The Many Ways in which Greeley Students Help Our Community
By Rachel Schelling
You are standing in a crowd. Pushing and shoving, kids of various ages rush past you; there is an overwhelming noise, the noise of people advertising and friends chatting and officials planning. You are surrounded by organized chaos. Where are you? A circus, a carnival, a street fair? No – you are at the Greeley activity fair! The Greeley activity fair is a tradition at the high school that features one of the school’s most prominent features: clubs. At the fair, each club is assigned a booth; club members bring signs, flyers and candy to attract new members, who can sign up and get more information regarding club activities and events.
While some people just come for the sweets, clubs do gain new members this way, and it demonstrates just how important clubs are to the Greeley community; so many students get involved in this event because they genuinely care. An incredible variety of clubs, from the engineering club to Make a Wish to the opera club, can be found at Greeley. If a club does not exist, students can apply to form a new one. With such a broad range of clubs, it is easy to see why almost all Greeley students are involved in some way. The largest percent of students are members of SADD or SHARE, two of the most popular clubs at Greeley.
Don’t Be Sad, Be SADD
SADD, or Students Against Drunk Driving, is a national organization that Greeley has become a part of. The Greeley chapter aims to “raise awareness within Greeley about the dangers of drinking and driving, texting while driving, and driving high,” explained one of its presidents, Evan Baitch. This past year, SADD organized a drunk driving simulation to show the student body what happens during a drunk driving accident. SADD helped students to not only actually see what happens at an accident itself, but also to understand the ramifications of such an event.
Other events include D’s Day, where 30 or more volunteers dress up in all black and remain silent to represent the tragedies due to drunk driving every day, and the pledge campaign, when SADD gets hundreds of teachers and students to sign pledges that state that they will drive safe over the holidays; the pledges are then displayed around school to remind students of their promise. The difference between SADD and so many others clubs is that students actually pay attention to the various events SADD holds throughout the year; the Greeley chapter has really spread understanding of the many dangers of driving while under the influence or distracted, which has hopefully made a difference out on the roads here in Chappaqua.
SHARE-ing is Caring
SHARE is the largest community service club at Greeley. It includes 11 ‘projects’: the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund, Casa de Lengua, the Pinwheel Project, Boys & Girls Club, Midnight Run, Bunches of Lunches, AFYA, Blood Drive, Food Bank, Blythedale, and Think Fit for Kids. These all center around hands-on involvement in helping the community. Most students involved in SHARE have a hand in many different projects. Lizzy Pott, one of the club’s presidents, said, “To me, the appeal of SHARE is its incredibly wide scope of service and the amount of involvement it influences. Countless students– including me–have joined SHARE with the intention of participating in only one project and have ended up being an active participant in multiple organizations due to the excitement and inspiration the club exudes.”
Since SHARE is so far reaching, it organizes many different events throughout the year that attract a variety of students. Some of these events include two blood drives, the Scholarship Fund’s annual spelling bee, and a night of ice cream scooping at Ben & Jerry’s to benefit Think Fit for Kids. SHARE strives not only to get students involved but also but the entire community, so keep an eye out for upcoming events!
Many clubs at Greeley are either headed by or founded by the Class of 2014. The students of this class are involved in clubs as far reaching as Students for Social Justice and Global Schoolhouse and as close to home as the Tribune and the Quake, two of the school publications. All students in clubs have chosen to get involved in this way because they are passionate about what the clubs stand for. For those in positions of power in these clubs, there is the added benefit of leadership experience and an increased role in the actions, organization, and event planning of the clubs.
The popularity of clubs at Greeley is due to the incredible things they have to offer. Clubs give students the opportunity to explore and find their passions while making friends, learning new skills, and getting involved in something they believe in. Greeley is fortunate to be home to so many successful clubs that, year by year, work tirelessly and truly make a difference in our community here in Chappaqua as well as in the world beyond.
Rachel Schelling is a senior at Horace Greeley High School. Growing up, her favorite book was Harold and the Purple Crayon.