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After-school clubs come back strong in Seaford

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Extracurricular activities are an important part of student life at Seaford Middle School, allowing sixth, seventh and eighth graders to explore their interests beyond the regular school day. Student clubs, which shut down for about eight months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resumed in November with several safety precautions in place.

There are a wide variety of clubs in which students can explore art, culture and science, learn a new language, serve their community and more.

Teacher Lindsay Gilbert leads the American Sign Language club. She started out by teaching students the alphabet in sign language, along with greetings and other basic words, and is building up their vocabulary so they can have full conversations.

Seventh grader Katie Padavan said she was interested in joining the ASL club because she wanted to expand on the knowledge she gained as a child, when she learned a few signs from her aunt.

Alexa Cantore, also a seventh grader, is a member of both the ASL and Service clubs. She joined ASL to learn new communication skills and the Service Club to help out her community. Some projects they have worked on are a recycling program and making care packages for front-line workers.

“It’s fun to stay after school and interact with other people,” she said. “Being a part of extracurricular activities makes me feel more accomplished.”

Students in the Culture Club, under the direction of Spanish teacher Melanie Levy-Roberts, put together a digital newsletter, “Culture Corner.” The first edition featured facts about sports around the world, recollections of a student from her trip to Germany and an interview with a student who was born in Brazil.

Meetings also focus on current topics, such as holiday celebrations around the world in December and Black History Month in February. Levy-Roberts structures her meetings so students can attend either in-person or via videoconference.

“I want students to be aware that there are many different cultures, right in their own community,” she said, “and though we do come from different backgrounds, we have a lot in common.”

Technology teacher Matthew Dolan oversees the Robotics Club, which gives students a hands-on building experience. They build robots and playing fields for internal competitions using Vex robotics kits.

Dolan stressed the importance of teamwork, explaining that the way to be successful and solve complex building challenges is by working together. This year, students are working on the “Squared Away” challenge in which they have to build a robot that can pick up balls on a playing field and drop them into cubes or through goal posts.

Eighth grade-student Kyle O’Hagan said he joined the Robotics Club because he enjoys hands-on activities and has learned about the different components of a robot and what each part does. He and his partners have been working on building and omni-drive robot that can go in every direction.

—Provided by the Seaford School District. Compiled by Brian Stieglitz.