When I was growing up and trying to meet people that were into the things that I was into (comic books, video games, boobs, comic books, video boobs) I got the bright idea to join clubs while I was in HS.
So during my HS years, my extracurriculars looked something like this:
- Marching Band (sophomore, junior years)–“played” drums so I could go to Disney World
- Debate Club (junior year)–verbally combated with students from all around NJ. When that failed, punched them
- Solo Club (this is what I called Friday, Saturday nights ALL FOUR YEARS OF HS), which consisted of comic books, Domino’s Pizza and watching Lucy Lawless run around in leather pants stabbing Vikings. Also, crying.
- Environmental Club (2-3 months sophomore year)–consisting of creating strategies for picking up gum, Coke cans and food wrappers that most of the club members were responsible for strewing across campus. Note that I only participated for 2-3
…and so on and so forth. School in the suburbs of NJ was decidedly boring, so afterschool clubs in the ‘burbs were as dry as nun.
Fast-forward to 2010, where schools have taken on a whole new look to their extracurriculars. Here in Philly (and lots of places around the U.S. nowadays), charter schools are all the rage, praised for their innovation and boldness to break-up the stodgy traditional models of schooling that may have worked for Zach, Kelly, AC , Screech and that slut Jessie, but not so much for today’s Jamal, Loneisha and Maritza.
One school in particular is getting a lot of press for thinking outside the box: Harambee Charter School in West Philadelphia has made afterschool clubs…well, a club!
At night, Harambee CS goes from “middling charter school that you might get shanked at” to, “Club Damani” which sounds like a place sponsored by a water bottle company in the Congo. Club Damani is apparently a night club for adults in W. Philly, meaning that most parents that don’t have time to make it to Back-to-School Night probably can’t because they’re pre-drinking before going out to Club Damani.
I haven’t been to Club Damani (for one, going into West Philly can be like traveling to Mordor; secondly they don’t even offer an educator’s discount at the door!), but can you imagine what it must be like to market this place?
The Kids Don’t Get It Imagines Marketing For Club Damani:
- “It’s Old School Hip-Hop Night at….your child’s school!”
- “Got a things for Mr. Williams, the 6th grade math teacher? Come to ‘Parent-Teacher Night’ at Club Damani and ride that Pythagorean Theorem like you stole it!”
- “Friday Nights, come to Club Damani–we put the ‘ass’ in ‘assessments’! Doors open at 4:15pm, after Odyssey of the Mind”
I mean, how clever is this? What better way to offer/increase parent engagement than $4 cover and 1/2 mixed drinks with every current year report card?
This your child’s principal is drunk with power? Just wait til you see him after a couple shots of Grey Goose.
To be fair, Harambee says that all the proceeds for the club are going back into the community via recreational clubs, church renovations and G-strings.
And in these trying times, who doesn’t think it’s a good idea to invest in your community?
So come on down to Club Damani, and remember: “Every Friday is ‘FAIL FRIDAYS’ where your kid’s ‘F’s get you free cover and a dollar off drinks for every F on their report card!”.
See ya the club.