Extracurricular activities have expanded significantly in the past two weeks at Delaware Hayes High School — with the introduction of 59 clubs.
The introduction of the clubs has been the work of Vice Principal Rex Reeder and aims to give students another chance to make connections at school.
“It’s to create opportunities for students on all fronts,” Reeder said. “It allows students to find a new group for something they enjoy.”
Reeder said the school already offered some clubs but many students couldn’t attend because they had sports or work obligations but, because the clubs meet during the school day, it works for their schedules.
Reeder said the 59 clubs range in topic — from sports, like dodge ball or ping pong, to more specialized interests, like knitting or a Dungeons and Dragons club.
“Plus, what’s wrong with having students excited to come to school?” Reeder said.
Reeder said the students will spend their Pacer Period, a study hall immediately before or after their lunches, in the clubs on two Fridays of each month.
Student reaction has been great, according to Hayes Principal Ric Stranges. Stranges said students were able to choose their clubs and, as of Friday, only two of the 1,600 students had not chosen a club.
“It’s the most fun I’ve had at Hayes,” said Destiny Bennett, a sophomore in the Anime Club. “Most schools wouldn’t do anything like this. It’s cool to interact with people who have similar interests.”
One of the popular clubs being offered is the Dungeons and Dragons Club, where students play the popular fantasy role-playing game with each other.
“I joined because I had friends in the club but I like it,” said Jamie Johnson, a senior in the Dungeons and Dragons Club. “It’s a good break.”
“These clubs allow for a diversity of education during the school day,” said Thomas Hering, an English teacher and adviser for the Dungeons and Dragons Club. “These kids are building friendships in ways they couldn’t before.”
“I’ve met people I would never talk to,” said Bradley Brookover, a freshman in the Dungeons and Dragons Club. “It’s great social interaction.”
Reeder said the clubs have already had an impact on future classes.
“Because the robotics club is so popular, we are going to add a computer science class next year,” Reeder said.
Clubs will meet two Fridays a month and meeting outside the scheduled times is encouraged by school staff.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.