Annual FHS Club Fair Goes Virtual

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The 2020 FHS club fair is going virtual!

Gretchen Scotland, Writer

On Monday, November 9th, 2020 Franklin High School will launch its annual club fair; how you may ask? Well, it’s going to be virtual! People may dread hearing this word, but this online event is going to be epic! Instead of having a gathering of tables and people and posters and other props, there will be a dedicated website in which each club can provide their information in their own section. Additionally, the site will be categorized so that students can find what they’re interested in easily and efficiently. Read below to find out a few clubs who will be there!

A World of Difference:

FHS junior member, Wynne Drucker, reflects, “A World of Difference Club addresses important global issues including common stereotypes, hate towards diversity, and biases. Throughout the school year, AWOD members participate in a number of activities that are directed towards teaching students about diversity awareness and confronting their own biases. [Such activities include] freshman advisory lessons, the ADL’s Walk Against Hate, [and] chances to understand different scenarios with peers.”  AWOD meets every other Friday morning to try to come up with different initiatives we can share with the Franklin High community. There will also be a specific Google Meet held on Friday, November 13th for new members to get a sense of what AWOD is and how to apply. Google Classroom information to come!

Club advisors, Mrs. Calcagno, a Spanish teacher at FHS, and Mrs. Picillo, an FHS French teacher, comment, “We are both excited to keep working with the A World of Difference leaders and the rest of the school. We are so proud of the work that our students do and think it’s more important than ever to share our message. We hope that together we can build an even stronger school community united against bias, racism, and all forms of bigotry.”

Best Buddies: 

One of the advisors of this club, Ms. Connolly, conveys, “Best Buddies is an opportunity for students to develop one-to-one relationships. The club uses buddy groups to create interactions both in school and in the community. This year we have 20 buddy groups with 3 students in each group. We hope to be adding associate members as the school year progresses. We are also in the process of matching email buddies to extend the Best Buddies community.  We will be meeting in virtual small groups every other Thursday. The club leaders use the alternate Thursdays to meet and plan for upcoming meetings.”

The Best Buddies logo (photo by abilityrevolution.org)

She also adds, “Best Buddies has been the highlight of my teaching career. Through my involvement in Best Buddies, I have been able to make some amazing connections with students. It has given me the opportunity to see the potential of all students and watch them grow throughout their years at FHS. I feel blessed to have been a part of this great club.” Ms. Connolly teaches health at FHS and other health-related classes such as Nutrition and Early Childhood Education.

Empty Bowls:

Empty Bowls is made up of students who are eager to give back to their community through the arts and creativity. At the beginning of the year, we set a goal to make a few hundred bowls from start-to-finish by May, in which we hold the annual fundraiser where we partner with the Franklin Food Pantry. People pay for tickets to our soup dinner and in return get to bring a bowl home with them as a souvenir. There’s also an auction with bigger ceramic items that is held at the same event; all proceeds directly go to the Franklin Food Pantry. It’s an awesome gathering and the work leading up to it is just as much fun! Meetings are on Monday afternoons and depending on your preference, you can work with clay in the building or at your home (in-person work will likely take place every few weeks per student so everyone can rotate through under safe circumstances!).

“Panther Pride” vase created by Drew Conrad (2020 FHS graduate) and glazed by Paul Peri (2016-2020 FHS principal) for the 2020 EB Auction

Ms. Johnson, the ceramics teacher at FHS and the club advisor, states, “EB is happening this year [and] students will be making bowls at home and in the classroom in a safe manner. Our plan is to run a fundraiser in early May either in person or virtually; the decisions on what the fundraiser will look like depends on the situation with the pandemic. The need for the pantry’s services are up based on what’s happening with the pandemic and from the continued job loss and long-term unemployment [so our work is more important than ever this year].

Pantherbook:

Pantherbook is our digital school newspaper, as many of you, I’m sure, know by now. Members thrive in an environment where they can free write just about anything they put their minds to. Writers are encouraged to submit at least one article per month, but there aren’t really any deadlines so no stress if you can’t! We’ve had articles about anything and everything from school-related events such as clubs or dances to events taking place outside of Franklin such as fires occurring across the world. The sky is truly the limit! Don’t like writing? Pantherbook still has a place for you! If you enjoy photography or have a feeling you’d like to pursue it, join Pantherbook! We’d love to have students on our team to help out with getting high-quality images to take articles to the next level.

Mr. Leighton, a history teacher at FHS and the club advisor for Pantherbook, remarks, “I am excited to see the great work being produced by our editors and staff.  During these challenging times, Pantherbook has stepped up and produced engaging and timely articles to keep the student body informed and entertained.”

Halle Goldsmith (left), Megan Torrey (middle), and Maddie Lussier (right) representing Pantherbook at a previous club fair.

Stay tuned for the first-ever virtual FHS club fair! It’s something you won’t want to miss.