RAYS club meets to discuss ways they can help the community. (Photo by Milan Sasaki)
RAYS club meets to discuss ways they can help the community.

Photo by Milan Sasaki

RAYS and Key Club provide options for community service at York

October 27, 2020

Students are told to use high school as a stepping stone to help figure out your future. However, in 2020, it becomes difficult to have fun while contributing to your future. Yet, service clubs like Key club and RAYS club, clubs dedicated to community service, have found a way to adapt to the obstacles 2020 threw at them.

“Since our club is one of the largest clubs at York, the obvious challenge was finding out how we are going to meet while following all of the guidelines of the state and school,” junior and Key Club member, Emily Fujiwara said. “We ended up deciding that we are going to be meeting virtually.” 

One of the major changes  both RAYS and Key club needed to make was with their scheduling. In order to keep participation and attendance up, they decided to change their clubs meeting times to make them more accessible. 

“We wanted to provide flexibility for all students to come and join RAYS, so we changed our meeting time,” senior and president of RAYS Club, Markus Slowinski said. “We used to meet Friday mornings before school, which was very early for some students, so now we meet Fridays at 3:15.” 

Key Club, on top of moving their meeting times to after school hours, decided to only have club meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of every month instead of every Tuesday. However, both clubs brainstormed in order to come up with different service projects their members can do from home. 

“Even though our club is meeting less often than normal, and there are less opportunities, we have tried to still provide members with volunteer projects that they can do at home such as drawing chalk on sidewalks and making dog toys out of T-Shirts,” Fujiwara said.

Both clubs came up with new and easy activities to do remotely for their meetings Yet, the club’s board members feel these new projects are not enough, and they need something else to fill the time within their meetings.

“Because RAYS stands for Raising Awareness in Youth and Society, the board this year decided to incorporate a new aspect into the club where we make our members aware of issues and ways they can show their support and help the cause,” Slowinski said. “Because of remote learning RAYS has changed, we are not only focusing on our community of Elmhurst but also communities around the world. Because we wanted to make people aware of different issues and help spread awareness.” 

Key Club chose to take a different approach, while keeping the same mission for the organization in mind.

“The club has also adopted the new idea of a ‘community builder’ that we will do every meeting in order for people to get to know each other better within the club,” Fujiwara said. “Some examples of activities we have done for that include free rice games, and breakout rooms with would you rather questions.” 

COVID-19 has come from many struggles and hardships that have affected these clubs but, it has both  negatives and positives. Because of remote learning many students have more time to attend clubs, and both clubs are seeing an increase of members because of this.

“There are some advantages of remote learning, now our schedule provides flexibility to balance life and school, which has made attending clubs a lot easier,” Slowinski said.

THIS IS YORK • Copyright 2021 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in