Chapter Awards

Chapter Project Grant: Literati Poetry Slam

Poetry is best experienced in a community. That is why Bear Creek High School‘s NEHS chapter, BCHS Literati, hosted our first annual poetry slam this spring. In partnership with our friends at Front Porch Coffee Shop and Bear Creek’s very own BC Poetry Club, we were able to curate an evening committed to the celebration and tradition of spoken-word poetry.

On the evening of May 10, students gathered in the atrium of Front Porch Coffee Shop, a few hundred yards away from our school’s front doors. The coffee shop stayed open past operating hours to serve coffee and pastries and set an ambiance with cozy lighting, multiple rows of chairs, a microphone, and a speaker. Students were soon joined by family members, community members, and BCHS staff. There was warmth in the air as, one by one, the chairs filled, and the sound of voices rose toward the rafters.

BCHS Literati’s Katy G. and Regan C. served as our emcees. They kicked off the event by teaching the crowd the ins and outs of a poetry slam—cracking jokes and sharing fun trivia along the way. BCHS Literati members interspersed among the crowd volunteered to judge the event, and the poets were invited to the stage for round one.

A particularly exciting and encouraging aspect of the event was the diversity of our participants: BCHS Literati members, BC Poetry Club members, brave ninth to twelfth graders alike, and even one of our school news program anchors. Many of these students were encountering a space to share their poetic talents for the first time. Each poet stood proudly behind the mic and in front of the crowd of eager ears, sharing their works. After three rounds of performances, the judges whittled down ten performing poets to three finalists, eventually crowning Kailene T. the winner!

We are so grateful for NEHS’ Project Grant, which assisted us in both launching the event and creating a welcoming environment. With the funds provided by NEHS, we designed and produced stickers and buttons for all poets, judges, and our 75 attendees. Likewise, we purchased prizes for our place winners: gift cards to Front Porch Coffee Shop, gift cards to local Denver bookstore Tattered Cover Bookstore, and an annual subscription to Poetry Magazine. Certainly, our most important investment was renting the space offered at Front Porch Coffee Shop. Using this space ensured that our students could experience poetry outside of the school setting thereby recognizing the impact their words can make in our community. Simultaneously, we brought business to our neighbors at Front Porch and established a relationship that has, and will continue to, cultivate creative opportunities for our students.

This student-led event would not have been possible without the support of NEHS and the Project Grant. Our students and community members left feeling encouraged, courageous, and inspired—a call we intend to listen to and integrate into our community for years to come.

Chapter Project Grant Recipient, 2023
BCHS Literati Chapter
Bear Creek High School, Lakewood, CO

Chapter Project Grant

NEHS Chapter Project Grants are designed to encourage local chapters to be innovative in developing projects that further the goals of the Society and support their local community in one of the following areas: academic focus; community engagement; diversity, equity, and inclusion; collaborative projects. Projects must be organized and led by student members and endorsed and monitored by Chapter Advisors.

Project Categories

Academic Focus

This category will demonstrate how a chapter works to establish or maintain a project focused on supporting the academic growth of a target audience within their school or local community.

Community Engagement

The purpose of this category is to demonstrate how NEHS chapters are focused on promoting life-long learning and the celebration of reading, writing, film, and the arts in their local community.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This category will demonstrate how NEHS chapters are promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in various forms within their school or local community.

Collaborative Projects

The purpose of this category is to demonstrate how NEHS chapters are working with other NEHS chapters, other high school Honor Societies, or Sigma Tau Delta and Sigma Kappa Delta chapters on collaborative projects impacting their school or local community.


The narrative part of the application must be written by student members and submitted by registered Chapter Advisors. Any active chapter is eligible to apply for a Chapter Project Grant each semester, but no chapter may receive more than one grant each academic year.


The Society will award a number of grants, of no more than $200 each, each semester to support chapter activities. Proposals for implementation during summer/fall 2024 are due by April 29, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CDT.

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