Clubs that Give Back

Dana Aigotti, Opinions Editor

A new school year delivers new opportunities to become involved in after school clubs, activities, and societies. Not only does club involvement look impressive on college applications, it also positively contributes to the Westwood Regional School District and the greater community.

Clubs and societies such as Peer Pals, National Honor Society, Student Council, Interact Club, Environmental Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and Students for an Active Voice are making significant contributions in the local community by taking part in fundraisers, tutoring, community service, school events, and more. Westwood Jr./Sr. High also offers academic-based clubs such as Academic Decathlon, Brain Busters, and the National Language Honor Societies. In addition, there are a number of clubs that correspond to individual interests, including Art Club, Chess Club, Engineering Club, Fashion Club, Film Club, and Year Book.

Peer Pals, run by Ms. Lent and Mr. DeBlasio, is a club involving upperclassmen interacting with students in the lower grades. The role of a Peer Pal is to be a mentor, playing a big brother/sister role; members of the club help underclassmen to deal with issues such as peer pressure, bullying, and managing school work. “A Peer Pal is someone who is a role model that younger kids should be able to look up to and talk to” says Lent. Peer Pals hosts events such as 8th grade orientation, Back-to-School night, and collecting gifts for GI’s.

The National Honor Society, run by Mr. Thames, is an exclusive group of seniors with a 3.7 GPA or higher. The National Honor Society hosts back to school night, an annual blood drive, and the graduation ceremony, among other events. The society assists students of younger grades by offering writing clinics during lunch every A and B day at lunch. Money that the society earns from fundraising provides scholarships for members.

Student Council, advised by Mrs. Kauffman and Mrs. Sigona, strives to make positive changes for the school and community. The group hosts events such as the talent show, spirit week, and pep rallies. This year they are aiming to be more interactive by having all school clubs report back to the Council. President Amanda Pirola says, “A big thing we’re trying to do is promote Rachel’s Challenge throughout the school. We are currently working on activities to keep the idea strong all through the year.”

Interact Club, run by Mrs. Riar and Mrs. Zito, is a community service-based club. For Thanksgiving this year, the club is planning a pie sale to raise money for scholarships, and hosting a food drive to provide food for those in need. In addition, during the holiday season, the club will participate in “Wrap it up,” a program that wraps gifts during the holiday season at local malls; all the profits are donated to charity.

The Future Business Leaders of America, advised by Ms. Van Gieson, and Students for an Active Voice, led by Mrs. Curioni, both involve giving back to the community. FBLA is a club dedicated to helping members develop leadership abilities and prepare for future careers. They are involved in many charities such as Juvenile Diabetes and Homes for Our Heroes. Last year, they held a homecoming dance. Students for an Active Voice raises awareness within our school and community for those in need. “The club involves raising awareness for misrepresented people. We help to raise money and promote awareness for those people,” explained Curioni.

The Environmental Club strongly promotes “being green.” Throughout the school year, the group cleans the courtyard and empties the recycling bins in classrooms.

Involvement and participation in clubs positively contribute to Westwood Regional School District and others in need. Give back to your school and community and join a club today!