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Welcome New Chapters

A. H. Parker High School
Chapter: Parker National English Honor Society
Birmingham, AL

Alverno High School
Chapter: Carla Tomaso
Sierra Madre, CA

Catholic High School of Baltimore
Chapter: Sister Corda Maria Berbauer
Baltimore, MD

Clarksville High School
Chapter: Robert Penn Warren Society of the NEHS
Clarksville, TN

Collierville High School
Chapter: Collierville High School
Collierville, TN

Harding Academy of Memphis
Chapter: Mrs. Betty S. Bates
Memphis, TN

King Philip Regional High School
Chapter: King Philip
Wrentham, MD

Park Hill South High School
Chapter: Park Hill South
Riverside, MO

Seven Lakes High School
Chapter: Seven Lakes High School
Katy, TX

Trevor G. Browne High School
Chapter: Barbaric Yawps
Phoenix, AZ

In This Issue

  1. NEHS Scholarships and the Common Reader
  2. NEHS Intellectual Freedom Challenge - the Crafton Awards
  3. NEHS Chapter Annual Reports - Chapter Project Ideas
  4. Outstanding Chapter Advisors - The John L. Manear Award
  5. New Service Award Announced

The end of August 2015—it hardly seems possible, not only that another school year is upon us, but that we are also midway through this decade! An additional milestone—the start of the ten year anniversary for National English Honor Society. Since 2005, many changes have occurred within the Society—establishment of scholarships and awards, welcoming of over 750 chapters, including several in other countries, witnessing amazing projects designed and completed by chapters, and well over 200,000 members of NEHS moving to their college or university studies. We eagerly look forward to the next ten years and beyond, confidently believing that this society of passionate students and dedicated educators is poised to reach even higher goals than those already met.

This issue of NEHSXpress includes information on the following topics: NEHS Scholarships and the Common Reader, the Crafton Awards, chapter annual reports, the new John L. Manear Advisor Award, and a new Service Award opportunity. Please send comments, suggestions, and/or news about your chapter activities to NEHS Director, Dave Wendelin.

NEHS Scholarships and the Common Reader

More than $30,000 in scholarship awards for graduating senior members of NEHS who wish to submit essays written on this year's Common Reader for 2015-2016, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, will be available this year. One new award, the Director's Scholarship, has been added in the amount of $3,500. Students wishing to compete for those awards must read the Common Reader and submit an essay based on NEHS-provided prompts. The deadline for receipt of the essays will be January 11, 2016; prompts will be posted in November 2015, so please plan accordingly. More information may be found on the scholarships page.

NEHS Intellectual Freedom Challenge - The Crafton Awards

This competition is exclusively for sophomore and junior members of active NEHS chapters. The Intellectual Freedom Challenge invites NEHS members to submit essays that provide written arguments about the use of controversial texts that have been or may be challenged due to theme or content. Successful students receive book gift certificates as well as monetary awards—the Crafton Awards—named for Dr. Robert Crafton from Slippery Rock University, who initiated the idea of this competition some years ago. The top essays also will be forwarded to National Council of Teachers of English for possible inclusion in a rationales file used to support educator decision-making about texts. Essays are due Monday, November 16, 2015. More information may be found on the Intellectual Freedom Challenge page.

This program is held in conjunction with the American Library Association's annual celebration of Banned Books Week, scheduled this year for September 27-October 3, 2015. Check Banned Books Week website for more information.

NEHS Chapter Annual Reports - Chapter Project Ideas

Congratulations to the "Message in a Bottle" Chapter of First Colonial High School, Virginia Beach, VA, the winner of the $100 drawing for timely completion of the annual report. Over 435 chapters submitted reports this year, an increase over last year. Thank you! Submitting reports is a requirement for all chapters; while the survey is now closed, make plans to keep track of all important events being planned for the upcoming year and mark your calendars for June 1, 2016, to submit your report. Throughout the year, we share information from the reports both on our website and in the NEHS Museletter Blog so that all readers are able to benefit by learning of the amazing chapter efforts accomplished throughout the organization. Go to the Noteworthy Activities page for a searchable database of activities and projects from previous years; this list will soon be updated with the information sent from chapters this past summer.

Outstanding Chapter Advisors - The John L. Manear Award

A new initiative to recognize and honor the leadership of NEHS Advisors is now in place. The John L. Manear Outstanding Advisor Award will be given to one NEHS Advisor whose work with students in NEHS is exemplary. The winner will receive $500 and a plaque; two additional $250 awards are available for other nominees. We strongly believe that educators seldom are "put in the spotlight" for the amazing things they do every day for students, schools, and communities. We look forward to reviewing the nominations. For more information about procedures and deadlines, visit the John L. Manear Outstanding Advisor Award page.

This award is named for John Manear, English teacher at Seton-LaSalle High School, Pittsburgh, PA, and English coordinator for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Mr. Manear is a founding member of NEHS, has been a member of the Advisory Council for ten years, and has been a leader in National Council of Teachers of English for many years. His educational career spans 50 years in the classroom—an inspiration for literally thousands of students and educators.

New Service Award Announced

NEHS, like its sponsoring organization, Sigma Tau Delta, wishes to recognize chapters performing exemplary community service projects as partners with local agencies. NEHS will honor outstanding service efforts by funding a limited number of awards, each consisting of a $100 award to the chapter and a contribution of up to $500 to agencies or organizations with whom the project was crafted and completed. Awards are given after successful projects have been finished; funds help chapters defray costs already incurred, while contributions to the agencies help extend their goals.

Any active chapter is eligible to apply for a Service Award, but no chapter may receive a Service Award in consecutive years. Active chapters also are eligible to apply for a Project Grant in advance of a service effort to support the project. Project Grants do not, however, provide direct contributions to community agencies. See the Service Awards page for more information on submission protocols and deadlines.