WHS Students See the World
by Valentina Birritta (16)
Each year, Wethersfield High School students are given the opportunity to join their fellow classmates on an educational tour. The tours offer an adventure to a number of places around the world, including Greece, Costa Rica, and Belize. Wethersfield High School, along with EF Tours, offers these trips to students as a method of learning and experiencing the world outside the classroom.
John Sand, a teacher at Wethersfield High School, is one of the chaperones of these trips and takes up to 30 students with him each year. I sat down last week with Mr. Sand in the cafeteria where he told me more about these learning experiences.
“I took my first trip with students in 1995. We went to Mexico. Second trip was in 1997, and we went to Greece,” Sand said.
When asked why he enjoys taking students on this trip each year, he said, “I like seeing students grow, I like seeing students learn things they wouldn’t learn in a classroom. I like seeing students see that there is a different perspective on the world than we have here in the United States.”
Sand believes when a student learns something outside the classroom it has more meaning. It’s not just another test, project, or homework assignment. It’s learning hands on by seeing places, meeting people and experiencing a new culture.
“Once you become educated, you can’t become uneducated. Once you see that the world works in a different way maybe than you thought it did, you will always have that information and that knowledge,” Sand said. “There’s certain things that you can’t learn in a classroom that you can only learn by traveling, but then there’s things you have to learn in a classroom that you can’t learn just by going somewhere.”
Wethersfield High School is one of the few high schools that offer this learning experience. Addie Chudzik, a junior at Portland High School, was informed about the trips’ students at WHS have the opportunity to take. “I wish my school offered that,” Chudzik said. “It’s rewarding to be able to learn by traveling, it’s an unforgettable experience.”
Sand has already planned another trip to Belize with EF Tours, which is being offered to students this year.
WHS Gives Back To The World
by Elizabeth Estifanos (16)
You might be familiar with one of the biggest issues the world is living with as of today, Hunger. On Saturday March 5th, 2016, the Wethersfield High School community gave back in an inspirational way by participating and hosting The Hunger Project for the first time in WHS history.
The Hunger Project is a volunteer service that helps feed kids generally all over the world with a main focus on the issue of poverty and hunger in our society.
The exciting event focused on sending the food packaged by the WHS students and faculty to the country of Zambia in Africa. The Hunger Project itself is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the end of hunger in this world.
Susannah Orzechowski, a volunteer at the Hunger Project event, described it as “a great movement and we’re helping a lot of people and it’s just you know, a little bit of our time but it can really make a big difference for someone else across the world.”
The movement sent food including dried vegetables and Himalayan salt, but most importantly helped feed the children and families in Zambia as well.
Rachel Caruk, another volunteer at the Hunger Project, described the activities that the volunteers completed as “packaging the meals and we each had a part in packaging them and putting them in the boxes.”
By creating these meals, the WHS students and community have helped kids all around Zambia with the issue of poverty. WHS hope to continue to do drives in support of the Hunger Project and other organizations like it. If you want to get involved with the Hunger Project click here.
New Block Schedule
by Trisha Signorello (17)
It has recently been confirmed that Wethersfield High School will be switching to a block schedule for next fall, the 2016- 2017 school year.
The block schedule will consist of four classes a day, with each student having the opportunity to take up to eight classes. There will be alternating “A” days and “B” days, each having four blocks.
The students at WHS are looking forward to this change coming in the fall. Anna Cannata, a junior at WHS, said, “I remember it from the last time we had SBAC testing, that the schedule was really good because then I had more time to do my homework. I wasn’t always obliged to do my homework every single night. It made it a lot easier to study for tests too.”
The only concern that the students have is the way their teachers will fill these longer classes. They hope that with a new schedule, there will be some new activities and lessons in the classroom as well.
Mariana Carcia, a junior at WHS, said, “I hope that they [the teachers] try to keep us interested and entertained and maybe let us stretch our legs a little bit so that we’re not sitting there the entire time.”
The fall of 2016 will be an adjustment for the students and teachers, but it will all be worth it.