Kindness Is in the Cards
Hoping to provide praise, encouragement, and support amid the challenges of the pandemic, an NHS member at Desoto Christian Academy in Olive Branch, MS, contacted a head nurse at a local hospital and acquired a list of the names of all the doctors and nurses on her floor. The NHS member then spent time planning and preparing cards filled with messages of gratitude for the doctors and nurses. COVID-19 restrictions prohibited the student from entering the hospital, but this teen was able to give the cards to the head nurse, who passed them on to the frontline workers. Thanks to thorough planning and strong communication with the head nurse, the NHS member put smiles on the faces of over 35 doctors and nurses.
Improvement Is in Bloom
As the winter season approached, NatStuCo members at Anacortes High School in Anacortes, WA, noticed their school’s landscape was beginning to look barren. So, they decided that planting flowers in desolate areas would make the school more inviting, colorful, and lively. Under the Associated Student Body president’s supervision—and with the help of a school librarian who is also a local flower expert—they researched which bulbs were best suited for the school’s grounds. Once the project received funding, the students created maps of the high school, highlighting areas that could benefit from flora. Then, members enlisted volunteers from their school to help plant. Talk about petal power!
Fundraising Makes Perfect Cents
A group of NJHS members at Fulton Science Academy in Alpharetta, GA, conducted a schoolwide coin drive called Coins4CURE to raise funds for CURE Childhood Cancer, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating all types of childhood cancer. After collecting donations over the course of a couple of months, they sent the money to CURE’s headquarters in Georgia, and from there it was allocated to various hospitals to assist children diagnosed with cancer. Members incorporated a competition into their fundraiser to serve as an incentive, and the grade that raised the most money was awarded a prize. Members advertised through flyers, weekly newsletters sent by the school, and word of mouth. With the support of Coins4CURE volunteers and students, members learned invaluable lessons in fundraising and community outreach and collected over $800. They hope to continue this project annually.
Build a Backpack
NatStuCo members at The Rashi School in Dedham, MA, partnered with Jewish Family & Children’s Service to address the needs of children in the Boston community by providing backpacks full of school supplies. Members met four times over the summer to learn how to create and execute a plan to collect supplies and recruit students, family, and friends to fill new backpacks. Together with the Rashi community leadership, members assembled over 50 backpacks for children who otherwise would begin school without the necessary supplies.
An NHS student at North Carolina Cyber Academy in Durham, NC, was hoping to raise awareness among children in her community about the importance of keeping the coastline clean and encourage them to join the cause. So, she developed and taught a series of lessons covering the negative impacts litter has on local marine animals to children ages 5–9 at her local church. She reinforced her teaching with crafts, and the lessons culminated in two beach cleanup days with the kids. The NHS member plans to organize and complete more beach cleanups in the future and hopes this project helps the kids she worked with to develop lifelong habits of caring for the environment.
Click It 4-Hill
Wanting to honor a former student named Hillary who died after a car accident, NatStuCo members at Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas organized a day dedicated to promoting safe teen driving practices. In the morning, members partnered with police officers who handed out $1 to every student who was wearing a seat belt on their way to school. During lunch, members orchestrated an event where students pledged that they would drive safely and wear their seat belts. Members also organized a “yellow out” at a soccer game, where students and teachers wore yellow clothing to promote safe teen driving in their community and to honor Hillary’s family.
Taking a Stand Against Violence
Wanting to inform staff and students about the importance of anti-violence and to show the positive role young people play in making their schools and communities safer, NatStuCo members at Lakewood Middle School in Lakewood, NJ, organized activities during National Youth Violence Prevention Week—an initiative created after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Throughout the week, the members hung up posters, ribbons, and other decorations to promote violence prevention. They also set up a Google form for students to discuss how they relieve stress or redirect anger. Over half of the student body participated in the week of activities, which wrapped up with a $1 dress-down day. Members raised over $500, half of which was donated to a nearby domestic violence shelter supporting women and children.
Realizing things were hectic for teachers and staff members as they tried to help their students get back on track with learning after a year of quarantine, NatStuCo members at Roy W. Martin Middle School in Las Vegas set out to show appreciation for those trying to ensure student success. Hoping to make school leaders feel recognized and cared for, students in the leadership class prepared small, customized gifts for the teachers and staff members, including personalized door signs, bags including favorite snacks, and a notepad with letters written by the members. NatStuCo members then personally delivered the gifts to the teachers and staff members, who were beyond moved and grateful.