Upcoming Dates

October 23
Intellectual Freedom Challenge submissions due

November 17
Project Grant applications due

December 8
Scholarship applications open

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Welcome New Chapters

Darien High School
Chapter: Connecticut Wits
Darien, CT

Francis Scott Key High School
Chapter: Legentibus-Scriptoribus-Aquilas
Union Bridge, MD

Georgia Connections Academy
Chapter: GACA Literary Circle
Duluth, GA

Hardin County High School
Chapter: Hardin County High School
Savannah, TN

Kenwood High School
Chapter: Kenwood High School
Baltimore, MD

Keystone Heights High School
Chapter: Kappa Eta Sigma
Keystone Heights, FL

Parkville High School
Chapter: Parkville High School
Baltimore, MD

St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School
Chapter: Flannery O'Connor Literary Honors Society
Columbus, GA

Wake Forest High School
Chapter: Zelda Fitzgerald
Wake Forest, NC

In This Issue

  1. NEHS Intellectual Freedom Challenge
  2. Advisor Grants
  3. New Funding for 2017-2018
  4. Classroom Library Grants
  5. Merit Scholarships based on the Common Reader
  6. Project Grants
  7. Share Your Chapter Events with the Society

Two perspectives on October as the school year settles into routines and learning deepens, one from Neil Gaiman and one from e e cummings:

Seasons of Mists
Neil Gaiman

October knew, of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or shutting a book, did not end the tale.
Having admitted that, he would also avow that happy endings were never difficult to find: "It is simply a matter," he explained to April, "of finding a sunny place in a garden, where the light is golden and the grass is soft; somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and to be content."

e e cummings

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While we are mindful of the challenges facing schools and NEHS chapters in Texas, Florida, and elsewhere due to the devastating hurricanes of late, we trust for the majority of the membership school has begun smoothly. We have recently returned from meeting with the Board of Directors of Sigma Tau Delta and are pleased to convey funding for new projects has been approved as requested; see below for more details. This issue of NEHSXpress includes information on the following—NEHS Scholarships and the Common Reader, the Intellectual Freedom Challenge, Advisor Grants, Project Grants, NEHS Takeover, and Banned Books Week social media contest. Please send comments, suggestions, and/or news about your chapter activities to NEHS Director, Dave Wendelin.

NEHS Intellectual Freedom Challenge

This competition is exclusively for junior and sophomore members of active NEHS chapters. The Intellectual Freedom Challenge invites NEHS members to submit well-reasoned, argumentative essays about the use of controversial texts that have been or may be challenged due to theme, content, or language. Successful students receive book gift certificates as well as a monetary Crafton Award. Essays will be accepted from September 1 through October 23, 2017.

This program is held in conjunction with the American Library Association's annual celebration of Banned Books Week, scheduled this year for September 24-September 30, 2017. Check the ALA website for more information.

Advisor Grants

NEHS believes in the value of educators and wishes to support them, particularly those willing to add even more to the challenges of 21st century education by eagerly serving as NEHS Advisors. Advisors are encouraged to apply for these new grants intended to supplement other funding sources. Grants must be used to enhance the teaching and learning of the English language arts that will also directly impact effectiveness of leading NEHS chapters. Applicants must explain the intended use of grant funds and submit a blog article detailing the outcomes resulting from the grant.

Grants ranging in amounts from $25-$300 are available throughout the school year. View application information.

New Funding for 2017-2018

The Sigma Tau Delta Board of Directors met in Cincinnati in September; at that time, budget proposals were submitted for approval. Approvals included increasing the funds available for Merit Scholarships, both in the number available and in amounts, bringing this year's total to $39,000. Additionally, up to $10,000 has been allocated for Need-based Scholarships. Each type of scholarship has unique requirements but share a common deadline of January 15, 2018.

Funding was also increased for Summer Study Awards and maintained for Classroom Library and Project Grants. More information about additional new projects will be forthcoming.

Classroom Library Grants

NEHS Chapter Advisors who are in their first five years of teaching may now apply for a Classroom Library Grant to increase book availability to students in classrooms.

View: Application Process, including Timelins

Merit Scholarships based on the Common Reader

The Common Reader for 2017-2018 is On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry. Prompts for the scholarship essays will be revealed in November and essays will be due no later than noon CST on Tuesday, January 15, 2018.

Project Grants

National English Honor Society Project Grants are designed to encourage local chapters to be innovative in developing projects that further the goals of the Society. The Society will award a limited number of grants each semester, for no more than $200 each, to support local chapter activities that will be enhanced or made possible by the grant monies. The application deadline for second semester of the 2017-2018 school year is November 17, 2017.

View: Application Timelines

Share Your Chapter Events with the Society

Host an NEHS Takeover
Last fall NEHS partook in its first social media NEHS Takeover. Emma Hancock, President of the Seahawk Lyceum Chapter at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, MD, took over the NEHS Society Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to cover the school's third annual Haunted Hallway. Last year's Haunted Hallway, titled Decatur's Horror Story, was based on hit TV show American Horror Story and featured rooms inspired by each season of the show. During the takeover Emma shared photos and videos of everything from behind-the-scenes setup to visitors' reactions upon exiting the Haunted Hallway. Watch their takeover on the EnglishMatters' YouTube channel!

The NEHS Takeover program allows individual chapters to feature their events and accomplishments at the Society level. If your chapter is interested in participating in an NEHS social media takeover, please fill out and submit the NEHS Takeover Request Form at least two weeks before your event.

Call for Blogs
NEHS wants to help your voice be heard across the Society. We are seeking posts for our NEHS Museletter blog from Chapter Advisors and members that accomplish one of the following:

Please review the Blog Submission Guidelines before emailing your blog to Katie Mudd. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to see their work published in an official capacity.