota. The school’s student council applied for and was accepted as part of Pepsi’s monthly Refresh Everything Grant. The top 10 ideas will receive a $50,000 grant. The student council, believing it their responsibility to keep school spirit alive for WDCHS students even though they will be displaced for two years, wants to give the students memories of those two years that aren’t marred by a tornado. They and the state Honor Society association (MAHS) have asked people to vote for their project by texting 103803 to 73774 and going online at www.refresheverything.com/helpwdc to vote. Anyone can vote. Voting ends December 31 and as of this writing the school was in 69th place. Your votes can count!
- Fantastic Food Fun. The NHS members at Kasson-Mantorville (MN) School used three separate activities late last year to collect food resources. They participated in a 3-month food drive, collaborating with their FCCLA chapter to collect more than 11,000 pounds of food for the local county food shelf. At Halloween they added to their totals by participating in Trick-or-Treat for Cans. Finally, in early December, 20 chapter members and their adviser baked more than 100 dozen cookies to contribute to Share and Care, a community group that distributes food and clothing to families in need.
- Winter Wonders. NHS members at Nixon-Smiley HS in Nixon, TX collected winter clothes to contribute to a community shelter. They also sent Christmas greetings and well-wishes to solders overseas with hand-made cards.
- Christmas Crafts for Kids. NHS members at Highland Park HS in Dallas, TX co-sponsored a Christmas Crafts Fair in collaboration with the local Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas and other businesses. Disadvantaged children were given the opportunity to create Christmas presents for their families through this event. The chapter organized more than 300 party favor bags, collecting more than 3,000 fruit items in the process. They also chaperoned the young students at the event, helping them create as many craft items as possible in the 3-hour event.
- Book Browsing in Georgia. NJHS members from the Peachtree Academy Private School in Conyers, GA held a Book Swap for the elementary school in early December. More than 1,245 books were collected and sorted according to reading/grade level. Members promoted the swap whereby students who donated a book were given a ticket to “shop” for a new book. More than 800 books remained after the swap to be donated to the school library by the chapter.
- Miles for Meals. The Miles for Meals Fun Run and Walk was undertaken in Hanson, MA last November by NHS members from Whitman-Hanson High School, let by senior Ryan Kelly. The cause? To raise money to support the local food pantries. With growing needs for food services in these communities, the food pantries were very grateful for the $8,000 donated from the project. Students from the school also create brochures, undertake statistical studies, and serve as interns at the pantries throughout the year.
- Helping the Homeless. NHS students at Grasso Tech in Groton, CT collected more than 100 winter clothing items to give to the local homeless hospitality center. The collection drive ran from October 25 through November 19 with the school’s freshman class collecting the most items. The NHS chapter provided a cake and ice cream social to the winning class.
- Caring for the Cold. Not to be outdone by their peers in CT, the NHS members at Lakes Community HS in Lake Villa, IL held their largest winter clothing drive ever in December. More than 447 items were collected and shared with a local mission home. The collection was the largest in the chapter’s four year history of the project.
- Mission-driven in Michigan. There are more than 600 students in the NHS chapter at Canton (MI) High School. Students regularly staff more than 100 service activities every month. Last fall they made more than 150 blankets for a local children’s hospital, rang bells for the Salvation Army, tutored younger students, and set up and worked the Salvation Army’s Toy Towne. This was in addition to the 15 food drives and food packing for the weekend food program that the students assisted with during the year.
- Blankets for Babies. The NHS chapter at Rolling Meadows (IL) HS collaborated with the fashion class students to make blankets for participants in the school district’s teen parenting program. Students at the school who serve 300 or more hours of service while enrolled at the school can earn membership in the “Mustangs Committed to Service” group sponsored by the school.
- Toys for PA Tots. Pittston (PA) Area HS has appeared in this column in the past. There’s a seemingly never-ending quantity of stories about this active chapter. In December, for the fourth year in a row, the NHS chapter raised money through dress down days and t-shirt sales to buy toys for the Toys for Tots campaign organized through the local U.S. Marine Corps representatives. More than $3,500 was collected which helped purchase 40 bicycles, 20 helmets and a variety of other toys. The local Target store helped out by providing generous discounts to the chapter when purchasing the toys for the collection.
Chapter member of the month: We commend senior Austin Tracz, NHS member from Oswego (NY) HS for his unique project in support of U.S. troops overseas. See “Project Ideas” [insert anchor link, please] below for the details.
- Michigan Marvel. The NHS chapter at Pioneer HS in Ann Arbor, MI coordinated a project for their student body last November and December and collected 1,764 articles of clothing, donated through the local Salvation Army to provide winter clothing for the needy in their community.
