Clubs nurture interests ... and belonging
Students sit contently around a table in Sewing Club, cutting felt for cute little pumpkins and other stuffies they’ll make. One of the participants can’t decide which design to select. A few minutes later, she’s in Games Club, rolling dice in Monopoly.
Finding what you love is part of middle school, and clubs at John Jay Middle School are designed to support that journey.
“We have 28 clubs this year,” said Middle School Principal Jeff Swiatowicz. “We encourage all students to try a new club or activity each season until they find their spot within our community. Clubs provide opportunities for students to discover and pursue their talents and interests, and find new friends and faculty with whom they have common interests."
28 clubs to choose from
While students are invited to sign up for as many clubs as they’d like, some require more commitment than others; particularly those that are working towards performances like Theater Club, Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra.
Some clubs give students more of what they love about school—such as Geography Bee Club, Intramural Sports and Math Counts Club--while other clubs including Animal Care Club, Photography Club and Games Club add an additional layer to the school experience.
First LEGO League
Advocacy, engineering, and much more
In the technology lab, students are clustered in trios around Lego builds. Steve Zoeller, one of the advisors of the First Lego League, a new club this year, is excited to see students developing engineering and programming skills. The students are excited to be building a robot!
Room 111 is dark and smells like popcorn. Twenty students are munching and watching "Inception." “Many students sign up for Film Club all three years,” said advisor Nick Stathis. “They love watching and talking about film.”
In the Home and Careers classroom, the Green Team led by Advisor Melissa Brady is talking about a way to involve the whole school in a sustainability initiative. “How about a water bottle challenge?” Nola poses. “The class that brings the least amount of single use plastic bottles gets a homebase party!”
Self discovery and growth
By the end of October, membership in clubs settles in. Some students find they signed up for too many, others see friends having fun and join a new club.
Making choices and knowing your limitations are also important parts of self-discovery and growth.