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Student Activities and Clubs

Find your footing, expand your mindset, and explore your passions in a club!

Clubs and activities meet regularly and are advised by a faculty member. Students lead the creation and organization of the clubs and activities; the list provided here may change or expand from year to year. 

Students can dabble in some, many or all of the Upper School’s clubs and activities, and if students want to fully immerse themselves in one, they may be able to use it to fulfill their 40-hour activity requirement.  Remember: Each year in Upper School, students must play one sport and participate in one 40-hour activity; students’ 40-hour activity can be an additional sport – or it can be a 40-hour club or activity listed below.   

As you will see below, some (but not all) clubs and activities are designated as a “40-hour activity”; students interested in receiving activity credit need not only to fulfill the 40-hour requirements as stipulated by the club or activity but also to receive the approval by the faculty advisor for having done so.  

That said, most Penn Charter students participate in several clubs and activities just for fun, not for credit.

Amigos

Faculty Advisor: Sarah Aguilar-Francis
To learn about different Spanish-speaking countries and their cultures.

Art Club

Faculty Advisor: Joy Lai
The Art Club exists to foster a creative space for anyone and everyone, regardless of their level of interest in the arts.  The group is instructed in various art techniques and skills, including, but not limited to, photography, film, ceramics, painting, drawing, and design, which students can utilize for their ease in other school projects, such as the Capstone.

Asian Student Association (ASA)

Faculty Advisor: Cory Moy
The ASA seeks to give the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community a seat at the table at Penn Charter by engaging Penn Charter community along with the communities that surround us. We strive to address issues concerning the AAPI community, learn about our cultures, engage our communities, and understand the perspectives of those around us in relation to our own.

Black Student UnionFaculty Advisor: Antonio Williams    *40-hour activity
Explores issues of identity and affinity around race and culture, relevant to students who self-identity as persons of African descent. The group holds discussions around topics in the media, focusing on the ideas of education, celebration and remembrance.

Book Club

Faculty Advisor: Judith Hill    *40-hour activity
Club members discuss what they're reading at home, what they're reading for school, and whatever is on their mind.

Chess Club

Faculty Advisor: Beth Menzie
Students gather to play chess, hone skills and test new tactics – and then compete against other schools in matches. No prior experience needed!

Chinese Club

Faculty Advisor:  Cory Moy
Chinese Club is bringing Chinese language and culture to PC with new school traditions and activities for everyone to enjoy. Help us create the first school-wide Chinese New Year celebration, Chinese cooking class, Kung Fu class, holiday snacks, Tai Chi relaxation, art, philosophy, mythology, food tasting, and the Chopstick Olympics!

Club Shalom

Faculty Advisor: Sandy Portnoy    *40-hour activity
Penn Charter’s Jewish affinity group — all are welcome!

Ethics Bowl Club

Faculty Advisor: Ed Marks
The Ethics Bowl Club meets only in the fall.  We meet several times a week, after school, to prepare for the Regional Ethics Bowl (part of the National High School Ethics Bowl) competition at Villanova in late November.

Female Experience Club Faculty Advisor: Aly Goodner
This club is for people interested in how females experience the world and how societal forces shape the way the world perceives and treats females. Commonly, the group invites girls or women to share their personal experiences or shares information about a current world issue and opens the topic for discussion.

Film Club

Faculty Advisor: Eva Kay Noone
The Film Club meets biweekly at lunch and looks at student films and brainstorms ideas for films in a supportive environment. Students pass on tips and tricks for film and sound editing and get feedback on their work. They are encouraged to send their films to local festivals such as the Bridge, the Greenfield Festival, and the GFS festival.

Food Security Club

Faculty Advisor: Aly Goodner
This club supports local organizations alleviating food insecurity in Philadelphia, while gaining a deeper understanding of food insecurity and developing authentic connections with those who have limited food access.

Friends of the Arts Club 

Faculty Advisor: Michael Roche
The Friends Of the Arts is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning to play ukulele/guitars/piano, to set up microphones or run lights, to sing/rap, to create a theatrical poster, to watch stage performances or simply to meet other people interested in the arts. No experience necessary. Drop in any time.

French Club

Faculty Advisor: Marianna Allen
In French Club, members will watch movies, eat French treats, bake French goodies, and hang out at various museums! We will host bake sales, play fun games, and learn a lot about French Culture.

Green Club

Faculty Advisor: Tom Rickards    *40-hour activity
The Upper School Green Club is a student-led group that meets weekly and explores a variety of topics relating to environmental stewardship and issues of sustainability. We touch on issues that are both local and global. Students help maintain our campus gardens, participate in local service projects through Friends of the Wissahickon (and other local environmental groups), and going on hikes and getting out in nature! We work to maintain our collective awareness of the school's environmental footprint through our daily campus life. 

Happiness Club

Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Hitschler

Latin Club

Faculty Advisor: Peter Morton
Latin Club makes all things Roman fun! Join us for trivia games, scavenger hunts, movies and weekly challenges.

Math Club

Faculty Advisor: Liz Flemming
The Math Club meets weekly to practice for contests and expand our ability with challenging problems, which is useful for contests as well as for SAT prep and just increasing our brain power.  Members will also be encouraged to take the various contests offered at the school, including Pa. Math League (PAML), Mandelbrot (a contest similar to PAML) and the American Math Contest (AME), and could potentially compete in off-campus competitions. Students may take the contests without attending the practice sessions.

