Extracurriculars offer students a sense of culture and community
Sep 6, 2018
As the 2018-2019 school year gets underway, PA Cyber is encouraging its students to make memorable experiences by participating in extracurricular activities.
“Studies tell us that clubs can provide leadership development, organizational skills, physical strength and endurance, critical thinking and socialization,” said Jane Camp, supervisor of student events, “and, of course, they offer great opportunities for our students to connect.”
In order to expose students to subjects outside of their usual classes, PA Cyber offers many activities, clubs, and organizations students can choose to join. From traveling and the arts, to chess, debate, and science, the topics are extensive.
Camp said she and club advisors met earlier this year and agreed there will be an effort to collaborate with one another more and host joint field trips and meetings, as well as meetings in-person and simultaneously online at one of the regional offices.
“Their collective goal is to increase participation through promoting clubs using teachers, social media, and email as well as incentivizing meetings with branded giveaways or prizes,” Camp said.
The Global Education Club, for example, will host cultural meetings at four regional offices this year, where they will feature guest speakers, travel posters created by students, and possibly food from the culture. The group attracted 75 students when it started last school year and club advisors Katie Batting and Michelle Rodgers expect more interest this year.
“We explore all different aspects of countries and cultures as well as the ‘how-tos’ of travel. We have a lot of students interested in Asian cultures. We have a lot of interest in history,” Batting said.
“We do a meeting about the food and cuisine of different cultures and those always go over really well,” Rodgers added. “We’ve also had meetings about different traditions students have within their families and about holidays around the world.”
The Global Education Club is planning a trip to Europe in June 2019, when they will visit Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Budapest, and Vienna over a 12-day period. Prior to the trip, the club plans to bring in speakers with unique experiences regarding the cultures of the places they will visit.
“We currently have about 60 travelers including some parents,” Batting said. “Not included in that number is a handful of PA Cyber staff that will be chaperones.”
Newly added club offerings this year are Elementary Bible Club for grades 3-5, and Running Club and Youth Ambassador Club for high school students.
Youth Ambassador students will engage in activities, discussions and field trips to help improve their communities. The Running Club will be geared toward students who enjoy running and exercising.
As the physical education program coordinator, Marc Grandinetti said he started the Running Club to give students a place to get together and discuss their favorite runs throughout the state, injury prevention, best practices, what running equipment they use, and to share races such as 5K or 10Ks and half marathons. The club will meet once or twice a month via Blackboard Collaborate.
“I want to raise awareness on the importance of physical fitness and exercise,” he said.
Club sign-ups have just begun, and Grandinetti is hopeful students will be eager to sign up and participate in the first meeting in late September.
“I am looking forward to meeting our students and hearing about their passion for exercise,” Grandinetti said.
Camp said students can learn more about clubs in the Family Link section of Buzz, and can join by filling out a club registration form.
“PA Cyber encourages all students to get involved and join a club; it’s a great way to meet peers and have fun while learning more about something they are interested in,” she said.
She provided this list of club descriptions:
High School Clubs
If you do well academically-2.5 Grade Point Average or above and on pace with school work, you are eligible to join one or two of our club offerings.
Art Club- offers students an opportunity to share their work with fellow students, learn new techniques they can incorporate into their artwork, and gain knowledge of the world of art including history and career paths.
Book of the Month Club-students will have the opportunity to nurture and cultivate their love of reading through discussion board threads, participation in live online classroom discussions with their advisors, peers, and field trips.
Chess Club-The chess club is designed for students at any level who want to gain an understanding on how to better their chess game. The course will start from the basics, and quickly advance through some of the more advanced strategies in the game of chess. Students will meet twice a month in a session through collaborate, this involves either a lesson, or a session where they will log in together with the teacher onto an online site where they can receive ratings for playing each other in single games, and chess tournaments.
Connect Bible Club-The Connect Bible Club is a non-denominational club that allows our students to explore their faith with other likeminded students. This student-led club allows students to connect together in prayer, worship, and fellowship with all who attend. There is no requirement for students to participate, just a willingness to hear the Word of God and fellowship with all who choose to attend.
Debate Club- Designed to develop solid thinking skills, students will examine why they believe what they believe, and learn to locate the values, worldview & assumptions behind positions expressed by others. Debate club members will be encouraged to participate in competitions within the club and externally with other debate clubs across the commonwealth.
