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Have you ever considered sponsoring a National Art Honor Society at your school? If you don’t have a chapter at your school yet, I highly recommend considering sponsoring one this school year! I absolutely love ours and have enjoyed watching it grow over the years.
The first step is to contact the National Art Education Association and register your school. NAEA is a wonderful resource and will be happy to help get you started. Once you’re registered, you’ll receive your official NAHS chapter number. For more information, click here.
Once you’ve established a chapter, it’s time to start building excitement. You’ll need a plan to fill your group with fabulous, creative students. The best way to do this is to advertise and market the program!
At our school, we have an NAHS table set up on orientation night. We display art and hand out flyers and information. We invite all interested artists to join the fun. If you already run an art club, consider merging the two!
For your NAHS to be successful, you need to find some top-notch student leaders. We hold an election each year to select our President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Web Master, and Historian. We also choose event coordinators for the community events in which we participate.
When you’re first starting out, you’ll need to hold these elections early in the year. However, after your first year, you can move the elections toward the end of the year. This way, the current officers can help mentor and prep the incoming officers.
Organize community and school events to get your students active! You might even think about coming up with a theme or motto to focuses on this idea. At our school, our motto is “Art with Purpose.” Our students love looking for opportunities where they can help others through their creative talents and skills.
The goal is to find and provide a variety of activities for the students to participate in. We end up doing about 15 events per year so students can earn their NAHS hours.
Here are 10 ideas to consider:
These are just a few of the events that we have participated in, but the more you plan, the busier you will be. Our NAHS leaders are always researching new activities to keep them visual and active in the community.
At our school, students must earn 100 or more community service hours in order to walk at graduation with their NAHS cord. Students are responsible for keeping their service log and getting them signed after each event. We find this is a good goal and many of our students go above and beyond, especially if they join as freshmen.
As a sponsor, think about your students and craft a program you think will work well!
Our students absolutely love belonging to this national society of artists. The best part is our state art education association hosts an annual state NAHS conference which has become a highlight of our year. Our students get to network and meet other NAHS chapters throughout Georgia and the friendships born are magical!
Finally, don’t forget, middle school students can also be members. Creating a National Junior Art Honor Society is a great way to get students involved even earlier!
Do you have an art club or after school program at your school?
Are you currently an NAHS sponsor? I would love to hear all about your activities!
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.