HSSD Beta Clubs Win at Leadership Summit

HSSD Beta Clubs Win at Leadership Summit
Posted on 10/22/2018
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This month, 70 students (57 from 4th-8th grade and 13 from 9th-12th grade) from the four HSSD Beta Clubs attended a regional Beta Leadership Summit, hosted by the National Beta Club at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Beta Club students are from Beta Clubs currently established at Park Magnet (4th-5th grade students), Oaklawn (4th-5th grade students), a combined team from Hot Springs Intermediate School (6th grade students) and Junior Academy (7th-8th grade students), and Hot Springs World Class High School (9th-12th grade students). The National Beta Club is one of the largest non-profit, independent educational youth organizations in the U.S. For 80+ years, it has operated to “prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders.”


It was a record breaking year at the Summit, as HSSD clubs took home seven awards and qualified to compete at the National Beta Club Summit in five categories. Staff and sponsors were most proud to point out the deep camaraderie and student-to-student mentorship that took place in order to achieve such success across challenges and sessions. HSSD Clubs competed against 10 other school clubs in attendance. Because of the awards received, all HSSD Beta Clubs have qualified to compete at Beta Nationals events in the summer.


Four awards were received by our HSSD Jr. Beta Clubs (4th-8th graders) as follows: National Beta Outstanding Leadership School, Service Snapshop National Qualifier Award, Lead Outside the Box National Qualifier Award, and Rapid Response National Qualifier Award. HSSD was also proud to watch Junior Academy 8th grader Cooper Bull serve as Jr. Regional Leadership Representative. In that capacity, he helped lead the entire event by introducing speakers, presenting awards,even interviewing future candidates for Leadership Representatives.


Three awards were received by our HSSD Sr. Beta Club (9th-12th graders) as follows: National Beta Outstanding Leadership School, Lead Outside the Box National Qualifier Award, and Rapid Response National Qualifier Award.


How do students qualify for Beta Leadership Summit Awards?


Beta Leadership Summits are events that consist of group activities, sessions with guest speakers and/or group discussions, and competitions of team-building events, all focused on developing our students into well rounded leaders. Competitions include the opportunity for students participate in any of the following competition categories:

Leadership Representative - Representatives appointed at each regional summit are eligible to compete for three National Senior Leadership Representatives and three National Junior Leadership Representatives. Participation allows students to collaborate with fellow members, compete in a collaborative project on-site, as well as serve as a representative the following year. These appointed National Representatives will also help facilitate a Leadership Session at the following year’s National Convention.

Service Snap Shot- 3 to 5 students identify, design and carry out a service project that addresses at least one real community need. Clubs showcased the community need and highlighted the creative service project in expo format.

Lead Outside the Box- Teams of 4 students are given a real-world problem at the beginning of the event.  On the second day of the event, teams give a two minute presentation of how they solved the given problem followed by a question/answer segment.

Rapid Response Challenge- Teams of 5 to 8 students engage in quick, creative, and critical thinking challenges. The team members must think on their feet by applying collaborative leadership skills to produce a response in a certain time frame.  The challenge is a combination of performance- based and task-based problem solving.


What kind of answers/projects did our HSSD students come up with?


In the Service Snapshot Competition, see details about service project strategies that our HSSD students presented. In order to qualify for Nationals, students will be held accountable by Beta sponsors to carry out the plans in the Hot Springs community.


Park Magnet: Homeless Packages Customized for Child and Pet Needs


Strategy: Students researched items that are commonly included in packages distributed to homeless individuals. They found that oftentimes, packets are not customized for homeless children and/or homeless pets that may accompany individuals. They suggested a process of customizing homeless packages for these groups, so that those in need could pick and choose the package that is a best-fit for their situation. They suggested weather-resistant toys, non-perishable food, and books/puzzles for the child packages as well as donated pet food and toys for pet packages.They created an information sheet listing all  animal shelters and pet healthcare, as well as where individuals or families could find shelters, receive free meals, and free healthcare services.


Oaklawn Magnet - Welcome Committee for New Students to include Beta Buddies and a Buddy Bench

Strategy: To ensure that all new students feel welcomed and accepted at Oaklawn Magnet, Beta Club students will create a Welcome Committee. This committee is dedicated to ensuring that new students have friends and opportunities to connect with the offerings at Oaklawn. Specific goals of this committee are to identify a “Beta Buddy” so that all new students have one Beta Club member assigned to them for the first few weeks,  to introduce them to other students and tour the school. They also want to create a “Buddy Bench” to establish a location on the playground where new students or any student can choose to sit if he or she is looking for someone to play with.


Junior Academy - Doorway to Kindness Project to include Student-led Giving During Holidays and Special Events


Strategy: The “Doorway to Kindness” project outlines how students can offer reverse holiday events, so that students are giving and not receiving. For Halloween, a date between Thanksgiving/Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and a Spring Fling date, students will create gift bags and give to a group and/or segment of the community in need. Students pointed out that Garland County has a high geriatric population. Many individuals in our geriatric community - including those in nursing homes, senior centers or at other locations - are without families. The “Doorway to Kindness” project will have heavy focus on them.


In the Lead Outside the Box and Rapid Response Competitions, our Sr. Beta Club members took home an award for the following challenge prompt: A community whose school is doing really well suddenly learns that two large corporations are pulling out of the community, taking jobs and special school funding. What does the school do to stay afloat as corporations, jobs, and support move out?  Our Sr. Beta students came up with the following campaign as a solution to the challenge:


- Their Slogan was “Save our Community, Save our School”

- Their first step in the short-term was to look at internal strategies and audiences to help cut costs and keep finances in place, which included considering a change in the school week to a four day requirement to cut down on heating, cooling, and food costs via a special waiver; the renting of vacant spaces within the school to other companies for office space; and reaching out to school alumni to see if their businesses could donate or assist the community to help maintain growth.

- Their plan included rebuilding financial support through political collaboration by calling on local leaders and politicians to consider emergency funding sources for schools in this situation and/or develop or recommend grants for schools in financial distress.  

- Their plan suggested an aggressive social media campaign to highlight the many success stories and students of the school and its history to help create a need in the community to garner support.

- A long-term strategy suggested was to focus on school programs and training that could help create diverse entrepreneurs in the community moving forward so that school funding could be tied to multiple sources.


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To participate in Beta Club, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. With questions about HSSD Jr. Beta Club, contact Mrs. Madeline Bull at bullm@hssd.net. With questions about HSSD Sr. Beta Club, contact Mrs. Melissa Bratton at brattonm@hssd.net. Learn more about National Beta Club offerings and events, here.