The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

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The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

Spyglass

The student-run newspaper of Westridge School for Girls, Spyglass strives to build community and evoke empathy through the medium of journalism. Comprised of passionate student writers, editors, designers, managers, and leaders, Spyglass is dedicated to ethical reporting that amplifies our unique voices to inform, entertain, and forge connection in the Westridge community and beyond.

Spyglass

Middle School Club Water Warriors Doesn’t Run Due to Lack of Sign-Ups

2022-2023+Water+Warriors+sit+at+steps+overlooking+the+Rose+Bowl+Loop+Trail%2C+about+to+embark+on+the+Walk+for+Water+%28Gigi+Bizar%29
2022-2023 Water Warriors sit at steps overlooking the Rose Bowl Loop Trail, about to embark on the Walk for Water (Gigi Bizar)

The Water Warriors club has been a signature staple of the Westridge middle school program since 2012. Even as a 4th grader, I remember seeing what looked like a small army of middle schoolers in their matching t-shirts. Three years later, when I joined the club as a 7th grader, there were over 40 middle schoolers in the club. 

The Water Warriors have been one of the most popular middle school clubs with an average annual membership of 30 students. The club’s mission is to raise awareness of the global water crisis and raise funds to build water systems in developing countries worldwide.

Annually, the Water Warriors meet at the beginning of the year to decide on a few schools to sponsor and set a monetary goal, which every year they have exceeded. 

Following their fundraising of $28,000 during the 2022-2023 school year, club advisor and history teacher Gigi Bizar and her four 8th Grade club heads were poised to break another fundraising record.  

However, despite the efforts of the 8th grade club heads at the club fair, only eight members from the seventh and eighth grades had signed up. Ultimately, Ms. Bizar and the club heads made the difficult decision to pause the club until the following year.

Would-be club heads Charlotte H. ’28 and Tessa R. ’28 make snacks for their booth at the 2023 Water Fair (Gigi Bizar)

“It seemed like eight kids wasn’t going to be enough kids to really run the club the way that I have run it in the past,” says Ms. Bizar.

Ms. Bizar attributes the dramatic drop in sign ups to a few reasons. Several new clubs were offered, including Yearbook, which had 35 students sign up. Additionally, some students voiced concerns over the amount of work and commitment expected from students.

As the Water Warriors’ numerous events take significant time and effort to plan, meetings are not optional—an unwritten rule that most of the Middle School clubs have complied with in years prior. The emergence of the Middle School Year Book Club, which advertised optional meetings, may have been presented as a seemingly less demanding option. However, Tessa R. ’28 mentions, “That was kind of weird to see because we personally had a good experience with [Water Warriors].”

Although the club is not running this year, former members and heads acknowledge the role the club has played in their personal experience at Westridge and the impact it has made for people around the world.  

Even if the work required to be a Water Warrior seems difficult from a glance, Ms. Bizar believes the pros outweigh the cons. She said, “I mean, it’s not that much work per child to raise that kind of money. You send out your personal fundraiser page. The second thing you do is a walk. The third thing you do is planned for the fair; you get materials, and then you work that day for four hours,” says Ms. Bizar. “And then you’ve literally changed the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people at a school where they’ve never before been able to turn on a water faucet. So to me, [joining the club] is kind of a no-brainer.”

Club members Ela K. ’28 and Sophie S. ’28 pose behind their smoothie booth at the 2023 Water Fair (Gigi Bizar)

When asked about the impact of the club on individuals worldwide, Ms. Bizar says, “If a girl can actually go to school, it can change the entire trajectory of her life and her family’s life forever.” 

Would-be club head Charlotte H. ’28 highlights another bonus to the club, saying, “[the club] is a great thing to get experience with service.”

Ms. Bizar plans on running the club next year. Even if the club does not attract the same attention as it has in previous years, Ms. Bizar is sure that next year’s Water Warriors will have fun and “feel good to do that work.” 

View past projects sponsored by the Water Warriors here. 

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About the Contributor
Tekle S-J
Tekle S-J, Staff Writer
Tekle is a freshman in her first year writing for Spyglass. Outside of classes, she enjoys baking, exploring amusement parks, and rewatching the same three shows while playing sudoku.
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