CAS! Creativity, Action Service

By C.A.S. Coordinators Jennifer Walts  (West) and Jim Barrasso (East)
Habitat for Humanity Crew

Habitat for Humanity Crew

CAS_WestCreativity, Action, & Service (C.A.S.) is one of the three parts of the Core of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum (along with Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay) and plays a very important role in an IB education. C.A.S. is designed to make sure that students not only learn from the rigorous academics but also learn from their activities.

The designers of the IB Program felt it was important that students not be one dimensional, and that they get out and interact with the world they live in. Creativity, Action and Service activities are designed to facilitate this meaningful and reflective process.

Sturgis Students Serving Lunch at Salvation Army

Sturgis Students Serving Lunch at Salvation Army

One of the most enjoyable parts for us, as C.A.S. Coordinators, is sitting down with the students and interviewing them about their two-year C.A.S. experience. We hear the most unique stories: hiking to Ancient Cities high atop Peruvian Mountains, students playing underwater hockey at the bottom of the Sandwich High School Pool, or even building an Ostrich Pen at a zoo in Michigan . As we view our students’ portfolios, we have the opportunity to listen to students teach themselves how to play the ukulele or learn how to cook cultural recipes for their family members.  As C.A.S. Coordinators, we’re blessed to have a unique “inside” view into what our school is all about. It’s a fun, fulfilling element of our job.

CAS_EastIt’s also a pleasure when we can help facilitate student service projects like the Community Garden at Sturgis West, blood drives at both campuses, winter clothing collections for local shelters, playground builds and so much more.  Our students are up to some amazing work. We are very, very proud of all the good we do in the community for others – but also for ourselves and our own growth.

What does it take to succeed in C.A.S.?  Over the course of two years, we like to see four main objectives accomplished.

Here are the “Big 4” that Sturgis students must do to meet C.A.S. requirements:

-Participate in at least one ongoing collaborative project that including at least two out of the three elements of C.A.S.

-Engage in CAS activities an average of 2-3 hours per week

-Document evidence of all 8 learning outcomes, with a good balance of creativity, action and service at the end of two years

-Reflect in a meaningful way on a regular basis that shows the student’s growth

We asked students if we could share some of their meaningful reflections. We hope you will be able to see the reward our students’ are finding through this program. Enjoy!

Mia Berger, Class of 2014 – West

Berger

Mia Berger

Mock Trial

Last week we had our final trial on Thursday! In preparation  for the trial we had an after-school meeting with our attorney coach on Tuesday. He has been incredibly generous, since he lives in Boston and has to drive a very long way to visit us. Anyway, he made us all a packet with suggestions for objections, and instructions for different things such as defending objections and how to introduce exhibits into evidence. It was extremely helpful for the whole team. After that, we had meetings during lunch on both Wednesday and Thursday to prepare even more. Then, we went to our trial on Thursday! It was the best trial that we’ve ever done. We all were more professional and over-all just put on a better case. Unfortunately, we did lose the trial both on verdict and points. I think that it was very close, though. For the first time we were just as prepared as our opponent. It didn’t bother anybody on our team, since we all knew we had done our absolute best. Afterwards we had a short wrap-up meeting on Friday, and I told everybody that they had all improved as the competition went on. I wished them luck next year; and the team surprised me with a card and a box of chocolate 🙂

I’m so glad that I’ve participated in Mock Trial for the last three years. It has been an amazing learning experience and I’ve also gotten to befriend students from different grades whom I wouldn’t have been able to if I wasn’t apart of this team. I’ve also gained so much leadership qualities from being apart of this activity, which I will take with me onto college and beyond. I will definitely be visiting Sturgis when I am in college next year to see how amazing the team will be then!

Laurenn DeDecko, Class of 2015 – East

Lauren DeDecko

Laurenn DeDecko

In lacrosse this year I think I grew not only as a player on the field but off the field as well. Although we finished our season with 0 wins, the team learned a lot and will hopefully be able to put it into next years season for some wins. I believe I reached all the learning outcomes and goals that I had set for myself at the beginning of the season. My first learning outcome was an increase of awareness in my strengths and weaknesses. During practice I was able to identify these strengths and weaknesses. In games, coach and I together took my strengths and put them in use as most as possible.The biggest weakness holding me back at this point is my left hand skills. Now that I have clearly identified this weakness I have been able to practice on my own time. All in all, I think this season was useful to help develop new skills. Not only on a personal level but on a team level we developed new ways of defense along with new ways to attack. Since I am a midfielder, I especially, had to work on developing skills on both sides of the field.