DECA-Designed to develop our future leaders in the fields of Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship, club activities will focus on developing leadership abilities, presentation skills and career job skills through collaborative projects. DECA members will be invited to participate in competitive events, conferences, and online challenges; and will also network with business professionals and other students who wish to pursue management or marketing careers.
Equestrian Club –This club is for the horse enthusiast that wants to share and grow their knowledge and understanding of horses with one another. Students will have the opportunity to engage with their peers through regular online meetings, collaborate in discussion boards, and meet face to face on field trips.
French Club-students will be exposed to the French world around them here in the US, France, and other francophone countries. Regular online meetings will facilitate the sharing of love for the French language and culture both by students and knowledgeable faculty. Activities include listening to French music, watching French videos, exploring French art and literature, project creation based on cultural themes, cuisine exploration and conversational skills. The club is open to all middle school and high school students, with or without previous French exposure.
German Club-open to any middle and high school student who is interested in the German language or German speaking cultures, it is not necessary for students to be enrolled in a German course in order to be a member of the club. Students will practice basic conversations, read stories, listen to and sing all types of music, play games, and chat with virtual guests from German-speaking countries.
Global Education Club-The purpose of this club is to bring an understanding of the global community as well as world travel to the students of PA Cyber. Topics of discussion will include culture, history, and travel. In two year cycles, students will have the opportunity to participate in an educational tour at a global destination. Meetings and activities will prepare students for this trip by familiarizing them with the geography, culture, etc. of the area traveled to, but participation in the trip is not required to be a member of the Global Education Club.
GSA-The goals of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance are to create a more accepting environment for all people, to ensure that every member of the school community is valued and respected, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This is accomplished through education, support, social action and advocacy. GSA believes that schools can be truly safe only when every student is assured access to an education without fear or shame. The GSA welcomes all students in the LBGTQI+ community, children of LBGTQI+ parents, and allies. The label is less important than the intention to create a welcoming, inclusive, accepting, safe space for everyone.
History Club-No area of history is off-limits as club member will explore the major historical accounts that profoundly affected the world we live in, as well as, the local histories that are in our own communities. Club members should expect to participate in both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities, fund-raising, field trips, competitions, and more. This is a club specifically designed for students who want to do more than just read about history in their textbooks. History club members will work from the perspective of “hands-on” history, walking in the footsteps of those from the past, and developing an appreciation for the living history all around us.
Maker Club –Join the MAKER movement and discuss, share, and collaborate with other students to learn how to integrate and build technology to enhance daily life, help others or merely add some creativity to their own do-it-yourself projects. Topics include, but are not limited to, robotics, 3D printing, code and software, traditional arts and crafts, current technological developments, microcontrollers and single-board computers (Raspberry Pi) plus so much more! BYOT (Bring Your Own Talent) and enthusiasm!
Newspaper Club-in an effort to report and publish PA Cyber news and events, members will plan for effectively providing the school community with fact-based news, information and opinions. The PA Cyber Press strives to publish monthly, therefore active participation and meeting attendance is required.
Photography Club- knowledgeable faculty advisors and student members will share their talents, knowledge, and love of photography through regular online meetings, chat rooms and photo-sharing websites. Members will be encouraged to grow in photographic competency, to learn about the history, techniques and art of still photography and to share their talents with others in their school and individuals within their home communities.
Running Club- is designed for those who love to run or for those who would like to begin a running lifestyle. Club members will learn proper workouts, techniques, and diets to modify a running or workout routine to best fit their lifestyle. Running club will allow members to not only learn the basics of running and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but will allow you to learn the importance of the training leading up to an actual race! You will also be encouraged to set goals and motivate your peers to meet their goals.
Science Club-This club will explore a variety of topics such as epigenetics, forensics, recent developments in particle physics, bioinformatics, the science of geology and new drilling methods-no science topic is off limits. Regular meeting times and a club website allow students to share their interest in science through discussions and presentations. Activities will include labs, projects, and optional field trips. Students who love science and would like to explore more should join us in Exploring Science.
Spanish Club- is open to any middle school and high school students that are interested in learning Spanish or learning about Spanish cultures. Club members will learn about the different Spanish speaking countries, cultures, foods, dances, art, holidays and much more. We will plan some virtual field trips and, some live field trips across the state.
