Change Only Occurs When We Take Action

Sarah Jenison, Staff Writer

Clubs are an essential part of what makes the PV high school experience memorable and each club brings their own events and activities to the students and the local community. Events such as the outdoor garden, Humane Society fundraiser, and the beautiful under the sea mural decorating the school’s halls are all thanks to the Take Action Club.

Take action is a environmentally aware club where students with interests in conservation, environment, and animal protection work towards creating a greener earth, and in turn, a brighter future. Take Action meets every Thursday in room 303 and is headed by statistics teacher Mr. Craven.

The club started six years ago and since, has grown in club members, activities, and opportunities. Mr. Craven explains, “The club started as an opportunity for students to speak up and help create the change needed to sustain our planet and our way of living.”

Another important aspect of this club’s direction and overall purpose, is that it is a student run club where the members decide the projects they pursue. Mr. Craven adds, “It’s amazing because I would never think to do what Take Action members come up with, and they are much more driven when the ideas are their own.” And when new members join, new ideas come along with them. “Once students graduate and leave the club, it’s up to the interest of the new members to keep old projects going and for me to anticipate what we will be doing and our needs will be. Each year is remarkably different than the last!”

Over the years, students have engaged and operated numerous events and outreach programs to bring awareness to environmental issues, “We grew an organic garden and sold produce at a farmers’ market for a few years, we presented to the 4th-graders at Skippack Elementary School, we raise money for the Humane Society by having students vote for which teachers will dress up in animal suits, the list goes on and on.”

The activities and focus of the club change throughout the year and as can be seen, the club addresses a variety of environmental issues, as well as fun projects. However the biggest environmental issue that the club has been working on since the beginning and continues to address throughout the year is the overconsumption of animals. This particular everyday activity drives so many problems, the largest being that the U.S. alone breeds over 10 billion land animals every year to live in concentration camps (called CAFO’s – Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or Factory Farms) and slaughters them. In fact, it is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gases causing climate change and other major environmental issues, which all stem from this routine behaviour in modern society. “[Overconsumption of animals] uses up more resources than our world can sustain.”

As of now, the club is working on a mural in the courtyard stairwell, which displays the effect of plastic in our oceans. The right side of the stairwell showcases the beauty and health of sea life before human impact, and the left side reveals the ugly truth of human impact on the ocean with plastic usage and improper disposing methods. The mural project is headed  by senior member, Emily Jenison, who joined the club this year and jumped in immediately with the passion and purpose of Take Action. She states, “Before Take Action, I did not care about maintaining the environment. After I joined, I learned about the impact I was making and wanted to let others know too. My way of letting others is to paint a mural to depict the sad reality of where plastic really goes.”

In closing, Mr. Craven states, “We all have a responsibility to think about how our behaviors affect others and the big picture.  We all must learn about the consequences of our actions and change accordingly. It starts and ultimately ends with the youth of today.” In the words of PV grad Mike Sago, “Take Action is making the world more sustainable, one Viking at a time.”