Organizations come together for Way Back Winter event


Reagan Zuniga

WAY BACK WINTER: Cocoa in hand, Senior Jessie Bowie helps pass out holiday treats to spread the holiday spirit. The event was held for all grade levels and had a hot chocolate bar.

Mazzy Warren and Lily Bourgeois

The clock’s ticking. Students constantly check the time, anticipating the moment class will be let out and they can go to the courtyard for the Way Back Winter event. Way Back Winter was an event put together by Bowie’s student leadership team to promote No Place for Hate.

No Place for Hate is an AISD initiative to create bonds between schools and foster harmony betweens students. This past Wednesday, Bowie’s student leadership team hosted the Way Back Winter event to share No Place for Hate’s ideals of an equal and respectful school environment.

“The main goal for Way-Back winter was to promote unity as part of our No Place for Hate initiatives we complete throughout the year,” student leadership member Anna Holme said. “We aimed to promote unity across the campus and to provide everyone at Bowie a fun and relaxing break from their day.”

AISD has been classified as a No Place for Hate district for the past six years. The relationship with The Anti-Defamation League was developed to organize schools to work together and develop projects that enhance the appreciation of the lived experiences of all and foster harmony among different groups of people, according to the district website.

“It will definitely be a good influence for people,” sophomore Ryan Kohler said.

The Way Back Winter plans had to meet No Place for Hate requirements which include; student planning, a focus on inclusivity, active learning, involves all students, and addresses school-based issues.

“It had a lot of stations, like the No Place for Hate and the pride station, so I think that’s where it will benefit students the most,” sophomore Julianna Dankert said.

Students enjoyed this carnival-like event. There were many booths spread throughout the courtyard that promoted clubs dedicated to equality, such as the Students Organization for Anti Racism group and the Asian American Allies club.

“I [enjoyed this event], the hot chocolate was really good and they had some cool stations,” Kohler said.

The No Place for Hate program is supported at more than 1600 schools nationwide, and impacts more than 1.6 million students and 100,000 teachers, according to the organization’s website. They’re dedicated to setting up events to bring all of these communities together.

“This event definitely had an impact on our community,” Holme said. “I, personally, helped to run Amnesty International’s musical chair booth. Throughout the entire day, we had hundreds of kids stop by our booth. We were so overjoyed with how successful our game was, it was obvious everyone had a really fun time. I think that events like this really help to make Bowie feel like a more cohesive community.”

Student Leadership classes are offered to select juniors and seniors, and they are sponsored by coach Vickie Benson. This was the team that was behind the event, and they were inspired by the upcoming holiday season.

“The main concept for Way Back Winter was the idea of nostalgia,” Holme said. “Many kids have the childhood memory of having holiday parties with their elementary school classes. The student leadership class wanted to promote unity, in the form of a No Place for Hate event, while also bringing back some of this childhood joy associated with the holidays.”

One of the major goals of the leadership class, as found on the JBHS website club listing, is to impact the campus in such a way that it fosters a safe, and inclusive campus culture. The Way Back Winter event was implemented to achieve these goals, which the leadership team believes were met.

“The other student leaders and I knew that Bowie students were going to enjoy Way-Back Winter,” Holme said. “Especially around finals, a lot of us are super stressed since all the work can be overwhelming. We were sure that our fellow students would enjoy a much-needed break from their day to relax and have fun.”