Addison Trail’s Key Club board members have been meeting online over the course of summer and start of the school year to discuss future plans on how to run the club.
Jina Patel, co-president of Key Club, stated, “To keep Key Club running, our officers have met during summer and after school. We have discussed how to host virtual meetings, T-shirt and sweatshirt ideas, increasing membership, and service projects.”
Ever since Coronavirus pushed online learning into the forefront, Key Club has taken advantage of every virtual communication tool available in order to connect with the board and members. The board has been working hard to ensure their members have access to Zoom meeting links and other resources so that they can provide information in a timely and effective manner.
As co-president and lieutenant governor Yana Patel stated, “To communicate with members, we are using Zoom, email, Remind, Google Classroom, and Social Media. As we’re transitioning into the upcoming year, social media has certainly been our biggest friend.”
They also regularly post updates on their instagram account – @athskeyclub – as well. Jina emphasizes, “Effective communication is certainly key to maintaining the success of our club, so I constantly check my emails and notifications. We are doing our best to ensure that our members can continue to serve during this time.”
Sameer Majeed, a current member of Key Club, recalled how he found out about Key Club meeting dates. He stated, “They sent out information during ATR where they provided a google classroom code for us to join. From there, they informed us of when the first meeting is and the Zoom link for it.”
Although meeting times and dates have changed quite a bit from previous years, the Key Club board manages to find ways to connect with other board members and the entire Illinois- Eastern Iowa District. “We have been able to get so much done and though it certainly has been challenging, it’s been a great learning experience so far and personally, not bothersome at all,” stated Yana.
“I think having Key Club online will allow for more people to participate,” Sameer states, “since the participants do not need to drive anywhere to volunteer. Instead, participants can do a service project anytime they desire.”
Jina also agrees that there are many positives of transitioning Key Club online. “A huge benefit of transitioning Key Club online is that more students can now attend. When we were in-person, some students were unable to attend meetings due to sports practices. Now that our meetings are at 1pm on Wednesdays, they conflict less with other sports and activities.”
With this being said, having Key Club online shows promising signs that members will continue to stay engaged since they have access to all the tools they need to participate at their fingertips.
The club has also been figuring out ways to increase membership and to host meetings. In order to keep members actively participating, Yana says, “We have virtual service projects and other activities members can stay engaged with that are not only super fun, but will also help accumulate service hours a lot more effectively given the current circumstances.”
Sameer added, “I think they are doing a good job at offering ample opportunities to be an active participant because they are making service projects that can be easily done online but show a great amount of appreciation to other people of the community.”
Madelyn Ford, vice president of Key Club, explained some methods the board is using to keep members involved. “We plan on giving out $5 gift cards to members who come to the meetings and actively participate in the projects.”
The board members are also each hosting a service project every month to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to gain service hours. “We are cutting and offering service hours for those who attend the Key Club meetings. Every meeting we will do a different service project in order to make sure everyone can meet their hours for this first semester,” stated Madelyn.
Despite being challenged at every step of the way, Key Club is persevering hard in this difficult time in hope for a successful year. One way the board members make sure they stay on top of everything is by making expectations and setting goals. Madelyn knows Key Club will be successful because they “have been planning this for a long time.”
As Yana stated, “We certainly do have a lot of expectations and I know we can meet them! We have such a great board with awesome club members who serve as the backbone of Addison Trail Key Club. Without our amazing members, we would never be able to meet our expectations. This year will certainly be interesting and it will be fascinating to see how club functions and operations are going to be adapted to fit the new normal.”
The first virtual meeting took place September 9th, right after school. The board was excited for the turnout and thought the meeting went well. Madelyn reflected, “I think it runs very smoothly. The agenda definitely helps to keep things on track and makes sure no points are missed and by posting it on our google classroom everyone in Key Club can follow along or find out what they missed. We had so many members come, more than could fit in forum room b (where we usually hold our meetings).”
As a closing thought, Yana concludes, “Our entire board is one cohesive unit and we get everything done together, so there is no reason to feel stressed. We certainly do get very busy, especially with school work and our Lieutenant Governor positions as well. However Key Club is the one thing that I look forward to working on the most every single day! Given the new remote format, we have to adapt and change things around, but everything’s falling into place so I am super confident about this year’s turnout!”