Congratulations to the Best-Shirey-Little Chapter of the National English Honor Society (NEHS) from Sullivan High School in Sullivan, IL, for being recognized as the 2016-2017 NEHS Outstanding Chapter. The chapter engaged in a whole series of activities throughout the year, positively affecting the school and community. Led by Cami Badman, Lesley Banks, Rebecca Lawson, and Annie McClellan, the members focused their energy on short-term and year-long efforts to reflect the NEHS motto, “Gelast Sceal Mid Are”—”Duty Goes With Honor.”
Four activities were focused on the students and educators at Sullivan. Guided by the school librarian, members of NEHS were each given a $60 budget to spend at a local Barnes & Noble, finding appropriate new texts to include in the school library. After the books were selected, the students helped laminate and catalogue the books for use by others. To personalize the books, each student was able to add a nameplate so future generations would know of their contributions.
Student committees also organized an “English Week,” developing trivia questions, preparing materials, and developing a plan to focus the school’s attention on English studies. The effort, supported by the Student Council, turned into a lively class competition. Another project involved participating in the school’s Activity Fair, welcoming incoming freshman and making sure they knew about NEHS membership. Goody bags were prepared for all of the teachers when they returned from winter break; many of the educators found the treats a thoughtful recognition of the dedication teachers give to students every day.
The chapter’s major outreach project for the year was setting up a pen pal relationship with two fourth grade classes at the nearby elementary school. Forty-five to sixty NEHS members wrote letters to the students every week for a semester, and the fourth graders responded. This exchange culminated in a meeting of the pen pals in the spring! What a great way to mentor younger students through writing!
Sullivan High School’s NEHS Chapter is but one example of the outstanding work being done across the full spectrum of the 1,000+ NEHS chapters around the country and now around the globe. While the chapter will enjoy their $250 reward and commemorative plaque, more importantly the chapter proudly models the best of National English Honor Society. You make us all proud, Sullivan!