The Northbrook High School Drama Club brought good vibes into the school with a campaign for students and teachers to write notes of appreciation in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday week.
More than 250 notes were delivered to NHS staff by Drama Club members on Tuesday, November 19.
For the Giving Thanks card campaign, the club set up a table in the cafeteria in advance of the delivery date, and supplied free cards. Dozens of students and staff stopped by to write words of appreciation.
A few of the student note writers were videotaped reading their words. In surprise visits to classrooms and work spaces, the videos were played back to NHS staff members on the day the paper notes were delivered. To see staff reactions of these recorded words of thanks, click here.
Led by drama teacher Jaclyn Garza, the Drama Club has about 45 active members. This is the first year the group has been in full swing.
“I am glad Ms. Garza had the idea to do this [Giving Thanks campaign],” said Principal Antonio Avalos. “I am hoping teachers have the opportunity to get what students think about them, and that [the students] appreciate their work.”
Big smiles and heartfelt tears were evident among the recipients, as well as the note deliverers.
“I am not crying,” social studies teacher Megan Gordon said. “I have allergies!”
The Drama Club students realized the power of the written word as they delivered the cards, and witnessed the delighted and humble reactions of the recipients.
“We are mostly into technology,” said Drama Club president and YES Prep at Northbrook High School student, Vincent Nunez. “We forget that a letter can impact a person much more.”
“Thank you so much,” said custodian Ms. Morena as she received her card, and watched a video of the author reading it aloud. She was visibly touched that Drama Club officer Yesenia Adame wrote note of appreciation for her hard work keeping the school clean. Ms. Morena told the group of club members who delivered the note that she would be retiring in December, which brought tears to their eyes, too.
“She said she would retire happy,” Adame said.
Nunez said the goal of the Drama Club is to spread more awareness about theater to other students, and to bring positivity in the school.
“I am a firm believer that the Drama Club is open to everyone from everywhere,” said Garza. She explained that students who are not in drama classes are welcome in the group.
The inclusive NHS Drama Club supports its athlete members by attending games and matches as a group. Field trips to performances in the city are also scheduled. This fall, the group enjoyed a field day at Terry Hershey Park and worked on a community service project together.
“I appreciate Ms. Garza, and want to thank her for showing me that drama is more than just TV and movies,” he said. “It can have an impact that you would not expect. It helps you let out your emotions, and gives you the confidence to speak out.”
The joy and gratitude the letter-writing campaign brought to the school is sparking ideas for future relationship-building activities at NHS. “We will see how we can do more things like this throughout the year, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week [in May],” said Avalos.
Submitted by Becky Wuerth, SBISD Communications