- Homecoming Honors. Clay City (IN) Jr./Sr. High has an annual Winter Homecoming. The local king and queen are crowned at halftime during a varsity basketball game. This year, in true spirit of “homecoming,” the NHS chapter honored the classes of 1961 and 1986 from their school for reaching their 50th and 25th celebrations for their classes.
- Good work at Goodnight. Goodnight Middle School’s NJHS chapter in San Marcos, TX led their student body last December in raising $1,439.90 as a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This successful effort followed their collecting more than 250 pounds of food for the local food bank.
- Books Abound. Six area nursing homes received holiday gifts of books, calendars, magazines, puzzle and coloring books thanks to the NHS chapter at Marietta (OH) High School. More than 810 items were collected and distributed to help the residents cope with the winter doldrums.
- Silent at Siren. Siren (WI) High School’s NHS chapter sponsored both a live and silent auction earlier this year to raise money for a local family in need. Nearly 300 people showed up for the auction and the spaghetti dinner that was held with the event. With donations from the Green Bay Packers and pro baseball player Jarrod Washburn along with school system staff, the chapter raised more than $10,000 to offset medical expenses for the family.
- Dress for Dinner. Each spring at Norwich (NY) High School, there is a musical production. Because school drama directors like dress rehearsals to have an audience – it helps prepare the actors for applause and reactions from the theatre – and to provide service, the NHS chapter hosts a dinner for local senior citizens. Buses bring seniors from a local assisted living facility to the school cafeteria where dinner is served with music provided by the jazz band. After dinner, the seniors are escorted to the auditorium where they are the special guests of the school for the dress rehearsal. A win-win for all involved.
- Snow Grams. Last December, just before the holidays, the NHS chapter at Susan E. Wagner HS, Staten Island, NY raised more than $350 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital by selling Snow Grams at school. The Snow Grams, sold to students, faculty and staff, had a holiday message and a mini-stuffed snowman or picture frame. In addition, the chapter donated about 200 toys for the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Holiday Drive.
- Helpful Hawks. The mascot for Greenfield (WI) High is the hawk. Their basketball stadium is known as the Hawk’s Dome. Last December, it was filled with clothing, food, and gifts collected by the NHS chapter. Nearly 50 families from the community who were suffering from tough economic conditions were invited to selected items for the holiday and presented with gift certificates for local stores. The chapter’s collections also included two carloads of toys, 200 new hats and gloves, boxes of children’s books, $450 in additional gift certificates, and 150 new stuffed animals that were donated to a local hospital. A very generous response to those in need.
- Sneaker Stroll for Service. The NJHS chapter at Coral Springs (FL) Middle School is committed to supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The chapter raised $400 earlier this year and now is participating in the “sneaker stroll” to raise additional money and awareness. To support their efforts members are selling paper “sneakers” for $1 each to support those involved in the project.
- Assisting Alumni. Two chapters have focused on activities with alumni in recent months. Minooka (IL) Community High’s NHS chapter hosted an NHS reunion at the school in early January. The event featured tea, snacks and an opportunity to share memories while looking through old yearbooks. At Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical HS in Rochester, MA, the chapter sends NHS alumni care packages just in time for final exams. The packages have nutritious foods and snacks along with inspirational and humorous poem written by one of the chapter advisers. Reaching out to school alumni and chapter alumni like these two schools can maintain the traditions of and respect for the Honor Society at your school.
Individual Member Salute: Congratulations to three NHS members from Coupeville (WA) High School, David Lile, Tauni Moody, and Andre Stone, who were recently identified as the Central Whidbey Big Brothers and Sister of the Year. This recognition from the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization was given for the mentoring accomplished by these three young people while working with local middle level students. Their mentees received essential academic skills development from their older colleagues, but the life lessons learned by the mentors along with their greater appreciation for the work of their teachers at the high school had an important impact as well. Job well done.
- Safety Harbor (FL) MS. NJHS member provide letters to students every year when it comes time to take the state assessment tests. The FCAT Encouragement Letters project is now in its second year and lets chapter members reach out to the student body with encouraging words along with tips for success on the upcoming tests.
- Laconia (WI) HS. The NHS chapter raised more than $7,900 for breast cancer awareness through a variety of projects including a t-shirt sale, a head-shaving sponsorship, a bake sale, and a special visit from former Green Back Packer, LeRoy Butler who auctioned of team memorabilia and signed autographs at the halftime of a basketball game.
