Middle school students raise awareness for heart diseases

By Raechel Russo - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Lourdes Academy students, grades fifth through eighth, participated in raising awareness for heart diseases on Jan. 17.

The students participated in an afternoon of physical activity to help support the American Heart Association which helps battle heart diseases.

To help raise awareness, the middle school students were given envelopes to collect donations for the American Heart Association. In addition, the students were encouraged to create goals as a way to inspire them to work hard to collect donations.

If students raised a certain amount of money or reached their financial goals, they received prizes such as keychains or even AirPods, depending on the amount of money the individual student raised.

Gym and health teacher Kim Strebe said, “We had one student raise over $1000.00. He or she will receive AirPods.”

The PALS organization helped to plan the fun day of physical activity. PALS representative and language arts teacher Mary Anne Saiyed said, “We had four stations for kids: dodgeball, hula hoop, scooter hockey, and classic cornhole.”

After the students completed the three hours of activity, they received their prizes. Each participant also enjoyed a Dilly Bar.

Students play games in the Castle during their American Heart Association Day.

Middle school students play corn hole in the hallway at one of the stations.

Research projects inspire middle schoolers to voice opinions on world issues

By Noah Ralofsky - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Middle school students at Lourdes Academy researched current issues in our world and created ways to resolve them.

Middle school reading teacher Jennifer Andryzsczyk’s seventh-grade class was assigned to find and research a problem in the modern world they were passionate about. Some issues chosen were gun control, climate change, plastic pollution, illegal immigration, and drugs.

First, Andryzsczyk said the students conducted the research during class. After the research was conducted, the students then created presentations that they gave to the class, Andryzsczyk said. The presentations included the students’ viewpoints on the chosen issue, as well as background information and a solution to the problem.

Seventh grader Taylin Mecklenburg chose to research and present about gun violence. She chose the standpoint that the gun laws should remain the same because the laws in place now are sufficient and that guns are not the problem. She said she believes that the people using the guns are the issue. Mecklenburg’s favorite part of the project was learning about all of the different laws and how they work in society.

Along with the research and presentation, Andryzsczyk said her students will also be assigned to create “TED Talks” to show to their fellow classmates in the coming weeks. The reason for the TED Talks are to help inform the students further on the issues they presented, Andryzsczyk said.

Andryzsczyk said she chose to assign this project to allow her students to explore an issue they are passionate about, to learn more about it, to develop research skills, and to learn to present it to others in an informative way.

All of the students in her class have certainly learned valuable information about our world issues, as well as how to effectively research a topic and how to voice their opinions through verbal presentations.

Fifth-grade students curious about middle school

By Annie Schraa - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Fifth-grade students often look for guidance on how to be successful in middle school as they transition from elementary school.

As the first semester of the year came to a close, the fifth-grade students became more excited to become middle schoolers. With that excitement comes nerves and questions for these soon to be Squires.

Many students showed interest in knowing the amount of homework a student receives on a daily basis, the importance of joining sports and clubs, and the most effective way to balance their social lives along with their academic lives.

Eighth-grader Brooke Hoeper said that joining clubs and sports in middle school is the best way to grow friendships, learn time management skills, and create amazing memories. Eighth-grader Jackson Flowers said that the amount of homework a student gets depends on the day and the type of classes. Flowers explained that balancing a social life with an academic life comes with experience and time.

Fifth-grader Lyla Geffers was the first of many to ask about time lengths of each class, how many classes a student has daily, and which classes a student can choose to take. Every middle schooler attends seven classes a day, each lasting about 45 minutes. Middle schoolers have the option to choose between choir class, band class, or art each year. If a student would like to take more than one elective in the same year, the teachers try to find a way for the student to participate in more than one elective.

Good luck next year and keep working diligently in school to become a successful Squire.

Fifth graders are excited to become future Squires.

Play like a girl

By Grace Syson - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

For eighth-grader Charley Mullen, basketball is her life. She is always looking for ways to improve her game including showing the boys she can keep up with them.

You see, Mullen is a member of the Lourdes eighth-grade boy’s basketball team. Mullen said she came up with the idea of joining the team because the Lourdes girl’s team only has three league games. Mullen also plays on a girl’s AAU or travel basketball team: Flight Elite, and she wanted something to keep her game up during the offseason.

“I realized that playing with the boys would give me a lot of practice, and it would be the same intensity that AAU is. It’s also just a good group of guys, and I knew they would accept me,” Mullen said.

Mullen said she and her dad talked about her joining the boy’s team when they weren’t sure if there would be enough girls for a girl’s basketball team. Mullen said, “When one of the boys told me to come to one of our practices then talk to the coach… I went and the coach asked me to play.”

Mullen said she gets along well with her teammates. “It’s like they are my brothers; I’m not treated differently at all,” she said.

One of Mullen’s teammates, eighth-grader Calum Tollard, said, “I felt it was a good opportunity for her because she wanted to play with us, and it would be more of her level.”

Mullen’s teammates said she gets along well with all the members and say she is a great addition to the team. They also said that they see her as an equal and expect the same performance from her as they do from anyone else who’s on the team.

Charley Mullen plays on the boys basketball team.