Extracurricular clubs at Gahanna-Jefferson middle schools are giving students the opportunity to explore areas they may not otherwise learn about, while providing advisors with the ability to teach leadership skills and real-world experience outside of the classroom.
“Staff members thoroughly enjoy advising clubs,” said Steven Tartt, principal at Middle School West. “It gives them an opportunity to interact with students around an activity that they have in common. Clubs allow the students and staff to form genuine relationships, which is something we aim to do everyday as educators.”
Tartt notes the increasing number of students participating in clubs as a sign of their popularity. Not only are they able to make new friends with similar interests, students also are able to pursue activities that have a positive impact on the school and community.
“The students learn valuable, life-long skills through East Buds,” said Waits. “Our hope is that they learn the importance of empathy and continue to model it throughout adulthood to make their communities more supportive to people with disabilities. We want them to see that not everyone has the same needs or comes from the same background, but we’re all capable of being good students, good friends and good people who can all be inclusive.”