Upcoming Dates

November 3
Scholarship Essay Prompts posted

November 17
Intellectual Freedom Challenge essays due

December 1
Scholarship Submissions open

December 2
Project Grant applications due

January 12
Scholarship Submissions deadline

Social Media Updates

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Welcome New Chapters

Dixie M. Hollins High School
Chapter: Lost Generation
St. Petersburg, FL

Keys Gate Charter High School
Chapter: Keys Gate Charter High School English Honor Society
Homestead, FL

Livingston High School
Chapter: Active Voice
Livingston, NJ

Nampa High school
Chapter: Poe-Etts
Nampa, ID

Nashua High School South
Chapter: Nashua High School South
Nashua, NH

Riverview High School, West Virgina
Chapter: Voice of the Raiders
Bradshaw, WV

Vineland High School
Chapter: Writing Clan
Vineland, NJ

Whitewater High School
Chapter: Whitewater High School
Fayetteville, GA

In This Issue

  1. 700th Chapter! (And counting....)
  2. NEHS Scholarships and the Common Reader
  3. NEHS Intellectual Freedom Challenge and Crafton Awards
  4. NEHS Project Grants
  5. National NEHS Service Project
  6. NEHS Database of Noteworthy Activities

The month of November has arrived and with it, urgency begins to quicken the pace of teaching and learning as the end of the semester looms.

National Family Literacy Day®, celebrated across the U.S., focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1st, but many events are held throughout the month of November. Schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations participate through read-a-thons, celebrity appearances, book drives, and more. NEHS chapters might consider Literacy Day, extended throughout the month, as a focus for projects.

From a literature perspective, November is the month of: the publication of Moby Dick in 1851; the birth of Stephen Crane in 1871; and the death of John Milton in 1674. Dylan Thomas died at the age of 39 in 1953, and in 1922, Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis.

For members of National English Honor Society, important dates also are quickly approaching; we want to make sure the opportunities available through NEHS are "on the radar." This issue of NEHSXpress includes the celebration of the chartering of our 700th chapter, reminders about scholarships, intellectual freedom essays, and project grants, an encouragement to utilize the NEHS database for project ideas, and a suggestion for participating in a national service project. Please send comments, suggestions, and/or news about your chapter activities to NEHS Director, Dave Wendelin.

700th Chapter (And counting....)

We are thrilled to announce that NEHS has hit yet another milestone in the growth of our chapter network. The "Active Voice" chapter from Livingston High School, Livingston, New Jersey, became the 700th NEHS chapter! We have come a long way since our humble beginning nine years ago when we were excited about hitting the number 50 in our first year. Congratulations to Livingston and onward to 800!

NEHS Scholarships and the Common Reader

Up to $25,000 in competitive scholarship awards is available to senior members of NEHS who wish to submit essays written on this year's Common Reader for 2014-2015, Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Students wishing to compete for those awards must read the Common Reader and submit an essay based on NEHS-provided prompts. Online submissions will be accepted December 1, 2014 through January 12, 2015.

NEHS Intellectual Freedom Challenge and Crafton Awards

Junior and sophomore members of NEHS are encouraged to submit persuasive essays for these awards. The Intellectual Freedom Challenge invites NEHS members to submit written arguments about the use of controversial texts that have been or may be challenged due to theme or content. Students submitting the best essays, evaluated by college professors and NEHS Advisory Council members, will garner for their authors a gift certificate and monetary awards—the Crafton Awards—named for Dr. Robert Crafton from Slippery Rock University, who initiated the idea of this effort. Home chapters of the winning students will also receive a monetary grant. Essays are due Monday, November 17, 2014. More information may be found on the Intellectual Freedom Challenge page.

NEHS Project Grants

Applications for a limited number of NEHS project grants for second semester of this school year may now be submitted. Grant funds are available for up to $200. Project Grants are designed to encourage local chapters to be innovative in developing projects that further the goals of the Society. Visit the Project Grants page for more information; applications may be submitted through December 2, 2014, for projects planned any time between January and May of 2015.

National NEHS Service Project

NEHS continues to promote the literacy efforts of Random Acts of Literacy, a grass-roots organization started in Philadelphia by Mr. Harvey Scribner, who teaches at University City Promise Academy. Mr. Scribner gives away books to children and young adults he sees while commuting to school, impacting in a small way the reading lives of the recipients. NEHS would like to encourage all chapters to begin doing the same in local communities—consider collecting books that NEHS members might stick in their backpacks to give away on the way home, in a mall, or while on mass transit. These "random" acts will make a difference. For more information, visit Random Acts of Literacy.

NEHS Database of Noteworthy Activities

NEHS chapters have a proud history of engaging in amazing projects throughout the year, projects that affect the lives of thousands of individuals. The power of having, now, 700 chapters committed to literacy initiatives is truly making a difference around the world. Many of those projects are described in the NEHS Noteworthy Activities database. Check out these noteworthy activities; not only will they engender pride in this organization, many will inspire NEHS members to replicate the activity in new locations.