Devine FCCLA has busy end to 2019

Seniors Carla Torres and Espi Mendoza begin putting their STAR event presentation for Unify Devine together.

The Devine FCCLA started this school year with many activities and has not slowed down yet. November was jam-packed with presentations and events and with December being shortened due to the school break, we are adding in the events here, as well.
November kicked off with the Devine Fall Festival. The FCCLA chapter participated by riding on a float in the parade. Instead of just passing out candy, many STAR event participants took the opportunity to spread awareness about their projects. Caitlyn Breiten and JoJo Villanueva passed out candy and finger lights with facts attached to them about their project warning of the dangers of too much screen time with phones, tablets, computers and TVs. Kelli Geyer and Karma Herring also passed out facts about their project that deals with distracted driving by attaching them to toy cars. Two groups passed out pamphlets while walking next to the float: Breiten’s and Villanueva’s group along with Lupita Hernandez who passed out information about adoption and fostering. Laisha Gutierrez and her partner Carla Torres passed out their flyers over domestic violence at the festival. The FCCLA chapter ran the Kids Corral at the festival. Kids from the community were able to make bubbles, color, write kind words and notes on rocks to decorate the high school courtyard and even learned how to rope at the booth. Region V Officers Amy Bailey and Charlize Benavidez spoke to the crowd on the main stage about FCCLA and answered questions about the posters celebrating the 75th anniversary of FCCLA. Many past local chapter officers stopped by the booth to look at the displays and shared about their time in FHA or FCCLA.
Sophomores Kelli Geyer and Karma Herring partnered with the Texas A&M Ag Extension Office to bring a Distracted Driving Simulator to the high school from November 12th through the 21st. The FCCLA members are creating their project, Driving While Intoxicated, to help demonstrate the dangers of teens driving while being distracted by their phones. The girls had classes sign up for the two weeks to test drive while using their phones. In some instances students wrecked while trying to get their phones out of their pockets while some wrecked while taking their eyes off of the road to text. Overall the girls had 464 kids utilize the simulator and see just how easy it is to cause an accident.
To coincide with World Kindness Day on November 13th, Amanda Byrd presented lessons to the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Devine Intermediate School on being kind to each other. The students then colored and wrote ways that they could be kind to others in the future. Amanda plans to continue spreading the lesson of kindness to the John J. Ciavarra Elementary students in the future.
What better way to get young kids to eat fruit and healthy foods than to let them play with it and make turkeys! Devine FCCLA members Charlize Benavides, Malachi Jackson, Lupita Hernandez, Ana Escoto along with Family and Community Service class members Alyssa White, Connie Hardcastle, Dasslyn Coronado, Baleria Arana and Danna Lopez teamed up to bring Turkeys with a Twist of Fruit to the Ciavarra Elementary and Devine Intermediate School kids and parents on November 19th. The group handed out instructions on how to build the edible turkeys and let the kids go through an assembly line of items to put on them. The kids and parents were then able to have some fun creating together with an apple, different types of cereals, raisins, marshmallows and popcorn. Coronado, Arana and Lopez handed out nutritional information to educate parents and kids on why each of the ingredients made for a healthy snack. Overall 84 kids attended and enjoyed their afterschool snack with their parents and the Devine FCCLA kids.
In honor of National Adoption Month, Lupita Hernandez and Ana Escoto took the opportunity to present their project, Hearts Looking for Love, to the Devine City Council at their monthly meeting on November 19. The girls explained that since Lupita was adopted 8 years ago, she is very concerned with this topic and even partnered with Bluebonnet Youth Ranch for information to help spread awareness. This is where she stayed while in the system and waited to be adopted. The girls also took the flyers to Turkeys with a Twist of Fruit event earlier that same night which was for parents and children. Along with the presentation, the girls kicked off the month with a scavenger hunt around the school for ribbons that signified National Adoption Month along with posting flyers in the hallways and on doors. They hope to spread the word that many loving boys and girls of all ages are waiting for loving homes and would fit right in with their families.
Devine FCCLA students helped Devine Health and Rehabilitation nursing home get ready for their Thanksgiving celebration on November 21 to decorate and help serve their dinner at the facility. Students created a photo backdrop, photo props, decorative flowers and table top decorations for the event. The students that helped with the meal later that evening helped serve, visited with the residents and played games with them. The students will be repeating this three more times this year for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. All students found the experience to be very rewarding and were happy to have been a part of it.

FCCLA students Cassandra Elias and Madison Cumpian create donation boxes for their Food Drive held January 13-17 at the high school to benefit the Devine Food Pantry.