- St. Louis Catholic School, Batesville, IN. The NJHS chapter hosted “Kids Night Out” to watch nearly 100 K-4 students for the evening. They hosted a dinner and games and activities. Parents had the night off! More than $500 was raised and donated to the local EMS in memory of a young student who died suddenly earlier this year.
- Issaquah (WA) HS. “Masters of the Mind” is the intellectual competition sponsored by the NHS chapter at IHS. The competition featured NHS pitted against the school’s Junior State of America club and consisted of a trivia competition, an impromptu speaking competition, and a dance competition by representatives of the two groups. Profits from the activity were designated for Seattle Children’s Hospital.
- Logan (WV) Middle School. Fifty NJHS members visited the governor’s mansion last month. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin addressed the group and opened by complimenting the members on being examples of self-driven success, on the way to achieving their dreams. He concluded with, “Our youth need our help to realize their dreams – whatever they may be. A solid education is the way. I congratulate our state’s NJHS members and remind all West Virginians that when we build up the foundation of the community by encouraging your youth to stay in school, our communities and our state become that much stronger.”
- Ashland (MA) HS. As one of their monthly service projects, NHS members collected a total of 48 boxes of food for their local food bank, the staff of which had helped the chapter establish the items in most need of collection. In addition, the chapter raised $1700 to send to an organization working in Zimbabwe to help young people there with their education.
- Worcester (MA) Technical HS. When the school was recently awarded the MetLife/NASSP Breakthrough School award, the NHS chapter joined the celebration by serving as greeters at the community’s celebration held at the school. The school was among the ten schools recently honored for their continuous growth on state assessments and for efforts made to reduce the achievement gap for the high percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price meals.
- Estrella Foothills HS, Goodyear, AZ. The NHS chapter raised more than $550 for Toys for Tots this year. Donations for the collections included 3 bikes as donations.
- Dirigo (ME) High School. The chapter sponsored its annual dinner for area senior citizens in January. The activity included a full dinner for the guests along with entertainment provided by the students.
- Colby (WI) HS. Chapter members have raised money this year for a cancer-stricken fellow student. The chapter also sponsored the sale of ice cream sundaes and root beer floats to raise money for the purchase of clothes for a student’s family that lost their home in a fire. In their “spare” time, the chapter members also help the local elementary school with a quiz for the Knowledge-athon, babysit for PTO meetings, and tutor students in grades K-12. See related post from Colby HS on www.facebook.com/nhsandnjhs.
- Congratulations to Shannon Folsom, current an honors student at the University of Maine and formerly an NHS member from Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine, for having been crowned Miss Collegiate America 2011.
- Outstanding Volleyball Players. Two NHS students, one from West Virginia and the other from Massachusetts, have been named their state’s Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year. Congratulations to Hannah Bailey, NHS member from Spring Valley (WV) HS and Maura Manly from New Bedford (MA) HS.
- Leading her chapter in service throughout the year, Kayla Meuller from Rolling Meadows HS in Arlington Heights, IL led her chapter in a game-collection drive to stock a recreation room for soldiers serving in Iraq. Kayla also led a t-shirt collection drive amassing more than 400 shirts to send to needy recipients in Jamaica and Colombia.
Despite the onset of warmer spring days pulling students outdoors for fun and recreation, chapters around the country remained focused on provide some extraordinary service to their schools and communities last month. Here’s a sampling
- On a Mission for the Mission. NJHS members from Golden West Middle School in Fairfield, CA organized a walk-a-thon for Mission Solano, an organization focused on meeting the needs of the homeless in their community. Despite the rain that drove the event indoors, walkers raised nearly $1500 through pledges and contributions from the school and the community.
- Fundraiser for Fire Family. When one of their fellow NHS members lost her home in a fire earlier this year, the five chapter members at Richland Spring (TX) High School decided to help. With support from the staff and community, the chapter hosted a fish fry and cake auction to raise money. More than $4,600 was collected from the event to give to the family whose home had burned.
- Film Festival Fun. The NHS chapter at Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington, CT is sponsoring their annual student film festival. Original student videos are entered for a small fee of $5 and then shown at an evening event hosted by the chapter. A prize of $100 goes to the winning video. The activity provides a new venue for talented students to communicate with their peers through videos.
- Still Helping Haiti. The NHS chapter members at Arcata (CA) HS haven’t forgotten the nation of Haiti still recovering from their January 2010 earthquake. They sponsored a “Hearts for Haiti” dinner and auction to benefit a prosthetics lab organized through the global non-profit, Prosthetika.
- Bountiful Bidding. The NHS chapter at Brookfield (CT) High wanted to raise money to donate to the Danbury (CT) Hospital’s NICU (neo-natal intensive care) facility. They held an auction in March and raised nearly $3400 in donations. Helping those who cannot help themselves – a great success by the chapter.