I hope to one day play either club or d3 lacrosse which means I must take all the challenges possible and put them forward in a positive way. When a challenge arises it is my responsibility to over come the obstacles it has raised for me. One challenge this year was having to play midfielder and holding the team together on both sides of the field. Another challenge that I faced was playing with people which much less experience. Previous years there had always been girls that were way better, this year we had to take the young team we had and make them the most mature lacrosse players they could be. This Dedecko2also took a lot of cooperation and commitment to the team. Since the upperclassmen were limited to only 6 of us, it was important to show the underclassmen that we were all there to help them in becoming better.

One of the most important goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year was getting more goals then I did last year. Going to goal can be a terrifying thing for me because I hate to miss shots which can  sometimes mean spoiling a good play. I can easily say that because I took chances on the field I was able to score just about double the amount of goals I did the previous year.

Overall, the outcomes I and others got were becoming a team and learning how to work with each other. I personally, learned how to be a better leader and dedicated the majority of my spring to this team. I hope that next year we will be able to take our knowledge of the game and practice to have a better season.

Joe Falcey, Class of 2014 – East

Joe Falcey - World Challenge

World Challenge – Ecuador – 2013

World Challenge

Lastly, I have demonstrated perseverance and commitment, two characteristics that I like to call collectively sisu, a ponderously loaded word taken from the Finnish, and have developed new skills most definitely, as should be made obvious by what has been stated hereinbefore. Hiking, talking, working, and buying were all activities, among others, that I was not used to and yet endured, some more than others. Notwithstanding my ‘easy way out’ on the last day of the Quilotoa trek, the sole exception that comes to my memory, from Quito to Quilotoa, from the Jatunyacu to Chuquiragua, I made it through this adventure unscathed and with many new experiences and skills and did not give up due to sluggishness. Beyond learning just how to put up a tent or how to tell a waiter in Spanish to not give me a soup with flesh in it, I learnt how to be a more independent human being, one who could avoid plummeting off of a giant cliff into a silently gurgling volcanic lake below and who could thole the seething Class III rapids, amongst other skills. Also, as my own personal duty to fulfill tikkun olam, Hebrew for ‘bettering the world’, was satisfied a bit during the service project, it is possible for me to admit that this whole experience, being in the club, going on all two preliminary adventures and the main expedition, has been a full one, one involving service, action, and creativity, sometimes together and sometimes discretely, as well as the amelioration of my own person mentally and physically, especially with regards to my compassion, work ethic, physical endurance, and, certainly not to be forgotten, ability to collaborate and coöperate with others.

Kit Freddura, Class of 2014 – East

Kit - Karate

Kit Freddura

Kit Freddura

In the last karate class, there were mostly adults present which was interesting because normally not many show up for their class. It was nice to have a class of ten adults for once, which is a rare occurrence. I was able to teach new things which some of the younger students generally are not interested in such as more culture and origins of the art. We did still work on physical technique (I even was able to teach breaking of cement which I personally enjoy teaching) but the more abstract portions of the class were very interesting. It is great to see a group of people so interested in another culture and taking a portion of their lives to the side to learn about one. It just adds another aspect to the multifaceted nature of teaching karate classes which makes me enjoy it that much more.

 

Cassie Langtry, Class of 2014 – East

Cassie Langtry

Cassie Langtry

 

The past four years of teaching learn to skate has taught me so much about myself and the person that I would like to strive to be someday. The lives that I have taught and touched throughout this teaching journey have truly changed my life. They have given me the gifts of patience, leadership, and understanding. I have found that I have actually learned more from the kids that I have ever taught them. They have inspired me to remember what it is like to be young and carefree and to take a break from life and to just laugh and live life with a smile. I have found my passion in teaching and spending time with kids, and I am eternally grateful for being given the opportunity to pass on my passion of skating to the next generation of young athletes.

