The following projects are highlights from this year’s NHS and NJHS Outstanding Service Project awards. View all the project winners at www.nhs.us/osp and www.njhs.us/osp.

Seuss on the Loose

For more than 15 years, the NJHS group at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts in Chattanooga, TN, has been implementing the “Seuss on the Loose” project. Traveling in teams to local elementary schools, members read stories and perform adaptations of beloved Dr. Seuss books to young students. The project proves true to its purpose to provide community service while connecting with local students and expressing artistic talent. “The opportunity to bring a story to life for these kids—but more importantly, to really connect with them—was an invaluable experience,” a former member attested.

 

Harvesting Hope

The Stewartsville Middle School NJHS group in Stewartsville, NJ, proudly engaged in America’s Grow-A-Row, a nonprofit organization striving to positively impact as many lives as possible through a volunteer effort of planting, picking, rescuing, and delivering free, fresh produce. Grow-A-Row requires students to work together, evolve as a group, and feed those in need in their community. Participation also taught students how much hope grows out of only a few hours of goodwill.

 

Benevolence Is in the Bag

Touring a local food pantry led to largesse from the NJHS group at Mishicot Middle School in Mishicot, WI. Inspired to serve their community, the students created gifts for the children of families who benefit from the charitable organization, which they called “birthday bags.” Each birthday bag was outfitted with a cake, candles, frosting, decorations, and a birthday card with a handwritten message. To fund their philanthropy, students held a dance and invited community organizations to donate to the cause. In addition to an encouraging act of kindness, the birthday bags continue to be adored by recipients.

 

Now That’s Newsworthy

To promote greater autism awareness and provide an opportunity for service providers within this growing field to disseminate information about the goods and services available to those affected by autism, NHS students at South Vermillion High School in Clinton, IN, hosted the “Halloween Fun Run and Family Fest for Autism.” Members did everything to plan and prepare for this memorable event, and their hard work garnered plenty of community support and media coverage. More than 20 businesses and hundreds of individuals came together, and all proceeds were split evenly between the Autism Society of Indiana and the South Vermillion chapter-based scholarship program.

 

Spread Some C.H.E.E.R.

The entire middle level and high school of Caurus Academy, a public charter school in Anthem, AZ, partnered with Kurt Warner’s First Things First Foundation to participate in Consciousness Helps Encourage Equal Respect (C.H.E.E.R.) Week—a project that strives to encourage inclusion, kindness, sympathy, and respect between students who live with disabilities and those who do not. Some Caurus Academy students participated by adopting a disability for a day, while others engaged with a student who had adopted a disability. Every student developed a deeper understanding of peers with special needs as defined by much more than their disability.

 

Bake the World a Better Place

To raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Children’s Hospital of Illinois, members of the Williamsfield High School National Honor Society in Williamsfield, IL, annually conduct a “Pie in the Face” contest. In preparation, tables that have buckets with teachers’ faces on them are set in the hallway, and NHS members go around the school and community to encourage people to donate money to the teacher they want to be pied. The top three participants are sweetly selected to get pied in front of the entire student body (preK–12), but first, the NHS members give a presentation about the chosen charities.

 

Primping the Principal’s Patio

Members of the NHS chapter of Mineral County High School in Hawthorne, NV, demonstrated their commitment to global citizenship by getting their hands dirty and creating a safe space for all students. By renovating the Principal’s Patio, this small group of students changed the school environment aesthetically, environmentally, and academically. Collaboration allowed them to overcome obstacles and enhance a space for current and future students, as well as alumni.

 

Loads of Fun

The NJHS chapter at the Episcopal School of Knoxville (ESK) in Tennessee spent the last year raising money to support Laundry Love: Knoxville. By running a weekly hot chocolate bar for the student body, members raised enough money to sponsor a monthly event. Laundry Love: Knoxville allows families in need to wash up to three loads of laundry. ESK students raised $1,200 to not only pay for all supplies to launder 5,200 pounds of laundry but also to feed 117 people. Students also volunteered at the event, where they helped to clean and fold laundry, make and serve meals, and take care of children. Overall, they assisted 69 families.

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