A Night of Service

NJHS students at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, NY, hold a two-hour event each February to knock out some community service hours in their school cafeteria. In advance of the evening, the students send out requests to all teachers, religious organizations, and community action groups to learn of small projects they can help out with. Then, on service night, students gather and discuss the many projects available for consideration. Each project to be completed is displayed on a table, music is played, snacks are offered, and students select which station to work on based on their interests and skills. Projects typically include creating posters for upcoming community events, folding towels and blankets for the local SPCA, and counting change from donation boxes for local charities.

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: positive social change

Doggie Dash

NHS students at Burnsville High School in Minnesota decided to host a 5K run/walk to benefit a local organization called Pets Loyal 2 Vets, which trains and provides service dogs to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other disabilities. The group rented a pavilion at a local park and used radio and newspaper ads, posters, and word-of-mouth to advertise the event. It was a great success, with 137 human participants and 57 dogs in attendance with their owners. The chapter raised $2,100!

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: empathetic actions and wellness

Tortilla Toss

The student council at Ore City High School in Texas hosts a Tortilla Toss at each home basketball game. The participant who tosses their tortilla closest to a middle-court target wins a gift certificate to a business that has donated to the council. All proceeds of the event are divided equally between the school’s basketball team and the Texas Oncology Foundation.

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: empathetic actions and wellness

Voices in Action

The Salem High School student council in New Hampshire decided to host an open forum where students could make their voices heard about the state of the school—what was going well and what could stand to be improved. A few representatives from each class led the forum, which was deemed a success. Student council members got some great feedback that inspired new ideas for school improvement efforts.

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: awareness/perspectives

Hogs & Kisses

Student council students at Legacy High School in North Las Vegas, NV, hold an annual event called “Kiss the Pig.” For three weeks, six teachers keep canisters in their classrooms to collect money for the council’s Global Children’s Fund. In addition, student council members also collect money during lunchtime. At the end of the three weeks, the two teachers who had collected the most money have to kiss a live pig at an assembly in front of the whole student body. Students went hog wild at that display!

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: equity

The Bald and the Beautiful

Be Bold, Be Bald is a national fundraising event where participants wear a bald cap (or shave their heads, if they’re feeling especially bold) to honor those who bravely fight cancer and those who raise money to help fight back against the disease. The student council at Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas set a goal of $1,000 for cancer research and met it! As a result, one popular teacher shaved both his infamous beard and full head of hair at a school assembly. You know what they say: hair today, gone tomorrow.

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: empathetic actions and wellness

Cellphone Recycling

Almost everyone at school, from students to staff, has a cellphone nowadays. Rather than allowing old phones to end up in landfills, NHS students at Hanover High School in Massachusetts decided to collect all the old phones they could and send them to an organization called TerraCycle that repurposes the phones and donates money to charity for each 10 phones collected. To date, TerraCycle has raised more than $15 million for charity!

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: empathetic actions and wellness

Patient Playbooks

More than 6 million children are hospitalized each year. Although that can be a scary experience, NHS members at John P. Stevens High School in Edison, NJ, decided to assuage those fears by printing out templates and making activity books for school-aged children in hospitals. Participants made math puzzles, crosswords, word searches, and coloring pages for more than 200 patients and delivered the books to St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.

Global Citizenship Initiative strand: equity or empathetic actions and wellness