Sun Club Hopes to Set North on the Right Path to Become Environmentally Conscious


Credit to Sadie Cotton

The idea for Sun Club started in October of this school year after sophomore Hailey Zhang saw that the school’s recycling went nowhere and the school didn’t have many environmentally-friendly plans in place. She planned, found support and asked a teacher to sponsor the club she had envisioned in her mind. 

“I really wanted to create a club at our school to really give people the opportunity to do something about [the climate crisis] because a lot of times, the problem is way too big for us and we feel very overwhelmed by it,” Zhang said. “We feel like we are helpless against it. And I created the club because I felt like students needed a way to, little by little, bring change to that global crisis we’re facing.”

After Zhang came up with the idea for this club that she believed the school needed, she reached out to her friend and fellow sophomore Claire Laurentius. Laurentius had experience with the agricultural aspect of environmental activism and Zhang wanted her input while coming up with a plan for this new club. 

“Claire’s family owns farms and stuff,” Zhang said. “So she knows a lot about agriculture and gardening and things like that. She helps with a lot of things. I got my friends to help me with different things.”

After Zhang and Laurentius created their plan, they had to find a teacher to sponsor the club. French teacher Jenny Liberson was Zhang’s choice for who she wanted to be the sponsor for the club. 

“I know a lot of teachers care about the environment, but I felt like she was the most approachable in the sense because I knew that she cared about the environment a lot and I knew that she did a lot of gardening at home,” Zhang said. “So I thought she would be the perfect teacher to help us with all the things we do and plus she gives us a lot of freedom. She doesn’t control the club at all. The club is really just a student run. And she understands that and I think that’s why I chose her because she’s a really understanding teacher.”

Currently, Sun Club is split into four committees that each have their own major projects that they are working on. The Climate Talks committee aims to reach out to the younger generations by speaking to elementary schools in our district. The Sunrise committee is working on the national movement called the Sunrise Movement, which is a youth movement that aims to make change through legislation. The Volunteering and Fundraising committee works to create volunteer opportunities for those who are interested. The last committee is the Garden committee who works to create gardens in our community and bring back the one we have in our school to use for composting.

“One committee has to do with talking to kids, the elementary schools, about the environment,” Liberson said. “Another one has to do with the Sunrise Movement, which is a nationwide thing. Another one has to do with creating a garden and composting in our school and recycling. And then another one, their goal is to create a farmers market that we can have at our school.”

While Sun Club is a new club and just starting out with their progress toward change, Zhang and Liberson are hopeful that Sun Club will be very successful in the future. They hope that they can help set FHN on the right track to be more environmentally conscious. 

“I hope we make change and I hope that change is a lasting change,” Zhang said. “I really hope that people will see the change, and they feel inspired to also make more change. In the future, I just really hope sun club will be a place in which we all are working towards a common goal and really just make change.”