Students perform at Moth Story Slam


Photo Credit: Madelyn Willoughby

Caroline Geoghegan, a storyteller at the Moth Story Slam and a member of the Seven Elements Social Justice Club, performs her original piece titled “Pet Store Shenanigans.” This was the second Moth Story Slam hosted by the club. All of the proceeds of the event went to First Friends, an organization that helps immigrants coming to the U.S.

by Madelyn Willoughby, Copy Editor

Students performed original stories at the Moth Story Slam, an event hosted by the Seven Elements Social Justice Club on Thursday, March 7.

The Seven Elements Social Justice Club, advised by English teacher Randi Metsch-Ampel, began this tradition last year as a way to allow students to express themselves while raising money for charity. Metsch-Ampel sought to create an event that would allow students to harness their academic talent, allowing guests to activate their sense of empathy and learn from the students.

The proceeds from this event are going towards First Friends, an organization that seeks to improve the experiences of immigrants traveling across the southern border. Specifically, their project to create Stamp Out Despair packets with materials for writing letters allows immigrants to communicate with others. Students in the Seven Elements Social Justice Club will be meeting to put these packets together as a community service activity. Metsch-Ampel chose this organization as a way to use students’ voices to help these immigrants in detainment reclaim their voices.

“The kids tell their stories in a way that helps other kids and people who are being detained and applying for asylum to express their voices,” Metsch-Ampel said.

President and co-founder of the club, Andrew Bober, was a judge and helped set up the cafeteria for the event. He said that the club aims to host a Moth Story Slam each year to help students express themselves and to raise money for charity.

“We’re trying to make it a yearly thing,” Bober said. “We were glad we were able to do so for the second time.”

Photo Credit: Madelyn Willoughby
Abby Stern, a storyteller at the Moth Story Slam, performs an original piece titled “Not Too Much To Ask.” This story illustrated her experiences with antisemitism in Glen Rock. She won first place at the event after winning first place at last year’s event as well with her story “His Name is Ramon.”

Simran Kaur Saberwal, a storyteller at the event and a member of the Seven Elements Social Justice Club, told her story “Proud To Be” about her experiences with discrimination as a Sikh person. She also discussed a shooting at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin that was committed by a white supremacist in 2012.

“To those whose sentiments cross with those of that 40 year old southern supremacist, I hope you find your peace just as I have. For I am, and always will be proud to be a Sikh,” Saberwal said during her performance.

Saberwal was inspired to participate in this event because of the charitable donation to First Friends and the opportunity to share her story. She also wanted to express the feelings of Sikh people regarding the current political climate.

Abby Stern, a storyteller at the event, chose to participate because of the opportunity to practice her writing skills. She performed her original story “Not Too Much To Ask” and won first place at the event. Her story explained her experiences with anti-semitism in an area in the Northeast not known for it. She also performed at the event last year, winning with her story “His Name is Ramon.”

“As soon I heard that the school was doing a Moth Story Slam I was like it would be like an injustice for me not to participate. I owe it to the moth,” Stern said.

Earlier in the year, the Seven Elements Social Justice Club hosted a Syrian Supper Club in which students and other guests had the opportunity to have dinner with Syrian immigrants. The immigrants cooked food for the dinner, and valuable conversations between students and immigrants took place.

On April 10, students in the Seven Elements Social Justice Club will host poet and professor Ross Gay. The students will welcome writers from another high school to the event and participate in a poetry reading event.