There are many ways students can participate at school, whether it’s being in
band, joining a sport, singing in the choir or being part of a club. At our school, Santiago, there are many clubs that are available for students to join. There are a variety of clubs, ranging in categories from gardening, fundraising, community service, career preparation, and interpersonal interests. The clubs here are very beneficial in the sense that they allow students the experience of exploring their individuality and trying new things. Participating in these clubs helps students introduce them to a wide variety of new choices and gives them the opportunity to interact with peers in a supervised setting, and in addition build professional relationships with adults.
Clubs at Santiago High School include FNL, Latinos Unidos, Academic Decathlon, Edible Garden and many more. I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Khalaf, the advisor for the Edible Garden, and I was able to ask him a couple of questions. One question I asked was, “What do you and the students specifically do in your club?” His response was, “We promote and maintain a campus garden. It is focused on producing edible plants to connect our student community more closely with real food and its source.” The next question I asked was “How long has the club, Edible Garden, been around?” He said, “The Edible Garden Club started around 6 years ago, but the garden itself has only been created and operational for the past 3 years.” I then asked him, “What do kids learn from being in this club?” His answer was, “Students learn how to grow healthy plants, harvest usable produce, and prepare nourishing food.” I then asked him if he thought the club was an overall success and he stated that the club has positively impacted many students. He also claimed that the club’s success will increase greatly as Edible Gardens involve other large clubs and their members. The more students they reach, the more successful the club will be. The last question I asked him was, “What has been the best experience being an advisor for this club?” He replied, “My best experiences are observing students creating their own space, their own food, and their own knowledge by actually doing the work together.” I also interviewed a student who joined the Edible Garden club. Angelica Garcia, who said the club overall has made her high school experience good. “I always look forward to the meetings every Monday.” I then asked her, “What have you learned from being in this club?” She replied, “I’ve learned how to plant nutritious foods and I have learned how to be a responsible food grower and to be creative with growing ideas.” She also added that she now knows how to plant different vegetables and plants at home for her family.
Overall Santiago High school has been a supportive school towards everyone. They persuade students to join an afterschool program or any sort of activity which helps the mindset of a young person grow. Clubs have a positive impact on everyone who participates. It helps teachers learn more about the students they are around and observe how different each one is. It also helps students feel like they are a part of the school and help them overcome insecurities, shyness and much more. There are so many clubs that focus on subjects that are not taught at school that students are interested in. Some clubs provide enjoyment from some physical activity they could do in the club. Other clubs could also help provide students with relaxation and reduce stress levels. In all, being in a club has positive effects on all students.
Story and photography by: Valerie Millan