Dozens of clubs returned and several new ones met for the second time this semester on Friday at Hayes High School.
The clubs take place every other Friday during the students’ house period, and according to Assistant Principal Rex Reeder, they are designed to give students a place to share common interests.
The clubs vary in sizes and subject matters ranging from the more than 160 students in two dodge-ball clubs to clubs centered around sports movies or ‘80s movies, and smaller clubs like the five-student crochet club or the nine-member sports debate club.
“The concept is to get kids engaged,” Reeder said. “It gets (students) connected with people not in their friend group. It helps school culture.”
One of the new clubs this year is the Cooking Club, which aims to give students familiarity and skills around the kitchen.
On Friday, students made taco seasoning from scratch and prepared their own tacos.
“The idea was that it would be helpful to teach kids to make healthy meals,” said club advisor Joanne Meyer, a math teacher. “It’s fun, and we get to eat!”
Paul Carter and Megan Fanok, seniors in the club, said they joined because Meyer and the other club advisor, Jake Shafer, are two of their favorite teachers.
“Plus it would be nice to learn to cook before college,” Carter added.
A few doors down the hall, in the Peer Mentoring Club, students worked on building Valentine’s Day boxes and decorations with special needs students.
Senior Mackenzie Collett said that the club has been running for a few years, and while it used to feature just a handful of kids, it has ballooned to 30 students this year. Collett said she spends many of her free periods helping out in the class and was encouraged to see such a big turnout.
“It’s a whole new world,” Collett said. “It’s a place of joy and happiness. It just shows how a few people can have an impact. It’s brought a positive vibe in House.”
One of the new clubs this year took place in the auditorium as more than 130 students watched “High School Musical” and other Disney Channel movies. Spanish teacher Lauren Robbins said she spoke to students about what kind of club they wanted and heard that a lot of them would like to watch Disney Channel movies, so she created the club for them.
“It’s a nice break in the middle of the day,” Robbins said. “It gives them 30 minutes to unwind.”
Robbins said some students had been singing and dancing along with the film.
Another new club this year focuses on the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game. The club was started by Spanish teacher Michelle Leasure after one of her students, Charlie Bruskotter, asked her to sponsor the club.
“He asked if I could sponsor it so he could get a group together and play since they didn’t have time,” Leasure said. “And he got a group of 15 together. It’s really neat, because it gets kids with same interest together. For others, it’s a chance to learn something new.”
Physics and physical science teacher Riley Jantz also started his own club this year called Travel the World, which he said is a way to share tips about travel based on his experiences.
“I’ve done a lot of traveling in the states and abroad,” Jantz said. “The goal is to focus on how to be cost effective. I think it will be fun, and I think they’ll learn from it.”
Clubs will continue every other Friday for the remainder of the year.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.