Director's Cut: Clubs on the Emerald Campus
Emerald Connection, December 5th, 2022
By: Greg Friedman
Exercise, Support, and Leadership. Three very different clubs took place at Emerald during the fall and each of them addressed at least one of these themes. As we move towards the winter, we are hoping to expand our club offerings at Emerald and to continue to touch on these themes and others.
Exercise: Emerald participates in a national club, Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run met twice a week after school through most of the fall. This club was initiated by our parent community. Thank you to this year’s leaders: Brooke, Lizzie, Phoebe, Ellen, and all who helped out. It nominally prepared students in grades 3-5 to run a 5k, which they did, but it did a lot more. First, it included a number of older students as both mentors and participants. And second, the focus went well beyond the exercise goal and emphasized empowerment. Go Girl Power!
Support: Several Emerald students in our middle school approached me about starting a Queer-Straight Alliance Club (QSA). The primary goal of the club has been to create a safe space for all middle school students. Given the November shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, we are proud to stand with many schools that make it clear that we go beyond non-discrimination policies; we work actively to teach tolerance and acceptance and the value of diversity. Thank you to Willow Fitzgerald who has agreed to serve as a faculty sponsor for this middle school lunchtime club on Wednesdays.
Leadership: While students and parents can and do create formal clubs at Emerald, our cutest club emerged organically and has now sought out official recognition. Early in the year, a group of grade 4 students began leading activities for their younger peers during recess. Games, shows, and discussions have all been on the table. The club leaders now have their own T-shirts and they conducted a survey of the Kindergarten students’ impressions of the club. Their hope is to convince me to continue to schedule grade 5 recess with the younger students next year so that they can keep Round Up Time, their club, going. It is now on my list of scheduling considerations.
Students and parents have approached me and the parent council to express their interest in seeing even more clubs at school. The ball is now rolling. For the middle schoolers, we will make more offerings available during lunches. One club, a casual games club, started today. Several others (French Language, Cookie Decorating, and Chess) are in the works. I invite students and parents that want the school to host after school clubs to bring ideas to me. Suggestions thus far have included gardening, service, and Dungeons & Dragons. If you can sponsor a lunch time or afterschool club, your assistance is greatly appreciated.