While subbing today at Shen, the RESPECT Club put on a RESPECT Arts Festival, a program/club/festival I think should be included at other schools. The club supports the arts and expression of the self. It promotes respect, love, and unity between students, teachers, and others outside the school. I think it has a great purpose and message. They have open mic nights on Friday nights to promote alternative programs for students, other than drinking or doing drugs. And, they devote one full day of school to celebrating the arts, which was today.
Each period is filled with student musicians, motivational speakers, cheerleading, gymnasts... Anything where someone can express themself to a wider audience. The library was filled with artwork, writings, and student panels. It was incredible. They even had a henna station where they would tattoo you for a buck to raise money for their club. (Of course I participated). Orange tattoo of flowers and swirls now around my right wrist.
I was just blown away by the talent and motivation of high school students. You could tell how much effort students put in to making this happen, and the effort students put into their talents (music, artowrk, etc). Young people are so gifted, especially if we give them chances like this to show it off.
I was disheartened when I heard that the school will no longer accept RESPECT Days in the future--a waste of time they seem to the district. Students skip out on that day, a lot talk during performances; it's hard to get an entire student body to want to go along with something so "respectful." To me, this seems like a travesty, but I'm not a part of the school to protest. I just wish that other schools could pick this up, or that Shen could do something to change this decision.
What talents would you have to display at a festival like this?
When I was a teenager, I put up some of my poetry, but it probably wasn't any good.
Honestly, do you think a program like this is a waste of time, or do you think it has so much positivity coming out of it that it negates the fact of coming to school not to do schoolwork?