[BHS Etree] STUDENT ACTIVITIES - A Big Thank You to Holiday Meal and Staff Reception Donors

BHS etree bhs at lists.lmi.net
Mon Feb 13 15:22:36 PST 2012

PLEASE do not reply to this email, contact Chris Young,
chrisyoung at berkeley.net 


(Note: Photos of the two events are now available - see links below)


Dear Parents and BHS Community Members,


I write to express deepest gratitudes for your tremendously generous support
of our recent major events, the 31st Annual Holiday Meal, and our 1st Annual
Staff Appreciation Reception.  As well, I'd like to give you some details on
each event:


HOLIDAY MEAL - December 10, 2011

Click here for pictures.


At the Holiday Meal we served over 330 people, offered seconds and
take-aways, and gave the few leftovers we had to the Daily Bread Project.
We estimate that over 600 meals were served while guests were treated to
live music, table service, and a very festive atmosphere.  I want to point
out that generous donations this year helped us not to give just an ordinary
meal, but one that was largely organic and included fresh in place of canned
vegetables.  Just as impressively we gave over 2000 essential items to the
local homeless and hungry - toiletries, blankets, jackets, shoes, books,
toys and other clothing.  In addition, we were able to donate over 600
pounds of canned food to the Alameda County Food Bank.  


Also importantly, over 130 students, parents, and staff volunteered at this
event.  When students participate in a service event like this it has real
effects on their consciousness and values that often translate into action.
For example, the Homeless Support Club was started last year by students who
understood that the homeless and hungry struggle year round, not just
through the holidays.  This inspiring group of teenagers regularly
distributes food and essential items to our struggling community members,
and acts with wonderfully creative compassion such as giving Valentine's Day
cards to those living on the streets and in shelters.  See "Berkeley High
Clubs" under "Students" at bhs.berkeleyschools.net for at least 30-40 clubs
that have a service, social, or environmental issue focus - a great way for
your student to be further involved at BHS and develop character (if the
listings are not yet up please check again in a few days).    


Finally, some of you may have received hand-written thank you cards from our
student leaders.  If we didn't get one to you it was because we weren't able
to identify your BHS student so she/he could take it home.  We apologize for
that shortcoming but please know you ARE appreciated!  




Click here for pictures.


The first annual staff appreciation reception was a smashing success.  Over
200 staff members, partners and children attended and were treated to a much
deserved afternoon of live music by a BHS Jazz Ensemble, appreciation
speeches by students, fun awards with prizes such as "Shiniest Head" or
"Most Likely to Save a Kitten from a Burning Building", the gift of a pen
with a customized thank you message on it, and a delectable array of food
and drink all generously provided by . . . YOU.  Moreover, many toasts were
made amongst the staff, boosting morale and camaraderie.  


It's not easy teaching or working otherwise at Berkeley High School, and
sadly we even lose some great educators year to year sometimes because of
high stress or lack of connectedness to the community.  Thus events like
this are actually critical to the effectiveness of the BHS staff in serving
all of our students.  The prevailing research shows that teacher quality is
the primary factor in student achievement.  Happier, more connected teachers
and staff are more likely to invest more in their jobs and be better for
students.  It's ALL connected! 


So a BIG thank you to the dozens of donors who contributed food, drink,
money, or time as volunteers to this special event. This past week the
student leaders and I have been bombarded with appreciation from the campus
gardener (who says he's never been acknowledged in such a way) to safety
officers, from teachers and administrators.  Noticeably more staff were
smiling and saying hello than through the average week.  This heightened
level of esprit de corps and sense of community would not be possible
without your contributions.  


Inspired by your altruism and with great gratitude,


Chris Young

Director of Student Activities

Berkeley High School



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