Taking Initiative

Joey Flores, News Editor

Key Club held its third Downey Initiative on Wednesday, May 8 at 3:00 P.M. after school, to clean up the school campus. The events started this past March as soon as the new Key Club board was established.

Elizabeth Aceves, 10, is a Key Club member who attended an event that made board members realize that something needed to change.

“The people who were there didn’t really know what to do because we had an hour until we were supposed to finish,” Aceves said. “In the end, the board members apologized for the issue so it was all under good terms again.”

Members of the service group complained to the board after the problem occurred. Santana and the rest of the Key Club board decided to clean up the school when the group cleaned up a park for one hour, when it was expected to be two hours. Members who attended the clean up were expected to receive two hours to complete their monthly three hour requirement, so this predicament led the club to rethink their ideas.

Publicist Lisa Santana, 11, was in charge of organizing the event.

“In the job, I am expected to find places that are suitable to be cleaned up,” Santana said. “It’s a job that’s not as easy as it sounds because of an issue we had.”

The board members prior to the current ones decided on an idea to do Downey Initiative at various parks and unclean areas around the city. Before the clean ups took place at school, the club went to parks, like Rio San Gabriel Park and Independence Park. The issue Santana mentioned happened because proper research wasn’t done on the park they decided to clean. This research that is vital to the event is done to see that the park doesn’t have any other activities and that the park is actually dirty.

Current president Jenny Kim, 11, was one of the board members who came up with the idea for the project at the school.

“We [Key Club board] had an idea to do it because the campus is messy after most school days,” Kim said, “and we figured it wouldn’t hurt to give the janitors a break.”

The board realized that they had been thinking too hard about places that could be cleaned up after they realized that they could beautify the school. When on campus, the group cleans the dirtiest areas they can find, such as the quad and around the Z bungalows. The club, in addition to still cleaning parks around Downey, has added this to their list of original events.

Downey High’s Key Club is keen on doing as much service possible to benefit the community, so their idea to clean the campus when it’s at its worst shows the school just what they are capable of.