Last week, Laurel Springs students showed their Love for Clubs. Not only do these clubs provide full-time K-12 students with an online outlet for socialization, but they also promote participation in what LSS students are passionate about. During the event, students shared what being part of a club meant to them. Words like fun, lively, exciting, and inspiring were used to describe their experiences. If this doesn’t prove that clubs make a positive impact, then let’s look at the numbers.
The More, the Merrier
To illustrate the growth in club participation, LSS Student Engagement Manager, Rachelle Wafer, shared some recent stats. During the 2020/2021 school year, 1,849 students registered to attend the four annual All Club Meet and Greets. Even if not all of these students ended up joining a club, it’s a sign that there’s a high demand for online socialization efforts.
For the Love of Clubs event itself, there was a significant increase in attendance from 45 students in 2020 to 165 interested students last week. These students span all grade levels and areas of interest:
- 354 K-6th grade students signed up for a club
- 618 7-12th grade students signed up for a club
- That’s close to 1,000 active club members spread across 33 clubs.
What if there’s not an existing club to suit a student’s passion? Well, 35 students have requested a new club idea. These ideas have led to the launch of the Chess Club and Fashion Club. Other club ideas are workshopped in smaller gatherings like the eGamer, Film Discussion, D&D, MagicTime, and Dancer Hangouts. As interest grows, these hangouts may evolve into a full club, but until then, “students with these interests now have a place to connect and share these passions,” says Ms. Wafer.
Expanding the Social Circle
In addition to clubs, Laurel Springs students have other opportunities to connect with their peers on a regular basis.
- Virtual Field Trips take students on interactive journeys around the world to learn about other destinations and cultures. “For K-8th grade virtual field trips, attendance has tripled and students have explored within the United States to Washington D.C. and Plymouth, MA, and around the world to Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia.”
- Grade-level get-togethers are designed for students to casually meet online without a specific agenda. “For K-5th grade students, Tuesday Time is their playful weekly hangout to develop social emotional skills and connection. K-2nd grade students enjoy Book Nook Storytime two times per day every Wednesday and Friday with stories read by teachers, LSS staff, and student ambassadors.” Weekly hangouts for grades 6-8 and 9-12 are “a lively interaction among LSS peers whose friendships grow, expand, and deepen each week.”
- LSS Connect is a private social networking platform for students in grade 7-12 to chat and meet others in their regional area and around the globe. It’s always an eye-opener when we realize Laurel Springs students come from all over the world. This global community is brought closer through this platform, events like the Club Meet and Greet, and all the other Laurel Springs social offerings.
With so much social activity going on, it’s simple to stay in touch with other students who have the same interests and know what it’s like to be an online student. To help keep it all organized, there’s a social calendar including the dates and times of all the club meetings, virtual field trips, and other events. Contact email@example.com to learn more about these events, what clubs are available, and how students can get involved.