A Coffee House For A Great Cause At MRHS

By: Kat Szmit

Topics: Benefits , Holidays , Community events

Come kick off the holiday season at the first Holiday Market and Coffee House/Open Mic event hosted by and benefiting the Sandscript Club at Monomoy Regional High School on Dec. 6 from 4-6 p.m. Kat Szmit Photo

HARWICH – There is a wealth of holiday bazaars and craft fairs on Cape Cod during the holidays, but the newest one at Monomoy Regional High School aims to raise money for a great cause.

On Dec. 6 the Sandscript Club will host its first Holiday Market and Coffee House/Open Mic event to raise funds toward future writing adventures. For those unaware, Sandscript, a creative writing club, is one of the oldest clubs at MRHS, having gotten its start at Chatham High School. Each year the club publishes, through the school, a literary magazine that includes poetry, stories, and artwork all done by students.

Monomoy teacher Lisa Forte-Doyle has been at the helm of the club since the 1990s and said it's about more than just the magazine.

“We've been bringing our Halloween stories to the elementary schools since the 1990s,” she said. “I have kids that have said to me, 'I remember when I was in first grade and you came to my class.'”

The group also celebrates National Poetry Month, with members encouraged to attend local readings. Students are also encouraged to join writing contests, as well. This season, just in time for the coffee house, club members will be making holiday candy houses and writing stories about who or what lives in them.

Though school rules don't allow Monomoy clubs to go on field trips that take them out of class for the day, the Sandscript group was able to travel to New York this fall using funds raised through summer bake sales. Desiring more after school adventures both literal and literary, the club was seeking other fundraising means beyond the bake sale.

“We don't want to just do bake sales all the time,” Forte-Doyle said. “We want to do something that's different and fun, yet connected to what we do as Sandscript.”

The initial idea was to hold an open mic event after school hours, which snowballed into a full-on fair with vendors, coffee, and tasty treats. The funds will ideally be used to visit area locales rumored to be haunted, and have club members write scary stories based on the experiences.

“Just like Mary Shelley did with Frankenstein,” Forte-Doyle said. “Whenever we go somewhere, we write.”

Forte-Doyle said there will be around eight vendors at the event selling everything from scenic photos to fresh cranberries, as well as etched glass, handmade candles, jewelry, baked goods, and, of course, coffee, courtesy of Monomoy SHORE Program's Jawsome Java.

The event is also a way for Sandscript members to highlight what they do. In many cases, the club is something of a safe haven for students who need a creative outlet and a safe means of expressing themselves.

“Here, they get their feelings out on paper,” Forte-Doyle said. “I think it's a way to privately express feelings. It's a safe place. We're more than just a magazine. We're a place that encourages writing and creativity.”

The Sandscript Holiday Market and Coffee House/Open Mic will be held Dec. 6 from 4-6 p.m. at Monomoy Regional High School.