Bostian Elementary brings back clubs with EPIC Tuesdays

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

CHINA GROVE  — Clubs are back at Bostian Elementary School and they have a bit of new branding to boot.

The regular club programs that help kids explore their interests started in 2019 but were put on hold last school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now they are back under the banner of EPIC Tuesdays, which stands for Explore Passions and Interests through Clubs.

The clubs restarted in September and kids could pick from more than 20 options from drumming to sign language. Students attend club sessions once a month for three months, then they get to choose a new club. Time to go to the club is built into the school day and after each session the kids are surveyed on what they liked about the session so the teachers leading them can make changes.

Faculty members have also visited other schools that provide a similar club program. After each round of clubs, faculty members sit down and adjust the list. They were not able to do that during the early days of the pandemic, but Principal Cory Stirewalt said the school had survey results to build off of from before the pandemic.

The program is part of the school’s renewal plan, specifically the unique life goals piece of the district-wide system.

“We want to expose the kids to as many experiences as we can and see what catches their eye,” Stirewalt said.

Olivia Gray, a second grader at Bostian, is in the gardening club. She said she likes gardening with her dad and looks forward to the club session.

“Planting is really fun for me,” Gray said, adding it makes her happy every time she plants something new.

The club has planted some new flora around the school with the local nonprofit Happy Roots. Gray said she learned the appropriate amount of soil to pack around plants with the club.

She said the club has planted vegetables like lettuce and carrots. She is considering signing up for cooking club next in the hopes they will cook with some of the vegetables she planted.

Fifth grader Carson Gordon signed up for the drumming and ukulele club because he always thought drums were fun. The club has given him some more exposure to drumming. He said he does not have a set at home yet, so he gets creative and goes out to the porch to bang on things with his sticks.

He also plays the ukulele a bit and got one for his birthday. He wants to take band classes once he starts middle school and in the past he signed up for athletic clubs.

He is also thinking about signing up for the cooking club or another athletic club next.

“I think it’s just really fun to cook your own food,” Gordon said. “I feel like it just tastes better whenever you make it.”

Stirewalt said the clubs also push adults outside of their comfort zones as well. After the school creates a list catered to what the students are interested in, staff can choose which they would like to lead. They might even have to learn a bit about zoology or horse riding as a result.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

email author More by Carl