La Serna’s TLC brings students together

Bella Gil, Staff Writer

Beginning in 2016, a new type of club will be launching at La Serna High School. Formed by speech-language pathologist Violet Hernandez, as well as a retired La Serna psychologist, The Lunch Club, or TLC, focuses on students with social-communication challenges coming together with other students to hang out and participate in various activities during lunch. Unlike a typical club, TLC meets only on Tuesdays for the entire lunch period.

Started as “The Circle of Friends Club” many years ago, TLC has always been an active part of La Serna. Hernandez changed the name last year, but began advising the club back in 2008. Student volunteers were chosen from the student class-councils, Autism Speaks club, and students that contacted Hernandez directly.

Students are presented with a multitude of activities during to do during their Tuesday sessions. They can visit the Animal House competition, La Serna’s Got Talent, attend assemblies – but most of all eat and enjoy their lunch while catching up with a friend.

The Lunch Club is important for La Serna because it gives students a chance to make new friends and learn about each other’s daily accomplishments and struggles. Hernandez says, “The purpose of TLC is to offer students with social-communication challenges an opportunity to connect with new people outside of their circle and to experience student life from a fresh perspective.  We want to encourage participation in school lunch activities and the development of positive peer interactions. TLC offers students the time to practice their communication skills with a positive, affirming peer mentor.  The peer mentors benefit from the opportunity to meet new students, develop friendships, learn more about tolerance and acceptance, and gain the knowledge that they are impacting another individual in a positive manner.”

Because of The Lunch Club, La Serna students build character, develop new qualities, and create new friendships. As the year continues, The Lunch Club will accept any new volunteers who want to join.