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Upcoming Dates

December 5
Scholarship applications open

December 22 - January 2
Central Office Closed

January 7
Project Grant applications due

January 17
Scholarship applications due

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Welcome New Chapters

Brewer High School
Chapter: Scholarly Bears
Fort Worth, TX

Oakland High School
Chapter: Salina R. Fugate
Murfreesboro, TN

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy
Chapter: St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy
Downey, CA

In This Issue

  1. Scholarships and the Common Reader
  2. Scholarship Essay Evaluators Requested
  3. Chapter Funds Needed?
  4. Imagination Library Service Project
  5. New NEHS Style Guide
  6. Intellectual Freedom Challenge
  7. Holiday Closure

A poem often attributed to Dr. Seuss seems appropriate for this time of year as the end of the calendar approaches. "How did it get so late so soon? / It's night before it's afternoon. / December is here before it's June. / My goodness how the time has flewn. / How did it get so late so soon?"

NEHS staff, NEHS colleagues from Georgia schools, Sigma Tau Delta leaders, and Advisory Council members have just returned from promoting our organization at the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in Atlanta. We met enthusiastic teachers eager to learn about joining the 900 NEHS chapters; we also had the opportunity to renew connections with other organizations with whom we are partnering to benefit our members. More information will be forthcoming about new, emerging endeavors.

The December newsletter highlights the following: scholarships, scholarship evaluators, available funding sources for NEHS chapters, the Imagination Library project, the new NEHS Style Guide, and an update on the Intellectual Freedom Challenge.

Scholarships and the Common Reader

Competitive scholarship awards are available to senior members of NEHS who submit essays written on the 2016-2017 Common Reader, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler. Students wishing to compete for those awards must read the Common Reader and submit an essay based on NEHS-provided prompts, which have been posted on the scholarship information web page listed below. The deadline for receipt of the essays is January 17, 2017, at 11:59 p.m., Central Standard Time (CST).

Scholarship Essay Evaluators Requested

While several NEHS Chapter Advisors have expressed interest in being readers for the scholarship evaluation process, we would love to have more in the event the scholarship entries hit a record number this year. Advisors are encouraged to send a note of interest to Dave Wendelin, NEHS Director. 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, 2017. Contact the Director if questions arise after reading the requirements for participation.

Chapter Funds Needed?

Every year, NEHS provides funds to chapters that apply for the various pools of money we have established for support, and every year, most of the money remains in the budget. Project Grants, Service Awards, Classroom Library Grants, and Joint Project Grants are all available to chapters and, frankly, there is seldom much competition for selection. Visit the following links to learn more about the application processes.

Imagination Library Service Project

This year NEHS is participating in a philanthropic project with our partners—Sigma Tau Delta and Sigma Kappa Delta. We will work with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a project that will help raise funds to provide books to enhance the literacy levels of children in low-income communities.

The Imagination Library fosters a love of reading among preschool children and their families by providing one specially-selected book each month from birth to the child's fifth birthday. A donation of $250 supports ten children for a year, but any amount raised will be appreciated. Please consider hosting a fundraising event with your chapter to contribute to this project. Send money collected by your chapter to the NEHS Central Office by June 1. All money raised will be presented to the Imagination Library in a single payment.

Service Project Details for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

New NEHS Style Guide

A Writing and Editorial Style Guide for NEHS has been developed to support chapter members who are submitting applications, essays, blogs, or other writing for NEHS publications. The guidelines are intended to ensure consistency of style and are based on the most current Modern Language Association MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers as well as on organizational preference. In any circumstance where this guide does not provide enough information, members should defer to the most recent MLA guidelines.

Writing and Editorial Style Guide for NEHS

Intellectual Freedom Challenge

Twenty-two students have submitted essays on controversial texts, competing for the Crafton Awards available through the Intellectual Freedom Challenge. The results of the competition will be announced in mid-January once members of Sigma Tau Delta, our sponsoring organization, have evaluated the essays.

Holiday Closure

The Central Office will be closed for winter break December 22, 2016, through January 2, 2017.

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 Tuesday, January 3, 2017.