Rising Star Club: Supporting Our Elementary Schoolers


By Sally Murphy, Staff Reporter

The Rising Star Club connects T/E elementary schools with ‘Stoga to create a more mutually supportive community. The club got its start during the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly grew to about 100 members. 

Beginning as a pen pal system between high schoolers and elementary schoolers, it soon expanded to include storytimes during which the high school students read to the elementary school students. Despite being online, the group hopes to transition to in-person meetings and add more activities. Sophomores Anna Nguyen and Zainab Imadulla co-founded the club to support middle schoolers, but Nguyen has a reason why the club didn’t go in that direction. 

“The high schoolers and the elementary schoolers didn’t really have a connection before this club, so we decided that it would be more valuable as well as easier,” Nguyen said.

Imdadulla elaborates on how COVID-19 influenced how the club operates and contributed to the founders’ motivation to create the Rising Star Club.

“COVID played a small part in [starting the club] because it shaped us into how the club was going to be in the future,” Imadulla said. “During COVID, lots of kids, especially a lot of little kids, are not going to be able to get the social interaction they need. We wanted to be able to give them that extra support and interaction.”

Building a positive and supportive community is the main mission of the Rising Star Club. One of two advisers, Jennifer Kratsa, loves seeing the connections this club creates, especially between elementary and high school students.

“We’re one T/E community and it’s fun seeing the little kids’ faces light up when they see the high school kids taking the time to stop what they’re doing and spend time with them,” Kratsa said. “They’re so excited; they all want to answer the questions. They’re jumping out of their seats and we’re not even there. They love seeing the high schoolers.”

As of now, the Rising Star Club works exclusively with Beaumont elementary school, but the club hopes to add more schools in the near future. Imadulla has goals for the club in the present and future.

“I hope that they (the elementary schoolers) feel more supported right now and that they feel like they have a lot of people behind them and that they’re not alone,” said Imadulla. “In the long run, I hope that they’ll have a better relationship with school, especially if they don’t like it now.”

Sally Murphy can be reached at [email protected].