National Beta Club
|Founder||Dr. John W. Harris|
|Purpose||to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students|
|Headquarters||Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|John W. Harris, Barbara Anderson|
|Board of directors|
The National Beta Club (often called "Beta Club" or simply "Beta") is an organization for 4th through 12th grade students in the United States. Its purpose is "to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students." Headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the organization has more than 8,750 clubs nationally and internationally.
History and description
Beta is an academic honors program with a strong emphasis on community service. It was founded in 1934 by Dr. John W. Harris, a Wofford College professor. Its motto is "Let Us Lead By Serving Others." Traditionally, students are awarded membership based on their grades (GPA), or test scores and character traits. Each individual school chooses what items they will look at for their chapter's member qualifications.
The Junior Division of The National Beta Club, begun in 1961, is for students in 4th through 8th grade. The Senior Division of Beta is for 9th through 12th graders. There are more than 500,000 active Betas in the Senior and Junior divisions and over 7 million alumni.
Every year students on the Senior level have the privilege to compete in academic and talent competitions such as Quiz Bowl, Creative Writing, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Spelling,Group Talent, Special Talent, Oratory and Character Skits. On the Junior level, students can participate in Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Spelling, Math, Visual & Performing Arts, Arts & Crafts, Poetry, T-shirt design, Banner, Scrapbook, Essay, Living Literature, Songfest and Speech competitions. In order to compete at the national level, a participant must place at the state level. This also includes those candidates running for office. The first National Beta Club convention was held in June 1981, at the Sheraton Twin Towers in Orlando, Florida. Each year there is a new theme, and a new site for the National Convention.
State Conventions are a bit different from the National Conventions. State Conventions are held by the state sponsor and the state sponsor elect which are elected to the position by other sponsors from the state. The state has the authority to create or deny competitions from happening in their own state. The Junior Convention hosts similar competitions except for state office. At the Senior level, there are three positions; at the Junior level, there are five.
States that host state conventions: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
- 2012-2013 The Heart of Beta
- 2013-2014 Making History With Beta
- 2014-2015 Betas, Rockin' the country
- 2015-2016 Let the Beta Times Roll
- 2016-2017 Above and Beyond
Prominent Beta alumni
- Bill Clinton, US President
- Jake Delhomme, professional football athlete
- Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004
- Heather French, Miss America 2000
- Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity founder
- Diane Sawyer, television journalist
- Herschel Walker, professional football athlete
- Trisha Yearwood, country musician
- Kevin Durant, professional basketball player, actor
- Cam Newton, professional football player
- Larriuna Shell, professional dancer
- Scotty McCreery, country musician
- Trevor Bayne, NASCAR driver