By Megan Martin
Linksgiving is an annual event put on by Link Crew for the freshman class that includes food, games, and music. This is the fourth year that Link Crew and Linksgiving have been in existence, and this year Linksgiving took place in the cafeteria on Nov. 17 from 3:15 to 5.
Link Crew is a student-led program designed to support freshmen transitioning into high school. It aims to make our school a more welcoming and warm community so that freshmen can hit the ground running from the first day of school. The leaders show support throughout the year by attending freshman sporting events, creating social bonds, and offering tutoring to support them through their first finals.
Link Crew is overseen by teachers Allen Nakamura, Molly Gerber, Joe Pearse, and dean of students Patrick Brose. Gerber states the the best thing about Link Crew is that “it is really student-run so I have a pretty hands-off role” and she is just there to “support the students” and “help things go more smoothly.”
Linksgiving was created through the collaboration of a previous student who graduated in 2015 and Nakamura. “I would say Linksgiving is coming up to show that we are thankful for them and to have a celebration for them, also again to make them feel good,” said Nakamura.
“At Linksgiving the Link Crew tutors and freshmen show up and we play a bunch of fun games together and after we have a lovely meal to be thankful for all that is link crew,” said Maya Lee, Link Crew Leader.
This year, there was a variety of food, from KFC to Chinese food from Chinatown offered to the students. Two Link Leaders, Anson Nguyen and Lee, planned a scavenger hunt with coded messages that led the freshmen to resources offered at the school, including the health center and the writing center. When the freshmen were eating alongside the upperclassmen, there was music playing as well as the band Fortune’s Fools performing.
Lee states that they wanted to “create a scavenger hunt with a purpose.” She thinks that “most of the students at our school don’t know what resources are available or where they are exactly, so for each location we gave them a small clue.”
When the students arrived, they were assigned a table number that corresponds with two Link Leaders. They then embarked on the scavenger hunt and upon completion they returned to the cafeteria where they devoured a feast of candy, chips, and donuts, along with the chicken and Chinese food.
“I communicated with my freshmen and led them through team bonding exercises to discover new parts of the school,” said Link Crew Leader Clare Shipman. Shipman also states that her favorite part of Linksgiving is eating the “exquisite” food with friends and listening to Fortune’s Fools play.
Freshman Haley Cohn attended Linksgiving because she “thought it would be fun” and is “always up for free food.” Her favorite part of the day was the band and the food.
One of the challenges Nakamura faces when putting on Linksgiving is “making sure we have enough food” and ensuring that Link Leaders will come to the event and work hard throughout. “This is an issue sometimes. Link Leaders get all fired up to work the summer and work that first day of school, but after that their interest dissipates. It is hard grabbing them back in and making sure they do their job,” said Nakamura.
Lee enjoys participating in events that Link Crew puts on because “I know that I can make an impact on the future of Alameda High.”
Nakamura enjoys Linksgiving because “everybody seems pretty happy to get free food” so the day is filled with joy and smiles. Also Nakamura adds that “they are pretty cute, they are only little freshmen so it puts a smile on my face.”