AP English Takes on Night to Shine


Emma Groves, Staff Writer

Courtesy of Bridget Clem.
Courtesy of Bridget Clem.

This past Friday, Mrs. Kirby’s 3rd period AP English class volunteered to serve at Night to Shine. The students not only served as buddies for the night but helped bring joy to each individual guest as they wrote letters of encouragement prior to the event.

Night to Shine is an event started by the Tim Tebow Foundation that honors guests with special needs by giving them their own prom. This year, more than 720 host churches across all 50 states, 34 countries and 36 different denominations got to honor over 115,00o guests, and in addition to these outstanding statistics, Wylie’s own AP English students played a big role in the 215,000 volunteers for the night.

Towards the end of first semester, Mrs. Kirby’s 3rd period AP English class formed the idea to volunteer as a class for Night to Shine. With the National Honor Society’s four pillars of scholarship, leadership, service, and character in mind, these students took initiative from Kirby to serve others through their leadership, character and their unity in scholarship.

After officially deciding to volunteer for the event, the obvious question they first faced is what they could do to help in the event. One of the students, Elise Grimland, lead the way by emailing the event coordinator to find out what the class could do. Grimland received word back that the class could help write letters of encouragement that each guest would receive in a goody bag at the end of the night. The students set to work and wrote over 200 letters for the event under the direction of another classmate Bridget Clem.

While writing the letters, the class discussed who could actually volunteer for the night as buddies and found that the Varsity Girl’s Soccer Team had a game that night and wouldn’t be able to attend, so the three teammates, Ella Beard, Marianna Deynzer and Kaitlyn Via, decided to volunteer to help set up the event the day before it took place.

On February 7th, the students arrived at 5:00 at Beltway Park for one last meeting before they met their buddies. By 6:30, each student was paired up and enjoyed the night that was special not only for their buddy, but for them as well. The students enjoyed numerous activities such as dancing, photo booths, karaoke and dinner with their guests as the night went on.

By 9:00, the night came to a close, but a new stirring of service laid in the hearts of these students as the night touched each of them in a different way. Looking forward, Owen O’Keefe, a classmate unable to attend the event, is seeing what he and the class may do to help another organization hosting an Olympics for the same population of people.

The other students in the class who took part in the project are: Natalie Bliznak, Madyson Boone, Luke Crawford, Susanna Daugherty, Ava Deprang, Emma Groves, Connor Harlow, Jordan Herrick, Landon Johnson, Katelyn Martin, Sheniece May, and Maya Muckitara.