Service Report 2011
|Centralia (IL) High School NHS chapter doing “Fill the Bus” with food project
Young people believe in the value of serving others. If the truth of this statement is ever in doubt, just consider the results of the annual surveys from the National Honor Society (NHS), National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), and the National Association of Student Councils (NASC). In 2011, nearly 2,000 honor society and student council advisers responded to the annual surveys administered by NASSP, parent organization to these three student programs. What follows is a summary of several questions focusing on service activities of these groups as conducted during the 2010-2011 school year.
By far, the most impressive results are found in the data regarding charitable fundraising projects in which chapters and councils engaged their peers to help donate to worthy causes. The 536 student council advisers reported raising more than 1.6 million dollars during the last school year. Honor society advisers, with 1,301 respondents, reported collecting more than 1.3 million dollars. Combined, a total of nearly $3 million ($2,990,517) was reported.
In addition to raising money for charity, councils and chapters annually engage in a great variety of service projects at school and in their communities. NASC advisers reported their members contributing 590,912 hours of service, equating to more than 1,000 hours (1,147) per council responding. NHS and NJHS chapters reported 1,176,941 hours of service or 951 hours per chapter. If one uses the federal minimum hourly wage ($7.25) as a value for each of these reported service hours, the value of the 1.7 million hours of service comes out to nearly $13 million in service contributions by student members of these three national student organizations.
Honor Society advisers were asked for details on projects involving food and blood collection at their schools. Chapters reported collecting on average nearly 1,000 pounds of food each (958.14 per chapter). Nearly a third of all reporting chapters sponsored a food drive in 2010-2011. Blood drives, completed by roughly 20% of those responding, collected on average nearly 100 pints of blood (98.73 pints) per chapter. If expanded out to the total membership of the Honor Societies nationwide, these figures translate into annual collections of nearly 7 million pounds of food and 400,000 pints of blood through the hard work of students. The student council (NASC) advisers were also asked how many hours their students contributed toward school improvement and school spirit-building activities. This year, they reported 401,976 hours or an additional 2.9 million dollars worth of time dedicated to school improvement. These activities no doubt went a long way toward improving school climate and when combined with the even larger volume of service activities reported by student councils this year, provided multiple opportunities for student growth and development in our member schools.
|Students from the Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough, MA not only collect food to solve the problem of hunger in their community but to communicate an important message. (April 2011).
If these results are typical of student councils and honor societies throughout the country, and realizing that the respondents represent only 5.7% of the total membership, these three organizations have the potential of raising nearly $250 million dollars each year through direct contributions and hours of service. This figure, nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, doesn’t take into account the dozens of additional national school-based student organizations found in secondary schools that also commit their members each year to service projects.
Turning the actual results back to the local level, it can also be calculated that schools with active NASC, NHS, or NJHS organizations on campus annually contribute an average of more than $25,000 to their schools and communities through service projects. Principals and school boards can be proud of the great work being accomplished by their student leaders. Activity advisers, without whose efforts in managing these groups these accomplishments would not be taking place, are to be commended for their leadership roles in these projects. We can all be proud of this aspect of student achievement taking place in our schools every year.
The annual E-Survey for all NHS and NJHS advisers will be posted at www.nhs.us/esurvey beginning April 1 and remaining active through June 30, 2012. All chapter advisers are asked to take 15 minutes to complete the online survey as part of their professional duties to the national organization each year.
The National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, and the National Association of Student Councils are programs of NASSP (the National Association of Secondary School Principals). For more information, visit www.nhs.us, www.nasc.us, and www.nassp.org.