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NEW BREMEN — In response to Rachel’s Challenge and the findings of a survey last year, a new club has formed at New Bremen High School to give students an avenue to make the school a place for everyone.
Students at New Bremen High School attended an assembly Friday afternoon to learn about the new opportunity.
“We explained the reasons for starting it (the club) — the Rachel’s Challenge assembly last May being kind of the emphasis for it, but that’s not solely it,” New Bremen High School Principal Brian Pohl told The Evening Leader. “The students also did a survey last year called ‘My Voice,’ and that survey was like a social norm survey to get kids’ perspectives and compare that to what teachers’ perspectives are.”
The survey revealed that students felt there was not a place for everyone.
“We took that survey and one of the things that kids said was that they didn’t feel that there was a place for every kid and some felt that, like in every high school, there are cliques or groups here, but not every kid was being represented in those groups in a beneficial manner,” Pohl said.
Pohl worked with a group of teachers to form CARDS Club.
“Five teachers and myself started creating an outline for what we wanted, and we created CARDS Club, which stands for the Caring Attitude Respect Discipline and Service Club,” Pohl said.
The teachers are hoping the students will take the lead in the club and drive it in the direction they see fit.
“What we really want is for the kids to take this bull by the horns and run it themselves, and we hope that their ideas for creating a school climate that they want here will lead to the activities that we do,” Pohl said.
In addition to providing a way for students to change their school, CARDS Club will also provide students a way to earn service hours.
“There also is a service learning component that we want to have be a part of it because we do have groups from time to time that either need some volunteers or kids that are looking for ways to pad their resumes or applications and they want to list volunteer activities,” Pohl said.
“We’re hoping the CARDS Club can be a segue between the community and the students here to create those opportunities.”
He noted a goal of the group is to be one that is open to every student.
“We want it to be a thing where any kid can come at any time for any reason, and we hope to do some fun things with it as well as offer some service learning opportunities and whatever else the kids may come up with,” Pohl said.
The first monthly CARDS Club meeting will be held on Thursday, and Pohl said the students will dictate the club’s next steps.
“We’ll see who shows up and who has interest and we’ll take it from there,” he said.
“The five teachers are going to be the guides, but the kids are going to run it and they’re going to have the teachers there to facilitate. The kids will get out of it what they put into it.”
Pohl said he is interested to see what the students do with CARDS Club.
“We want to see where kids take this,” he said. “They were the emphasis for starting this due to the ‘My Voice’ survey and them saying they wanted something they felt they could share what they need or expect at the school here, and we’ve tried to give them an avenue to do that. We’re hoping they’ll take that and run with it with a little direction from the adults in the building.”