Community Pep Rally and Trunk-or-Treat have become favorite annual events at WAHS

By Donnie Newton | Contributing Writer

The words West Ashley and community go hand in hand. But put them together and they take on an even deeper meaning. The West Ashley community is a great place of growth, culture, learning, inclusion, and togetherness. A big part of that community is the area’s high school – West Ashley High School – home to more than 1,700 students and more than 150 faculty and staff members who are all working together to make the area in which they live a better place.

This can be accomplished through activities like home football games on Friday nights, giving families a safe place to go and have fun with their neighbors and new friends; the spring musical which The Drama Studio has put on for 18 years; or community events, put on by the entire school in hopes of reaching and celebrating an entire community. Not only do they reach a community within the walls of WAHS, but also within the West Ashley community itself.

Last month, WAHS put on two community events, which are a big part of the school’s outreach during the first half of the year. The Community Pep Rally, held each year at the Magwood Chick-fil-A, serves both as a fundraiser and as a way to introduce members of the community to a number of the high school’s clubs, organizations, and fall sports teams.

The event is run like an in-school pep rally where teams are introduced, games are played between different groups of people, the band performs pep music, and the cheerleaders perform several different routines.

Many clubs set up booths where participants can interact and play games with groups like SGA or DECA. Business partners set up booths as well where they advertise for their business, meet and greet attendees, and oftentimes, raffle off several items.

The second event, Trunk-or-Treat, seems to get bigger and bigger every year. It began as a small event where a number of the high school’s clubs set up trunks and provided a safe, fun place for families to trick-or-treat. It has now grown into a sort of mini fall festival with games, giveaways, jump castles, and food trucks.

The goal of both events is to create a sense of community, a sense of togetherness, and a sense of belonging that these sorts of events tend to evoke. According to West Ashley High Principal Lee Runyon, another important aspect of events like this is to create well-rounded students who are capable of engaging the community around them.

“As a Capturing Kids’ Hearts school, we teach and believe in the EXCEL Process,” says Runyon. “The E stands for Engage. Therefore, we teach our students through these events the importance of engaging the community as leaders.”

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