Clubs & Publications
We believe that extracurricular activities should offer opportunities for personal growth. We encourage clubs and activities designed to develop talents and abilities while fostering self-esteem, discipline and a spirit of cooperation. These activities give students the occasion to discover passions and exercise qualities of leadership, service and collaboration.
The Akilah Institute in Rwanda was founded by Elizabeth Davis in 2010 for the purpose of educating girls in hospitality – the fastest growing industry in Rwanda – and in leadership. Many of these girls were deeply affected by the genocide in 1994, which left the country with even more need for educated women. In the club, we form pen pals with students at Akilah, work on providing internships in Philadelphia for the students and fund-raise for this worthy cause. It’s a great way to connect with and learn about a new culture while creating lasting friendships.
AIS for IMS supports and creates a relationship with an organization called the Independence Mission Schools (IMS) and the students at these schools. IMS has taken over the management of 16 Catholic schools in the most underprivileged neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The schools, which serve 4,000 students, were in the process of being closed when this group was formed. The organization is designed to help the communities in which the schools exist by keeping quality education in these neighborhoods. AIS for IMS supports this organization by creating strong relationships with students through a pen pal system. The club will do fun activities to bond with the students and help them succeed in their education.
Anime Club introduces students to the many different aspects of Japanese animation and manga. We will be watching all kinds of anime, from the action-packed Fulletal Alchemist to the comedic gender-bender Ouran High School Host Club. We will also aim to showcase some of Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki films. We may throw in other workshops, such as a "How to Draw" lesson that teaches you the basics of drawing manga (demonstrations included), and we will teach you some basic phrases and words common to the different genres.
In Art Workshop, students are free to work on a project of choice. The workshop provides an hour per week for instruction in technique and the expression of personal creativity for those students not in an art class and additional time for students in art classes to work on portfolio projects.
Chess Club provides students with the opportunity to engage in strategy chats and games. The club has sponsored an all-school tournament and has succeeded in introducing the student body to the intellectually exciting game of chess.
In Cinema Club, girls are exposed to groundbreaking films that have greatly affected the movie industry. We will watch movies and discuss the techniques used in creating films such as direction, scores and screenplay. We will also observe other important devices used in film. This will give girls a greater appreciation for well-known movies that have changed our society.
Salvete, Amicae! Classics Club members strive to promote the on-going vitality, beauty and intellectual importance of classical language and culture. To that end, the Classics Club will be preparing this year to create a JCL (Junior Classical League) team by having fun trivia contests and watching movies. Our other major focus this year will be planning fundraiser to give money to a floundering classics program at a school in Philadelphia. In addition, members may even volunteer at the school by tutoring younger students. Classics programs are the first to be cut at institutions with financial difficulty. Let’s bring these languages back to the classroom! This club is for anyone excited about classical languages and bringing them back from the dead! Come join us as we embark on an amazing year of classical celebration!
Clay Workshop primary focus is on creating vessels and functional pots using the potter's spinning wheel. Students will also learn the three basic hand-building techniques: pinch pot, slab and coil making. Commercial food-safe underglazes are used and the clay is low fire white earthenware. Enthusiastic students who are eager to learn are encouraged to enroll. No prior experience is necessary. Class size equals the number of wheels that are available (usually nine) and seniors have priority. This can be counted as an arts credit (two years both club periods).
Costume Design Club entails a major commitment and requires work outside of club time during tech week. No sewing skills are needed. Members learn how to sew by hand and by machine. We create costumes for the fall musical and winter play. Following the fall musical and winter play, we work on perfecting our sewing skills and we engage in various sewing projects. This can be counted as an arts credit (two years both club periods).
In this club, we work on projects to help out a local charity named Cradles to Crayons. Activities include organizing school-wide clothing drives, decorating birthday cards, raising money with bake sales, sorting clothing donations and many other projects. As this club participates in projects which almost exactly parallel projects worked on at the local charity Cradles to Crayons, members will receive community service hours for being in the club.
In Culinary Club, we bring in or make new recipes every week. Last year, we brought in a professional cake decorator, among other fun activities. This year, we plan to hold a bake sale and donate the money to a good cause.
Current Events Club is a chance to examine issues of local, national and international interest. Each week, members read articles from a variety of sources that represent a diversity of perspectives. Members actively participate in wide-ranging discussions where they are encouraged to share their own particular points of view, while learning to respect the opinions of others with whom they may not necessarily agree.
Debate Club encourages students to wrestle with complex and controversial topics in a controlled environment where they must argue their points of view vigorously and convincingly. Members of the club develop the skills necessary to think quickly on their feet without becoming flustered. The club has always been popular because debaters take on important issues being debated by the public in an atmosphere of good-natured give and take.
As described on deca.org, "DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe." This club helps build confidence and develop public speaking and leadership skills. Students take part in national competitions where their problem-solving abilities are tested through role-playing in management positions. Targeted towards girls who are interested in becoming leaders in their communities, this club will build a good foundation for college and for an entrepreneurial future.
