Monta Vista ArtReach crafts an art-based service club

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Here are some of the new ideas that MVArtReach.

Hannan Waliullah

In a community where academic extracurriculars seems more necessary than recreational, finding a club that combines the highly valued community service with a relaxing, enjoyable activity can be comparable to finding the fountain of youth. So, when the officers of the club MV Stars heard of art and crafts-based service club Lynbrook Art Reach, they made the decision to transition MV Stars into Monta Vista ArtReach.

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Originally, when MV Stars was first formed a few years ago, it was a club in which students could make arts and crafts. Tuesday afternoons during lunch in room D202 were an outlet students used to dissolve the pressures of the world around them by making paper bags, melted crayon art or duct tape crafts. However, due to the club’s recreational intent, it was mostly unknown outside of its group of close-knit members.

“Since [MVHS] is very academic based, many people don’t focus on the recreational clubs, so we figured [the club] would garner more interest if we added volunteering,” co-president senior Janani Sridhar said.

Due to the insufficient number of recreational service clubs, the officers decided at the end of the 2014-2015 school year to incorporate a service element into MV Stars. By changing their name to MV ArtReach, officers intend to link crafting with community.

“MV ArtReach is a volunteering club that makes arts and crafts…and we can either donate them or…make crafts with other organizations,” vice president junior Janae Zhang said.

In addition to off-campus events, most of the volunteering will happen at the club meetings during lunch. Currently, MV ArtReach is working with VITA hospice, a care center for the terminally ill, where club members will be creating arts and crafts with patients. In addition, they will be making “Memory Bears” during club meetings, which are teddy bears made with old clothes of the departed for their family members.

“We’re making crafts, which will help de-stress ourselves, while at the same time we’re helping the community, so it’s kind of a ‘win-win’ situation,” senior co-president Jennifer Chen said.

Even though the direction of the club is changing, the officers hope that the club will keep its root ambition: to help introduce students in a STEM community to other subjects in the lesser-known world of arts and crafts.

“We hope that [we’ll] make more people interested in arts and crafts, because at [MVHS] especially everything is very STEM-based, and a lot of people don’t really know if they’ll like arts and crafts,” Zhang said. “There are a lot of people who think ‘Oh, we can’t do crafting’, and we want to show them that ‘Yes, you can.’”