 

Makaila Lyons, Class of 2014 – East

Lyons

Makaila Lyons

A C.A.S. activity I have participated in, in which I have reference experience is varsity volleyball. In this activity, I was co-captain with Shannon Slater of the volleyball team from the very end of August until the beginning of November. In addition to being captain, I obviously had to participate in the actual sport as well; from practices to games, to states,and everything in between.
I have learned so much this season from volleyball, I don’t even know where to begin. In reference to self-knowledge, with respect to collaboration with others, I’ve learned how seriously I take this sport, and how much I love it as well. I’ve always known that my dedication to the sport was inseparable, and I’ve loved it since I was 3, but this year I learned how I want other people to take volleyball just as seriously as I do. During the season, we’ve all had a lot of fun at practice, at games; we joke around. There did come a point though, when I didn’t understand how people were fooling around so much; Shannon and I would just look at eachother confusedly. (Shannon is the same way as I am about volleyball: extremely dedicated and really serious) Near the end of our season, when we had been losing games, and states was coming up, we had to start practicing like we deserved to be in states, but there was just so much fooling around and giggling, and people not giving it their all and I was so frustrated. I literally wanted to scream “WE’RE GOING TO STATES, CAN YOU TAKE PRACTICE A LITTLE MORE SERIOUSLY?!” It was stressful and just, irritating. Shannon felt the same way as I did. Like I love to laugh, and it’s fine to laugh at practice and have fun, as long as we’re still getting what we need to get done, but I felt like we weren’t. I learned that I can get really angry, when it comes to something I love and care about so much. All in all though, I think that we did really well this season, even if we were a little silly at the end, more so than we should have been.

VolleyballI believe to some extent reason and emotion can justify whether or not our team had a good season. When it comes to reason, one could use facts to determine whether or not a team had a good season. For example if a team went 16-0 for the season, one could use reason to justify that said team had a really fantastic season. I do believe emotion plays a much more crucial role in justifying whether our team specifically had a good season. From the very beginning of the season, we set a goal for ourselves: get to states. Seeing as we accomplished our biggest goal for the season I’d say we’ve had a great season. Now where does emotion play into all of this? When I think about how strongly I felt about want to go to states, and how strongly I wanted to win when we were at states, I believe that shows my love for the game and how much emotion I really put into the sport. When the team as a whole wanted so badly for us to win, the emotion was evident and I knew that the amount of emotion people had for only a game, showed that it had been a good season; people were really starting to understand how badly we wanted it, and I personally think that proves we had a good season.

On this knowledge issue, people could take the perspective of saying that only reason can justify whether or not our team had a good season. Seeing as our team didn’t have a perfect record, some people’s perspectives could be that, if we didn’t have a really good record, it wasn’t a good season. Another perspective could be that it’s solely emotion that can justify whether our team had a good season or not, which I think is not great either. There’s always those parents who say “it’s not about winning” but sometimes, it is.

This knowledge issue is really similar to a knowledge issue that could appear in any one of my academic courses. Reason could simply be switched out for grades, and the question would reflect more upon an academic basis. A good example of this would be last year’s math class. Last year in math, I was happy getting C’s on tests, because it was so incredibly hard for me to just pull that off. If someone was looking at the course grade wise, they’d say I was doing very poorly in the class, compared to my other classes. In reality though, I was proud of myself for the C’s I did get, and for passing the course, which is more emotion related.

The implications of this knowledge issue play a lot into my future season’s of volleyball specifically. Since I’ve really taken a deeper look into how I feel about the season and how I feel about the sport, I know more about how I want the season to go next year. I know now how seriously I take volleyball and how close it is to my heart. I feel as though this is also helping me realise that when something is really important to me, if something goes wrong, I’m going to have a very emotional reaction.

Emily McGlone, Class of 2015 – East

Cheer showcase-23Cheer has been an experience, and I have to say that I am sad that it is over, which is something that I did not expect.

One of the learning outcomes that I had for cheer was to work collaboratively with other. All throughout cheer we had to work together in order to look uniformed in our cheers and dances and to be able to put our stunts up. I really do feel that we were able to work together, because without being able to work so well together would have never one best stunting in our showcase. I never felt like we were working so well together unlike Sturgis United, where cheerleaders from West joined us to put together a cheer for the dodge-ball game. I was able to stunt with some of the girls from west, and were able to do it so well in such a sort amount of time which is generally hard to do. Also it was nice stunting with a girl from West during our halftime because really showed how East and West can come together. At times it was not always easy, because people have different opinions on how things should go, but in the end we were able to fix all of the problems and work together as a team.

