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OIS students learn and enjoy After School Clubs

By Ana Martinez

news@oxfordeagle.com

Oxford Intermediate School will continue to provide unique after-school activities for fifth- and sixth-graders after seeing success this school year.

The After School Clubs got its start because the school wanted to prepare students for opportunities that would be provided to them when they got to the middle school like cheerleading, basketball, chess, learning first aid and more. As students were not quite ranked as elementary or middle school, the After School Clubs program helped students to gain an identity other than being a fifth- or a sixth-grader.

“We thought ‘Well, what can we do to give them opportunities to do something they enjoy?’” said Nikki Logan, who is the organizer of the After School Clubs as well as a sponsor for the cross-country and basketball club. “We came up with After School Clubs and then we pushed it out to teachers to see what they would be willing to sponsor. After that kids just filed in, wanting to sign up.”

OIS students were able to sign up for one or more activities, as long as they maintained good behavior and good grades in the classroom. It was because of these guidelines that parents and teachers began to see an improvement in students.

“I’ve been involved with several different clubs, with different groups of children in each club,” said Mary Martha Crowe, who is a teacher at Oxford Intermediate and a parent. “The relationships you form with kids after school, when they see you as more than a teacher, helped a lot with student success.”

Another guideline for students was that they also needed to have reliable transportation to and from the club meetings. This guideline proved to be a disadvantage, as not many parents were able to take their kids to club meetings. Resulting in some students dropping from the club or just not joining at all.

“We didn’t like that we couldn’t provide transportation,” Logan said. “We didn’t have any funding at the beginning of the year, so next year we’ll have after school care. This way students can participate until it’s time for parents to pick them up.”

Staff members conducted a survey at the end of the school year for students to share what they thought of the clubs based on a ranking from “awesome” to “didn’t enjoy at all” scale. Reports show that 57.5 percent of students ranked their club as “awesome” while 6.7 percent of students ranked their club as “didn’t enjoy at all.”

“I think it’s going to be bigger and better next year. It’s been fun,” Logan said.