by Victoria Ramirez | staff writer

Organizations like Student Council, the dance and drill teams, and pep squad are doing everything they can to become leaders and ambassadors for our school.

“This year for the 2016-2017 school year [we] started off with the Peanut Butter Bowl,” Student Council sponsor Jennifer Jones said. “Coach Rittiman’s wife Patty Rittiman called and said ‘hey could Student Council help get the word out for the Peanut Butter Bowl [for] the game between Johnson and Brandeis and it was short noticed and we tried and did as much as we could, and probably donated around 50-80 jars of peanut butter our self as an organization.”

As one of the campus’ largest groups, Student council is frequently willing to give back.

“This is the first year we decided to donate or adopt an entire school for the holidays, and so we picked Camelot Elementary and we literally are making stockings for every kid at Camelot Elementary, all 500 and something of them,” Jones said. “We are making a personalized stocking and what we are doing is we are giving them something they want, so each kid gets the opportunity to get a football, soccerball, a Barbie, or crayons and a coloring book, or Matchbox cars. So each kid, their teacher, they filled out a little survey and so we are collecting for that, but then we are also doing what they need, so in their stocking it’s going to have toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, and then we are throwing in something else fun.”

As people can imagine it is a major project to take on, but Student Council, with some help from other groups, will not let that stand in their way. 

StuCo members wrap Christmas presents in class.

“As you can guess that is a huge endeavor  because I mean good lord that’s over 11,000 things we are trying to collect but multiple, so dance is helping us, cheer is helping, Pals, every group we sent it out to them, hey Avid, anyone who can help us out wwe would be more than willing to take it from ya, and the same thing with ptas just because we know this is a huge endeavor,” Jones said. “We might have bitten off a little more than we could chew, but my StuCo kids know we are going to get it done.”

Student Council plans to deliver the stockings themselves, while taking a weeke to count what have to figure out what they still need to get the job done.

“December 19 I’m excited that we, instead of taking our fifth period final, our final exam will going to Camelot Elementary and walking into that kindergarten class and asking, who’s John and giving John his stocking and what he wants this Christmas,” Jones said.

Even though Student Council may be viewed as just another club to join, sponsor Jennifer Jones, hopes they take something away from this project and many others.

“I try to teach these kids, you know what we’ve been blessed, we may not have everything we want but we here at johnson we do have everything that we need and there are people that here in san antonio, part of the neisd family that we could make a difference in their life, and it’s pretty cool and it takes one little spark to get the fire going,” Jones said.

As for other programs around school, there is one that is not necessarily a club but extra-curricular activity, one that loves to give the holiday cheer. The spirit groups, dance, drill, and pep-squad have all come together to do good during the holidays.

“My dance and drill, along with pep squad, we adopted families, pep squad adopt two and dance and drill are adopting two,” Dance instructor Stephanie Trevino said, “These families are not just in our district but in our community and so the girls, what  have them do is donate money, whether it’s five dollars, ten dollars, one girl even donated twenty, and we are just going to go shopping actually this saturday, December 10th, for the families and we are going to wrap them up and then have them delivered to the school, that way they can have a christmas.”

Even though spirit is helping student council with the Spirit of Giving collection and love to get the school involved with what they are doing, this drive for the families are going to stay within the spirit group.   

“Adopt a Family, we just try to keep it in house, just because I always try to tell my dancers, ya I want you to be great sharp dancers and performers, but I want yall to be ambassadors for our school,” Trevino said.

For the charity, they plan to raise money so they can go buy the items themselves, making it more personal for the family.

“With the Adopt a Family as long as we get enough money and donations as far as money comes in to make sure that, not just the kids are covered but their parents or guardians is covered as well, so as long as we do that then we have been successful,” Trevino said.

Like most sponsors or coaches, Trevino wants her students to be the best person they possibly can be, and sets examples for the students around them inside and out of the classroom.

“Really what I want them to walk away from either Student Council or spirit,  it’s a selfless act, and I always tell my dancers, you know, for Christmas you will get the outfit you want or the boots that you want or the phone you want and that you ask for – so if we could be selfless and show them how to be caring and kind individuals, that is important to me and that’s what I hope they gain from it,” Trevino said.

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