Originally published on The Magnet by Derrick Cruz
MacDuffie’s student-led community service organization, The Key Club, recently experienced a change in leadership with ELL teacher Dana Katz accepting the role as its advisor. Katz has expanded Key Club’s curriculum to include frequent food bank and rehabilitation center visits as well as some visits to soup kitchens. Among these was Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
In November, Neighbors Helping Neighbors took place. It was presented to the entire student body as an opportunity to serve at a local food bank in South Hadley. Students prepared and served meals to the homeless population in South Hadley. Katz was pleased to see many students participate.
“There’s always way more students than I can accommodate, and that is always a good problem to have,” said Katz.
Katz also shared some of the more recent opportunities for community service. Katz mentioned VERO, a rehabilitation center that has allowed students to help out seniors during craft hours. Some work that Key Club members are doing or have already done includes Senior Madeline LaChance’s Toy Drive, The Winter Coat Drive and Socktober. As the year goes on, Katz urges students and parents to reach out to the Key Club if they have any ideas.
As a club, Key Club has increased its membership and the amount of community service opportunities they have been offering. Katz reflects on how 11 students participated in the River Clean Up and in Neighbors Helping Neighbors there were even more.
Katz hopes that the entire MacDuffie community is affected by these opportunities. She hopes that all of them go out and open community service opportunities of their own, whether it be in our school community or whatever is closest to home.
This year, Katz has taken her particular role seriously. She also shared that her intentions and future plans for the Key Club would be to establish two monthly activities which she hopes will have longevity within the MacDuffie community. When she reflects on what she called “a growth edge,” or a particular area where she sees Key Club going or improving upon, she claims Key Club could provide “a connection for Boarders to do work in their own home as they experience community service in America.”
Key Club is an organization where students can individually pursue leadership. At MacDuffie, students are encouraged to participate in the activities that the club provides access to. Students and the beneficiaries of these services both stand to benefit.