Submitted by Rene Carroll
The popular Club 8 activities for Washougal middle school students have returned as a way for them to feel connected and provide opportunities to explore a variety of interests, even while schools are closed.
“Our teachers have been concerned about their students and are looking for different ways to reach them,” said Tracey Stinchfield, Club 8 coordinator. “They are excited that this new opportunity is available and look forward to the chance for kids to connect in a more social way.”
Club 8 is for students at Jemtegaard and Canyon Creek Middle Schools and offers after school club activities for students to try new things or dive deeper into an area of interest including art, science projects, games and leadership. The clubs are held each Monday and Thursday afternoon from 3:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m. with students now meeting via Zoom link rather than in classrooms at JMS.
“Our first virtual Club 8 activities held on April 20 seemed to be a success,” said Stinchfield. “The clubs ran smoothly, and the kids had a great time. I could hear a lot of talking and laughing in the clubs I was able to participate in. I talked to a couple students that attended and they both said they really enjoyed it!”
“I just appreciated seeing how invested the students are in the activities,” said JMS Principal David Cooke. “Club 8 has been really important to our students so to be able to give them back a part of their normal school routine has been great.”
“It was fun to see the students again,” said JMS art teacher, Dani Allen. “We started the first day with students sharing some of the art they have been doing,” she said. “Next we will try some recycled art at home and after that some rock painting.”
The Club 8 Sound Stage, led by Diana Larsen, has a large following and focuses on performance art. “The kids were asked to share their favorite song lyric that has helped them through this quarantine,” said Larsen. “They shared their feelings and one student shared lyrics to a poem. We also rehearsed monologues from the play we had planned to perform on April 14. Next week we will be doing a mini songwriting lesson. The kids seemed to enjoy just being together online.”
The American Sign Language Club is taking full advantage of the remote capabilities now being used. The instructor, Anthony Valdez, is a former Washougal High School student who now lives in Virginia. He is using this opportunity to continue the ASL Club 8 lessons that he started two years ago.
“We know that a lot of kids are doing just fine and are staying busy but we worry a lot about the ones who don’t have a way to connect with their friends or other adults in a positive way,” Stinchfield explained. “Club 8 gives students something to look forward to, a way to connect with friends and maybe even make some new friends.”
Stinchfield is expecting the clubs will continue to grow as students talk to each other and encourage one another to participate. In addition to the ASL, art and Sound Stage Clubs, students can participate in Book Club, Chat with a Counselor, Coding Club, Game Club, Kindness Club, Pep Club, Rainbow Alliance, and a Friday workout. There are several clubs that are always available with an occasional special club activity offered. New activities will be added as they become available, and students are asked to submit ideas for a fun club.
ART CLUB: Join Ms. Allen and all your friends as you let your creative juices flow! On the first day you can bring anything you’ve drawn or created during this quarantine time to show to your friends! Ms. Allen will then give instructions on the next project that you will be completing in Art Club! Supplies will be distributed as necessary.
ASL CLUB: American Sign Language with Anthony and some of our WHS ASL students! No experience necessary! Come learn to unlock the magic of speaking without words!
BOOK CLUB: Mondays Only- Join Mr. Foster in new adventures as you take a trip through a great new book! Come hang out with your friends old and new and get ready to talk about your favorite characters, most exciting events and other thoughts surrounding the book!
CHAT WITH A COUNSELOR: This is your chance to chat with Ms. Albaugh and Ms. Butler about how things are going for you right now! Do you have some coping strategies to share with your friends? Are you looking for ways to handle the new stressers in your life? Let’s get together and chat!
CODING CLUB: Mondays Only- Take that interest in technology and turn it in to a useful skill! Work with Mr Kohn to learn all about programing in the computer world and you learn the secrets of coding!
GAME CLUBS: We will be playing a variety of fun group games like pictionary, charades, scategories and more! Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play the game, we will teach you! You can sign up to join the specific game you want to play!
KINDNESS CLUB: Thursdays Only Help make Care Boxes to donate to the Clark County Teen Talk, local assisted living facilities and others in need. Meet first with Mrs. Fletcher and then arrangements will be made to have a kit delivered to you with the supplies that you need including the box to decorate and the supplies to make the things that go in it! This can include things like special notes, cards, painted rocks, tiles, candy-grams, magnets, necklaces, and games.
PEP CLUB: Beginning April 27 join together for a week to learn the Husky Hand Clap and other great cup slapping songs and activities. Get creative and use other items such as a bucket or garbage can and we can create our own music! We will prepare to perform during the online Cinco de Mayo party!
RAINBOW ALLIANCE: Rainbow Alliance is a safe space for LGBTQ+ students and their allies to hang out, discuss and debate ideas, and get support. Please join Ms. Taimi for a Zoom check-in. We will talk about how you are doing, do a short activity, and determine how I can best support you for the rest of the school year. You do not need to sign up.
SOUND STAGE: Reconnect with each other and Ms. Larson and Ms. McDonald! They have lots of fun information to share with you and are excited to help you practice your monologues and have solo sharing.
WOOF: Work Out On Friday! As an added bonus you can join us on Friday mornings at 11:00 a.m. for some fun and exciting ways to stay active, get fit and have fun with your friends!!! Wear comfortable clothes and have enough space to move!