Obama clubs add active learning to student schedules

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Obama clubs add active learning to student schedules

Cody Davis

Cody Davis

Cody Davis

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Many students think that the clubs here at Obama are a waste of time and stupid, but do you know what they’re really about? Some are very worthwhile and actually work to teach students things they don’t necessarily get in classroom instruction. This article will tell you exactly what some of the clubs here are like and exactly what they do.

Step Club by Mariah Howze

The step club is one of many newly developed clubs here at Obama. “This club came about as a result of students’ particular interest in it,” said Ms. Sharif, the step coach. Step started in Ms. Sharif’s percussion and drumming class. As the steps were taught, students began taking  an increasing interest in it. From there, the step team evolved. The step club soon came into formation after the step team. “I enjoy it and want to teach it. Step is directed toward culture and has a lot to do with music,” says Ms. Shariff.

Tiffany Ralston, an 11th grade student, says church is where she started stepping. She thinks that it is fun and energizing.

Taylor McMinan, a ninth grade student, says she became a part of step club because she wanted to try something new and get involved. She puts heart into it when she steps.

Another physical club here at Obama is the Weight Training club with Mr.Casilli and Fitness Club with Ms.Shaffer and Ms.Ralston. If you like to look good and get in shape, then these next two clubs are for you.

Weight Training Club by Charles Hubbard &  Da’Shan Malloy

The students that we interviewed in the weight training club have all said that they enjoy being in the club that’s run by Mr. Casilli. “I started this club because there are a lot of students who have an interest in becoming physically fit,” says Mr. Casilli. Chekesha Neal agrees and says, “I love to work out” Meanwhile, Neandre Harbour says that he “wants to look like [Casilli] Sensei” as a result of being in the club.

Fitness Club by Camisha Wingate , Jasmine Turner, Ilana Diamant

Ever want to get fit at school? Have you thought about joining our fitness club? Ms. Shaffer and Ms. Ralston teach about 23 students multiple techniques regarding fitness. One technique she taught the students was yoga meditation. Ms. Shaffer had the room quiet while they relaxed to soft, calming music. Some of the kids sat out while the others were just learning the method of relaxing. They are basically covering yoga,  and not focusing on things like jumping jacks and push ups. It’s more of a class to relax and learn to relieve stress.

Not only do some of us go through problems in school, but some of us have problems outside of school and in our communities. This club next club allows students to make positive changes.

Teen Media Advocacy Club by Tessa Mastalski

Invented and maintained by Carlow University, the Teen Media Advocacy club gives students a chance to address problems that they feel need to be solved within their community and our school. As a teenager, it may seem as though adults feel that they know what is best for us. However, this club gives students a chance to show that they can make a change and have a voice their communities. In the club, the students get a chance to express their opinions, create posters, and make changes in our school.

After talking with the students of the club, they all expressed a need for change. The students are trying to make changes in things like school lunches. They explained how this club was something different, and how they have never experienced any other club like it. They enjoy the fact that they learn about the opinions of others, are introduced to new ideas, and get the chance to make changes in the school. Leaders of the club include Heather Herr and Carlow University student Gloria Shawn. For more information on the club, you can go to www.carlow.edu/ymp.

These next two clubs are more “fun” based: board games club and our musicals’ very own stage crew club.

Board Games Club by Yoka Rooney

Although it took a while for this club to get actual games, once it did the students seem to be having a lot of fun. I asked Mrs. Wilson why she started the club, and she replied saying, “I just wanted to have fun”. She wanted to give the kids something different than the normal Quality Resource Time. I asked Philip Bova why he joined this club; he replied enthusiastically, “I love Mrs. Wilson!”. Some of the games they have include “Apples to Apples”, and “Buzz Word”. “Apples to Apples” seems to be a favorite among the students.

Stage Crew Club by Yoka Rooney

A club that seems to be growing in popularity is the stage crew club. I was lucky enough to get into the room without Ms. McKrell kicking me out. Unfortunately, I was not privileged enough to interview any of the students. The room was packed with kids working on plaques, making an assortment of costumes, and working on other necessities for the musical. Not only do the kids on stage crew come, but the cast comes to help, as well. All of the students are either building their singing and dancing skills, or experiencing what its like to work on stage crew.

Now some may think these next two clubs are boring or lame, or are they?

Chess Club by Jens Kopper

Playing chess doesn’t sound so exciting but the Obama Academy Chess Club with Mr. Iasella is a popular choice for students. Like an old saying says, a sword fight is like a game of chess: you have to think before you move. That is exactly what the ten students do in the club, think.  There are also hard one on one matches, which can take almost forever. The whole atmosphere in the room is really silent and if you hear something, it might just be a student’s brain thinking.

Engineering Club by Jens Kopper

Some students didn’t really know what engineering was, until they came to Mr. Miller’s Engineering Club. The Club is about building all kind of things in the smartest way. An example of this would be getting into groups and trying to build the biggest, lone standing tower in the shortest time. But now comes the hard part; the tower has to be built with a limited amount of straws. For some groups, the objective was too hard and some made a tower, but it couldn’t stand alone.

Another great objective was to make the best paper plane. Everybody student has done it at some point in their lives, but the club perfects the idea of a paper plane. With a good shape, a small weight in the front and the right technique of throwing, the competition was hard. In end , the students who thought first and then built, won. Like so often in the club, you have to think about your ideas and whether they would work out like you think they will.

Salsa Club by Renate Aleman

The Salsa Club’s objective is to teach the members how to move in the complicated ways of Salsa. As intimidating as that might seem, some of the members face the challenge in accompanying the teacher in dancing to the music that brings back childhood memories for him.

Make Club  by Jens Kopper

Some students participate and some just sit back and watch. It’s a shame. Sometimes great ideas are doomed by having a closed mind.

The best Obama clubs have students doing “fun learning.” They have students giving it a try, if nothing else. We’ll be focusing on other clubs in upcoming weeks.

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