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Photo courtesy Girl Up

The members of the new Girl Up Club

Lauren Snyder, Sentry Staff Reporter

Even though academic success is important for students, they cannot all be mathematical robots who only live and breathe schoolwork. It simply is not healthy. That is why it is important to join clubs and live a little. Clubs offer an outlet to pursue an interest, meet new people or a place to relax and put that upcoming history test out of your mind. A wide variety of clubs are offered, ranging  from interests like business to passions like photography. Several new clubs have been founded this year, all appealing to a variety of people.

For example, if you are looking for a relaxed club whose motto is “good food, good people, good literature,” the Classical Play Reading club is for you. The club was founded by senior president Emma Westerhof and vice president Misha Putnam, but Westerhof has been laying the foundation for the club for many years – since the beginning of her high school experience, in fact.

“This is something that has been really on my mind, something that I’ve wanted to do, from freshman year onwards and the idea really cemented itself in my mind this year because I felt that I had more efficacy as a senior,” said Westerhof.

The Classical Play Reading club is different from the Shakespeare club because its focus is on reading literature, not acting. The members do not just read plays. They also read short stories, excerpts from novels and any works considered timeless classics.    

“It’s very relaxed; you’re not acting it out. It’s just to get together to appreciate rhetoric, to appreciate English language, to honor classical writers who deserve to be honored and remembered in this day and age,” said Westerhof.

“The type of student that we are trying to attract to our club is the kid that doesn’t feel as fulfilled by the class discussions that we have in regular English classes. We want someone who wants to dig deeper, who wants a little bit more stimulating conversation,” said Putnam.

The Classical Play Reading club is planning on meeting every other week in Room 250 and is very flexible to the schedules of its members.

If you want to advocate for rights and make a difference, Yorktown Dreamers is a great place to do so. The club was founded by sophomore Flor Caceres because she felt that students needed to be educated about the immigration system and how it works. She also aims for the club to be a resource to the students that need help with learning more about immigration or their own immigration cases. It advocates heavily for students with undocumented parents who need assistance.

“Yorktown Dreamers came up because my older brother is part of Dreamers of Virginia. Dreamers is for students who wish to go to college but they can’t because of their undocumented status,” said Caceres.

Undocumented students lack a social security number and are unable to receive financial aid for their tuition. They also would have to end up paying three times the amount for college.

“That’s why a lot of kids who are undocumented drop out because they feel they can’t pay the tuition,” said Caceres.

Yorktown Dreamers has just held their first interest meeting, and Caceres intends to hold a few workshops such as a session to educate undocumented students on their rights. They are also planning on meeting every week on a date that would work best for its members in the Leadership Center or Room 223.

Another way to get involved is by joining Humans of Yorktown. Co-founded by Nadya Syaza and Elizabeth Noe and inspired by the photography project Humans of New York, the club seeks to learn more about the people of our school and their stories.

The founders aim to a make a blog with a portfolio of pictures and stories. They also, at some point in the future, would like to put physical photos somewhere for people to see.

“[The club] is really relaxed. We have it every other week because we don’t want to have it be too stressful. Because it’s not a stressful thing. It’s photography, talking with people,” said Noe.    

The club meets in art teacher Allen Beland’s room in Room 128. Every meeting they set goals to interview or photograph a person and have that done and submitted by the end of the meeting.

“If you have any kind of interest, you don’t need experience in photography or [to be] the most amazing writer in your class … If you are interested, come. We are chill people,” said Noe.  

If you are still searching for a club, then other groups that have been formed this year include Chamber Choir with sponsor Music Director Roger Oliver in Room 188, Girl Up with sponsor English teacher Chrissy Wiedemann in Room 249, Nintendo Club with sponsors science teacher Daniel Carroll and Beland in Room 128 and West Wing with sponsors social studies teacher Kenneth Mandel and science teacher Ana Ratcliffe in Room 244.