A night under the stars

Pickwick club holds a movie night fundraiser


Maddie Almodovar

Junior Aiden Koenig, sophomore Natalie Lewis and sophomore Amelia Roy sit together and enjoy as Home Alone opens on the screen. Many students bring their own blankets to sit on in the cold.

On a chilly night, Bonita Vista High (BVH) students gather together on the grass field in front of Bolles Theater, wrapped in blankets, eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate. Students, teachers and alumni settle in as “Home Alone” fades from the screen, indicating that the movie is about to begin.

On Dec. 9, the Pickwick club hosted a movie night to raise money for the San Diego Council on Literacy. The club raised money through the two dollar entrance fee as well as the concession stand, where they sold several different foods, sweets and drinks. Considering how cold the night was, students favored the warm items like the hot chocolate and the instant noodles.

“Pickwick club is a literature club, where the students read classic literature. They choose the texts themselves, then they read together and  discuss with one another what they think about the week’s reading,” Pickwick club advisor and English teacher Raymond Chhan said. 

Pickwick club meets every Tuesday during lunch or after school in room 406.  Pickwick club members such as senior Jaynne Quezada value having a place to share their love for reading. 

“I like it because obviously I love to read, so it’s really fun to get [together with] other people who also enjoy that same passion. We get together and talk about something we love to do,” Quezada said. 

Not only does the club aim to build a place where they can enjoy literature themselves, they want to be able to find a way to encourage or assist the reading of literature across San Diego. The members decided to organize this event and give all proceeds to the San Diego Council on Literacy.

“We’re trying to raise funds to donate to the San Diego Council on Literacy. It [the San Diego Council on Literacy] basically gives resources to students around San Diego to help with reading, whether that’s for materials or books,” Chhan said. 

The San Diego Council on Literacy is an organization that strives to unite the community in support of literacy. Donations to the council go towards books for children, supplies and materials for literacy, research on the state of literacy in our region, referral services to literacy programs, coordination of collaborative efforts in high-need communities and overall a more literate San Diego. Quezada elaborates on why she believes donating to this organization is so important. 

“We think it’s important because we are a book club and we are promoting our passion to others, especially to young children. A lot of kids don’t really have the opportunity to find passion in reading and literacy in general and by donating, we can promote that,” Quezada said. 

…it’s important because we are a book club and we are promoting our passion to others, especially to young children.

— senior Jaynne Quezada

Last year, a “Twilight” screening was held by Pickwick club for the same cause. Since the turnout for that night had been successful, the club decided to do the same fundraiser once again. 

“We started planning for [the movie night] more intensively probably two weeks before Thanksgiving break. We all planned what we would show, where it would be and we contacted ASB to organize stuff like that,” Chhan said.

BVH students, teachers and even returning students showed up for this event. Current Pickwick club members could be seen greeting alumnus Abby Roman, the former Co-president of the Pickwick club. Roman played a large role in last year’s Pickwick movie night, which can be considered the first. 

“It feels nostalgic. It feels nice knowing that I was able to help create something that’s still alive at BVH. I’m really happy to see the officer group and to see the freshman participating as well in these types of events. I’m really proud, not only of myself but of the people who I used to work with when I was in the club,” Roman said.

This year is Chhan’s first year as advisor of the Pickwick club. Roman mentions how much she appreciates Chhan and teachers like him who are willing to help BVH students with these after school events. 

“From what I can tell, everything is going really well. I think we are really lucky to have teachers who are willing to put in time after school to help build something that’s significant on BVH’s campus,” Roman said. 

Similar to last year, Pickwick club members were pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who came to the event. Several groups of students were either spread out on the grass with blankets, talking and enjoying the classic Christmas movie “Home Alone” or in line at the concession stand to buy snacks from Pickwick club members.

“Today, I was helping at the concession stand. At first we were busy getting out the hot chocolate, the popcorn and working on the concessions. The first few times I was getting a handle on how to make all the stuff but after a while we got in a flow. It was a little stressful in the beginning but it honestly ended up being really fun,” Quezada said. 

Pickwick club feels that overall they raised a good donation for the San Diego Council on Literacy. After all the preparations and a few struggles with setting a date for the event, Quezada and her peers were relieved to see the night end successfully.

“I’m super happy that there were a lot of people coming in and getting food at the concession stand. I’m really glad to see that everybody was really enjoying the movie,” Quezada said.