A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Wanted: More Clubs at Parkdale

While some clubs at Parkdale are not as popular as others and don’t last very long, the clubs with the most members typically have the most longevity and encourage students to stay after school to participate. However, some could argue that there just aren’t enough clubs at Parkdale.

Currently, Parkdale has nine clubs and 16 other after-school activities. But do these clubs truly cater to students’ interest? And how can clubs get started?

“Student interest and leadership are essential,” said Japanese Club sponsor and teacher Mrs. Wesley-Musonda.  “The [adult] sponsor is supposed to be more of an advisor, and resource than [the] person who organizes everything. If no one is willing to take a leadership role, and others are not willing to contribute, then the club will not be successful.”

The issue may fall under students’ lack of motivation to pitch for and organize a club on their own. This can be attributed to excessive screen time which is for most students a part of their daily routine.

According to an article posted by CBS News, kids and teens ages 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens. Clubs that appropriately and effectively appeal to students would get them to spend time away from their devices, which could reduce this screen time.

“Chess club makes you focus on strategy and tact,” said senior Kai Charron. “If you get distracted by a phone, you will be dominated by your opponent.” He also says that clubs, like Japanese Club, keep him away from his phone because of “physical activities such as calligraphy.”

By increasing the number of clubs at Parkdale, the overall sense of community could also grow. When a club is created it allows for students to interact with their peers, finding new people in Parkdale. You find more people who have the same interests as them. Clubs, like Chess Club, could allow students to think critically and sharpen problem solving skills. Choosing to join a club may get rid of any social barriers a student may have such as since clubs integrate students in a way that is educational.

A challenge that clubs face is having to advertise. It is difficult as they either advertise through posters, word of mouth, or the occasional announcement.

Apart from issues involving advertising teachers have to deal with the issue of having to sponsor a club. “Another obstacle clubs face is the extra demands put on teachers which can hinder their ability or desire to sponsor a club,” said Mrs. Wesley-Musonda. “County bureaucracy and requirements make scheduling field trips or events very difficult, especially for small groups that don’t have a lot of money.”

Parkdale can use clubs where students can discuss the topics they enjoy in their own lives. These can include public speaking and debate, film club, math club, video games club, fashion club, economics club, business club and fundraisers for different charities.

As long as it is something students can be passionate and excited about, the clubs should and would prosper.