Service Projects at Smiley Middle School

AmeriCorps service projects are up and running at Smiley Middle School!  This year, I am leading a couple of awesome clubs.  Both Yearbook Club and Art Club focus on engaging students in a creative way, which isn’t always found in the day to day routine.  I want students to feel safe and comfortable in both clubs, but also to feel challenged in the projects we are working on during each meeting.  By the end of the year, I hope that both my students and I will have learned something from one another and have gained a new skill along the way.


Art Club: Art Club started during the 2012-13 school year as a service project, with former AmeriCorps member, Meredith Trevino, leading the way.  We were lucky enough to have the chance to form a partnership with a local non-profit, the Art Garage.  Once a week for a month, the club visited the Art Garage, located about 5 blocks from Smiley, and participated in different art classes.  This year, the partnership is still going strong and Art Club will be taking classes at the Art Garage every other week for free!  Smiley students have visited a couple times so far this year and are currently working on molding and painting clay sculptures that will hold candles.  Our next project with the Art Garage will be a beautification project to help decorate the garage.  The Art Club students are excited to give back to the Art Garage and can’t wait to start painting.  Stay tuned to see photos of the upcoming mural.


Yearbook Club: In order to celebrate Smiley’s final year, a core group of students and AmeriCorps members will be working together to create a yearbook for the school.  The Yearbook Club meets once a week during lunch, giving students a chance to explore page design, themes, and editing pictures.  Currently, the club is focused on taking as many pictures as possible.  We want to capture every moment, from classroom work, to electives, to field trips, to dances, and so much more.  Fortunately, we just received a donation of two digital cameras from a neighbor of Smiley, which will greatly impact our photo shoots.  We can’t wait to get started on our cover design that will feature a bird’s eye view of the entire student body forming a cougar paw print.  Go Cougars!

– Julia Finlayson, AmeriCorps member serving at Smiley Middle School


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