Basketball and CheerAnother learning outcome that I had was to learn new skills. I really feel like I learned a lot during cheer, not only about cheer but able working with others and exercises. We did a lot of conditioning and I learned a lot about the proper ways of exercises and how you’re supposed to hold yourself in wall sits, and that a burpee includes a swat. I also learned how to be a cheerleader and what that entails; such as how you need to stand at a game, and that there are different forms of clapping. I went into cheer knowing absolutely nothing about cheerleading and I really feel like I learned a lot. I loved learning how to stunt, and even though I only learned how to do a half, that is the basics that you need to know and I am ready to learn a lot more at cheer camp and next season. I feel like know I really know how to be a cheerleader and all of the work you need to put into it to be good cheerleader.

Finally, my third learning outcome for cheer was undertaking new challenges. I went into the season knowing absolutely nothing about cheerleading, and I was told that it was not too much work. I was quickly proved wrong, because our coach really pushed us to do a lot of conditioning, to the point where half of the practice was conditioning some days. I was ready for that challenge, since I did not remember the last time I truly exercised, but I was really nervous about it. But by the end of the season, I was happy that I took up the challenge of conditioning because I felt really good about myself after because I was finally in shape. Another challenge that I had was that I joined the team only really talking to one person in the team, and I am a generally shy person so getting myself out there to talk to others on the team was a challenge, but in the end I made some really good friends. Overall, joining cheer was a new challenge for me since it was nothing that I had ever done before, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into; but I am so glad that I did it because I had so much fun.

Hannah McLaughlin, Class of 2014 – East

These Shining Lives Cast and Crew-200resWe have officially concluded These Shining Lives by making it to the Semi-Finals round in Sharon last Saturday. But, before semis, we were competing at Bourne High School during the preliminary round and achieved our goal of collaboration by working as an ensemble even ending up with an award for ensemble work, We overcame challenges by performing in a different space, actually being on a stage, and using technical aspects that we had no usuage before. Commitment played a huge role in TSL in that everbody was rresponsible for making rehersal and staying committed to their role. Due to the focus we were able to overcome this challenge and move on to Semis. I feel that I have grown as a person while doing TSL being aware of what my strength and weaknesses are, working with other schools to create theatre such as the stage managers from Bourne and Sharon, and learning new skills and making friends. I took a risk by putting myself out there while making friends. Overall, TSL has taught me awareness, collaboration, new skills, and being initiative and committed. I have learned as a stage manager how to take the initiative such as warming up our actors before a show. We were able to learn and overcome challenges as a family. I will miss S.T.A.G.E and I feel it has made a huge impact on my life in a positive way opening me up to new opportunities.

Olivia Milne, Class of 2014 – West

Politics Club

Olivia MilneWe are currently trying to put together a fundraiser for Save the Children. We want to do a Duct Tape a Teacher fundraiser, but this is proving to be hard to put together. As the leader of the club, a lot of responsibility has fallen on my shoulders for this. It’s been hard to take the beginning steps to put this together, and it’s something I need to work on as a leader. I’m having trouble asserting myself to the people necessary to get help from to put this together. It’s definitely a skill I have to work on, and I’m glad that this fundraiser is giving me the opportunity to do so.

I’m really excited that were organizing a fundraiser for Save the children to provide humanitarian relief in Syria. A lot of people have forgotten all about the crisis in the country, and many don’t realize that the struggle isn’t over. There are still so many people suffering in that part of the world, and I’m really glad we’re doing something to help. I’m also glad that this event marks the members of our club taking more initiative. We don’t do much but sit around and talk, so I’m hoping to get the club members energized and put them into action.

Save the ChildrenI’ve never organized a fundraiser this big before, so it’s definitely challenging and a test of my leadership skills. I’m hoping to really take advantage of this opportunity. One issue we were having problems with was finding columns to tape the teachers to. I think this was partially my fault for not being willing to listen to the ideas of others. I like being in charge and I tend to think that my ideas are the best. People had suggested taping the teachers to the large column in the atrium, but in my head I had already decided that it wouldn’t work because we wouldn’t be allowed to because it was school property. However, once I finally listened to what everyone was sayng, we found that it actually would work perfectly. I learned through this that it’s important to know when to step back as a leader and let others take charge or give input.

