Upper Darby High School, Drexel Hill, PA

Chapter Spotlight

Starting in the fall of 2021, as part of our "Reigniting NEHS Chapters" theme for 2021-2022, NEHS will initiate a Chapter Spotlight opportunity to encourage chapters to share outstanding literacy work being done across the society. Chapters are encouraged to send information and documentation about work being done in any of the categories listed below. The NEHS Advisory Council will select the best of the submissions as "spotlight" chapters that will be recognized through NEHS social media outlets and the NEHS Museletter blog; selected chapters will receive a $50 award and a certificate.

ALL chapters submitting documentation of their excellent work throughout the year become eligible for the Outstanding Chapter Award presented in the spring. Chapters may submit one project/event application per category within the year; chapters are limited to three submissions in a year, and each submission should be from a different category. Chapters must submit evidence of their work by attaching documents to the submission form. Submissions may only be made during designated periods throughout the year (see schedule below). Only "active" chapters may send submissions; members of the NEHS Advisory Council will review submissions and select the "spotlight" chapters.

Categories

Chapter Innovation

The Chapter Innovation category is challenging because it asks that a chapter work to implement a minimum of two (2) new ideas each year. This can be

  1. launching a new idea the chapter attempts for the first time OR
  2. revising an old idea to improve participation, effectiveness, or viability of the idea.
Evidence would include written reflection supported by pictorial/video submissions about how the chapter tried the new idea, modified it if from the previous year, or would make adjustments for the following year.

Suggested Activities

  1. The chapter has never held a spelling bee for elementary or middle school/junior high students. In the past, the officers contacted a middle school in the feeder district and set up a spelling bee. NEHS members went to the local school and held a spelling bee either in an individual classroom or as a school-wide event. The members learned the words chosen were too difficult, but this year, they plan to modify the word list and prepare certificates for winners as well as participants.
  2. The chapter attempted to craft a "Poetry on the Sidewalk" event at the beginning of National Poetry Month; this year, the idea is to have "Poetry on the Windows," using whiteboard markers.
  3. A chapter works to establish or maintain a long-range project like a school writing center. Year one might be focused on setting up the center, stocking it with reference books and technology. Year two would then be marked by NEHS members tutoring, interviewing teachers about their written assignments to help students more effectively, etc.

Academic Focus

A chapter works to establish or maintain a long-range project like a school writing center. Year one might be focused on setting up the center, stocking it with reference books and technology. Year two would then be marked by NEHS members tutoring, interviewing teachers about their written assignments to help students more effectively, etc.

Suggested Activities

A percentage of the total membership of the chapter applies for/submits in one or more of the following: The Intellectual Freedom Challenge, the Summer Study program, the Common Reader Scholarship program, the Writing Contests, or other NEHS opportunities.

The chapter documents participation in some of the following:

  1. The chapter holds a book club, book talk, or workshop related to the annual NEHS Common Reader. The chapter holds a resume workshop or similar event, helping students apply to college or hone application essays.
  2. The chapter encourages and documents member participation in a local, state, or national scholarship programs, application process, or contest requiring a written component, perhaps those offered from National Council of Teachers of English.
  3. Chapter members engage in public speaking or presentations (faculty meetings, school board meetings, etc.) to advocate and promote goals and activities important to the chapter (i.e., book challenges).
  4. The chapter hosts an author to speak at the school, arranging all details including publicity, event organization, introductions, refreshments, etc.

Community Engagement

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

The chapter conducts or participates in activities in one school year that engage the chapter with the community ("community" may be in school, involving the chapter members with non-members, or outside of school, involving NEHS members and non-members). "Literary/literacy" activities may be described as any events promoting the English language arts or “the arts” in general.

Suggested Activities

  1. Chapter members attend a literacy activity outside of the school building. This activity could include a visit to a museum, a play, a film festival, or a lecture/book talk at the local library or bookstore.
  2. The chapter plans and hosts a reception for the English Department to honor new or retiring faculty. The chapter hosts a faculty/staff appreciation luncheon or tea for the whole school.
  3. The chapter assists, supports, or partners with internal and/or external groups and other honor societies to support the humanities and literacy issues. (Examples: assist in play productions, partner with the National Art Honor Society, judge a debate/forensics tournament.)
  4. The chapter partners with local or national literacy projects (Little Free Library, Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Book Love Foundation, etc.) to advance literacy efforts.

Documentation

Chapters submitting documentation of the spotlight activity must include a narrative summary of the project (maximum 500 words) that details the number of NEHS members involved, the goal of the project/activity, the timeline, and the outcomes. Include pictures or other forms of documentation. If a partnership with another group or organization was established, include the name of the partnering group and other pertinent information.

Application Dates

Apply during the periods shown below.

Application Link

Opens

Closes

Notifications

1. Fall 2021 Sep 7, 2021 Oct 7, 2021 Nov 8, 2021
2. Late Fall 2021 Nov 1, 2021 Nov 22, 2021 Jan 10, 2022
3. Winter 2021-2022 Dec 1, 2021 Jan 10, 2022 Feb 1, 2022
4. Late Winter 2022 Jan 31, 2022 Feb 28, 2022 Apr 11, 2022
5. Spring 2022 Mar 7, 2022 Apr 11, 2022 May 2, 2022