Key Club expands, reforms Eat ‘N’ Read events

SERVICE OVER SELF: Working with a student from Passages Charter School in Chicago, senior Maude Tarbox engages in one of Key Clubís Eat ‘N’ Read events on Sept. 23. The club promotes various service opportunities within local and global communities.

Yoon Kim

SERVICE OVER SELF: Working with a student from Passages Charter School in Chicago, senior Maude Tarbox engages in one of Key Clubís Eat ‘N’ Read events on Sept. 23. The club promotes various service opportunities within local and global communities.

Corrine Shaw, Staff Reporter

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Key Club has added Eat ‘N’ Art and Eat ‘N’ Move to the Eat ‘N’ Read program  that’s in partnership with Passages Charter School in downtown Chicago.

Josh Koo, Key Club sponsor, says the Eat ‘N’ Read program began two years ago. He explained that the goal was to bring lunches and read with kids, while keeping the planning of the program open to working with Passages Charter School teachers to enrich their teaching.

“We worked with Passages Charter School to develop a program specific to their school,” Koo said. “We wanted to make sure we are respecting the school and their curriculum […]. We say, ‘Here is our template, what do you guys think?’”

Koo wants club members to work with the same kids within the program for the remainder of their high school years in order to foster stronger relationships. Augie Mikell, Key Club mentorship committee leader, says the kids enjoyed working with South students during the program.

“I thought the kids really appreciated [us coming],” Mikell said. “They had so much fun and I remember one kid [asked his partner if] we were coming back tomorrow and he thought that it would be everyday. I think that we formed a good relationship and we got to know each other very well.”

Koo says that due to the succesful feedback from both parties, the program should be expanded to fit other students’ needs. Both said the relationships GBS students made with the kids helped create the new programs.

“Because we are working with the same school and the same kids, you develop a relationship,” Koo said. “Key Club doesn’t want to [do a service project] and never see [the kids] again. Instead of doing the same read with the same kids, we are going to do [Eat ‘N’ Art and Eat ‘N’ Move].”

According to Alex Ladan, Key Club hunger and poverty committee leader, the purpose behind the Eat ‘N’ Move program is to teach the kids healthy habits that correspond with the resources they have available.

“[We want] to get kids active and moving because their playground is really small and they share it with K-8 graders,” Ladan said. “When they want to go outside, there is no room to be active. We are serving as mentors to them [about how to stay active].”

In addition to the Eat ‘N’ Move program, Koo also says that a Eat ‘N’ Art program is going to be implemented to help the kids outside of the classroom.

“We are working with art therapists to develop a curriculum [for Eat ‘N’ Art],” Koo said. “They are going to be doing [an] art craft or activity but it also allows them to [use it as therapy], talk about emotions and get them to open up and [create a] connection with our members.”

According to Ladan, the Eat ‘N’ Read program, along with the future additions, have given her a new perspective on the definition of service.

“[Doing a service project] is not about what is convenient to you,” Ladan said. “It’s about trying to focus on what the needs of other people are and what you can do to help.”

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