This club brings together girls in our community who share a passion for horseback riding. We discuss current competitions and all aspects of horse ownership. We also work with Thorncroft Equestrian Center, and this year, we held a bake sale and organized a horse show to benefit Thorncroft's therapeutic riding program.
FOCUS (Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools) is a Christian organization that fosters faith-based discussions and fellowship in independent schools from New England to South Carolina. At Agnes Irwin, we hold weekly lunch meetings to discuss passages from the Bible and answer faith-related questions. Students of every religion are welcome. Lunch is provided.
The mission of Girls Grant Making Club is to introduce and cultivate a philanthropic spirit in students and to empower them to serve the needs of others through their supervised administration of the Philanthropy and Community Service Fund.
The girls in the GGM Club act as a foundation and allocate funds to various non profits that come in to pitch their organization. GGM funds non-profit organizations in Delaware County, Bucks County, Montgomery County and Chester County, focusing primarily on the needs of children, youth and women.
The purpose of the Agnes Irwin Heifer International Club is to raise awareness of hunger and poverty around the world and to share the impact of this organization. During club meetings, we look at project updates, read success stories and work to keep the rest of the Agnes Irwin community informed of this program. In addition, we create posters, watch videos, host discussions, plan hands-on intra-school activities and bring in speakers who have experienced the positive effects of working with Heifer International. During the winter holiday period, we organize special fundraisers to raise money for the charity as well.
Hives for Lives is a kid-run business that was founded to help find a cure for cancer. The members of H4L have the amazing opportunity to help run a $200,000 business, raise bees, negotiate with major corporations including Chipotle and Starbucks, and assist in the fight to cure cancer. Members participate in Skype calls, paint beehives, make beeswax lip balm and help design the business. This club provides a glimpse into the world of entrepreneurship and it looks great on a (future) college transcript!
Ice hockey is the best sport to watch, play and follow. In this club, students learn about hockey, watch hockey, talk about hockey, follow hockey and maybe even play hockey (Or just go skating)! However, it isn't just fun and games. We help support the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, which works with underprivileged kids to teach them about hockey, as well as provide tutoring and supplies.
Investment Club will set you on the path to becoming a successful investor. The club has two main focuses: the stock market and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). For part of the year, we will focus on the stock market, while participating in the Stock Market Game, an online game where each group is given a virtual $100,000 to invest in the stock market. Club members will also take part in FBLA, a nationwide competition. We will prepare and take the national online test, trying to place at the state level and ultimately at nationals.
Karing Kids Cub focuses on helping patients at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) overcome their fear or anxiety due to their various circumstances. Simultaneously, we aim to teach students to be leaders and/or mentors in a child's life. We will write letters, send gifts or crafts, and may arrange to visit patients. We will also be finding ways to raise funds for both our club and the hospital. Money raised for our club will be put towards purchasing materials necessary for the crafts and gifts being given to our buddies. Money raised for the hospital will be used to support the treatment of various illnesses and for the hospital itself. Karing Kids Club will not only be both fun and rewarding, and we hope to have as many members as possible.
Lower School helpers go to the Lower School on a weekly basis to assist a teacher in the same classroom for an hour throughout the year.
Model UN offers an exciting opportunity for student to learn about the world, international relations and diplomacy, and how the United Nations works. The club is open to Upper School students who are interested in these topics and willing to work on researching and writing about them. Students are given specific countries and specific topics to research. They will represent their country (or pretend UN Committee) at a “mock” Model UN conference on the AIS campus in December. The club then sends a group of 16 seniors and juniors to represent AIS at a real Model UN conference at Georgetown University and another conference in Washington, D.C.
Model UN is a major commitment as it requires serious research and conference attendance at conferences that requires informed participation and presentation.
In Music Club, we investigate different types of music and discuss how music becomes popular. We also learn about how musicians get their music out into the public eye.
The goal of Pages is to cultivate a love of reading. During every A day lunch, in Room 103, students will read a wide variety of books and experience different genres they might not otherwise have come across. There will also be the opportunity to work with the Recorded Books Literacy Program at Agnes Irwin, where Upper School students earn community service hours by reading to Lower School students. Pages is a unique way to relieve stress during the busy school week. Relax, hang out with friends and enjoy numerous books!
PAL, or Peer Active Listening, is a mentoring program where Upper School girls are trained to be mentors and group facilitators. They offer friendship and support to Middle and Lower School girls who would most likely benefit from a special relationship with an Upper School student.
In Photography Club, students learn the basics of operating a camera and good photography techniques, developing black and white film and printing their own photographs. They also learn to “see light” and recognize a good photo opportunity. Photography Club will take a few field trips close to school and really have some fun!
In this club, students work to inform the community about psychological disorders and their portrayal in the media. We plan to use movies and television to show examples, have group discussions based around articles or stories of psychological disorders (e.g. Brooke Shields: Post-Partum Depression, Celebrities with OCD, Britney Spears: Bipolar Disorder, etc.).