- Empty Bowls….no more. In response to their growing awareness of the problems of hunger in the U.S., NHS students at Austin (MN) High School sponsored the Empty Bowls project this spring. More than 200 bowls were handcrafted as giveaways and soup was donated by three area restaurants. More than $800 was raised in this first-time event with hopes of repeating next year. Monies were donated to the local Salvation Army food shelf and meal program which supplemented the chapter’s efforts from the fall when more than 12,000 pounds of food was collected and shared.
We salute all of the outstanding NHS and NJHS students-of-the-month, whiz kids, scholarship winners, and award recipients who appear daily in newspapers and on local TV news broadcasts. Their numbers are too great to post here, but their membership in the Honor Society stands out in articles all across the nation. Thanks also to the many chapter advisers who help in this effort by sharing important news stories and press releases with their local media. It is inspiring to read about all of these great students.
- Record contribution. The NHS chapter at Edgewood HS in Trenton, OH made a record contribution to their local food pantry. Through collaboration with the local elementary and middle schools, along with the student council and FFA groups at school, the chapter contributed more than 6,000 items in April.
- Funds from Flowers. Jamestown (ND) High NHS members sold bouquets of daffodils last month and raised $2,225 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Money is used to support cancer research and to fund educational and patient service programs. www.cancer.org/daffodils.
- Letters of Encouragement. The members of the Safety Harbor (FL) Middle School NJHS chapter recently sent out their annual letters of encouragement to sixth graders in their school helping them prepare for their state assessment tests, FCAT. Letters included strategies for preparation at home and tips for doing well on the math and reading segments of the tests.
- Bucks for Boots. When the class of 2011 graduates from Whitehouse (TX) High School, most of them will be wearing combat boots. Thanks to a fundraiser by the NHS chapter, seniors will be honoring the nation’s military by walking with their boots on. The chapter learned of this activity from www.bootcampaign.com.
- Collaboration for a Cause. NHS members joined with the Key Club and student government at Keyport (PA) High to sponsor this spring’s Senior Prom – a senior citizen prom, that is. Chapter members invited residents of nearby senior centers to join them from 4 to 6 p.m. for dancing, music, and fun all designed around a Mardi Gras theme. Nearly 30 students headed up the project.
- Pet-Aid in PA. Tidioute (PA) Community Charter School may have only 250 students grades K through 12, but rallied in a big way to sponsor a project to raise money for the local county humane society. The NHS chapter organized a project where in return for paying $1 to adopt a pet for the month, donors received a certificate of thanks with a photo of the pet they helped to support. More than $100 was donated along with $300 of materials as a result of this project.
- Child Abuse Awareness. NHS members joined by their colleagues in the Key Club at McLoud (OK) High helped raise awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect by attaching 199 blue bows and 26 blue flowers to a tree on campus. Bows represented child abuse cases; flowers identified deaths from child abuse in their county. The project was designed to build awareness and generate discussions among students about the problem.
- Talent for a Trip. The Southaven (MS) Intermediate School chapter of NJHS spent the year raising $5,000 to send a classmate on a trip to Disney World through the Make A Wish Foundation. The recipient was invited as a judge for the chapter’s talent show and was then surprised with the wish fulfillment announcement in honor of her having succeeded in fighting a case of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Interesting Internships. Members of the NHS chapter at Bella Vista Private School in Scottsdale, AZ spend an hour each week from January to May interning at the Chamber of Commerce and a local retirement care company. Students created web pages, stuffed envelopes, cleaned vans used to transport the elderly, and generally helped out. The members developed a real sense of community through this weekly commitment.
- Middle level Mentors. The NJHS chapter at Mitkof Middle School in Petersburg, Alaska organized a peer tutoring program this year. They provide tutoring and homework assistance to their peers after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week. Each member of the chapter participated with teachers assisting with the supervision of the “Homework Busters” program.
Individual honors. We congratulate Jordan Perrine, NHS member and senior at Hackettstown (NJ) High School for being one of 104 high school students chosen as a 2011 Horatio Alger National Scholar. Jordan received a $20,000 scholarship for being chosen from more than 40,000 applicants across the US. Learn about this program at www.horatioalger.org
* * * * *
Reminder: Chapters wishing to submit their projects or activities for Honor Society News can email their report to email@example.com and placing CDGT in the subject line. For those with longer descriptions, please consider using the Idea Submission Form found at www.nhs.us/ideas - see “Submit Your Idea” for a link to the form. We look forward to hearing from you.
© 2011, NASSP.