New club making positive difference at Strayer

The Social Justice Alliance’s videos for Read Across America Week embraced and celebrated diversity.
Posted on 03/15/2021
Logo for Read Across America

By Gary Weckselblatt

A new club at Strayer Middle School put its own spin on Read Across America Week.

The recently formed Social Justice Alliance created videos for each school day, sharing books that highlight diversity. Each day before dismissal, Strayer teachers showed the video in each classroom. They spoke of the importance of seeing ourselves in the book characters but also to learn about the lives of people who are different from us.

“They did an amazing job,” SJA advisor Kate Fetterolf said of her students. “It’s their mission to embrace and celebrate diversity and they wanted to share that with their classmates.”

Principal Dr. Jennifer Bubser is excited about the new club. “Mrs. Fetterolf was eager to take on the role of advisor and after one meeting knew that she had a group of talented young people wanting to make a difference at Strayer.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the SJA does next.  I know all their efforts will enhance our school community in many positive ways!”

Student videos were made by Jillian Wehrheim, Melanie-Rose Wentum, Hailey Disabella, Isabella DeJesus and Noah Wassmer. Teacher Shawn Storm and Mrs. Fetterolf also each recommended a book in their videos.

“It’s important for our students to learn about people who have life experiences different than their own,” Mrs. Fetterolf said. “It helps them build empathy and curiosity about the world. People have been responsive and positive. Really, I’m just supporting the group. They are informed and energized.”

Mrs. Fetterolf, Strayer’s Visual Art Teacher and QCSD’s Art Content Specialist, said the SJA is researching religious and LGBTQIA+ issues and would like to have a talent show to collaborate with special needs students.

“From the first meeting they had so many ideas,” she said. “The SJA’s goal is to make sure everyone feels like they’re an important part of the community.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].

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