Seniors Awa Diop, Alejandra Ramirez, Sofia Sills, and Sara McCartan delivered 473 books to Tavan.


The Arcadia chapter of the National Honor Society has been available to high school students since 1960. Those involved in the organization have demonstrated excellence in the four pillars of NHS: scholarship, character, leadership and service throughout their time in the program. 

Last year, members of Arcadia High School’s NHS faced the challenge of finding new ways to give back to their community.

There are 50 active members, sponsored by AHS teachers Jennifer Dukelow and Erica McClurg. 

“The purpose of NHS is to give back to our greater community with learning initiatives, volunteer opportunities and fundraising,” Dukelow said. 

The group recently wrapped up their second annual book drive for Tavan Elementary second-graders. The drive originated last school year to replace the in-person Tavan community service event. 

“The book drive was a huge success last year, so our members decided to continue it this year,” Dukelow said. 

The drive’s goal was for each Tavan second-grader to receive multiple books to enjoy and practice reading at home. 

The NHS collected 473 books in two weeks, which allowed all 82 second-graders to get a bundle that fits their specific reading level. 

“Our members were ecstatic at the idea of sending the kids home with books to love and learn. Some were willing to donate their favorites in hopes that another child would treasure them as much as they did,” Dukelow said.

In addition to the drive, they created a pen pal program enabling them to write letters back and forth with their second-grade buddies. Their goal is to write one letter each month.

“Tavan teachers use this as a great opportunity to practice handwriting and letter writing skills,” Dukelow said. 

NHS members plan to bring back the in-person holiday event this year that will take place on the Arcadia football field. There, they will have the opportunity to meet their second-grade buddy face-to-face, give them a gift from their special wish list, make arts and crafts and decorate cookies.

As for the second half of the school year, members voted on two fundraisers that they’re excited to execute. 

“Our first fundraiser will benefit the Welcome to America Project, helping refugees coming to America feel more welcome. Volunteers will help them move into their new residences,” Dukelow said. Next, they will host a Wish Week benefitting the Make-A-Wish foundation. During this event, $1 stars will be sold to aid in granting the wishes of the children they sponsor. 

“It’s such an amazing group this year, with kind hearts that want to make a difference,” Dukelow said.