New club at BHS is making an impact

In the spring of 2000, two students at Bettendorf High School formulated a vision of a club that would help bring Bettendorf students closer together.

Matt Johnson, a graduate in 2000, and Jay Bowman, a current sophomore, brought their idea to Bettendorf High School guidance counselor Mrs. Harle.

Together, the two students and guidance counselor began a club now known as Students Organized to Unite Peoples (SOUP). The club has been extremely successful in the past two years, attracting an assortment of students of all types.

Earlier this year, SOUP began a new subgroup called the SOUP Troupe. The SOUP Troupe produces and performs skits promoting acceptance and diversity in schools all around Bettendorf.

The first produced skit, "The Sunshine Kids," was performed at Hoover Elementary School in late November. "The Sunshine Kids" is a 15-minute skit using humor to describe how to avoid making other students feel unaccepted, and teaching how it feels to be unaccepted.

In three weeks, the SOUP Troupe will be performing "The Sunshine Kids" at a different elementary school. The troupe also will be visiting Bettendorf Middle School sometime in May to perform and discuss social issues with the entire 7th and 8th grade class.

"SOUP hopes to transmit the message that students don't need to place labels on other people and that although some people are unique, it doesn't make them unacceptable," said Bowman.

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