Kyle Moses, Class of 2014 – East

Kylie Moses

World Challenge – Ecuador – 2013

My trip to Ecuador was by far the most unbelievable experiences of my life. There is so much to say, and I actually did listen to Mr. Mathews’ advice and kept a journal, but I can’t include it all here. It was a very long trip, and at times I missed home, but I would love to go back. The hike was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, physically, and sometimes mentally, but it made me feel, well, challenged. It was hard and long, but the view was incredible, and to say I hiked the edge of a volcano is pretty spectacular. The people in Ecuador were so nice too; it’s a very different culture. I didn’t know any Spanish going it, but I definitely had learned enough to get around by the end. The most peculiar thing I noticed while there is that some parts of the country are very modernized, whereas others are still very beaten down and in poverty. The thing was, that difference could be seen on one street, where one building was fancy and huge, while the other was a broken shack. It is very much so a developing country. Something I didn’t expect at all though was liking all the food, as I’m a very picky eater. I loved almost everything they served to us. Funnily enough, they start off a lot of their meals with popcorn and a very good hot sauce called Ajhi. The community service project was something special as well. I really got to know the people on the trip with me, and we all worked together to make something great happen. We redid the paintings of the school, bought them new hoops and basketballs for their nets, and helped build a therapeutic pool for those physically challenged. Additionally, our day with the kids was something none of us saw coming. The children were so excited to meet us, and so much fun to play with. It was really bittersweet leaving them behind. Our R&R activities were also even better than we expected. The horseback riding was fun and at times painful, but a cool experience, and the white water rafting was certainly one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. Our guides were hilarious and a tad crazy, but that made it all the better. They made a rainy, stormy day on a rough river the better than anything I’ve ever done before. We all had a blast. We also snuck in a day in the Amazon rainforest as well, which was quite a learning experience. It’s incredible how many things our guide, who is actually well-known, knew about the plants there. I really can’t talk enough about this trip, as it was something I’ll always remember and miss. I’ve included pictures in my other reflections showing some of what I talked about, but it can only truly be experienced. Our group leader, Eric, was one of the nicest, kindest people I’ve met, and it was very sad leaving him behind. He was like a father to us all those two weeks. I really can’t recommend World Challenge enough after this trip, our safety was always ensured, and we had an incredible, life-changing time.

Jacob Nelson, Class of 2014 – West

Outing Club

Jacob Nelson

Jacob Nelson

Yesterday I got back from a four day winter camping trip in the White Mountains.  IT WAS AWESOME. We left Saturday morning and drove up to Joe Doge Lodge which is at the base of Mount Washington.  Once we got there we had a little time to meet with the guides and check out the gear we brought and some of the borrowed gear we would be using (snowshoes and micro-spikes…yeah!).  Our guides, Cory and Heidi, were awesome.  They were enthusiastic and helped teach us a lot about how to safely and properly hike in the winter, along with some stuff about how the winter environment forces us to adapt and change our ways of doing things.  The theme of the week was adaptation, and how humans, plants, and animals all have to adapt to the changes in winter. That first day we went on a short hike to get used to wearing all the gear and then came back for dinner before unpacking and repacking our bags, properly this time.  One thing I realized while on this trip was how little you need in the way of clothing and gear to be comfortable.

The next morning we drove to the base of our hike which was about an hour away from the lodge.  By the time we had all our gear and back packs on and were ready to go, it started snowing, which I though was a cool way to start off the hike.  I would say it took us about four-ish hours to hike 1.7 miles up to Lonesome Lake Hut, which is run by the Appalachian Mountain Club.  Once we got there, the first thing we did was eat lunch.  It wasn’t the best food in the world.  In fact it probably wasn’t even close.  But another thing I learned on this trip was that food tastes so much better when you’ve earned it.  peanut butter and jelly on pita bread or carrots and apple butter doesn’t sound that great, but after walking up hill in the snow for four hours while carrying a heavy pack, it tasted amazing.  Also, food tastes better when you’ve earned it by hauling it up the mountain with you and cooking it yourself.  For the rest of the afternoon, we went outside and built a quinsy, I think it’s called.  Basically it’s a huge mound of snow that you pack down and leave to settle over night,  then you dig it out and it makes a stable snow shelter that would probably be warmer to sleep in than our bunks.  Our bunks were in a separate building from the main common room and kitchen, as were the bathrooms.  The the common room/kitchen was the only heated building,and the wood stove was only lit in the afternoon and evening.  That evening the hut was packed, so we all squeezed onto one of the long table in the main lodge and played game and talked before making dinner.  after dinner, I was pretty much done for the night.  It was only eight-thirty but I cold have fallen asleep right there at the table.  I’m a pretty active person and get a good amount of sleep, but I can’t remember being so tire so early.