If you enjoy watching Jeopardy or playing Trivial Pursuit, then you might be interested in Quiz Bowl Club. Quiz Bowl is a team trivia game consisting of primarily (though not exclusively) academic questions. In the club, girls practice and prepare for regional Quiz Bowl competitions. The club is open to all Upper School students and girls are welcome to join at any time of the year.
Robotics Club is a great way for students to broaden their knowledge of robotics and help to further the success of the robotics program at AIS. During pre-season, we attend a few competitions where we play last year’s game. During “Robot Season” (January 5 – March 31), we work on building the robot, planning game strategy and designing the “look” of the team. Robotics requires a major commitment, as we spend time such as lunches (Tues-Thurs), free periods and Saturday mornings/part of the afternoon working on the robot and preparing for competitions during “Robot Season.”
Russian Orphanage Club gives students a chance to make a difference in the life of a child. During the year, we send and receive around five letters and we hold a bake sale to make enough money to send a Christmas package.
The SEGA Club raises money and awareness for the SEGA Girls School in Morogoro, Tanzania and provides fundamental educational necessities such as educational materials to the school. Founded in 2006, the SEGA Girls School is a secondary boarding school dedicated to providing an academic education to underprivileged girls. We will also be developing promotional campaign materials for the organization, and we will personally interact with these girls through writing letters and possibly Skype. The school is funded by US sponsors, and with our help and fundraising, we will be able to help support the education of these great girls.
In Set Design, students design, construct and decorate the sets for the Upper School musical and the spring drama productions. Members will learn painting and decorating techniques, assist stage crew in construction when needed and may participate in finding or creating props, designing costumes and other aspects related to the behind-the-scenes needs of each production. This is a major commitment because there are strict deadlines.
This lunch club gives students a chance to develop their conversational Spanish skills in a casual environment. Possible topics of discussion will include current events, school and everyday life. Whereas class time often focuses more on grammar, vocabulary, current events and cultural enrichment, Spanish Club provides an opportunity simply to talk. The aim of the club is to create an environment where like-minded girls help each other to achieve a shared goal of becoming more fluent in Spanish.
Stage Crew primarily builds the sets for the Upper School fall musical and winter drama. Crew members form the running crews for those shows as well as for the Middle School musical and for Dance Motion. Members will learn construction and design skills, how to operate the lights and sound system of the theater, and how to handle the many backstage elements that make each show successful.
Students write cards to troops, hold bake sales to raise money, collect food and other items to help veterans in the area and to show them that they are supported by the community. Initiatives include having Upper School students wear red shirts on designated Fridays. We will also aim to find organizations to collaborate with, such as The Wounded Warrior's Project.
Sustainable Harvest brings local food options to the Agnes Irwin cafeteria and community. We work to create a greater awareness about where our food comes from in order to empower students and families to make conscious food choices, gain a greater connection to their food sources and learn the importance of sustainable living.
Tour Guide Group is looking for friendly and informative students to give Admission tours of AIS to visiting families! Tours are given during free periods and at our Open Houses. This is a fun opportunity to give tours around campus and talk with visitors about your classes, teachers, friends and experiences.
WAIS is a student-created radio station for and about AIS students. Students research, interview, script, edit and create a 20-30 minute broadcast every month. Topics reported on in the broadcast include academics, the arts, athletics, news/events, student life and the editorial. There are many opportunities for leadership positions within this club ranging from Host or Director to Broadcast Editors and Radio Journalists.
In World Affairs, students learn about international affairs and US Foreign policy. Actvities will include watching a video about international issues, listening to a presidential speech, and researching, writing and sharing country profiles. Students will participate in several exciting programs run by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. In the past, such programs have included the Model Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Academic WorldQuest Competition, and some students have been able to work at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia for their SSP. Students may also attend public speaker programs at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Two members of this club also get to join the Student Steering and Advisory Committee of the World Affairs Council, where they will meet students from other schools who share their interest in international affairs.
This is a club dedicated to the publishing of Frenish, a Spanish/French Magazine. Students will have the opportunity to write creative pieces in Spanish or French, explore different genres (poetry, short stories, essays, news pieces, movie/book/art restaurant reviews, crossword puzzles, etc.), pursue cultural interests, use publishing tools and develop illustration skills.
Each year, Impulse Club produces two issues of Impulse magazine, a collection of student poetry, prose, photography and artwork. Weekly activities range from practical matters – such as setting deadlines and strategizing ways to encourage submissions – to reviewing submitted work, editing and proofreading copy, and creating the layout for each issue. At quieter times, members work on their own stories and poems or read each other’s work. We have even begun the practice of sharing in the authorship of a pass-around story! Each year, we collaborate with members of the Arts Board to plan and host the annual Impulse Arts Night, a festive multi-school evening for the performance of original writings and music.
The staff of Lamp, the school's yearbook, is composed of a Managing Editor, Section Editors and support staff. Lamp meets for the full hour of club period, year-round, and students are chosen by application each spring.
The Wick is the school's newspaper. Club membership is open to all Upper School students. Club members are responsible for all aspects of the newspaper’s production, including writing and editing articles, taking photographs and typesetting each issue.