FCCLA members Brianna Bernal and Esperanza Mendoza are spreading awareness of the dangers lurking behind the use of social media. The girls have presented to the 60 students in the school’s Family and Community Service classes on November 22nd along with 224 students at the intermediate school in December. The team has created an Instagram account at _socialmediasafety_fccla to also reach more people in their community. To keep the idea of being safe on social media on the minds of classmates, they have posted flyers around the school along with passing out candy with facts on them. To help make the project be more interactive, the girls have created a contest. The student that creates the catchiest slogan for social media safety will win a gift card donated by Bri and Espi and it will be shared on their Instagram. The overall goal for their project is to keep everyone safe while enjoying their social media accounts.
The John J. Ciavarra Elementary and Devine Intermediate schools held their annual Thanksgiving luncheon for students and their families on November 22, 2019. Due to the increase in the number of meals to be served, Devine FCCLA members Caitlyn Breiten, Kelli Geyer, Malachi Jackson, Jamie Courtade, Lupita Hernandez, and Espi Mendoza volunteered to help the cafeteria staff. The high school students enjoyed seeing younger students with their families and even some of their own family members at the event. They were even able to market FCCLA to adults and the students from both campuses while participating in the event. Overall the FCCLA members helped to serve 823 meals!
On Saturday, November 23, FCCLA members Danelly Rodriguez, Cassandra Elias and Madison Cumpian furthered their STAR event project to help the Devine Food Pantry Ministry. Chapter members Amy Bailey, Charlize Benavidez, Kylee Nixon, and Caitlyn Breiten also volunteered to help restock the shelves and organize the store room. The Pantry serves Devine and eight other surrounding towns in Medina County. The San Antonio Food Bank, Wal-Mart, USPS and HEB partner with the Pantry to provide food with weekly donations. Also, several businesses and individuals donate their money and time since none of the volunteers are paid positions. The girls’ goal is to help our community ensure that no one goes hungry. As a result FCCLA will be holding a food drive at the high school in January. Please keep this in mind!
On November 26 Devine High School held a special assembly in the Student Activity Center for the freshman class. Caitlyn Breiten and Josette Villanueva presented their project Behind the Screens to 115 ninth graders informing them of the dangers of being addicted to electronics. The girls first surveyed the group to see how many hours they spent on their phones a week and then showed them how to find it on their phones to see their actual time usage. Most students were shocked at their time! Caitlyn and JoJo then showed them a list of physical side effects associated with cyber addiction. Most students in the auditorium were able to raise their hands when asked if they had experienced any of them. Overall many students let the girls know that they appreciated their project because they were not aware of all of the dangers from too much screen time.
Freshmen chapter members Ebany Garcia and Barbara Merlo worked with first grade students at John J. Ciavarra Elementary on November 26 on setting goals during their campus’ Genius Hour. The girls started their sessions by asking the students what a goal was and to give examples. Once they established what goals were and why they were important, the kids played a game with laundry baskets and emoji stress balls. Garcia and Merlo set the baskets at several different distances for the kids to throw the balls into to demonstrate that some goals are hard while some are too easy. Overall there were 5 different examples of goals and with each one, the girls explained who could help them meet those goals. At the end of the game, the girls gave the kids a goal setting sheet to color and circle the best one for them. The 68 first graders that attended the girls’ station enjoyed the game and learned more about being successful goal setters.
FCCLA members Carla Torres, Absedy Perez and Laisha Gutierrez and Family and Community Service class member Cutter Howard presented their project to the Devine Middle School students on November 26th and December 9th. The group is raising awareness about the causes and warning signs of dating and domestic violence. The students’ presented to 224 total students in the course of the two days. The group surveyed the middle school students on the previous knowledge of the subject and then showed them a PPT to help with the discussion. Next they showed a short age-appropriate video and then played a short game to help reteach the important points of the presentation. The FCCLA group hopes to break the cycle of domestic abuse before it ever gets a chance to start by talking with the younger groups now.
On December 10th, Caitlyn Breiten and Josette Villanueva presented their Behind the Screens project to the Devine Lions Club to spread even more awareness about screen addictions to another audience in our community. The 16 people present at the meeting were shocked at the time spent on smart phones and the physical effects that can occur as a result.
The Unify Devine group was back in December to offer ornament and wreath making while sipping hot chocolate and watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Intermediate campus cafeteria on December 10th, as well. This was by far the biggest turn out for their events with 150 kids and their parents in attendance.

FCCLA students Ebany Garcia and Barbara Merlo have taught lessons on goal setting to the 1st graders in November and to the 2nd graders in January.

December 11th brought the FCCLA’s Christmas Party and along with it, their December service project. Students wrapped nearly 500 books that had been donated for Pre-k through high school students for the Gamma Pi chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma sorority.
Junior Jamie Courtade held a coin drive the week of December 9-13 for her STAR event, Project NICU. She is raising awareness of what the families of NICU babies need and will be creating baskets to donate to a San Antonio area hospital. She also has placed jars around local businesses for collections and created a Facebook page Project NICU to showcase her progress. Please be on the lookout for the jars the next time you are out.
On December 16thAnalea Brooks, Jessenia Phillipi and Andrea Sanchez presented their project No JUUL in School at the School Board Meeting in the DSAC. The girls will be competing in Public Policy Advocate with this project in January at the Region V Conference in Corpus Christi. They advocated for the installation of vape detectors in the high school and possibly middle school bathrooms to help cut down on the amount of incidents that repeatedly occur with vaping on campus. The team researched different vape detector products and created a Power Point presentation to help inform the school board members along with the community members and Administrators present that evening. Brooks, Phillipi and Sanchez also listed the various functions of the different sensors along with the different ways the information will be stored and shared with the administrators and the prices. Since the meeting the girls have been informed that the vape sensors will be installed at the high school campus! The team’s goal of helping cut down on vaping on campus has been met, but they plan to continue to advocate to keep their peers healthy!
The FCCLA Region V Conference will be held in Corpus Christi at the American Banking Center January 30 through February 1, 2020. Devine will be sending 18 students to compete in eight different events along with two Region V Officers, Amy Bailey and Charlize Benavidez, who will lead the conference along with the other region officers.