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A Day in the Life of Life Skills: More Than Just A Class

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A Day in the Life of Life Skills: More Than Just A Class

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

Edward Leevy (10) smiling for a picture while unloading boxes

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   Throughout the school day, your routine probably consists of doing the same things, but have you ever thought about how some other classes spend their day?

  The Life Skills Class routine ranges to something different every day. A couple days a week, a group of kids will go to Mercersburg Academy and help clean up the dining hall. If it is a work day, the students leave after the announcements and help at their assigned area for a couple of hours.

  Then, two days a week, the students go to Target and help there, too. Their duties change daily Some days they will unload trucks that come in, and other days they stock up the shelves with the items that are delivered.

  “It helps them with things they will need in their everyday lives and in a job,” said Mrs. Kristy Horst (Faculty).

  The students not only learn what it is like to have a job and a set routine, but also how to interact with people. Working at Target and the Academy gives them that chance.

  After the students come back from their duties, they will go and have lunch together during 8th period. When lunch is over, they then go to Art.

   “I think the most important part is that they’re just able to come in and unwind and be creative and whoever they wanna be,” said Maggie Strawoet (12). 

 

Gregory Murray (11) works on his art project with his classmates Kaitlyn Miller (9) and Justin Mellott (9)

For most of them, it is their favorite period of the day. They do different art projects together and on Fridays, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty) plays songs they suggest.

  Lastly, the students finish their day by helping out in the school. During 10th period, several students go and empty all the recycling bins in the classrooms. They then take it outside to the larger recycling bin. This gives the students an opportunity to clean and help out all the teachers.

  Now even though every day differs, this is what a typical day looks for this class. Through spending time together, all of the students have formed friendships with not only each other but with their peers throughout the school and community, and they certainly are a light in the school.

 

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Paint Party: Pumpkin Edition

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Paint Party: Pumpkin Edition

To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

To add to the peacock on her pumpkin, Trinity Myers (12) adds feathers to emphasize the birds most noticeable trait.

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A chilly autumn breeze blows an ombre of orange, red, and yellow leaves across the grass. Anywhere you go, you are bound to smell a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin. Porches are decorated with scarecrows, leaves, and pumpkins just waiting to be decorating. Following along with the seasons holidays and traditions, James Buchanan’s Art Club gathered up pumpkins to decorate for fall.

 

Club members got together to decorate pumpkins after school on Thursday, Oct. 25. Some members did a classic jack o’lantern face, while some others branched out to do anything from a monogram of their initials to a peacock with feathers.

For a while, the Art Club has not done any parties that have to do with making art; the events have usually been

While Maggie Strawoet (12) shares a laugh with members of her table, Lizzie Pittman (12) centers her attention on painting her monogram on her pumpkin.

centered around food and activities, such as Secret Santa or tea parties. This year, however, the club is trying to change that.

 

“Normally, our regular Halloween parties are just a breakfast during Activity Period,” said Vice President Maggie Strawoet (12), “so we wanted to do something more elaborate and artsy since this year we are really trying to change up Art Club and do more art instead of just parties.”

The Art Club advisor, Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich (Faculty), really wants the members’ creations to do more for the school. Whether it is made with a group or individually, Chambers-Matulevich thinks that art should be able to hang around the school and make a lasting impact. To do this, the club needs to step out of its old habits of throwing parties centered around socializing.

 

“Art club should make art. We should be making art, not wasting time. It’s not a socialization club, it’s an art club,” said Chambers-Matulevich.

 

While getting more art out into the school is a main goal of the club, they also hope to raise community awareness of the art being created inside room 305.

As Olivia Harmon (12) paints a haunted house against a nights sky on her pumpkin, she shares a laugh with Amber Clark (12) who paints a scary face on her pumpkin.

“We want to host paint nights for everyone to come, not just for the school, but [for] the community,” said President Lizzie Pittman (12). “Also, we want to do something at the Mercersburg tree lighting ceremony to get the little kids involved.”

 

Taking their first step towards this new goal for themselves, the members have taken to decorating pumpkins. Whether they painted something scary or sweet, or if they used different 3D elements to enhance their designs, the members put their own spin on their pumpkins.

 

“I made a peacock pumpkin,” said Trinity Myers (12). “I thought it would be really fun to use blues and greens. I actually put feathers in the back to make a tail, because peacocks have big tails. Then,…I made a beak out of orange

paper.”

 

With a new aspiration and a motivation to get there, James Buchanan’s Art Club is working towards becoming more involved with supplying art to the school and community.

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“Houston, We’re Ready For Take Off!”

Learn about the new Voyager Program coming next year at JB

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Three…two…one…blast off! During the 2018-2019 school year, the Voyager Program will be launched at James Buchanan High School.

 

The Voyager Program is a self-driven class for students, which includes three different disciplines: English, Social Studies and Art. Students will be coming up with their own projects that encompass these subjects. The program is worth three credits, one for each subject.

 

Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich(Faculty), one of the five coordinating teachers of the program, said “One of the examples we gave was a student built a bass guitar. So with that, he would write a paper maybe on the history of bass guitars, but then he also found music and wrote music for it.”

 

The Voyager Program is made up of a lot of open-ended work that is done in the students’ own time. Students will be tasked with completing two projects a marking period for two marking periods. It is compared to college, where students do a lot of learning on their own, but they also have to manage their time. To help students, the coordinators set up weekly journals where students have to report their progress. They are also hoping for at least one class period where students can come to any of the coordinators and receive time and help on their projects.

 

“This could really benefit students that might not learn perfectly in a regular classroom setting,” said Chambers.

 

Rather, students learn school subjects through what they love and have an interest in. Some students do not excel in the typical classroom setting, but the Voyager Program enables students to learn in a different environment.

 

“For example, when I was in high school, I would have excelled in a program like this, but that’s because I could have focused on art and then learned the history and English related to it,” said Chambers.

 

Mr. Rodney Benedick (Principal) first found this idea form Central York High School’s Apollo Program, where each student has their own tailored way of learning. Several teachers became interested, including Mrs. Danielle Fox (Faculty) for English, Ms. Jena Antonelli (Faculty) for Social Studies, and Mrs. Erin Martin (Faculty) and Chambers for the Arts. The program is being led by Mr. Michael Mele (Faculty).

 

In the end, the teachers involved are looking for what students can take away from this program. They feel this program can help prepare students for life outside of high school and into college. They hope to have fifteen students this next year to make the program really take off.

 

“We are looking for any driven student. I don’t think there is any cookie-cutter student for this program and I think that’s what’s great about it,” said Chambers. “If you are driven and willing to put in the work, willing to grow as a student and to work with your teacher mentors, I think that’s the ideal student.”

 

The teachers and staff here at JB are looking forward to seeing how this program does next year and years to come, hoping learning can reach new heights.

 

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Mrs. Kayla Chambers-Matulevich