The National Junior Honor Society
The purpose of the National Junior Honor Society is "to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, to develop character, and to encourage citizenship."
The National Junior Honor Society provides an opportunity to involve chapter members in significant learning experiences, especially in the area of service. It is our hope that students will realize the importance of helping the community and become lifelong contributors of their time. The National Junior Honor Society is an opportunity for the faculty to bestow membership (through the actions of the Faculty Council) - as a student privilege, not a right. The National Junior Honor Society is not an honor roll (more factors are considered in the selection process than just grades). Other factors include leadership, service, citizenship, service, and character.
The Arcola Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society focuses on the area of service based on the interests of the membership keeping in mind the needs of the school, district, and community. Members are encouraged to get involved in the projects of interest to them and to bring new ideas to the organization. We are always seeking new contacts and organizations where we can provide a service.
The National Junior Honor Society meets at least once a month to discuss service activities of interest to the membership as well as plan events where we have been invited to serve. In addition, we meet on club days to organize our service projects which take place during the school hours, on the weekends, and during evening hours. Each member is required to participate National Junior Honor Society activities during club time one day of the cycle. This allows members to participate in other events of interest to them.
Recent National Junior Honor Society activities
1. Operating the Arcola School Store on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year
2. Welcoming the 7th graders to the building
3. Gathering photos of veterans and displaying the Wall of Honor for the Veterans' Day Assembly
4. Participating in the Cell Phone for Soldiers collection
5. Delivering supplies to teachers
6. Serving the Thanksgiving dinner to community senior citizens
7. Serving as helpers for the Read-A-Thon event
8. Organizing and collecting food for the needy of the community
9. Selling flowers & candy during the Arcola musical and Jazz Band Festival
With the profits, donations have been made to such organizations as Ronald McDonald House, American Cancer
Society, animal shelters, and Make-A-Wish Foundation as well as honoring Arcola students for their hard work
10. Reading to the first graders in the elementary schools
After reading stories, NJHS members lead a craft activity based on a theme of the book read. Some activities
include like planting seeds, decorating t-shirts, and designing murals. The National Junior Honor Society members
donate the books they read to the school or classroom library.
11. Purchasing food and preparing meals at Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia
12. Serving as guides for building tours for incoming 7th graders
13. Working with the Act Club Relay for Life team to raise money to fight cancer
14. Participate in the Induction Ceremony for the new members each spring
Arcola National Junior Honor Society Membership Criteria
The National Junior Honor Society intends to further recognize Arcola’s exemplary students. The purpose of this organization will be “to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, to develop character, and to encourage citizenship.” While academic criterion is important, membership should never be considered on the basis of grades alone. “Schools that select members solely on the basis of scholarship are violating the National Junior Society Constitution and placing their chapter in jeopardy.”
After an informational meeting with the National Junior Honor Society advisor, academically qualified students are required to complete a Student Information Form highlighting school/community activities, awards, community service, and leadership positions in which they have participated. This form provides some of the essential information necessary for the Faculty Council to make an informed decision about the members to be selected. Faculty surveys allow teachers to provide additional insight into each candidate’s character, service, leadership, and citizenship. Each candidate is interviewed by a panel to two/three teachers from the Faculty Council which is made up of a guidance counselor, expressive arts teachers, and major subject area teachers from each team. Neither the National Junior Honor Society advisor nor school administrators can participate in the Faculty Council’s final vote for membership.
Based on the calculation of a weighted system, seventh grade students who attained a minimum 93% final average for the first three marking periods of their seventh grade school year will be considered for possible membership. This means having a 93% average does not guarantee membership selection. In the weighted system, subject area grades are multiplied by a factor of 4, 2, or 1 depending on the number of times a particular subject meets throughout the year. For example major subject grades are multiplied by 4, health/physical education by 2, and expressive arts by 1. Band, orchestra, and gifted seminar classes are not part of this portion of the evaluation process because not all students receive such a grade. Students must submit all work in a timely manner so that no incompletes appear on the report card.
With a minimum 93% final average for the first three marking periods of seventh grade, and the use of the Student Information Form, faculty input, and interview, five members of the Faculty Council vote on each candidate’s membership. “Membership is both an honor and a responsibility. No student has a right to belong to the National Junior Honor Society. It is an honor bestowed by the Faculty.”
A special induction ceremony will be held in the late spring including parents, students, and administrators. National Junior Honor Society members will meet regularly throughout their 8th grade year to plan and implement several community service projects. According the to the National Junior Honor Society bylaws once the school club program begins, members are required to attend one club meeting per six-day cycle to work on community service projects. Students selected for membership are expected to continue the qualities of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Questions about the selection process and chapter bylaws should be directed to chapter advisor, Mrs. Joan Craver.