Feature: Circle of Friends

Jacob+Martin%2C+junior%2C+eats+pizza+with+Kat+Moore+and+Tyresse+Norris%2C+seniors.+

photo by Will Rives

Jacob Martin, junior, eats pizza with Kat Moore and Tyresse Norris, seniors.

Having its original roots in Webster Groves High School, Circle of Friends (COF) has been a prominent club at KHS for several years. The club is more than just a school activity because they go into the community and truly get to know people. It stands for more than just a club but rather a representation of what Kirkwood is all about.

COF has been a club at KHS sponsored by Maddie Raimondo, social studies teacher, for seven years. Raimondo first started the club when she received a request from the parent of a disabled child. This parent wanted a space for their child to be included. The club specifically focuses on the social aspect of high school and how to get everyone involved at their school.

“COF gives students an opportunity to meet new people and build impactful friendships,” Sophie Scott, junior board member, said. “It also encourages participation in school sponsored events like sports and dances.”

COF hosts several events each year to give every student the opportunity to have the full experience of high school, such as parties for nearly every holiday, barbecues and pre-dance parties. This year COF hosted a Valentine’s Day party on Feb. 13 where they swapped Valentine cards, ate candy and spent time with friends for one and a half hours.

“The Valentine’s party was super fun,”  Lindsey Kocher, freshman, said. “It was the day before Valentine’s Day so we could make tons of valentines for each other and other friends. It was a way to get to know each other and was cute to watch all of the interactions between everyone.”

COF aims to be inclusive of everyone at KHS, and even though the foundation was built upon providing a friend group for those with special needs, they give a group of friends for any student. The club is a place for all types of people to come together and spend time in a supportive and friendly environment.

“The goal is to make every student feel included at KHS. The focus is around students with special needs but we try to be inclusive for everybody [at KHS].””

— Katie Raimondo

“The goal is to make every student feel included at KHS,” Raimondo said. “The focus is around students with special needs but we try to be inclusive for everybody to just have a place and feel like they have friends in high school.”

The club makes students feel involved with their school, however they try to reach further than that by building friendships outside of the club and involving students anytime they can. COF is mainly student led and that dynamic allows for everyone to feel like they are spending time with friends rather than a club. The group creates friends for everyone, ones that they can trust and talk to. They want every student to feel valued and equal.

“It allows people to see each other as human and see each other as who they are inside instead of who they are on the outside and I think that is important,” Raimondo said.