IB students showcase community service projects

By Faith Oak

Granada Hills Charter’s (GHC) International Baccalaureate (IB) Program hosted its annual Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Expo on Thursday, April 5. The walk-in exhibit took place in Highlander Hall from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The CAS Expo was the culmination of IB seniors’ CAS projects and a display of the product of their efforts over the course of two school years.

CAS is a community service project and a central feature of the IB Program.

Students identify prevalent issues in the San Fernando Valley, and they develop and carry out their own plans to address them. This year’s projects addressed a wide range of issues such as poverty, ableism, health, immigration, empowerment, education, and more.

Upon going in the building, students, staff, and parents immediately entered into one of the highlights of the Expo: the Tunnel of Oppression. It was a collection of student-submitted artwork, including photographs, paintings, a running slideshow of tweets about oppression, and a recorded poetry soundtrack read by students.

The walk-through art show made its way from the entrance up onto the stage and into the shadowed area behind the stage curtains.

At the end of the tunnel, students, staff, and parents emerged from the darkness into the bright open room, where seniors stood by their CAS display boards, prepared to present their projects.

“I think this year’s Tunnel of Oppression is really cool and impactful, because it will be pretty depressing in the tunnel itself, but students will come out of the other side and see all the projects, which is a lot more hopeful and optimistic,” senior Alex Gatus said.

Students, staff, and parents made their way around the room to observe and ask questions about different projects. The room was filled with colorfully decorated tri-fold poster boards, which featured photographs, written reports, and different CAS metrics.

Every group also came up with an interactive aspect in its display to engage visitors and teach them about the project, ranging from quizzes to games to student polls.

Separate mini-stations were positioned around the room, where students had the opportunity to get involved in the Advocacy Center, ask questions about the IB Program and participate in small activities related to CAS.

IB students prepared for months prior to the event, and the whole cohort had to work together to make it a success.

“My favorite moment of the CAS Expo was pretty minor but meaningful to me. During preparations, we were making a banner and we wanted to get all the IB students to put their handprint on it. It was a community thing, and it was really fun to see everyone come together and let their kid-side show,” senior Alexis Clare said.

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