DECA students support Boys and Girls Club
WAXHAW – The Marvin Ridge High School DECA Club wanted to take a hands-on approach to giving back.
The club reached out to David McQueen, Union County area director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Charlotte, to find out how Marvin Ridge students could get involved. McQueen suggested working one-on-one with children in the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program at Walter Bickett Elementary School in Monroe.
Prior to volunteering, McQueen spoke to the Marvin Ridge DECA club at its October meeting. He shared a bit about the children they’d be supporting. Many of their families can’t afford the $5 fee to attend the afterschool program. Money to support the program often comes from private donations and fundraising.
Students picked the week of Nov. 13 to 17 for volunteering, to not only coincide with National DECA Month, but also American Education Week. Their initial goal was to educate children on DECA and marketing philosophies via a specific lesson plan.
When DECA students arrived to volunteer on the first day, however, they found children had short attention spans and didn’t want to be taught another lesson after being in school all day. They wanted to make slime, play basketball and get to know DECA members.
“We learned quickly that we needed to change our plans because the kids just wanted to have a good time,” said Shane Gravelle, a Marvin Ridge junior. “The ‘slime making’ station was definitely the most popular activity. We kept running out of supplies and had to buy more each day. Overall, I think all of our DECA members had much more fun than they expected. We hope to continue our partnership with the Union County Boys and Girls Club in the future.”
Sophomore DECA member Tori Estes agreed.
“I had so much fun playing and talking to the kids that I went back a second day just to hang out and play with them again,” Estes said.
DECA students had such a good time, they are working with the program director to coordinate a holiday party for the students.
The service project allowed DECA members to not only make friends and slime, but also learn they had much more in common with these children than they thought.