You might hear stray dates, random meeting times, and a various assortment of messages on the morning announcements, but just in case paying attention during the beginning of third period isn’t your strong suit, here are some things you can do to create positive change.
National English Honor Society (NEHS) is holding a book drive to benefit Harlem Park, a Baltimore City Elementary and Middle School. Students can donate any books that their family has outgrown or don’t need anymore, according to NEHS President Claire Silberman. Between January 8-19, students can drop of book donation in boxes in their English classes. The culmination of NEHS’s book drive efforts will take place at a coffee house event on January 30, according to Silberman. By paying a small fee or donating a book, students can experience music performances, poetry readings, and spoken word, along with refreshments. NEHS not only spreads literacy and books to places where they might not be as prevalent, but it also spreads high quality writing and music from students at Atholton.
Neighbors for Neighbors
If anyone walks outside Atholton and looks to the right, they’ll see Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. The club Neighbors for Neighbors was inspired by this proximity. According to Co-president Anna Beidelman, Grassroots deals with a wide variety of issues surrounding people in crisis, so most of their money rightfully goes towards supporting those needs. “However, that leaves the kids that are there with less
special opportunities, or less exciting things, things that we might get to have, but aren’t necessary,” said Beidelman.
Co-president Veronica Adler said activities that Neighbors for Neighbors funds range “from slime to tie-dying to field trips.” Previously, the club fundraised enough money to bring all the children at Grassroots to Skyzone. Another Neighbor for Neighbors project was The Day of Caring gift drive on December 20. Neighbors for Neighbors helped organize the gifts before the event and volunteered on the Day of Caring itself. If any of these activities interest you, email AHSNeighbors4Neighbors@gmail.com or go to the next Neighbors for Neighbors meeting.
The club is hosting an ongoing fundraiser by selling shirts to support activities for children at Grassroots. The shirt that the club is selling reads “All Together Now,” referencing the “legendary Beatles song,” according to Adler. She continued: “Our club is about coming together to help those around us, and I think the image and the words really make sense given our goals.” The shirt works for multiple causes; it fundraises for children at Grassroots and also raises awareness about Grassroots and Neighbors for Neighbors to get more people involved. To place an order for a t-shirt, contact Veronica
Adler, or email AHSNeighbors4Neighbors@gmail.com. In the words of Adler, “a small contribution is part of a much bigger picture, and if we all come together to help out we can really make a difference in these kids’ lives.”
Key Club is the place to go if students are looking for a wide variety of ways to create positive change. The purpose of this club is “to connect high schoolers with service opportunities in their community,” said President Amal Imtiaz. This year, the club is working with many organizations, including FIRN (Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network), where students have opportunities to help ESOL students with homework. Imtiaz added that “FIRN became a focus for us this year [when we learned] that many Club LEAPs (Learning English After-School Programs) lacked adequate volunteers; we felt Key Club had passionate and dedicated members who would be happy to help.” Key Club also works with other organizations, such as AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) and the Sunrise Senior Living Center. The sheer number and diverse nature of events makes Key Club fun for everyone. Imtiaz continued: “I hope students know that Key Club is about more than just service hours, but rather about making a real change and hopefully teaching students they have the capacity to be a force of good in their communities.”
iEducate is the club to join if students like positive change and being around children. On November 16, iEducate assisted with Computers for Students at Harpers Choice Middle School. This event is sponsored by Bright Minds Foundation, and it provides computers to families who would not otherwise be able to afford them. iEducate helped with the event by watching and entertaining younger children of the families receiving computers and by setting up computers. At the event, iEducate members sometimes speak Spanish with families, which provides a real life application of language. Another event that iEducate sponsors is the Head Start Winter Celebration. iEducate partners with the Dasher Green Head Start Center, and the children come to the Atholton Media Center to have enjoy themselves before winter break. Many other clubs are also involved in the event, including Delta Scholars, Alpha Achievers, NHS, Red Cross Club, Global Equality Now, SGA, BSU, and more. These clubs create entertaining stations for the children giving them the opportunity to make fun crafts and other “holiday things,” according to club leadership. iEducate is an active club that provides exceptional opportunities for its members to get involved with their community, especially when there are little kids involved.
Stress Less club is making an impact by planning events such as the Stress Less Fest to decrease stress in Atholton and making blanket for Project Linus. Project Linus is an organization that provides homemade blankets to children who might need a little extra comfort. After Stress Less makes the blankets in January (last year they made 13), they give them to the Fire Department. From there, some blankets go to a hospital, like the NICU, according to Co-president Anna Beidelman. “If there was a trauma that happened and a kid is involved, they’ll give them a blanket,” Beidelman added. Stress Less is not only making an impact at Atholton, but also in the community, showing positive change
is possible but no one has to stress about it.
Bake for Change
“We usually have homemade baked goods at all of our meetings,” said President Angela Wei, which is enough to pique anyone’s interest about going to a Bake for Change meeting. For the picky eaters out there, here is a little more detail about Bake for Change and why everyone should join. “Bake Club is meant to give students with a passion for baking [a place] to put their talent towards a charitable cause,” said Wei.“We donate fresh baked goods directly to soup kitchens and homeless shelters.” Baking experience is not required: “We hope that you can learn something new about baking just by be-
ing in the club and being surrounded by other bakers.” The club has big plans for this year, including hoping to partner with organizations to bake and serve food to the homeless, along with “more fun events for club members like cookie swaps and waffle breakfasts,” said Wei. Bake for Change is planning to have a meeting soon, so listen to the announcements or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about your chance to partake in this sweet club.
The UNICEF club at Atholton is “a great way to get service and get involved in your community,” according to Co-president Michelle Lui. The club has bake sales to raise money for UNICEF during the year, usually outside libraries or Giant. It also partakes in the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program by distributing orange change collecting boxes. Another program that the UNICEF club implements at Atholton is the UNICEF Tap Project, which will take place in March. “For every minute you set your device down without touching it or using it, then it donates a certain amount of money or resources to children in need,” said Lui. One year they donated a day of clean water to a child for every minute people did not touch their phone. To get in touch with UNICEF or to learn more about the events they are planning, email email@example.com.
The Sophomore SGA organized a sandwich making event on Wednesday, November 8, in
Sargent G’s room. Participants will assemble bagged lunches to later deliver to Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. “We’re excited,” said Bella Saunders, the SGA 2020 Treasurer. She also noted that “some problems are closer than we think, and this is something we can do to help make their days that much better.”
These clubs are all awesome ways to get involved, create positive change, and have a little fun doing it. Happy clubbing!