Youth Ambassador Club-Students will engage in activities, discussions, and field trips to help improve their communities both within PA Cyber as well as in their geographic region. As an ambassador, students will gain knowledge about support services regarding social and emotional issues to make a difference in the world around them. Join us and “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Middle School Clubs (Grades 6-8)
Middle School students may join one of the clubs listed below and also either French, German or Spanish Clubs.
Adventures in Reading Adventures in Reading (AIR) meets online twice each month to discover a new book and share a love of reading! Each meeting we will explore our novel through many fun online activities including cross word puzzles, team Jeopardy, word searches and so much more. Our book list changes every school year to keep our readers enjoying new books and adventures. Please join us for Adventures in Reading!
Art Club The Middle School Art Club meets online twice each month through Blackboard Collaborate. This club is designed to offer students who are passionate about art the chance to interact with other students who have similar interests. Students will have the opportunity to create and share their artwork in a supportive and encouraging environment. Students will also learn about art history and look at and discuss various artists and their work.
Connect Jr. Bible Club-The Connect Jr. Bible Club is a non-denominational club that allows our students to explore their faith with other likeminded students. This club allows students to connect together in prayer, worship, and fellowship through fun activities and engaging content. There is no requirement for students to participate, just come ready to hear the Word of God and build friendships with other students within the club!
Global Education Club-(7th & 8th Graders ONLY) The purpose of this club is to bring an understanding of the global community as well as world travel to the students of PA Cyber. Topics of discussion will include culture, history, and travel. In two year cycles, students will have the opportunity to participate in an educational tour at a global destination. Meetings and activities will prepare students for this trip by familiarizing them with the geography, culture, etc. of the area traveled to, but participation in the trip is not required to be a member of the Global Education Club.
Science Investigators- The Science Investigators Club will start out meeting monthly online through blackboard collaborate and will actively use Buzz as a club website to connect our discussions outside of meetings. Question everything! Have you ever wondered things such as, “How did the moon form? Why is the sky blue? This club will guide you through the scientific process and how to use it to investigate and “question everything.” Our club will be focused on the interests of the members as they will have an active role in leading the discussions and direction of the club.
Elementary Clubs (Grades K-5)
Bible Adventurers- is a non-denominational club that allows students to explore their faith with other like-minded students. This club allows students to connect through prayer, worship, and fellowship through the use of fun activities and engaging content. The only requirement for this club is a willingness to hear the Word of God and build friendships with other students in the club!
Bookworm Buddies- (Grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th) This club is designed for elementary students who want to foster their love of reading. Students will read a book monthly while completing activities, discussion board posts, and participating in live on-line classroom discussions with their peers and advisors.
Foreign Language Club- (Grades K-5) Students will explore other countries and languages through exciting online meetings. Club members will increase their awareness and appreciation for other ethnic groups and countries. They will have the opportunity to learn customs, languages, cuisines, and aspects of other countries. Activities will include learning words and phrases in different languages, interactive activities, group and partner projects, video clips, online virtual tours, creating fun ethnic food/snack recipes, and foreign language games.
Hands on Science (Grades K-2) The Hands on Science Club will introduce young students to science through language arts and mathematics utilizing communication, problem solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity while performing hands-on experiments. Twice a month, young scientists and the club facilitator will perform an awesome science experiment together, following the steps of the scientific method. Young scientists will gain a love of science, try new things, and get their hands dirty in this fun club!
Hands on Science (Grades 3-5) The Hands on Science Club will introduce upper elementary students to science through language arts and mathematics utilizing communication, problem solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity while performing hands-on experiments. Twice a month, junior scientists and the club facilitator will perform an awesome science experiment together, following the steps of the scientific method. Junior scientists will gain a love of science, try new things, and get their hands dirty in this fun club
Ready, Set, Go Club (Grades K-2) Are you ready? The Ready, Set, Go Club will reinforce reading and math skills for PA Cyber’s youngest learners. Through games and activities, students will sharpen their skills for academic success. The core goals of the club include social collaboration to problem solve, building self-esteem through positive interactions, and creating a sense of community!
Ready, Set, Go Club (Grades 3-5) The Ready, Set, Go Club will reinforce reading, mathematics, communication, and problem-solving skills for PA Cyber’s upper elementary learners. Through games and activities, students will sharpen their skills for academic success. The core goals of the club include social collaboration to problem solve, build self-esteem through positive interactions, and creating a sense of community!
Casie Colalella / firstname.lastname@example.org
About PA Cyber
Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.