Teacher appreciation week is all about showing our teachers at school how much we value them. Students sometimes will make or bring things for their teachers and the administrative staff at the school will provide special stuff for them to enjoy during the week. This week celebrates teachers everywhere as a national holiday in the United States. At Laurens Academy, teachers are given different gifts each day. On Monday, teachers got donuts. On Tuesday, they are given a snack in their mailbox. On Wednesday, they are treated with a lunch upstairs consisting of chicken tenders, mac and cheese, green beans, rolls, and tea. Thursday is when they will be given goodie bags. On Friday, they will get cookies. The week of teacher appreciation is very important to show our teachers how much we love them!
Many people don’t stop to think about why a bunny symbolizes Easter, even though it’s completely different from the reason of celebration around this time. Rabbits around the time of Jesus’s death and resurrection are nowhere in the Bible. Some people think that the bunny tradition came from old pagan beliefs and events around spring. There was a goddess the pagans worshiped on the festival of Eostre that celebrated fertility. Her symbol was a bunny, which makes sense because of the commonly known idea that rabbits breed very fast. This theory may not be true, but it makes some sense as to why the bunny may be used as the symbol for Easter. Eggs are also a popular symbol on the event of Easter. Eggs were often eaten on Easter, because people would give up the food through Lent. Another reason could be that eggs are a symbol of life. These reasons for the symbols of Easter are just theories but could have some truth and are worth looking into.
On the 19th of March, the junior varsity softball team played Greenwood Christian School for their second game. It was a difficult game, being very far behind at one point but finally pulling it off with four points more than Greenwood’s team. Everyone who played was very encouraging and worked as hard as they could at the positions they were in. There were some admirable plays, like Rylee Ballard’s catch at 2nd and Mckenzie’s catch in the outfield that got the team some much needed outs. During the last innings, Greenwood was up by eight points. That was when the team really worked their hardest, scoring twelve points in one inning. In the very last inning, the crusaders were in the field and did not let the other team score any more points before the game was over. The final score was 19-15, and everyone was very excited about the win.
Standardized testing is an important part of school. These tests are given to different grades to show what students from Laurens Academy are learning. This also prepares the classes for how major testing in the future will look like. The grades who are taking the standardized testing are second, third, fifth, and seventh. It is taking place on March 5th-7th and picking up again on March 12th-14th. The kids who have to do these tests need to eat filling and healthy breakfasts in the morning in order to focus on everything during the day. To help the students, people in the halls should be as quiet as possible and there should be very few interruptions. Although taking the tests may be difficult, it is good for them to understand different styles of testing.
The 9th grade science class is working on an interesting project. As an experiment, groups will plan out a small boat to build and float. The class studied force, like how certain things can sit on top of the water and be held up. The purpose of the project is to learn more about how this works. The students will design the boats, build them, then test their ability to float by setting them on the water with the weight of fifty pennies. There are lots of different ideas between groups, like using tinfoil, plastic bottles, or PVC pipe. Mrs. Sampson, the teacher over their science class, came up with this idea and will be supplying them with any materials they need for building. 9th grade will be working on these boats for the next week or so, and everyone is already working hard on the experiment.
The 9th grade class is working on murals as backdrops for different Laurens Academy events. They will be painted and colored on four different large pieces of cloth representing the theme of four different countries. One will be on France, another on Brazil, a third on China, and the last on the United States. The students have lots of great ideas, like putting the country’s flags and most popular attractions on them. These four murals will be done by four groups of students that will work on them during art class. Ms. Howiler, the art teacher over this project, had the idea to do this. She thinks the banners will be great to use as things to decorate the walls in events like Open House, school dances, or auctions. Everyone is excited to see how the murals are going to turn out.
On Saturday, February 16th, Laurens Academy’s middle school students are invited to the Sweetheart Dance. It is a semi formal dance planned by some of the school staff, like Mrs. Suttles. It will take place in the gym in the late evening. Since the theme is centered around Valentines Day, the part of the gym used as the dance floor will be decorated with pink, red, and white streamers and balloons. There will be food, like cookies and cupcakes or finger foods, and drinks like sodas and fruit juices. The dance is for students who go to Laurens Academy, however outside guests are allowed to come with people as well. On top of the kids who go, there will be a few parents and staff chaperones. Most of the girls in middle school are pretty excited and have already started looking at dresses, but some of the boys are going to need some convincing to get them to go.
Exams are an important part of a student’s life. They teach you to learn how to recall information that was taught earlier in the year. Students at Laurens academy take two sets exams: one set halfway through the year right before winter break and the other at the end of the year before summer break. Many people stress over exams, but if you are prepared they are not too bad. One way to make sure you will be ready is to be organized throughout the year, and to keep track of your information. When exams get close, you can pull out your study guides, homework, and old tests to study easily. Another way is to randomly take out old notes and glance over them during the year, even when exams are not very close. Using these tips, students may be able to be more prepared for the exams coming up soon.
The 9th grade Christian History class had a bake sale to raise money for third world families in need of food through a program called Samaritan’s Purse. This sale will help the families by gathering money to buy them a goat, a cow, chickens, or other animals that would be useful by providing them with food they can eat and sell. This bake sale took place from the 29th of October through the 1st of November. It was so successful that we decided to have another bake sale during the week of November 12th and go through the 16th. We raised over 70 dollars in our first sale by selling a variety of cookies, brownies, and snacks. The class hopes to collect even more money for the program in the upcoming week. Everyone has some ideas to raise more money and we look forward to using those in the next few weeks.
On Friday the 17th, the middle school and high school cheerleaders had a dinner at the school. This was to bring all the girls closer together as cheer squads, and to become better friends all around. At the dinner we had a type of gift exchange called a white elephant. The exchange was a game where everyone brings gifts, then at the beginning, everyone was given numbers. Number one goes and picks a gift, then number two comes and decides if they want what number one has or if they’d like something new. It continued through all the numbers, and the only rule is how many times a certain person could have a gift taken from them, which was two times at the max. This whole dinner with the exchange was be a lot of fun for all the girls and everyone was looking forward to it.
Sadly this year, middle school does not have a football team. However, there were many girls interested in cheering. Since there was no football team, the ladies who wanted to do cheer were stuck. Luckily, someone had an idea where they could still do something. The girls would participate with the varsity cheerleaders in pep rallies, and cheer at the high school football team’s home games. This works out very well, at the games especially, because we have more cheering going on. With two cheer squads, we can entertain and support the football team from all across the sidelines. The middle schoolers have practice to themselves sometimes, and on other occasions the girls have one with the varsity cheerleaders to practice for pep rallies. These ladies, along with the varsity cheer squad, are coached by Ms. Gibbs and Mrs. Davenport, who dubs herself the ‘pencil and paper’ while Ms. Gibbs is the ‘pom pom shaker.’ We’re glad they figured something out so they could still cheer for the Crusaders!
On Friday, August 31, the varsity and middle school cheerleaders put on the Jr. Cadet Camp for elementary girls. It was held at the end of school. We split the girls into groups and set up different stations around the gym. The varsity cheerleaders were in charge of the stations, and the middle school cheerleaders would lead the groups. One of the stations was for art. Here, jr cadets contributed to a painted a banner that was hung up at the football game that night. At the dance station, they learned a dance to perform at halftime. The song choice “Cheerleader” was perfect for our little cadets. The last two stations were a game station and everyone’s favorite, a snack station. Once all the groups had gone through each station around the gym, we rehearsed what we would do with them at halftime at the game that night. Once everything looked good, all the girls were picked up. They did well in their performance that Friday night, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do at the next pep rally!