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The National Beta Club (often called merely "Beta") is an organization for 5th 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 8,000 clubs in 42 states and 8 territories.
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) 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 5th through 9th grade. The Senior Division of Beta is for 9th through 12th graders. There are more than 430,000 active Betas in the Senior and Junior divisions and over 6,000,000 alumni.
Every year students from around the east coast have the privilege to compete in academic and talent competitions such as Quiz Bowl, Creative Writing, Social Studies, Group Talent, Special Talent, and even Spelling 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 slightly different than 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. For the Junior convention, most competitions are the same except for the campaign 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.