This story recently appeared in the winter 2012 edition of Harker Quarterly.
Students Clean Up the Coast
Almost 50 community members stepped up in September for the 26th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Inspired by this year’s lower school theme of compassion, parent volunteer Kelly Lewis Brezoczky (Katherine, grade 3; Charlotte, grade 5; Emma, grade 7) coordinated Harker’s participation, and service and spirit club advisor Katie Molin invited grade 4 and 5 families to help pick up debris littered across Pillar Point and Pilarcitos Creek in Half Moon Bay.
Youth Citizen of the Year
Tara Rezvani, grade 12, was recognized at Los Gatos’ Youth Park Citizen Day on Sept. 29 as one of Los Gatos’ Youth Citizens of the Year. Among Rezvani’s many accomplishments are organizing a health camp for children, volunteer work at El Camino Hospital and induction to the National French Honor Society.
Collecting Food for the Needy
The Service Club at the middle school ran a canned food drive and, for each item, students were given a strip of construction paper to hang in the windows of Activity Avenue to create a colorful, proud display of Harker’s giving spirit. The lower school also ran their annual food drive, organized for more than 20 years as the grade 5 service project by teacher Pat Walsh. Donations all went to St. Justin’s Church in Santa Clara. Walsh noted St. Justin’s provides groceries and hot meals all year long.
Advisories Help Prep Toiletries for Donation
Pat White, middle school history teacher, ran a toiletry drive again this year for the gloria Travis Center for Homeless Women and Children. White’s advisory sorts and bags donated items for delivery. White hopes to deliver about 500 sandwich bags of toiletries.
Holiday Gift Giving in Full Swing
Three different programs collected gifts for those in need. Family Supportive Housing, which runs the Adopt-a-Family program, collects holiday wish lists from families in need which are distributed to those who want to help out during the holiday season.
The Family Giving Tree matches givers up to individuals rather than families. This is Harker’s third year participating. Patricia Lai Burrows, an English teacher at the middle school, said, “Last year, we successfully fulfilled 200 wishes, and this year, I signed up to fulfill 350 wishes.” Currently, Harker is on track to fulfill 400.
Sunday Friends, a nonprofit that helps families in need, put together a list of holiday gift items their families would enjoy. The sophomore class used this year’s homecoming theme of Disney movies for inspiration and selected “Toy Story.” They made a giant toy box featuring characters from the movie, and each of the 185 members of the sophomore class donated a toy for Sunday Friends.
Giving to Our Furry Friends
Andrea Milius and Mark Gelineau, middle school teachers, wanted to do something special for this year’s family picnic theme of “Paws, Jaws and Claws” (click here for the picnic wrapup). They encouraged their advisories to do chores at home to earn money and then split the $230 in earnings between National Geographic’s campaign, “Create an Uproar” to save big cats, and a wolf pack at a sanctuary in Mississippi.
Hurricane Sandy Relief
The lower school took initiative in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and connected with Coney Island Preparatory School in New York, where 30 students lost their homes and 30 more families lost their cars. The administration at Coney Island Preparatory is offering storm victims modest grants. To help them achieve this goal, the student council at the lower school sold cups of hot chocolate on the playground over the course of several days and took donations. Business was brisk, and the entire amount was donated directly to the Coney Island Preparatory families.