The first day of school. Back to the same old routine of reading over syllabi and feeling extremely bored.
The new Renaissance Club has worked hard over the summer to try and change that.
You may have noticed the colorful chalk art outside of the entrance, the streamers in the hallway, the Instagram frames hanging around, the quotes above teachers’ doors, or even the painted bathroom stalls. If you haven’t, here’s a link to a slideshow featuring some of the group’s work. These initiatives are just the start of what Renaissance Club has to offer.
“After going to the Josten’s Renaissance ‘Find Your Grind’ tour last spring, I was totally inspired,” says Mrs. Allison Stinson, one of the teachers driving the push for positivity. “Their messages about school culture and climate resonated so much with me, and I thought we could do great things here.”
The group’s message is that school is more than just a place for learning. The club’s advisors knew this and decided that it was time for a change in Bellwood-Antis.
Mrs. Stinson and Ms. Carrie Clippard started Renaissance to try and make sure every student (not just the athletes and the academically successful) felt welcome. When asked about the goal of the club, Ms. Clippard said, “We want to make sure every student is seen, heard, and loved.”
That would be why the lockers and the walls are plastered with signs reading #urseen/heard/loved. The efforts of the club were put forth to make the students feel exactly that.
“We want to create a positive climate where students feel safe and and excited to be here each day,” Mrs. Stinson said.
And while the group is technically a club, it doesn’t view itself in the traditional vein of school organizations.
“It’s more of a movement, not a club; come and go as you wish! We welcome everyone!” says senior, Mya Decker, one of the club’s founding members.
Renaissance really is for everyone. Don’t be shy! Stop in during activity period or just visit Mrs. Stinson and Ms. Clippard. In fact, Ms. Clippard said, “We aren’t a traditional club in the sense that you join, just come to help us when we are working on a project.”
Next time you see someone posting about Renaissance Club and their activities on social media (@BAHSrenaissance on Instagram and Twitter), ask someone how you can help. Don’t be afraid to get involved.
“We need your genius! Everyone has something to offer and we want everyone to know that,” said Mrs. Stinson.