NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 14, 2014 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909)595-1261 ext. 31204
South Pointe students join new service club
WALNUT, CA—Just four months ago, Builder’s Club launched at South Pointe Middle School all from an inquisitive email from two stellar Diamond Bar High School seniors, Jasmine Lin and Jane Wu.
The two leaders from the DBHS Key Club, the high school equivalent of Kiwanis, wanted to launch the community-service based club at the middle school level.
South Pointe Language arts teacher Lauren Guzzino happily signed up to be the club’s advisor.
“I was impressed with the girls’ tremendous enthusiasm and strong belief in the benefits of the club,” she said.
“When we got a reply in November from Ms. Guzzino, we were super excited because we really wanted to get this started!” said Wu, the club’s current president.
The Key Club members have had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different schools and areas.
“During the past four years, we’ve noticed it’s really nice to branch out and share our experiences with kids going into high school. There had been talk about starting up a Builder’s Club, but it happened yet.”
This year, the officers made it a goal and were able to get the club started.
At the end of December, the South Pointe Builder’s Club received its official charter.
They join the over 45,000 students worldwide in the international program centered on building leadership skills through community service.
By the beginning of 2014, the club had over 30 members. DBHS Key Club members have been working along side Builder’s Club members during service projects.
“All the events have been with Key Club so they can see what Key Club is about,” Wu said.
Members have participated in packaging goody bags for under-privileged teenage girls at Isaiah’s rock; volunteered at the City of Diamond Bar’s Snow Fest; painted anti-bullying posters with positive quotations to inspire their peers at school; and packaged care-packages for troops overseas.
Wu said it was really nice getting to know the students during their first event at the Diamond Bar Snow Fest.
“I noticed they were really excited and they fit right in.”
“I think that’s the most important thing about Builder’s Club is doing something for other people, while doing things for yourself,” said Suzie Kim, club president during the April meeting.
“Builder’s Club is not just about building leaders, but about making new friends too. It makes you feel better about yourself helping other people and you have fun while you’re doing it!” the 8th grader added.
Club members are also modeling the benefits of service for each other.
“When you’re surrounded by people that do good things, you want to do good things too, Kim said.
The South Pointe Builder’s Club is now holding its own monthly meetings and planning the first solo event.
A beach clean up at Bolsa Chica State Beach is slated for Saturday, April 26.
“I think we’ll be tired, tanned, and feel good!” Kim said.
“We’re going to bring trash bags and gloves and clean up for about two hours,” explained member Ambar Aum.
8th grader Nathan Cho said a friend invited him to attend a meeting and he ended up joining the new service club. Cho’s favorite activity so far has been packing care packages for troops during a Veteran’s Day service project at Cullen Elementary in Glendora attended numerous area Key Clubs.
Each club member took a box and walked through different stations collecting the items- like a human assembly line.
“We put in books, greeting cards, toothpaste, toothbrushes, gum and a lot of foot powder,” said Jillian Herrera.
When the project ran short on cards, the South Pointe students were the only kids that went to a station to write more.
“We just wrote what was going on at school and in the news,” said Aum.
“I put in a picture of pizza, it’s my favorite food!’ added Herrera.
Club members say they are building leadership skills and character traits including determinations, loyalty, empathy, and responsibility.
“And we want other people do good things too,” said Savannah Dominque.
“I’m excited to see next year because the club began midway through the year,” Guzzino said.
She has encouraged the Builder’s Club officers, who are all 8th graders and graduating, to leave a legacy for the club.
“I told them to pick the one service project that’s close to their heart. And then every year, once a month, the club will send money or do something for that organization.”
“My goal is for them to experience what it’s like actually going out and making a difference,” said Wu.
“When we go to a food bank and the kids are able to pack care packages for kids who are less fortunate or to write letters for troops overseas and see those letters put in boxes and being shipped away- it’s truly special.”
The final event of the year will be a movie night at the school in May. Proceeds will benefit a local animal shelter.
South Pointe Builder’s Club members Nathan Cho, Suzie Kim, Clarissa Hui and Fiona Fang. Shown with DBHS Key Club President Jane Wu, at left.
Builder’s Club members partnered with the DBHS Key Club during service events. Shown at the City of Diamond Bar’s Snow Fest.
South Pointe Builder’s Club members packed goody bags for under-privileged teenage girls at Isaiah’s rock.