Leadership Opportunities, Enrichment and Club Offerings
Middle School leadership opportunities, enrichment classes, and club offerings allow students to develop skills, explore new passions, or enhance current interests. Through their participation, students find themselves broadening both intellectually and socially. Further, they cultivate their skills as leaders and as compassionate contributors to both the Benjamin community and the community at large.
Student Participation: Consistent attendance and active participation offer students the opportunity to satisfy the second activity requirement. Attendance will be taken and effort will be assessed to this end; in order to receive club credit, a student must miss no more than one club meeting per quarter.
Schedule: Meeting and attendance times and requirements vary. See individual requirements below for information.
Registration Procedure: Students must sign up for clubs in the office by September 23rd. However the sign up and matriculation policy for enrichment classes differs from class to class; see requirements below.
Enrichment Class Opportunities
While enrichment classes fulfill the club requirement, enrichment class opportunities are different than clubs in that they are academic classes for which a grade in an honors course is earned. Attendance is absolutely mandatory and they meet before school from 7:25-8:05. These classes indubitably do not demand the same amount of time as a regular academic class nor are they homework intensive. They do however, in some cases, require outside reading and some outside work; if a project is at all extensive it is assigned long before its due date. Students matriculating in enrichment classes and their parents are asked to sign a contract which assures the instructor that students are able to get to school for the morning meetings, that they will apply themselves assiduously, and that in the event that they do choose to drop mid-year they may not opt into another enrichment opportunity. See individual enrichment opportunities for application and matriculation dates and the like.
English Literature Enrichment: This year’s English Enrichment curriculum includes a plethora of modern fiction. Despite the works’ seemingly disparate plots and settings, the course will challenge students to observe how modern authors extrapolate the lessons of literary classics. This class will also question whether authors have a moral duty to preserve the integrity of an established work of art. Further, we will use literature as a tool not only to enrich the students but to demonstrate to the students how they may enrich the world far beyond them. This class will meet promptly at 7;25 and continue until 8:05 on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year. Open to 8th graders.
Mandarin Chinese: Imagine becoming conversant in the language that is the native tongue of one quarter of the world! Learn to speak and write conversational Chinese in the mornings with Mr. Shirley! This class will be open to all Middle Schoolers. Sixth grade will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:25 -8:05 and Seventh and Eighth graders will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:25 -8:05. Interested students must submit a well written letter of intent to Mr. Shirley (firstname.lastname@example.org) by email. Your letter should speak to your interest in the subject matter, what you will bring to the class, and your willingness to commit faithfully to this endeavor. Letters of acceptance will be sent out to the first 15 qualified applicants for each session.
Limit: 15 per session
The Middle School Student Council – The student council is made up of representatives from the 6th, 7th, & 8th grades. All student council representatives and officers are committed to learning about leadership and becoming actively involved in practicing the skills of leadership including Parliamentary Procedure, Committee Chairmanship, Committee Membership, Team Building, Public Speaking, and Public Relations.
Another purpose of the student council is to foster community awareness and participation amongst the student body. To this end, student council members promote various local organizations. Through their participation, students are striving to understand a broader picture of school and community cooperation.
A third major focus of the student council is to promote school spirit and student participation in the school community.
The Buc Ambassador Program – The Ambassador program consists of student volunteers in grades 6 through 8 who donate their time to help the Admissions Office at the Middle Division welcome new families to campus by giving tours and answering questions.
Ambassadors host question and answer sessions at each Back to School Night and assist with other like events such as Middle School Orientation Day and Special Persons Day. Ambassadors also host distinguished visiting alumni who are coming back to visit their alma mater. The Ambassadors have the responsibility of being aware of current campus events, news and issues, and are trained in professional etiquette.
The Ambassadors are selected based on the character they have demonstrated as Benjamin students, their academic record, their enthusiasm about the school, and their willingness to talk to others about their time and experiences at Benjamin.
The Middle School Honor Council : A cornerstone value of TBS, as contained in the “Mission Statement,” is to “promote intellectual discipline and moral integrity.” Accordingly, TBS believes strongly in its Honor Code and expects all members of the school community to uphold and integrate honor throughout all aspects of school life on a daily basis. The school honor code rests on the principle that a spirit of trust and personal integrity affects all aspects of our school community. It provides students with a framework for acquiring and promoting the moral and ethical foundations of TBS.
In the interests of upholding and promoting these ideals the Middle School offers students the opportunity to serve on the honor committee specific to our division. The Honor Council is comprised of ten 7th and 8th grade students who are selected to serve in a leadership position to promote the values of The Benjamin School’s Honor Code. These students work closely with the Honor Council advisor to encourage student support of the Honor Code. Members meet 2 to 3 times a month to discuss issues of ethics through the use of fictitious scenarios or actual events. The council not only promotes moral values amongst the students serving upon the committee and the Benjamin community at large, but also serves as a wonderful initial experience for students interested in serving on the Upper School Honor Council.
