Civics Take Action

Addy Gephart

Tyler Troutman, Writer

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In case you were wondering about the students you saw wearing the blue “Bear Crew” shirts on the first day of school, they are a part of the new Link Crew program adopted by our school to involve the freshman and new students at Olympia High School. Social Studies teacher Mike Schaefer has taken on this program along with a new year long Civics class that drives this new major leadership role at OHS. Bear Crew is a major part of the curriculum for this Civics class, as is learning about a citizen’s role in government and society, and serving in the community.

The new Civics class got started when Principal Matt Grant created a class aiming to expand the leadership of our student body, and to better welcome new students to OHS. After discussions about what the curriculum would look like, Grant decided a major component would be upperclassmen connecting with the largest freshman class in OHS history. Originally, the plan was to create one Civics class of about 25 students, but the administration underestimated the amount of students interested in the course. Currently there are well over 60 students over two periods, and more were turned away due to capacity. New state laws effective in 2014 require students to take a Civics course, which will be offered at OHS for seniors.

As the 2012 Presidential election approaches, the Civics classes are focused on the concepts of living in a democracy and will cover the election extensively. Students will also discuss their thoughts and ideas of the current events like the Presidential debate and the medias role in elections. After the election, students will learn about the Government’s role in society, and will be educated citizens who have the experience to take on leadership roles in the community. Grant stated, “I love the enthusiasm, and I see students who are active and wanting to go out there and make a difference in our school community.” Throughout the year, the Bear Crew students will be seen supporting and helping people find their way at sporting games, drama productions, student/parent/teacher nights, and more.

Civic students will also be taking on the Veteran’s Day assembly in November, as well as creating Civic Action Projects, that will involve students and staff at OHS. These projects will allow OHS students to get involved through school functions that will benefit and unify the student body. Schaefer explained, “I’m excited. I’m lucky to be working with amazing young men and women, who I can’t wait to see what they choose to do, to help Olympia High School.”

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