Teachers Ingrid Moreira and Mercedes Trejos are once again collaborating with a team of students to make J. Taylor Finley Middle School’s Community Club a force to be reckoned with as it goes about pursuing worthwhile projects that are helping to lift up many of those who need it most.
“The [Community Club] program is a way to build foundations, leadership, a sense of community and family within the middle school,” Ms. Moreira said. “The program identifies student role models and places them in positions of leadership. The Community Club offers guidance, support and encouragement aimed to develop competence and character of the students.”
Mrs. Trejos, a home language arts teacher and Ms. Moreira, who teaches dual language, are both energetic and enthusiastic and they have helped inspire the students working alongside them this year.
“The Community Club brings upon many benefits to our students from which they can enhance their skills,” Mrs. Trejos. “Such benefits include, but are not limited to, helping to develop school culture and appreciation; increasing peer support and encouragement, providing a sense of belonging and improving reasoning; and developing better decision making skills.”
Club members work together as mentors and mentees through the use of the Spanish and English languages. “Mentoring offers guidance, support and encouragement aimed to develop competence and character of the mentee,” Mrs. Trejos said.
The club recently participated in a volunteer activity coordinated by Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter’s Laura Palacios. The not-for-profit organization was founded in 2010 by Xavier Palacios and Ed Perez and has been active in the community ever since.
The Finley students participated in HSLQ’s annual holiday toy drive, helping with the distribution of gifts and providing related services.
“Club members helped with families that came for their gifts, assisted children taking pictures with Santa and translated using the Spanish language to help aid the families who had questions,” Ms. Moreira said.
Club members also created Christmas cards for residents of Carillon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Huntington. “Students decorated and wrote warm filled messages to senior citizens for the holidays and the upcoming new year,” Ms. Trejos said. “It is important to support and give back to the community.”