By: Anna Weber
Students from ages 14-19 with varying needs are participating in a fun classroom learning activity, using toothpicks to build rectangles and then measuring them to find the length and width, led by one or more of their charismatic teachers, and are having a great time. With a smile on their faces as well are a few student helpers buzzing around, helping straighten out rectangles and crunching numbers. These teens are members of the Student Activities Club, better known by the acronym STAC. STAC was formed six years ago by a former teacher with a purpose to help build friendships between students through fun activities, in and out of the classroom.
“One of our biggest goals is to help the students form peer relationships,” says Mrs. West, who is one of the co-teacher leaders of STAC. Relationships between the students are built through helpers coming in during their study halls, which coincides with a different student class. This is the most popular form of involvement in STAC. “The kids love when the other students come in each period, and are always expecting them throughout the day,” says Mrs. Vance, another one of the teachers leading STAC.
Another way that the students socialize is by participating in after-school activities. A few past examples include bowling, grabbing ice cream from the Shake Shoppe, and trips to see the latest new movie at SouthPark Mall.
STAC is widely loved throughout the whole school. “There is a lot of administrative support,” says Mrs. Vance. Oftentimes teachers will come in to visit during class or stop in to talk in the mornings, which is always extremely meaningful to all of the students.
But when it comes down to it, the purpose of STAC is to help form a personal friendship and bond between students who might not have the opportunity to interact often. Mrs. Vance and Mrs. West both cite this year’s homecoming dance as one of their favorite memories with STAC, when all of the teens were able to come together to dance and enjoy themselves. This proves that one small gesture can have a profound effect on someone, and just by taking the time and chance, a fun and great experience filled with laughter can come out of it. That certainly is the case for the members of STAC.
“It made our night,” said Mrs. Vance. “Just 20 minutes of the students’ time together, and it changed the entire dance for the group we were with,” added Mrs. West.