Microfinance Club

Faculty Advisory: Aly Goodner    *40-hour activity
Microfinance educates students about microfinance while selecting and monitoring various investments in South American entrepreneurs. This year the club is also partnering with the QuakeMakers Social Entrepreneurship Club to create a small fund to support the ideas of our Penn Charter social entrepreneurs.

The Mirror

Faculty Advisory: Nora Landon    *40-hour activity
The Mirror is the PC community newspaper, the oldest school newspaper in America. As a member you will pitch article ideas, write articles and learn basic editing skills. In 1777, Penn Charter student Samuel M. Fox published the first school newspaper in America and Europe while British troops occupied the City of Philadelphia and were billeted in his own school building. 

Mock Trial

Faculty Advisor: Anne Hilton    *40-hour activity
In Mock Trial you will participate in a mock court trial as a witness or attorney. Mock Trial is great for those who want to improve their speaking and writing skills and in general is a great community-building club.

Model UN

Faculty Advisors: Kristen Ostendorf and Ed Marks    *40-hour activity
Model United Nations is a club focused on global politics. We meet once a week to discuss recent political events and we also compete as a team in simulations of the United Nations at a few conferences.

Multiracial Student Association (MSA)

Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Hitschler
This association will be (but is not limited to) a space to freely discuss topics and issues involving the multiracial population in and outside of the PC community. 

Penn Charter Ambassadors Club

Faculty Advisors: Tori Small and Rachel Codkind    *40-hour activity
As members of the Admissions Ambassadors program, we will have fun, eat well, and engage in mandatory training. The training involves learning what it means to be a 'host" for a prospective Penn Charter student and what it takes to be a representative of the Penn Charter community.

Performing Arts Opportunities

Penn Charter has many varied offerings in the Performing Arts that satisfy the 40-hour activity requirement. 
Girls a Capella    Faculty Advisor:  Joe Fitzmartin
Quakers Dozen (also a capella)    Faculty Advisor:  Joe Fitzmartin 
Jazz Band    Faculty Advisor:  Brad Ford 
Percussion Ensemble    Faculty Advisor:  Brad Ford 
Brass Ensemble    Faculty Advisor: Brad Ford 
Upper School Play    Faculty Advisor rotates yearly 
Upper School Musical    Faculty Advisor rotates yearly 
Stage Crew    Faculty Advisor: Michael Roche 

Quake Makers Social Entrepreneurship Club

Faculty Advisor: Aly Goodner    *40-hour activity
Quake Makers is dedicated to bringing entrepreneurship to Penn Charter by helping students start their own real companies, make connections with the Philly startup scene, and learn about business in a hands-on way. Every student who starts a company will have the opportunity to pitch that company Shark Tank-style (with less screaming, of course) to a group of panelists made up of venture capitalists, educators, entrepreneurs and other interesting people at our annual pitch competition for a chance to receive funding for their company.

Religious Life Committee

Faculty Advisor: Ben Dziedzic
This student and faculty group is charged with the care of Meeting for Worship in the Upper School, and with the Quaker life of the Upper School, more broadly. We work with students and student groups to prepare queries for Meeting and other programming for Meeting, including alternative Meetings that happen regularly in the Upper School.

Robotics  Faculty Advisors: Corey Kilbane and Tim Clarke    *40-hour activity
Robotics meets after school to build and test robots. Club members also take part in interscholastic competitions during the winter months. Students must participate after school, in competitions, and have faculty advisor approval to earn 40-hour credit.

Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA)

Faculty Advisors: Maria Adamson, Joy Lai, Cory Moy, Andy Zuccotti    *40-hour activity
SAGA exists to foster a community for LGBT+ individuals and their allies within Penn Charter.  The group aims to support LGBT+ students, educate the student body on LGBT+ issues, and engage in light activism on the behalf of the LGBT+ community.

Service Council

Faculty Advisor: Sharon Ahram
Members engage in community service and volunteer projects across the city of Philadelphia.  We also provide a space for students to collaborate with others and address social issues within the greater community. Leaders of the Service Council organize regular meetings, steer fellow Service Council members and help to organize projects, Day of Service, MLK Day of Service, and larger school-wide service initiatives. The co-clerks for the year are chosen by the body of the Service Council through a meeting for business and Quaker consensus. 

Social Justice Club

Faculty Advisor: Sharon Ahram 
The group holds student-led discussions of on a wide range of social justice-related topics.

Spanish and Latino Association (SALSA)

Faculty Advisor: Sarah Aguilar-Francis 
SALSA is the Spanish and Latino Student Association at Penn Charter. Everybody is welcome! In SALSA we discuss Latino and Spanish Culture, Politics and International Relations in both their native countries and the US. Students watch videos, play games and occasionally cook and eat native food.

Sports Talk and Debate Club

Faculty Advisor: TJ Ferrick 
This group meets on Mondays at lunch to do – what else? – Monday morning quarterbacking and to talk about sports competition and the latest debates in the sports industry.

Wednesday Weekly

Faculty Advisors: Michael Roche and Lee Payton
Penn Charter’s news show! The weekly two-to-three minute segments are anchored, written, filmed and produced by students.

Writing Club

Faculty Advisor: Rachel Malhotra
Writing Club provides a space for students to share, work on, and learn about creative writing with other students, whether it be poetry, lyrics, or short stories. Each week will have a short workshop covering anything from how to write a character to improving rhyming skills and an open space for sharing works.

Young Republicans Club

Faculty Advisors: Dan Evans and Doug Gorham
Meeting weekly on Fridays, this group explores current political issues and examines Republican policies and positions.