Revived Key Club looks to benefit community
On a sunny Thursday afternoon, a band of WHS students walk into a Woodland Elementary classroom, where they’re greeted with shouts and cries from a group of second graders. Laughter fills the room as the students read books, play games, and joke with each other. When it’s time for the high schoolers to leave, the elementary students say goodbye with sad eyes.
This is the work that the new and revived WHS Key Club performs. According to junior Carter Namkung, the club’s primary focus has been fostering relationships with students in the English Learner Education (ELE) programs at the Woodland and Field elementary schools.
“We’ve been holding monthly events at the Woodland and Field schools, which consist of various activities such as reading, bead making, origami, and board games,” Namkung said. “This encourages student bonding and learning between the volunteers of our club and the ELE students we work with.”
Although Key Club spent many meaningful years in the Weston community, club activity suddenly came to a stop at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Key Club faculty and Mandarin teacher advisor Ma Ya Tao described how the program was revitalized.
“Our school Key Club was active two years ago but there were no activities in the interval between then and now, as no students were interested, especially after the seniors left in 2017,” Tao said. “However, this past summer Carter Namkung and McKay Sumsion decided to bring Key Club back to WHS.”
Despite the fact that Key Club was only brought back this year, the organization has been able to expand to over 20 members and begin working in the community. As Key Club president, Namkung elaborated on some of the unique values of the club.
“Unlike other service clubs, Key Club has remained focused on our student bodies and helping create strong bonds among students within Weston,” Namkung said. “We operate on the belief that one of the most crucial steps to better the community is to help young students in the elementary schools who are the future of Weston.”
Furthermore, junior McKay Sumsion described a future goal for the club and its ambition to build relationships with more students.
“We are also trying to make these activities available for students in the Woodland and Field after-school programs, as well as the Children’s Center of Weston,” Sumsion said. “We hope that these events will happen at a much larger scale than those with the ELE students.”
Throughout the course of the year, the student members say they have enjoyed working in Key Club. Junior Victoria Qian commented on what the organization has meant to her.
“It’s really amazing that I am able to help others who are facing the same situation as me,” Qian said. “I’ve received help from a lot of people since moving to Weston, so being able to pay it forward is a really rewarding experience that I hope to continue.”
Similarly, junior Lea Sarnblad reflected on the significance of the club and what it stands for.
“I hope that we are able to make a difference within the community, and set an example of being kind. We want everyone to feel like they are a part of the Weston community,” Sarnblad said.