MSD NHS makes midterm candy grams and posters for students in AP core classes


Ivy Lam

MSD NHS members assembled over 1,600 midterm candy grams and 15 posters of encouragement for AP core classes. NHS officers plan to distribute the treats to their respective teachers a week before midterms commence.

Jessie Gesund, Associate Editor-In-Chief

Teacher after teacher discusses with their class what is going to be on the midterm, with many establishing that everything that has been taught thus far will appear on the exam. Students scramble to decide which classes to exempt and what they need to do in order to prepare themselves for their last tests of the year.

The weeks preceding midterms may be a stressful time for many high school students. Having three weeks of school in December without any days off, a majority of the month is dedicated to preparing for exams. Some students may stress out and study for the exams, while others procrastinate. During these times, students may need some encouragement to get through testing.

The week of actual testing for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School starts on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and ends on Friday, Dec. 23. Taking midterms may be overwhelming and scary for some, as a grade on a midterm could influence a semester grade. As a result, MSD’s National Honor Society (NHS) has decided to bring back an old tradition: giving students candy grams during midterms.

The week before midterms, NHS officers will go around during their study hall period to core Advanced Placement (AP) classes and distribute bags with candy grams for the teachers to hand out to students the following week.

“We want to encourage students to do well on their midterm exams and bring a little holiday cheer,” history teacher and NHS advisor Lisa Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock proposed the idea as one of the four pillars of NHS: service, character, scholarship and citizenship. Representing the scholarship pillar, students will be rewarded for their hard work and academic achievements with a treat. Co-President Ivy Lam planned and oversaw the operation from design to execution.

To ensure the project goes smoothly, NHS members gathered for a service hour opportunity on Thursday, Dec. 8 in Hitchcock’s classroom to make the candy grams. They assembled assorted, pre-wrapped candy and attached them to notes of encouragement with tape.

While they are unable to provide for all 3,500 students at MSD, NHS will be handing out over 1,600 candy grams to students in AP core classes, which includes any AP math, language arts, science or social studies course. Students in AP classes are required to take midterms, abiding by MSD’s rules.

“It is nice to be able to receive some words of encouragement, especially when I am studying for multiple exams that are within a span of four days,” junior Jessica Stein said.

MSD NHS offered NHS Hours for candy donations; however, the remainder of candy needed was purchased with club funds. The reason the entire school will not be receiving the candy grams is due to the substantial inventory and planning needed to provide 3,500 candy grams and messages to the entire student population. Officers and general members also made posters with uplifting and inspiring messages on them to motivate students; these will be distributed to each AP core teacher to display in their classroom.

“Hopefully, students will feel that their efforts to prepare for their AP midterm exams are noticed and appreciated,” Hitchcock said.

In the upcoming weeks, students are reminded to study what they have learned from August through December. Thus, many students will devote time to studying for multiple classes with tests of more weight than usual. MSD NHS intends to spread positivity and encouragement to high-achieving students through the candy grams and posters. In the spring, the honor society plans on providing candy grams to AP electives and classes with end-of-course exams (EOCs).