Middle Schoolers Take Initiative With SAN-FAN


Elijah Schmidt

Mr. Wolfe speaks to the SAN-FAN Kids in a very animated manner. They all listen intently.

Led by eighth grade English teacher Ken Wolfe, WCA’s 2021-22 school year brings a year-long organization named SAN-FAN (previously known as the 8th grade leadership team, but now an abbreviation of “see a need, fill a need”), a group filled with enthusiastic eighth grade scholars who want to give back to their community and “practice the ‘see a need, fill a need’ ideal”.

According to a poster written by Mr. Wolfe, members are expected to “find areas or situations of need both at WCA and in their personal lives. Then, rather than ignoring or waiting for someone else to help, they will do what they can to resolve the need.”

SAN-FAN has many goals in mind (seven, to be exact). The obvious goal would be to practise that ‘see a need, fill a need’ idea

l. The second of these goals is to “change the way” students- or “scholars,” as Mr. Wolfe would correct- “think about and exercise ‘service’ and ‘leadership’”. Mr. Wolfe would like to see students exercise service

outside of dedicated SAN-FAN time, whether that be taking care of the campus by picking up trash, helping a student carry a project across the campus, or helping a parent cook dinner at home. It’s his hope that this club will help facilitate and normalize this attitude. 

SAN-FAN eight graders can also be spotted working at events, as well as helping around the campus; their third goal is to “facilitate the middle school events and roles of WCA,” which would include helping with the carnival, ITSOG, and Spirit Week. Members should expect to put their time into this, including giving up an occasional Friday night or Saturday morning. SAN-FAN is filled with dedicated scholars who “are willing to commit their time, attention, and energy as needed.”

This organization is also a strategizing session meant to brainstorm ways in which the middle school experience can be improved, which these willing and able eighth graders will then initiate and enact. Eventually, Mr. Wolfe would like to “innovate and develop sanfan to be better, ‘funner’, and natural culture at WCA” too, this natural culture extending to those who aren’t members of SAN-FAN as well. This club is meant to “conceive, promote, and implement random acts of kindness and spontaneous care” for everyone, member or not. 

Their last goal: to create a tradition of helping serve their communities and foster camaraderie.

SAN-FAN is a way for many students to “see that we’re all in the same boat” and create a tight knit community, full of fellow scholars who are practising service in order to help others and honor God. Eighth graders have an opportunity to make both a difference and some friends along the way with SAN-FAN, and this organization is filled with scholars who are ready to jump into action.