Outing Club2

Outing Club

The next day, the plan was to hike up to a lake a little way above the hut and then over to north and maybe even south kinsman mountains if we could.  WE never mad it that far, due to very icy conditions, which we didn’t have the right equipment for.  It was a cool experience though.  We made it just about to our breaking point but not beyond it so we were all still comfortable, and we all helped each other through the tough parts.  Without that cooperation, I don’t think we would have made it even as far as we did.  After lunch at the hut, half of the group stayed to finish the quinsy, while others, including me, went for a second hike towards Cannonball Mountain.  We only made it to the first overlook before we had to turn, but this was probably my favorite hike.  There were less people, so through the conversation I felt like I got to know people much better and learn some things a bout people I never would have imagined.  It was really cool.

That night we had the hut to ourselves.  This was probably my favorite part of the trip.  we were proud of what we had accomplished and had a really good time just sitting by the fire, being warm and drinking cocoa, and just talking and hanging out.  We were all so comfortable with each other, and even the quieter people in the group were really enjoying themselves.  We also had some great conversations about sustainability and how much we take a lot of our everyday lives for granted.  That was something that I became very aware of not just up there but when I got back.  My first night home I noticed how great dishwashers and indoor heating and plumbing are, as well as how warm and comfortable my bedroom is.

The next day, just as it felt like we were really getting the hang of the whole outdoor lining thing, it was time to go.  We packed up and after a little time for reflection we were hiking down to the van.  The trip wasn’t over though.  During the trip back as we got closer and closer to home and civilization we all went through some sort of mountain-separation anxiety.  We stopped at a McDonald’s part way back and after eating some fries while watching the news, we all decided that trail mix and a mountain view was a way better combination and that it would be really cool if we could just hike back up and stay at the hut for another week.  We all had a really good time and didn’t want it to end.

I think I learned a lot of this trip, and most importantly I had a ton of fun.  Part of me wanted to see if I really could conquer winter camping, and I did.   I also learned a lot from the teachers that came with us: Mr. Andrade, Mr. Rabinowitz and his wife Becca, and our guides Cory and Heidi.  I felt like I really connected with all of them.  I also connected well with all of the kids that went.  I got closer with friends that went and made new friends out of the people I didn’t know so well.  It sounds cliche, but it’s so true.  I never would have hung out with some of these kids before the trip, but now that I know them all better I would hang out with any of them. All in all BEST SCHOOL TRIP I HAVE EVER BEEN ON.  I will definitely do this again.

Cole Silva, Class of 2014 – West

Ballroom Dancing

Cole SilvaPrintYesterday was our last ballroom dancing class, and coincidentally our smallest. There were six students, including me, so Debby had us review all of the dances and twirls and steps that we had learned over the past couple weeks, and to all of our surprise, it only took us ten or fifteen minutes. Whenever she would say, “Let’s do the hustle!”, or swing, I would always forget what basic steps started that. But once I had someone show me, then everything came naturally and I went more into autopilot. Debby also showed us two more dances because we had so much time. We practiced those for the rest of the class, and then right at the end we were free to do whichever dances we wanted. We also didn’t switch partners at all this class, but Abby and I have grown used to how the other dances, so we were able to glide pretty smoothly and without trouble. All in all, this was something that I normally would not have seen myself doing, but I had a good time with it, and I’m glad I chose to do it.

