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February 10, 2012

Social Action Committee: Changing the Climate at Centennial

by The Centinal

By Faith Middleton – Staff Writer

Although many people have not heard of -let alone attended- Social Action Committee, it is an active group at Centennial welcoming new members. The committee’s overall goal is to promote justice and equality in the halls and classrooms of Centennial. Around fifty students have been to SAC, with about fifteen at any given meeting. Charles Weinberg, Sophomore English teacher and co-founder of SAC, told how it came to be.

“Four years ago, I participated in a professional development National Writing Project at the U of I. We studied texts that would guide us in empowering students through the power of literacy,” Weinberg said. “So, Mr. Cowell and I started an early prototype of Social Action Committee.”

The committee meets every other Wednesday and includes students, teachers and administrators. Weinberg noted that the success of the committee is due in part to the “tremendous amount of support from administration.”

An upcoming SAC project is the March 15th cyber-bullying presentation being shown to current Freshmen. “A common misconception that students and teachers have is that online bullying cannot be handled by school administration; on the contrary, if any student is saying vulgar or hurtful things to another via twitter, facebook, etc. it can be addressed at school.”

Social Action Committee has also held several breakfasts in honor of excelling students thus far in the school year, dubbed “breakfast club” by SAC members.

Since the first launch of SAC 4 years previously did not succeed, Weinberg is glad that the second did. “The second time around, there’s been a lot more involvement and we’ve more clearly defined our objectives.”

Weinberg also commented on how useful a resource the committee has been to students. “It’s been valuable for kids to come speak up about injustices.”

The next Social Action Committee meeting is Wednesday, February 22nd. Go to room 227 after school if you’re interested or talk to an SAC member for more information.

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