Tag Archives: clubs

OHS Club Sells Bracelets to Help Children

By Mia Currie

Oak Hall School’s Child Advocacy Center (CAC) club recently restarted after three years of inactivity thanks to current club president, Oak Hall sophomore, Tori Kitchens. The purpose of the club is to support the Gainesville CAC to help children in abusive/neglectful home situations through volunteer work. The club is currently selling Pura Vida bracelets for $5 to raise funds and can be ordered from Kitchens and her fellow Oak Hall sophomores Julia Gordan, Rinnah Masadieu, Christina Sarantos and Middle School teacher Blair Fils. 

Fils, who is the CAC club sponsor, has a long-standing relationship with the organization. Earlier this school year, she was approached by Kitchens and immediately agreed to represent the club. Over the course of 10 years, Fils has been a volunteer and an advisor to student organizations in Georgia and Gainesville. She believes that people don’t understand what the CAC does in Gainesville and how it serves the community. By providing food, shelter, clothes, and any support service to a neglected child, the club ensures that the Gainesville CAC “has what it needs to continue serving as a pillar in the community,” Fils said.

The CAC club is selling Pura Vida bracelets for $5 to benefit the Gainesville Child Advocacy Center

The club is currently focused on growing within Oak Hall as it is still in its “infant stage”. Fils admits that it has been hard for the club to get off the ground and get started in the community due to the pandemic but is focused on what the club can do within the school. Although it is a club with both Middle and Upper School members, meetings are held in Fils’s classroom after school to accommodate any conflicting schedules. When mentioning the Pura Vida fundraiser, Fils explained how the club has had an ongoing relationship with the company and Kitchens was able to “just pick it up” when the CAC restarted.

Gordan has been an active member of the CAC for two years. Her biggest deciding factor when joining was being able to contribute in any way possible to the bettering of a neglected child’s life. The current Pura Vida collaboration will do just that, as it is raising funds to buy snacks and toys for the children and make overall improvements to the center itself. Since her involvement, Gordan has attended five events and hopes to “get out and do more events with the Child Advocacy Center ASAP,” she said. Although COVID-19 impacted the club, the officers and members are trying their best to remain active both within the school and the Gainesville community. 

LS Math Olympiad Team Look to Continue Success

By Jenna Poppell

Math Olympiad, founded in 1977, is an organization that aims to foster a passion for and competency in mathematics and problem-solving through team-based competitions. Oak Hall’s Lower School Math Olympiad team has been competing for the past 12 years and usually place in the top 10 percent of all the teams in the world. Just last year, the team scored in the top 2 percent by the end of the school year. Lower School teacher Jackson Rogers runs the club. He sees the club as a way to help students grow as a team, and as individuals. “Through the program, students develop flexibility and creativity in overcoming challenges,” he said. 

Once per month from November through March, students complete five math problems, which are not only difficult, but involve logic. From there, the problems are graded. By the end of the school year, teams earn a score out of 25 points.

This team is made up of fourth and fifth grade students with a love for math. “In order to be officially rostered, students must participate in the club for the full year,” Rogers explained. The students practice once a week after school for an hour with the help of Lower School teachers Maura Schiefer and Rick Mills. The teachers prepare the students by introducing math concepts, patterns, and problem-solving strategies. The students then have the opportunity to work together and ask questions during practice contests. While this sounds stressful, they often play fun math games as well.

For the competition, students compete with paper and pencil in exam-like conditions at the Lower School. For the aforementioned five problems, students have 30 minutes to complete the test. The exams are then submitted to the Math Olympiads organization, who tally the scores and compare them to other teams from around the world.

New MS Club Brings the Fun

During FLEX period on Thursdays, 10:03 a.m. until 11:33 a.m., Oak Hall’s Middle School students first meet in their advisory groups, then head off to participate in a club. Unlike the Upper School, Middle School students are required to join one of the numerous clubs that are offered. Game Board Club is one club students get to choose for FLEX.

Students from 6th through 8th grade enjoy Board Game Club

Melissa Armstrong, Middle School English teacher and Game Board Club sponsor, polled her students to get an idea as to what type of club Middle School students would be interested in. “Board Game club is a group of diverse students coming together to decompress, make new friends, and have fun together,” Armstrong said. “They also try out critical thinking strategies, compete, and laugh A LOT,” she continued.

With 25 students involved in the club, there are a lot of games to choose from

With 25 students in the club, from all three Middle School grade levels, students play games such as Bananagrams, Apples to Apples, Dos, and BUNCO!

Photos courtesy of Melissa Armstrong

New US Club is All-Inclusive

By Lauren Cohen

Oak Hall’s mission statement reads as follows: “A welcoming, diverse, and supportive learning community empowering students to pursue their academic, artistic and athletic passions.” The Upper School’s newest club, the Black Student Union (BSU) believes it will help further this mission through the dedication to increase racial diversity and representation.

“We believe in being a welcoming entity. It is important that we express to the Oak Hall family that all are welcome, regardless of race,” said the BSU advisor and member of the Oak Hall faculty, Sherolyn Spencer. “We intend to give a voice to those who may feel unheard or misunderstood on campus,” she continued.

Oak Hall Senior, Adryanna Jerkins, noticed the lack of racial diversity within the school community and decided to take action. Jerkins has united black students and faculty alike, aiming to bring representation onto campus. Kesean Brown, one member of the newly formed club even shared that he feels a sense of greater “confidence and pride” after joining. Jerkins hopes to teach others about diversity by bringing positive racial relations into the school and promoting mutual respect for all cultures and backgrounds. 

Elections were recently held to determine the positions of all involved in the club. It has been decided that the BSU will meet the first Wednesday of every month during the first half of lunch in US 16. Meetings are welcome to all regardless of race and are encouraged for those who hope to build bridges and increase understanding on Oak Hall’s campus. The club plans to host educational and cultural events for members, as well as emphasizing the importance of Black History Month.

“I think students should be able to learn from teachers who look like them,” said Jerkins. One of the primary goals of the BSU is to encourage conversation among students and faculty. The BSU is the first of its kind in Oak Hall’s history.“With this club, I hope we can show [the community] that there are more of us out there. We are here.” Jalen Scott, Oak Hall Freshman and BSU Events Coordinator, said proudly.

Photos courtesy of Savannah Gilson