Recognizing student achievement at the elementary school level usually takes the form of certificates or an awards ceremony.
At King-Murphy Elementary School, rewarding student achievement has a new form: membership in the National Elementary Honor Society at the school.
Forty-three fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders were inducted April 8 into King-Murphy’s School in the Sky chapter. The chapter received its charter from the national organization on Oct. 15, 2009.
The induction ceremony reminds students of their commitment to themselves, their school and their community. They lit candles and signed a scroll signifying their initiation into the chapter.
“So many elementary kids don’t get recognized for all their hard work,” said Heidi Lupinacci, sixth-grade teacher and adviser to the group. “NEHS allows us to honor them for academic achievement.”
The National Elementary Honor Society is an organization formed in 2008, joining similar organizations at middle schools and high schools. The organizations at all levels reward four areas: academic excellence, leadership, responsibility and service, according to their websites.
Eligibility for the School in the Sky chapter includes a 3.5 grade point average, which is higher than the national standard of 3.0. Students also write essays explaining their commitment to the four areas.
Sixth-grader Andrew Milligan said he was excited to be in the chapter.
“It’s one of the biggest honors ever,” Milligan said. “It will look good on your permanent record, and it will help you get into college or get a job.”
He said his five-paragraph essay that was part of his application to the chapter explained how he was responsible at home, at school and in the community. He said he walks his dog every day, tries to do his best at school and volunteers once a month at the Dumb Friends League in Denver.
Next for the chapter is a meeting to elect officers and to plan service projects, Lupinacci said. She wants the members to do an end-of-the-year project.
“We’re going to start small,” Lupinacci said. “I’d like them to do something that goes along with Earth Day such as cleaning up the school grounds. We will start small because if we act locally, we can think globally, too.”