Upcoming Dates

December 8
Applications Open for
Merit Scholarships
Need-Based Scholarships

January 16
Applications Close for
Merit Scholarships
Need-Based Scholarships

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Welcome New Chapters

Bartram Trail High School
Chapter: Bearenheit 451
St. Johns, FL

Center Point High School
Chapter: Beta Pi
Center Point, AL

Clarksburg High School
Chapter: Clarksburg High School
Clarksburg, MD

Marcus High School
Chapter: Marcus Marauders
Flower Mound, TX

Monroe Township High School
Chapter: When it Rains, It's Prose
Monroe Township, NJ

Nativity B.V.M. High School
Chapter: Nativity High School NEHS
Pottsville, PA

Ooltewah High School
Chapter: A Novel Idea
Ooltewah, TN

Point Pleasant Beach High School
Chapter: Garnet Gull
Point Pleasant, NJ

River City Early College High School
Chapter: Audere Est Facere
Vicksburg, MS

Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School
Chapter: Pilibos National English Honor Society
Los Angeles, CA

Weehawken High School
Chapter: Weehawken Wordsmiths
Weehawken, NJ

William H. Turner Technical Arts High School
Chapter: Ekri Literary Society
Miami, FL

In This Issue

  1. Scholarships and the Common Reader
  2. Call for Scholarship Essay Evaluators
  3. English-Speaking Union
  4. Intellectual Freedom Challenge
  5. Classroom Library Grants
  6. Holiday Closure

Amazingly, the end of first semester looms as we enter December. While there is much to do before this first half of the year comes to closure, excitement fills the air as well. There's satisfaction for students as final projects are completed and exams are finished; for educators, the joy as the bottom of the stack of papers slowly approaches is almost palpable!

December is the birth month for Jane Austen (1775), Emily Dickinson (1830), and Sandra Cisneros (1954). William Carlos Williams paints a wonderful picture as we transition from fall to winter:

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

NEHS staff, NEHS colleagues from Missouri schools, and Advisory Council members have just returned from promoting our honor society at the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in St. Louis. We met enthusiastic teachers eager to learn about joining the existing 1,000+ NEHS chapters; we continue to be humbled and inspired by the many educators and student members who, daily, make NEHS such a dynamic, important society.

The December newsletter highlights the following: scholarships, scholarship evaluators, a partnership with the English-Speaking Union, the announcement of the winners of the Crafton Awards, the availability of Classroom Library Grants, and a reminder of the winter break schedule for the Central Office.

Scholarships and the Common Reader

Awards are available to senior members of NEHS in two scholarship categories. Competitive awards are available for those members from active chapters who submit essays written on this year's Common Reader for 2017-2018, On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry. Students wishing to compete for those awards must read the Common Reader and submit an essay based on NEHS-provided prompts. The submission period for the essays is from December 8, 2017 through January 16, 2018, at 12:00 noon, Central Standard Time (CST).

View: Merit Scholarship Overview
View: Essay Prompts

Need-Based Scholarships, which increased in amount this year to a total of $10,000, are competitive awards for seniors who demonstrate outstanding academic performance in English studies, are members who have been active participants in NEHS, and who qualify for a need-based award due to income and/or family circumstances. These awards are competitive in nature; members of the NEHS Advisory Council will evaluate applications. The deadline for receipt of all materials associated with these scholarships is 12:00 noon, CST, January 16, 2018.

View: Need-Based Scholarship Qualifications and Required Submissions

Call for Scholarship Essay Evaluators

NEHS Chapter Advisors interested in being readers for the scholarship evaluation process are encouraged to send a note of interest to Dave Wendelin, NEHS Director by December 15. With the growth of NEHS, we now need a larger pool of readers for the scholarship essays. Details about the process and the commitment, including the necessary timeline, may be found on the Prospective NEHS Scholarship Evaluator Overview. Essays will be distributed electronically to selected readers in mid-January, 2018. Contact the Director if questions arise after reading the requirements for participation.

English-Speaking Union

NEHS and the English-Speaking Union have recently joined together in a complementary professional relationship. The ESU offers programs for educators and students, including travel opportunities and Shakespearean competitions. The recently announced grants for NEHS Advisors provide financial support to educators to enhance the teaching and learning of the English language arts—the grants may be used to supplement costs associated with study abroad opportunities offered by the ESU. Applicants must explain the intended use of grant funds and, after the learning opportunity is concluded, submit a blog article detailing the outcomes resulting from the grant.

Grants ranging in amounts from $25-$350 are available throughout the school year. Applicants must explain the intended use of grant funds and submit a blog article detailing the outcomes resulting from the grant, if awarded.

View: Application Information

Intellectual Freedom Challenge

Sophomore and junior members of NEHS this fall submitted persuasive essays on texts ranging from Persepolis to The Color Purple, from The Bluest Eye to The Hate U Give for the Intellectual Freedom Challenge competition. Ten NEHS members were honored with Crafton Awards for submitting essays deemed excellent by the panel of judges from Sigma Tau Delta, our sponsoring organization. Those recognized for their work are:

Classroom Library Grants

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

View: Application Process, including Timeline

Holiday Closure

The Central Office will be closed for winter break from December 22, 2017, through January 1, 2018.

NEHS Connect will continue to be active during this time; however, email and phone support will not be available, and membership certificates will not be processed until after the break.

The Central Office will re-open on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.