The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Key Club competes for $20,000; cast your vote here

by Lauren Tsai | Co-Editor-In-Chief

The Johnson Key Club recently concluded its initial service project in child hunger. Funded by the Spurs Team Up ChallengeProgram, the project focused on three components: distribution of food boxes and packs to at-risk children and their families, mentoring and interacting with children at Kids Cafe sites which provide food and after-school care, and raising awareness of home gardens as a food source.

“Handing out boxes of food from the Food Bank made me feel good; I knew that we helped ensure that the kids and their families wouldn’t go hungry for the week,” junior Alex Gonzalez said.

The club closely followed the ideals of Key Club, whose motto is “Caring – Our Way of Life”; members learned lessons through their service and emerged with leadership skills and compassion for the underprivileged in the community.

“To be honest, I had no existing knowledge of the hunger issues in San Antonio. Through my work with Key Club, my compassion for the issue has grown immensely. Now, I try to remember that my time and effort directly helps someone else,” senior Miyl’ Gills said.

Freshman Alison Tsai also came face to face with reality.

“I saw firsthand what it was like to not have enough food, and instead of it being just a service project, it changed my perspective on life,” Tsai said.

Key Club’s work with the Food Bank has resulted in a strong student-led partnership.

“Being active and doing my part, whether it was volunteering or educating people or just taking that initiative to help, has given me the tools I need to be a successful leader in future projects,” junior Mackenzie Altizer said.

Freshman Elizabeth Jose also learned how to contribute effectively.

“I feel that my leadership skills developed when I was put in charge of researching plants. I knew that my part was necessary and I had to step up in order for this project to be complete,” Jose said.

Key Club also kept in accordance with Team Up Challenge objectives – the program emphasizes connecting life experiences with academic curriculum to promote education.

“I learned how much money and space square-foot gardening can save. I want everyone to know how easy it is to save money through this gardening technique,” Jose said.

Sophomore Chris Brierly became familiar with health benefits of home gardens when he researched the effects of several plants on the prevention of chronic disease.

“I learned that several vegetables can help prevent cancer,” he said.

In addition to learning, members used their existing knowledge to enhance their efforts in the community.

“I have used my skill of researching to find information that will help educate people on healthier eating,” Brierly said.

Tsai used her knowledge of math to develop a formula to increase produce yield.

“I used my math skills to write an equation to maximize yields of home gardens. It was like a work problem given to me in algebra,” she said.

The outcome of the club’s efforts is grand. The club has distributed over 4,000 lbs of food. They have also submitted an article to be published in the SA Express-News, which will educate the public on home gardens. They have created a brochure which includes the benefits of home gardens, how to start a garden, and tips on gardening; their pamphlet will be distributed by the Food Bank as an educational tool.

“Knowing that our brochure will help educate not only our club, but the large community, makes me feel like my little part made a big difference,” Jose said.

“Through my research and my own experience with square-foot gardens, I’ve done my best to educate people on the simplicity of gardens, their cost efficiency, and how they can be amazingly beneficial to a healthy lifestyle,” Altizer said.

The club hopes to receive an additional grant of $20,000, offered by the Spurs Team Up Challenge Program.

“We hope to win the $20,000 grant, because our efforts will hold a greater impact and help provide the meals that every child deserves to have,” Gonzalez said.

The club has fulfilled all of its goals and has worked together as a team to achieve success in every aspect of the project.

“We have a great group of students willing to do whatever they can to help out in any way, in any situation, and the grant would help us achieve further impact,” Gills said.

Voting for projects will open on March 11-March 31 – visit to support Johnson Key Club.

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Key Club competes for $20,000; cast your vote here