The California Scholarship Federation held a community service event at Imperial Beach farmer’s market on March 10 where CSF members read to and with children at the event. The event provides student with community interaction and is a learning experience for those who hope to be leaders in the outside world, according to senior and vice president of CSF Jaylynn Markey.
“On Friday, a couple of commissioners and I went to the Imperial Beach farmer’s market and worked with the organization ‘Traveling Stories.’ It is an organization that encourages students or children to fall in love with reading. At the event, we read to kids and some of them didn’t know how to read, so we got to teach them what some of the words meant,” senior and CSF president Valerie Gonzaga said.
CSF members held the event to influence kids and show them the importance and positive aspects of reading. Members want to get the message across about the importance of reading and show them how literature contributes to their education.
“The work this organization is doing is important because it encourages kids to want read on their own as they are rewarded with the ‘book bucks’ after reading a book. At the end of their time reading, they get to take a book home,” Markey said.
CSF will be continuing to participate in this event every second Friday of each month. They believe that getting children to start reading at a young age will get them on track to becoming better readers later on in life, according to the CSF president. They also believe that this event could be a starting point for many to have a foundation to build off of to be strong readers.
In previous years, CSF students decided on holding a district-wide drive, which fed and supplied the homeless and families in need. They have also have volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of charity which provided meal to the parents of the children who were being treated at the Rady Children’s Hospital.
“Jaylynn and I realized that CSF does the same things every single year, so we wanted to branch off from what our community service stands for, other than just doing the basic things that CSF used to do. We wanted to be different and try to aid a different group of people. This time, it was children because we thought if we could try and influence individuals at such a young age, that would help them later on in their lives,” Gonzaga said.
BVH counselor and CSF coordinator Vanessa McPherson has goals for the students that will be coming in to program. McPherson wants to inform students that CSF is not just for those who are in Honors, AP or IB classes. The organization is targeted at any students that qualify by having mainly earn A’s and B’s that do not get D’s or F’s in scholarship or citizenship in their tenth, eleventh and twelfth year grades and the membership completed by having four or more semesters (including one semester of senior year). Because the community service events are mainly ran by students, they are given the freedom to decide the type of events they wish to sponsor.
“I want to make sure that students who are in CSF are still being involved in community service so my CSF officers especially for next year I want to make sure that they have new ideas for community service and that they are sharing those ideas with everyone who is involved in CSF,” McPherson said.
According to the CSF website, the general purpose of the program is to honor exceptional students and to promote serving the community among students. It also organizes student groups in order to help them improve the community with big things and small things alike.
“I’d like to say that a lot of high school students think that they cannot make a difference because they are young. Little things like this event can really make a difference in a student’s or child’s life. Just reading to them for ten minutes a day can put smiles on their faces. It helps them realize that reading is not a bad thing, rather it is a good thing and it can benefit you in many ways,” Gonzaga said.