Clark High School teacher Luanne Wagner created KEEN Club in 2007, which stands for “Keeping Everyone’s Eyes on the Neighborhood.”
The club is a community service program that enlists student-volunteers providing an on-campus helping hand to any kid that needs it with “Charger Closet,” which provides assistance for students in need. Food, basic necessities, hygiene products, school supplies and anything that students need.
Shipments come to the school every Thursday from Project 150. Shelves are stocked, inventory taken, student-volunteers staff all shifts, and kids utilizing “Charger Closet” are welcome to whatever they need. No questions asked.
Senior Arely Fuentes said, “We really strive to make them feel that the Charger Closet is here for them, and anything they need.”
The club also makes sure nobody goes with an empty stomach, from providing weekend meal bags, to a full holiday feast. Graduating seniors can even get what is needed for end-of-year academic dress – including caps and gowns.
KEEN Club’s kindness extends past school hours and beyond school grounds with collaborative community service in the neighborhood. As their leader, Luanne Wagner said about their goal: “To uplift, encourage, and inspire them!”
Wagner was honored as a Smith Center Heart of Education Award winner. Her students aren’t surprised.
Student Mairany Pantaleon said, “I feel like Miss Wagner brought us all closer with each other.” And, Arely Fuentes added, “She is really the backbone of KEEN, and the backbone of the Charger Closet.”
All this, for Miss Wagner, comes from selflessness, compassion and her own experience.
Wagner told 8 News NOW, “When I was in high school, we were on food stamps, and reliant on others for help. So, I know how it is to walk in their shoes, so I will never ask a student why they need something. We will always find a way to provide it for them.”
Wagner was a Smith Center Heart of Education Award winner last year.
Nominations for the upcoming 4th Annual Heart of Education Awards, honoring outstanding CCSD teachers opens up next week.