Upper School Clubs
With over 70 student-designed and led Upper School Clubs, students can pursue varying interests, including journalism, literacy, science, advocacy and social justice, community engagement, art, music, sustainability, film, coding, fundraising, and many more!
Students also have the opportunity to participate in affinity groups, including Latin American Student Solidarity Organization (LASSO), the Black Student Union (BSU), Asian Students Association (ASA), and more.
Clubs are divided into four main categories: social identity, mission, publications, and interest.
Asian Students Alliance (ASA)
The Asian Students Alliance is a group for students of Asian heritage and their allies, providing opportunities for leadership, discussion, support and personal growth.
Black Student Union (BSU)
Created by GFS students, the Black Student Union promotes a better atmosphere for Black students through unity, collaboration, and communication.
Brothers for Academic and Social Enrichment (BASE)
A support group for male students of color in the Upper School, BASE fosters a sense of brotherhood and family by creating an environment where minority students can share their unique life experiences, views, ideas and culture with other students who are similar to them.
Chaverim is a support and discussion group for issues related to Judaism for Jews and non-Jews alike. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about Judaism or discussing the many issues surrounding it and the state of Israel can join.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is a club dedicated to creating an encouraging space for women in technology. The club's mission addresses the lack of women in STEM and growth opportunities our shared through engaging lessons and guest speakers.
LASSO (Latin American Student Solidarity Organization)
The Latin American Student Solidarity Organization (LASSO) is a club dedicated to the unification of people of all race, ethnicity, and religion in solidarity to support Latin American students at GFS. Students discover and learn about all Latin American cultures through food and the experiences of Latin American students. The club's goal is to increase the voice and representation of Latin American students and faculty on campus through the events hosted by the club and in collaboration with outside resources and opportunities.
Neurodiversity & Mental Health Club
Neurodiversity & Mental Health Club supports, advocates for, and educates the community about different ways of thinking, feeling, and moving about the world.
SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Alliance)
SAGA's mission is to provide support for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The group meets weekly to discuss questions or concerns pertaining to sexuality, gender, and associated issues. It also meets outside of school for social occasions, sometimes with groups from other schools.
An affinity group for female students of color from various backgrounds in grades 9-12, which provides opportunities for leadership, discussion, support and personal growth.
South Asian Student Alliance
This club is for students who identify as South Asian (including students of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan descent) and also for students who want to learn more about South Asian culture.
Touched by Adoption
Touched by Adoption is a club for those who are adopted, have a family member who is adopted, a friend who is adopted, or for those curious about adoption.
Action through Athletes (ATA)
Action through Athletes (ATA) is committed to bringing awareness to difficult and wide-ranging injustices in our world through athletics. The club strives to create a brighter future through education, fundraising, and advocacy of underrepresented groups and important issues.
Admissions Office Student Tour Guides
Student tour guides lead visiting parents on a tour of the school during the academic day and at Open Houses. This group is comprised of 10th, 11th, and 12th grade volunteers who have agreed to assist the school in this facet of the application process.
Advocates for Endangered Species
Advocates for Endangered Species is comprised of a group of students who are passionate about the environment, animals and wildlife, and wants to make the world a better place.
Bikes For Kids
The Bikes for Kids club receives donated bikes in any condition, fixes them to a working and usable state, and then donates them to whoever needs them. The club is mostly centered around donating to youth groups.
This club focuses on teaching and communicating with students from the Dandelion Middle School, and organizes fundraising activities for donating books and learning materials to the school.
Community Engagement Club
The Community Engagement Club, a combination of the Lunch for the Hungry Club and Community Action Club, seeks to promote student community engagement. In conjunction with the GFS Community Engagement Office, the club will host and promote events, drives and community engagement opportunities to support organizations in the Germantown community.
Conserving Oceans, Reefs, and Aquatic Life (CORAL)
CORAL spreads awareness of coral bleaching and other harmful effects the ocean is enduring as a result of human activity, and raises funding to mitigate these effects.
Cradles to Crayons
Throughout the year, this club plans fundraisers to support Cradles to Crayons, a non-profit organization that provides essential items for families in need. The club will offer students an opportunity to make a positive impact in their community.
In Education Justice, students learn about the challenges that Philadelphia public schools face and organize to take action to create change. The club supports a first grade classroom at the John B. Kelly Elementary School through literacy tutoring, drives for classroom materials, and occasional reading workshops. The club also has an ongoing partnership with the Philadelphia Student Union, as well as a classroom of newly arrived immigrant students at Franklin Learning Center.
Environmental Action Club
We work to improve the environmental sustainability of the GFS community and educate students and faculty to promote positive, sustainable change at the family, community, and city-wide level.
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
FBLA helps students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions (FBLA Competitive Events), leadership development, and educational programs. The purpose of FBLA is to provide additional opportunities for secondary students (grades 9–12) in business and/or business-related fields to develop vocational and career supportive competencies and to promote civic and personal responsibilities.
