Let's Ask Keira Wong - What is it like starting a civics club?
Starting a club at the beginning of the school year during online school can be especially challenging. New clubs first need a team of officers who are willing to dedicate their time to the club, along with a lot of prep and thought into future meetings. Clubs also need a teacher who is willing to be their advisor and need a lot of advertising on various platforms in order to garner members. Clubs also need to go through a mildly tedious process in order to become an official club, which includes expressed student interest in the club, and more documents. Finally, once the club is established, a unique difficulty for this year in starting a club is the marketing aspect. Generally, students are less engaged in club activities during online school, and it can be very difficult to gain interest for new clubs.
However, despite the numerous hurdles of creating a club, Keira Wong of International School has found that certain reasons have motivated her to take this leap. Firstly, Keira has noticed that at International School and other schools, civic education is not really extensively taught, nor do they, “teach students how they can act upon problems that come up in real life.” Additionally, it was less intimidating for her to start a civics club at her school because the Pathway Foundation already has a community built on hosting civics clubs, and therefore, “it is easier to ask for help if needed.”
Keira was able to give us some tips about starting a club at school. Firstly, one piece of advice she gives, is that, if you find yourself running into some difficulties, it is a good idea to talk with your club advisor/administrator. Your club advisor/administrator is there to guide you in the club leading process and can be immensely helpful in helping you with building your club. In Keira’s case, she notes that, “[her] club was lucky to have found not one advisor, but two (since some teachers work part-time and so we do want to respect their time and commitment) and when we were stuck at a certain point, we asked to meet with our advisors and talk about what the situation was. In the end, the meeting with the advisors was really helpful, and emailing the club administrator along with the situation also led to some solutions.” Another piece of advice she gives is simply talking to your parents/club officers. Keira notes that she is very grateful for the support of her parents/club officers, and that they have been helpful resources for her whenever she needed guidance. As stated by Keira, “there are a lot of ways to start your club and in general, I think that to have a successful club, communication is key between your execs, advisors, and club.”
For the International School civics club, they aspire to inspire and engage more youth in helping create a positive change and/or making their positive mark on the world!
Article written by Megan Yi
Keira Wong for interview responses
The IS Civics Execs:
Keira Wong - Pres
Missael Martinez - VP
Zaira Ganga - Secretary
Emerson Au - Treasurer