Johnson County NAACP

2016 ACT-SO Scholars with Dr. Ann Sanders

Who is eligible to participate?

Students of African descent, U.S. citizens enrolled in grades 9-12 and amateurs in the competition categories are eligible to participate.

If you have any questions or requests please fill out the contact us form on our website.

Dates & Location

Local Competition:

Students only (52 categories for competition)​
Saturday, April 30th @ 11:00am
Merriam Park Elementary School
6100 Mastin - Merriam, KS 66204 (just off I-35 & Shawnee Mission Pkwy) 

NAACP ACT-SO Local Presentations:

Open to the Public
Saturday, April 30th @ 12:30pm
Merriam Park Elementary School
6100 Mastin - Merriam, KS

2016 National Competition -
July 14th - 17th, 2016 

Duke Energy Convention Center 

Cincinnati, OH

Act-so Timeline

Local Activities​

  • September:   Local kick off annual ACT-SO activities and complete application for participation​
  • September through April:  Local programs conduct mentoring, coaching and enrichment activities​
  • October – November: Local ACT-SO Workshops provided to give a total overview of the criteria and program
  • February through April:  Local ACT-SO Programs host competitions
  • May:  Final documents are sent to the National ACT-SO Office by the first Friday in May

What are the benefits?

The ACT-SO program is first and foremost a learning experience. Throughout the year, students work with local volunteer instructors and mentors to develop projects and participate in enrichment opportunities, including workshops, tutorials, and field trips, specific to their competition categories.   The local ACT-SO competitions and Award Ceremonies showcase the results of the students’ hard work. Competition winners receive medals and prizes provided by the local and regional sponsors and contributors. The local Gold Medalists then move on to the national competition and have the opportunity to receive scholarships and other rewards provided by national sponsors.

ACT-SO currently includes 26 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, business, and performing and visual arts.

categories of competition

Vernon Jarrett (1918-2004), a renowned author and journalist, initiated the idea of a program that would promote and reward academic achievers the same way sports heroes are honored.  The first national ACT-SO competition, an Olympics of the Mind, was held in 1978 in Portland, Oregon.

Who founded act-so?

Who sponsors Act-so?

ACT-SO is sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, and receives support from schools, local businesses, community organizations, churches, foundations, major corporations and individuals

Committee Members: Gordon Criswell , Jo Ann Herron and Sonya Allen

Johnson County NAACP ACT-SO Program

(Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics)

913/362-2272 (office) 913/362-2273 (Fax) or 913/633-0458 (home)

Is sponsored by the Johnson County NAACP Youth Council. We have had over 281 participants within the past 15 years. Local winners from our program have received national Gold and Silver medals. Approximately 98% of our youth participating in this program graduate from college.  We start the youth as early as 7th and 8th graders on a local level for the success of ACT-SO. They do not compete at the local and national level. They are in training for future ACT-SO participants.

ACT-SO is a yearlong enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. The program relies on the dedication and commitment of community and business leaders who volunteer as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence. Through this collaborative effort, participating students develop the confidence and skills needed to excel in school and in life.

Local ACT-SO Program

What is ACT-SO?



Jenifer FenneL