The First Chapter in a Book of History
To promote reading and writing, especially for children, National English Honor Society is currently having a children’s book drive, collecting gently used books for kids ages 3-12. All books are going to be donated to Toys for Tots. The book drive began on Dec. 3 and continues until Dec. 14.
“Our events, like the book drive, are school-wide so even if you aren’t in NEHS you can still totally contribute to that and bring your books,” NEHS secretary senior Arline Vargas said.
This is the first year for West’s chapter of National English Honor Society, which was initiated to recognize exceptional students in the English department. For officers and members alike, having a blank slate to start with for the society can be a bit daunting. “It is challenging being the first Maine West chapter because everything we do is a first. We aren’t really sure how everything is supposed to go or what is gonna work for us and what’s not. It is a lot of trial and error,” NEHS treasurer junior Lyris Daker said.
A big task for the officers is not only being efficient and successful this year, but setting a precedent for years to come in NEHS. “I don’t want our rules to be so strict that people don’t want to join, but I still want involvement too; we don’t want people doing it only for college apps,” NEHS president senior Madison Kallio said.
Even with the challenges that the society will have to face this year, officers are looking forward to being a part of history and creating something that is unique. “It is really exciting [to be the first chapter] because we have a lot of opportunities to try new ideas. We don’t have the past to look on; we are creating our own story of how and what we want to be as National English Honor Society,” Vargas said.
When it comes to planning events for the society, the executive team has to start from scratch. “We all come together to throw out the ideas that we have. We try to combine our ideas so everyone’s voices and suggestions are heard,” Kallio said.
One way the officers of NEHS make sure all members are in involved is by organizing them into committees—community, school, media and fundraisers—so they can work more personally with specific officers. In terms of fundraisers, Daker spends time focusing on the fundraising committee and deciding how to use the funds they raise for certain activities. Trying to find new and creative ways to fundraiser can be a challenge, but when the committee works together it makes the job more manageable. “At our first meeting it was a slow conversation at first. We want to brainstorm other ideas, and at our next meeting we hope to have more options,” Daker said.
Members of NEHS anticipate a successful year creating a positive influence on the school and community while promoting the importance of English. “I’m excited about what new things we are going to do as a new society, to see how the turnout is going to be with our activities, and to see what our reputation is going to be as NEHS,” Vargas said.