High School Democrats of America (HSDA)
High School Democrats of America (HSDA) is a national political organization that serves as an entry point to Democratic politics for youth activists from across the country. GFS members of HSDA will have the opportunity to engage with a national community of like-minded, politically active students. As a chapter of the national organization, the club works on locally based projects, such as voter registration, phone banking, and canvassing.
Intersectional Equity Club
Middle School Math Friends
P.H.I.L.A (Public Health Issues, Laws, and Action)
Plarn for the People
Providing for Pups
The Student Advisory Council is composed of four elected representatives from each upper school grade. Our mission is to serve as liaison between the student body and administration. We relay students' ideas, opinions and needs to the faculty and administration in an effort to improve the quality of student life. We also frequently sponsor fun events such as fall and spring jams to generate excitement and school spirit.
Youth for Movement
The goal in the animanga club is to watch anime, read manga and review them, as well as look at the creative process of manga and anime and the industry. The club also uses drawing tablets to have different artists collaborate and create an artbook, and take a trip to Sakura Sunday, a popular Japanese festival in our area.
Aquaponics explores botany, aquatic life, and sustainable science. The club aims to rebuild and improve GFS' student-made ecosystem.
Around The World
In Around the World Club, students listen to music, watch movies, and taste food from other countries. Each month focuses on a different country and different aspect of culture.
Art Club leads GFS's participation in the annual Sketchbook Project in conjunction with the Brooklyn Art Library and is a place to exercise the love of creating through various independent art projects. We work on expanding and improving art skills.
The purpose of Barkada is for members to learn about and explore the history and culture of the Philippines through music, dance, and food. The club is unique because the Philippine islands, like other islands in the Pacific, have distinct features that are different from other Asian countries.
Bavarder en Français
Bavarder en Français is a club dedicated to creating a fun and a casual environment to practice speaking in French. The club will share French music, movies, and games, create space and time for homework and improving students' overall French.
Ceramics club makes clay mediums is art-making available to Upper School artists.
Chess Club is an opportunity for students of any skill level to play chess during lunch. The GFS Chess team also competes in tournaments like the state championship.
Chocolate Club brings together students of different backgrounds over their love of chocolate. Students dive deep into the world of chocolate (the history, the manufacturing process, popularity in different areas of the world, and the different types).
Coffeehouse is a casual, open venue for any type of performance. An open-mic night that takes place a few evenings per year, Coffeehouse showcases the best of the student body's diverse array of talents. All students are invited to sing, play music, read poetry, do stand up comedy, or display any other talents. This club organizes the events.
Croche Club provides the opportunity for students to learn how to crochet and use their new skill to help the community.
Diversity Ambassadors are student leaders who collaborate with the GFS Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to advocate for and provide culturally based programming and dialogues aligned with social justice principles.
This club is designed for students to find others who are interested in video games. We will make teams to compete in several games in the High School Esports League. Club members will learn about sportsmanship and how to work with others when competing on a team.
Exploring Music Around the World
We will study the impact and meaning of music as it relates to various cultures across the world, and how this has changed over time. We will perform a detailed exploration of music from different regions of the world throughout history, engaging in video and literature review and thoughtful discussions. The goals of this group are to develop a greater appreciation of the history and art of music --- and is for all music lovers.
Food and Friends
In Food with Friends we aim to create a fun, relaxed club where students can eat, socialize, relieve stress, and have a good time. We want to enjoy one another's company from different grade levels while also enjoying delicious and various flavored foods.
The mission of our club is to create a comfortable enviornment where students can practice and improve public speaking. Our goal is to be able to learn from one another and learn to enjoy something that might seem intimidating.
Friends of Music (previously known as Music Performance Club)
The mission of the club is to create a place where student musicians, songwriters, and composers can find community, share what they are working on, and feel comfortable to take creative risks. Students may be given opportunities (optional + low stakes) to perform/showcase what they are working on with GFS and surrounding communities.
The goals of ultimate frisbee club is to encourage people to play and enjoy frisbee. It would be a great upper school community bonding experience. Right now, there are separate friend groups playing frisbee during lunch. Creating a frisbee club would allow these different friend groups to bond over frisbee in addition to encouraging new people to try the sport.
Our mission is to have fun, grow crops, and connect green thumb owners around GFS. We also hope to donate some of our crops to the school and local communities!
Magic The Gathering Club
This goal of this club is to create a space to play and talk about the card game Magic The Gathering. We hope to introduce new players to the game as well as create a welcoming and competitive environment for experienced players!
Math Club (previously master mathers)
We hope to make learning math fun and interesting and foster a love for problem solving within the community
To teach kids about law and have a good time.
Model United Nations (MUN) advances the understanding of the United Nations and contemporary international issues. Participation in MUN enriches students’ international outlook, giving them intense awareness of other countries as well as experience in seeking feasible solutions through reasoned discussions. Students learn to approach obstacles from perspectives that may be different than their own. Through these debates we learn how to make allies, collaborate together, and produce agreements, which eventually become solutions. This work in crafting and promoting particular solutions is especially important in training future leaders in a globalized world. We aim to create a healthy and cohesive community of diligent and motivated students. Together we can gain more knowledge and information about the ever connected world around us. We welcome all regardless of experience!
