Changing the environment
Ready? Set? Go! This year's students are off to a running start, paving the way for a healthier, happier and more involved student body at Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts. We may be a school for the arts, but that doesn't mean that's all we're limited to.
Instead, "art" is a term we use to describe forward thinking, and our students are going above and beyond, putting their ideas into action. School clubs are not only a place to make friends but are now places to make a difference.
"Students have already spearheaded recycling at school — we now have can, bottle and paper recycling containers in all of the classrooms," said Emily Ellsmore, science teacher and the Environmental Club adviser. "We have a particularly motivated group this year, and they are leading the way of increasing environmental awareness."
MCAA's environmental club is taking the initiative to re-landscape, planting an estimated 300 new plants and trees on campus.
"We wanted to brighten the area's looks and vibes while trying to encourage other kids to prosper and grow in a nice, clean, eco-friendly environment," explained Austin McReynolds, a senior and Environmental Club secretary.
Tenth-graders Stephanie Velazquez and Cathy Vazquez, the president and vice president of our school's first successful athletic club, had a similar vision. They are working to create a fun and active environment on campus where everyone participates and has a good time.
"These girls are extremely motivated; they get everyone excited and involved — staff and students alike," said Andrea Mejia, English teacher and athletic club adviser.
Within the past month, the athletic club has successfully hosted numerous activities, including the highlight event — an all-out volleyball tournament. Teams made up of students from all grade levels faced off in this weeklong event until one team won the grand honor of participating in the Student vs. Teacher challenge.
Staff members played a victorious game, both in their final tally of points and in their boosting of school spirit.
All of this energy feeds into the student body as our campus continues to grow and flourish. But as we do so, we've kept in mind the community, which has done so much to support us.
Students rallied together to reach a helping hand to families in need. Throughout October, MCAA's Excel Club (community service) is hosting a school-wide canned food drive to support local families.
"I think it's an awesome idea," said Tamara Gresham, a senior and Excel Club treasurer. "We get to reach out to the community and show them MCAA wants to be involved. We are all working hard to promote it and are so glad to be able to give food to those who need it."
This proactive mentality is what sets MCAA students apart because being a student at MCAA isn't just about being student: it's about learning to be someone who can make a difference.
We strive to make a lasting impact on what we'll leave behind and make the changes we want to see in the world. That's the kind of students we have.
Kylee Schesser is a senior at Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.