The Old Colony Chapter of the National Honor Society was awarded a national Outstanding Service Project Award as part of the National Honor Society Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 12-14, 2004. Eight students represented Old Colony at the twelfth annual conference.
This is the fifth time and second year in a row that Old Colony had received a national Outstanding Service Project Award. This year the award was received for the service project Blanket Yourself With Love. This project involved making fleece “lap blankets” for residents in a local nursing home to use and enjoy during the cold winter months. NHS members also wanted to show the residents that someone was thinking about them and to brighten their day.
NHS members solicited donations of money and materials to make the blankets from fellow students, staff members, and the community. “Blanket making” workshops were then held after school with faculty members volunteering their time and expertise in demonstrating how to make the blankets. NHS members, with help from additional students, were able to make thirty-five fleece lap blankets. The blankets were then rolled and tied with a ribbon and a card to make a gift package.
NHS members then personally delivered the blankets to a local nursing home where they were able to visit with each recipient and help them open up the blankets, if necessary.
In 2003, the Old Colony chapter was recognized for its service project Sock it to Me Reading. NHS members solicited donations for children’s books and then created “sock” puppets to accompany chosen books. NHS members then visited local schools to read the books with the accompanying puppets to the children. The books and puppets were then donated to the classes along with additional boxes of books that had been collected.
In 2000, the chapter was recognized for its service project Quilts for Comfort. For this project, NHS members and friends created three quilts from donated materials. These quilts were then raffled and the proceeds used to purchase blankets that were donated to the Market Ministries homeless shelter in New Bedford. A wall hanging quilt was also created to represent each department, shop, academic area, athletic group, and organization at Old Colony. It now hangs on permanent display in the school library.
In 1988, the award was in recognition of a Valentine’s Day community project called Share a Little Warmth. Members of the NHS collected soup and socks to benefit the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center families. Local businesses, students, and faculty members helped by donating items and money.
In 1994, the Old Colony chapter was recognized for a book-drive they had conducted to help establish a library in New Bedford’s Parker Elementary School.
Honor Society members from across the country participated in the National Conference held this year in St. Louis. During the three-day conference, delegated learned leadership skills that can enhance NHS programs at the local level, shared ideas for activities, and discussed important issues relevant to the needs of American youth today. Old colony was on of the ten NHS Chapters that received national awards for outstanding service to their school and community this year is the only chapter in the country to have won five Out Standing Service Project awards.
The Old Colony Chapter of the NHS has also received five Commended Chapter Awards. The first one was in 1998 and again in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004. The Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association State NHS Committee presents this award to four local chapters each year exemplifying the “best that the National Honor Society represents.”