Upcoming Dates

October 3
Intellectual Freedom Challenge submissions open

October 5
Outstanding Chapter Award applications due

November 14
Intellectual Freedom Challenge submissions due

December 1
Project Grant applications due

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Welcome New Chapters

Archer High School
Chapter: Alpha Gamma Alpha
Lawrenceville, GA

Asheville High School
Chapter: Wilde Wolfe
Asheville, NC

Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Chapter: Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School
Virginia Beach, VA

Broadneck High School
Chapter: Broadneck English Honor Society
Annapolis, MD

Community School of Naples
Chapter: Deborah Bright
Naples, FL

DePaul Catholic High School
Chapter: DePaul Catholic Chapter of NEHS
Wayne, NJ

Druid Hills High School
Chapter: Alfred Uhry
Atlanta, GA

First Coast High School
Chapter: First Coast High School NEHS
Jacksonville, FL

Forest Hills High School
Chapter: Jackets Required
Marshville, NC

Hampton Christian Academy
Chapter: Eta Chi Alpha
Hampton, VA

Hickory High School
Chapter: Tornado
Hickory, NC

Highstown High School
Chapter: Highstown High School National English Honor Society
East Windsor, NJ

Long Reach High School
Chapter: Lightning League of Letters
Columbia, MD

Middletown High School North
Chapter: Invictus Promissum
Middletown, NJ

New Brockton High School
Chapter: Gamecock Pride
New Brockton, AL

North Forsyth High School, GA
Chapter: North Forsyth High School
Cumming, GA

Purdy High School
Chapter: Purdy High School
Purdy, MO

Sewanhaka High School
Chapter: Sewanhaka's Pride and Prose
Floral Park, NY

Shrewsbury High School
Chapter: Jane Austen
Shrewsburry, MA

St. Agnes Academic High School
Chapter: Agnes of Montepulciano
College Point, NY

St. Joseph's Academy
Chapter: Literati of St. Joseph's Academy
St. Louis, MO

West Port High School
Chapter: Wolf Pack
Ocala, FL

Western Branch High School
Chapter: Western Branch High School
Chesapeake, VA

In This Issue

  1. Scholarships
  2. Classroom Library Grants
  3. Intellectual Freedom Challenge
  4. Service Awards
  5. Chapter Annual Report/Project Ideas
  6. Outstanding Chapter Awards
  7. Follow NEHS on Social Media

The Dalai Lama has said, "When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts." As English teachers and students, we understand how reading, writing, sharing ideas, and viewing texts affect our hearts and minds. As the humanities are battered by those who believe the discipline is not "marketable," organizations such as National English Honor Society stand firm in the belief the study of the human condition is of upmost importance. NEHS salutes those dedicated to the study of literature, language, and the arts.

We enter our eleventh year as an honor society dedicated to the study of English in all its iterations, pleased to celebrate our 870 chapters—and anticipating we'll reach the 900 mark this school year while already looking forward to the chapter that becomes number 1,000! Close to 20,000 high school students will be members of NEHS this school year; in their passion for English, they will affect thousands of others in their communities as they make use of their literary talents.

Welcome back to school. This issue of NEHSXpress includes information on the following topics—NEHS Scholarships and the Common Reader, Classroom Library Grants, the Intellectual Freedom Challenge, a new Service Award opportunity, Chapter Annual Report and project ideas, the Outstanding Chapter Awards, and NEHS social media. Please send comments, suggestions, and/or news about your chapter activities to NEHS Director, Dave Wendelin.


Based on a suggestion made in the Chapter Annual Report, NEHS will introduce a needs-based scholarship opportunity this year. While the existing scholarship awards are based on submission of an analytic essay discussing the Common Reader, applicants for the needs-based awards will submit a narrative essay discussing their particular circumstances and goals; the essays will be supported by documents from school officials. This first year, we will be able to offer four (4) $1,000 scholarships. Watch for more information in the coming months; applications will be due in the spring of 2017.

The Common Reader for 2016-2017 is Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. Prompts for the essays will be revealed in November and essays will be due no later than 11:59 p.m. CST on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. This monetary awards for this category of scholarships will increase to $35,000 this coming year.

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 availabillity to students in classrooms. Specifics about the application process, including timelines, are available on the NEHS website.

Intellectual Freedom Challenge

This competition is exclusively for sophomore and junior 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 or content. Successful students receive book gift certificates as well as monetary awards—the Crafton Awards—named for Dr. Robert Crafton, retired professor from Slippery Rock University, who initiated the idea of this competition some years ago as President of Sigma Tau Delta. The top essays will be forwarded to National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) for possible inclusion in a rationales file used to support educator decision-making about texts. Essays will be accepted from October 3 through November 14, 2016.

This program is held in conjunction with the American Library Association's (ALA) annual celebration of Banned Books Week, scheduled this year for September 25-October 1, 2016. Check the ALA website for more information.

Service Awards

National English Honor Society, 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 are also 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.

Chapter Annual Report/Project Ideas

Congratulations to S. S. Murphy High School, Mobile, AL, the winner of the drawing for $100 for timely completion of the Chapter Annual Report. Over 490 chapters submitted reports this year, a record number, albeit a number that does not match the total chapter count. Submitting reports is a requirement for all chapters; make plans now to keep track of all-important events being planned for the upcoming year and mark your calendars for June 1, 2017, to submit your report. Throughout this year, we share information from the reports both on our website and in the NEHS Museletter blog so all are able to benefit by learning of the amazing efforts accomplished throughout the organization. See the Noteworthy Activities database for searchable projects from previous years; this list soon will be updated with the information sent from chapters this past summer.

Outstanding Chapter Awards

National English Honor Society's Outstanding Chapter Awards are designed to recognize local chapters that have exhibited outstanding motivation, creativity, and service in the preceding year. Award recipients will receive a check for $250 and a plaque. Winning chapters will also be highlighted on our website and in the NEHS Museletter blog in the fall.

Any active chapter is eligible to apply for an Outstanding Chapter Award, but no chapter may receive an Outstanding Chapter Award in consecutive years. Active chapters may use relevant information assembled for a Project Grant application when applying for an Outstanding Chapter Award. Specific application requirements are posted with each award description.

The Outstanding Chapter Awards Committee will accept applications postmarked for the award no later than Monday, September 12, 2016, for the 2015-2016 awards.

Follow NEHS on Social Media

NEHS, in conjunction with its sponsoring organization, Sigma Tau Delta, has expanded its social media presence. In addition to NEHS's existing Facebook and Twitter (@NEHSXpress) accounts, members now also can stay abreast of issues relevant to the field and our organization on Instagram (@englishmatters), Snapchat, and Pinterest. Follow us on these joint Sigma Tau Delta/NEHS accounts under the username EnglishMatters. Email content for and comments or questions about social media to Katie Mudd.
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