Seventh graders entering Scottsboro Junior High School this year had an opportunity to meet some upperclassmen and learn about their new school during Camp Junior Cats. This was a new event for the students planned by Counselor Leigh Petty who hopes this will lead to a better start for these junior high students.
Petty started Camp Junior Cats to help these students who experience so many changes during this stage of life.
“Early adolescence and junior high age is such a major growth period for students this age,” said Petty. “I feel like this program will benefit these students. I felt that junior high school would be a perfect place to start the WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) transition program.”
The program allows students to make connections with upperclassmen and become acclimated to their school before school actually starts.
Petty said, “The three main goals of the program are to make kids feel safe to come to school, to feel a sense of belonging, and learn where their classes are while learning tid bits of information about the day to day activities.”
“I think it was a success!” said Petty. She said both the Junior Cats WEB leaders and incoming seventh graders seem to enjoy it.
“One of the coolest things to witness about Camp Junior Cats was watching the transformation the seventh graders made from when they were first dropped off the morning of orientation to when they were picked up by the parents in the afternoon,” said Petty. “They are different kids than when they arrived!”
Even the WEB leaders commented to Petty that they could see the transformation.
One of the main goals of the program is to help those incoming seventh graders feel comfortable starting school. Junior high can be a scary time for students. This event helped these students have some friends to help them as they start this adventure.
There was a variety of activities throughout the day. These included large group activities where they had to answer questions about themselves and small group activities conducted by the WEB leaders. The leaders took the new students on a tour of the school.
They helped these new students build up some Wildcat school spirit which was exhibited as they passed each other in the hallways.
“I am so proud of my WEB leaders,” said Petty. “They did a fantastic job. You would have thought they had conducted many orientations in the past. They showed up and showed out! They are truly the ones who made it a success. “
The WEB leaders volunteered over 15 hours of their summer break to make Camp Junior Cats a success. “They truly are dedicated leaders!” concluded Petty.
The eighth graders who composed the leader groups included Alex Avenal, Smith Bradford, Ally Campbell, Anna Claire Childress, Samara Cornelison, Emma Haddon, Alex Holder, Makenna Howes, Emma Grace Johnson, Nancy Jose-Matias, Lauren Judge, Tori Lynch, Cadence Key, Kennedy Key, Haylen Miles, and Kinsley Mitchell. These WEB leaders are students that the seventh graders can count on to be there for them while they are at the junior high school. Petty hopes these students will remain friends for a lifetime.
The day concluded with a fabulous puppet show. The puppeteers were Kyle Wright, Ramie Staton, Kingsley Mitchell, Ailayah Swafford, Cadence Key, Emma Haddon and Kennedy Key.
The students were assisted by Sherry DeMontgomery who has a puppet ministry. She practiced with the students several hours on three different evenings to prepare them for this performance.