Mountain Biking Club
Help people get into mountain biking and provide a group where mountain bikers can go on rides with each other. This club will also educate people (new riders) about bike maintenance, bike skills, and about trail maintenance. But most importantly, we just want to have fun with bikes!
PA Science Olympiad Club
The Pennsylvania Science Olympiad Club (PASO) is a regional team competition in which students compete in 23 events pertaining to various scientific disciplines, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Over 7,800 middle school and high school teams from 50 U.S. states compete each year. Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiads, students, teachers, parents, and principals bond together and work toward a shared goal.
Philadelphia Youth Film Festival (PHYFF)
The Philadelphia Youth Film Festival (PHYFF) is a student-run event dedicated to helping teenage creatives find their voice in a rapidly expanding community of young filmmakers. We are looking for students who are interested in any of the following things: filmmaking, watching student films, graphic design, web design, content/media creation, and event planning. Come join our club and be a part of our 5th annual film festival!
Philosophy Club is a place for people to have interesting and fun discussions about everything from the meaning of life to whether cats are better than dogs. We welcome all points of view- to us, differing opinions are what make conversations meaningful.
In photography club we will take pictures and share them with each other. The focus of the club will be taking pictures throughout the week based on a decided theme, and then coming back together during club time to share our favorite photos and discuss techniques. All experience levels are welcome, as is any type of camera (including phones)
Ping Pong club
We are offering a low-pressure, low-commitment club for people who enjoy playing ping pong. All skill levels are welcome and we will offer periodic tournaments for people who want to get more competitive. Tentatively we have the meeting time for the club as 2:15 on Tuesday, however you can be in the club and not always play at the time, or just play with your friends at times you’re free. The more people active and interested in ping pong the better!
Our mission is to compete in trivia team games, both in lunch time games and inter-school tournaments. For students who love pop culture, politics, art, music, literature, history, science, math, or technology.
READ (read eat and discuss)
The staggering and disturbing fact that most of the GFS students do not read outside of school provokes the birth of this club. Our club’s purpose is to internalize the idea that “reading for fun is mandatory” and to provide a platform for literature enthusiasts to congregate. Our ultimate goal would be to promote spontaneous and leisure reading. In order to do that, we will strive to facilitate student-run and student-oriented discussions and activities regarding literature. Also, snacks!
Self Defense Club
The purpose of self defense club is to learn and practice self defense techniques.
We will play competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch every week Tuesday 2:15-3:15. There will be a league and tournaments with prizes. Please join if you play the game at at least a relatively competent level. Excited to see you there!
The Poetry Club (Open Road)
The central aim of the club is to bring the joy of poetry to every accessible member of the GFS community, including both the students and the faculty. Students meet, share and chat about their works/works that they appreciate, and more importantly the ideas behind these poems. The club will also plan to hold different activities that connect all three divisions and the neighborhood.
True Crime Club
The true crime club will meet and discuss different unsolved and solved cases that we find interesting. This will create a community of people with similar interests to meet up and hang out while having conversations about something we find facinating.
The goal of this club is to introduce the sport to as many people as possible. We just wanna have fun and play some volleyball.
Women in the Weight Room
Women in the Weight Room wants to teach the female student body how to lift in a safe space so they feel more comfortable coming to the weight room with the rest of the school.
The Upper School annual student yearbook. Students learn management and production skills, and work to produce a high quality product at the end of each year.
Classics Club/Literary Journal (Libellum)
Students of the Classics deepen their understanding of the languages and culture of the ancient world through discussion, games, contests, trips, and other related activities. Decisions are made by a Roman-style senatorial committee. The club is also responsible for the editing and upkeep of Libellum, the GFS Classics literary blog, featuring student translations, poetry and prose compositions, and artwork in Classical subjects.
Earthquake is a quarterly news magazine distributed free in the Front Hall and mailed home to Upper School parents and recent alumni. Articles with more timely content will be posted on the Earthquake website. Earthquake sponsors the annual High School Journalism Conference to bring together editors, staff and advisors of high school papers from Philadelphia-area schools to discuss their newspapers and learn from local and national journalists.
Ellipsis: Academic Writing Journal
A biannual publication dedicated to the academic writings of GFS students, with editions released in the winter and spring. This journal includes graded or ungraded writing on the topics of analytical English, history, scientific research, philosophy, the arts, mathematics, etc. We view the purpose of this publication as to showcase the diverse and individual thinking and interests of the student body on academic topics, as well as providing a direct window into GFS academics and the minds of its students for the outside world
The annual GFS art and literary magazine provides a creative forum for student poetry, prose, short stories, visual arts, and audio arts.
We record all of the major events at GFS in the month, and create a 5-10 minute newscast. The newscast resembles a standard newscast that you would see on a local news channel.