Kelly Stuck, Class of 2014 – West

Lacrosse

Kelly StuckA lot has happened since the beginning of the season.  A lot to reflect on. A lot of change. Both of our coaches are awesome! They know their stuff and for once I actually feel like a team. Our offense looks solid and our defense is now starting to get it. They have learned a bunch of new positions including a new strategy called rover. The freshman have helped that too. They are amazing! We have some of them playing varsity too because they are so good! I am impressed and tired. We have to work. Work hard each practice and game. Its not that we didn’t do that last year, its more that our whole dynamic and the way we play is different. Last year did knock down our confidence, sure we were in shape but we couldn’t play like a team and we didn’t even win a game because the one we did win didn’t count. Now we are one and coaches have to keep reminding us that we are good but we are also still new and that’s okay. We have already won two games (one against East who we came close to beating in our third game with them last year and southeastern regional tech). I am proud of what we have become already and I am also proud of a young… actually two young girls lacrossefreshman by the names of Becca and Savannah. They have both stepped up to be in goal without any fear. Savannah just started but Becca is essentially my new little prodigy… And I mean little. She is tiny but oh man can she block those ground balls. At our game against FA the varsity team lost but the junior varsity team was two shots away from winning because of Becca. She was blocking every bounce shot they threw at her and it was so very impressive. When I saw she had a pout on her face I asked her what was wrong and she replied that the high shots are tough. I looked at her like she was crazy (which she was) and I replied by asking her how many shots she blocked and when she didn’t answer said 8; 6 of which were bounce shots which are difficult even for me. I told her that she was doing just fine and that made her laugh. I learned something that day, that I am a darn good coach and that it feels.really good to help.pick someone up.even when you feel down. I knew that i couldn’t show her how i felt when i was laying but she still knew i could relate. The one thing a goalie always needs to understand is that it is not your responsibility to block every ball. If balls are constantly.being whipped at you it means your team isn’t doing its job by trying To keep possession of the ball. I had had a tough game, we all have bad days but because of Becca I was able to brush it off. The game against East I was on fire but the game today was one of the worst I have ever played. I should have spared my team the pain and subbed out the first half because I was a wreck. I have had a ton of anxiety lately and my mind was completely elsewhere and because of that, PJPII was able to get every ball past me  but two the first half. Now don’t get me wrong the weather was horrendous the wind alone kept knocking our goals over and moving the balls so they flew in when I thought they wouldn’t. But the point was I was a wreck, I was crying and hyperventilating, I couldn’t remember the first half of the game because my focus was so off. When half time came I knew I had to pull myself together and luckily I did. It was like a switch was flipped because I became a totally different goalie and the coaches noticed. This.season is going to be a big challenge for me but I need to remind myself that I can’t do it all but that’s okay. The world isn’t on my shoulders, its only me but as long as I control that it will all work out in the end.

Hannah Taylor, Class of 2014 – East

Sturgis Senior Organizes Toy and Supplies Drive for Homeless Children

By Katie Curran, News Editor

Originally published in Sturgis Storm Watch. Reprinted with permission.

Hannah Taylor

Hannah Taylor drops off supplies at the office of Horizons for Homeless Children

Not only does Sturgis East senior Hannah Taylor shine through her academic and athletic contributions to the school, but also through her admirable community service. Hannah recently led a toy and supplies drive for Horizons for Homeless Children, a non-profit organization which helps to better the lives of young homeless children and their families by ensuring that they are prepared for school success.

Today, one in every 45 children in the United States will experience being without a home. To help these less fortunate, “HHC” works with more than 600 different families each week in southeastern Massachusetts.

Hannah expressed how close Horizons for Homeless Children is to her heart, as she spends a lot of time volunteering there: “HHC is special to me on many levels. I am inspired by the organization and what it can offer to those living in homeless shelters: a break for mothers to focus on other things, and an opportunity for children to be young and carefree.”

Hannah believes that her volunteer work at HHC has opened her eyes to the world and has provided “an important perspective that my ‘problems’ are never as serious as they seem. The children we interact with are much more resilient than I’ve ever had to be, and I have learned so much from them.”

Toy collection

Sturgis East toy collection for Horizon for Homeless Children

When asked about how she got the idea to do the toy drive, she explained, “I contacted the Regional Playspace Program Director and asked how to get something started at Sturgis. She gave me advice on how to advertise and actually carry out the drive!”
Hannah also mentioned one of her favorite aspects of the organizing the drive: “There have been a few instances when I’ve collected donations that certain individuals, both students and teachers, have been especially generous and selfless. I love that the drive brought out those qualities in people.”

I think that the most meaningful part of the drive will be when I finally drop the donations off to be distributed among shelters, because it will be the culmination of the project and I’ll know that everyone’s efforts will finally be able to directly benefit the children.”
Hannah also expressed that the entire process was very rewarding and that she appreciated the help of several juniors and seniors for their efforts to promote the toy drive.

 

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