Middle school students explore new interests in activity clubs

Hillsboro Middle School encourages kids to get involved through a variety of clubs.

Each semester, students get to pick a club to participate in. Eleven clubs were offered this semester.

?I think they?re really great because they teach new skills,? said Tonya Wienck, middle school counselor.

Wienck said some of the clubs teach life-long skills, while others teach students social skills.

?It gives them something new they wouldn?t normally be involved in,? said Evan Yoder, middle school principal.

Yoder said the clubs are popular among students and are a way to make school fun.

The teachers come up with their own ideas for the clubs and then see what students are interested in.

Wienck said the bowling club is one of the most clubs popular among students, as is cooking club.

Students also can sign up for tractor certification, photographs and memory books, fishing, models, cultural crafts, calligraphy and greeting cards, weightlifting, and science fiction movie or yoga clubs.

?The clubs are almost always popular,? Wienck said. ?It?s a neat way for students to interact with their teachers.?

She said it provides a way for teachers to share things they enjoy with students and get to know each other better.

The eighth graders get first choice at the clubs because some activities are limited in numbers.

Wienck said they try to encourage students to try different things.

?It gives them a chance to mix with different people,? Wienck said.

One of the clubs offered is cooking club, taught by Wienck. During the club meetings, students experience ethnic cooking and baking.

Wienck said students learn to read and follow recipes in the club.

Students get to pick their recipes, and make a list of groceries needed. The students then work in groups of two or three to prepare the recipe, as well as cleaning up. She does not limit the difficulty of the recipes.

?They learn basic cooking skills,? Wienck said.

Wienck said students enjoy having a finished product and like to share their food with teachers and the principal. In addition to cooking, students do other activities, such as watching cooking videos.

Another club to be offered second semester is on photographs and memory books, led by Norma Schmidt.

In the club, students learn to preserve pictures and memories for the future through use of dye cuts, stickers, photos and acid free paper.

?It?s something they can carry through for the rest of their life and have memories in there and protected,? Schmidt said.

Schmidt teaches the students how to create a story with the pictures on a page so they could remember what the pictures were of.

?They?re really good at being creative,? Schmidt said.

She said she sees a lot of students keep signing up for the club to be able to work on their scrapbooks more.

The scrapbooks are something students can continue working on after the club is over.

The clubs meet for 90 minutes every other Friday afternoon beginning Jan. 28. A study hall also is offered for students who need time to study or if a club does not meet.

Community members can also get involved in the clubs. Wienck said they encourage people who have special skills or talents related to one of the clubs to come help.

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