Guitar Club: This club is open to both beginning and more advanced students of guitar. Students must supply their own 6 string acoustic, classical, or electrical guitar (with a small practice amp). This class is open to all Middle School students and depending upon interest, two classes based on ability may be set up. This club will meet for all of second semester (beginning in January) on Fridays from 3:20-4:30.
Limit: 10 Students
Jazz Band – This club is for 6-8 grade advanced musicians interested in learning a new form of band music and performing for the school and in the community. Director approval is required. Preference will be given to 7/8 grade Middle School Band members. Instrumentation: alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, trumpet, trombone, baritone, 1 electric bass, 1 guitar (doubles on band instrument), drum set, auxiliary percussion, and piano. This club meets Wednesday mornings all year 7:30 – 8:10.
Limit: 20 Students
Dance Ensemble: This club is perfect for those students wishing to improve their Hip Hop technique, and try their hand at choreography. Students will practice a routine to be showcased in several brief performances. This class is open to both boys and girls. Meetings are Friday afternoon from 3:30-4:30 p.m all year.
Limit: 15 Students
Variety Show: Are you a born performer? Are you just longing to be on the stage? The BASH Variety Show just might be the venue for you to demonstrate your talent. Prepare your act for this event under the capable guidance of the Arts Department every Monday after school until 4:45, continuing on until the event itself. The first informational meeting will be on Monday, September 19, 2011 in Mr. Winter’s room from 3:20-3:45 and pick up will be outside the Fine Arts building.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes: This is an organization open to all Benjamin students. The FCA will celebrate major holidays, make the community aware of their significance, perform service projects, and meet on a weekly basis. Friday mornings at 7:45 in the wrestling room!
No Student Limit
The Morrow Computer Whizzes: Wouldn’t it be a cool idea to build a desktop computer with Mr. Morrow? Not only is he a totally fun guy but this a totally amazing idea!!! You and the other members would start with a budget, decide what machine you want to build, then, select parts and learn which parts are compatible with which and why, then re-evaluate what parts are important and what is needed to sacrifice for the budget. Finally, you will build the machine piece by piece, trouble-shooting along the way until there is a finished product. Maybe it could be something really neat looking with a clear side panel to show off the neat parts inside. Maybe you will make something so amazing, that we will have to sell it to Apple????? The sky’s the limit!!! Room and time to be announced!
BIONIC!:This is a club whose mission is explained by its acronym: Believe It Or Not I Care. This club meets once a month throughout the year and identifies people in the Benjamin community who are having a tough time (students who have been ill and are having a tough time catching up on work , for instance) and then thinks of ways to reach out to these people and offer some gesture of support. But this club is more than that. Club members will have discussions at meetings about how and when to reach out to others, the fact that some people in dire situations are more private and thus less open to outside assistance than others, the difference between sympathy and empathy, and much more! This club could meet at lunch or break or whenever those affiliated with it decide on a convenient time. This a great way to connect with the Benjamin community and show you care and learn the best ways to reach out to others.
Book Club: 5 times a year, various faculty members sponsor a book club, and members come together for an evening meal and discussion of a book. Last year, the Book Club read Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Rebecca and enjoyed delicious food, lively discussion, and laughter. This year’s first selection and meeting time is to be announced but will occur first quarter our first meeting will be…This club is limited to 7th and 8th grade participants. Extra credit can be earned in the sponsoring faculty’s classes or in classes relevant to the subject matter of the book choice. The great thing about this club is, different teachers will bring different interesting books and subject matter to the table!
Media Awareness Club: This club explores the way in which media influences our perceptions of our world and ourselves, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. The members will examine gender issues, the effects of advertising on children, the creation of stereotypes, and the focus on physical appearance in the media. The members’ examination of these issues will culminate is a school wide assembly near the year’s end. This class meets on Fridays at lunch throughout the year. This class is limited to 7th and 8th graders.
Debate Club: Do you like to express your opinions? Do you like to argue? Do current events interest you? Do you like to perform for an audience? Do you often persuade your parents to let you stay up a little later or to allow you to go to the movies on Friday nights with your friends? If so, then Debate Club may be for you. In this club, students will explore the art of public speaking and debating through mock Congresses, the Lincoln-Douglas style of Debate, and acting out duos. As a member of the debate team, you will learn the most effective ways to debate and research, present a theatrical piece, engage in stimulating conversations with peers and meet students from area middle schools as you compete in tournaments against them. Meetings at Wednesday lunch throughout the year.
Environmental Club: The Environmental Club will meet on Wednesdays during lunch every other week all year. Students will identify different environmental problems in the local community and work on ways to help deal with these problems. In addition, students will help to plan events for Earth Week, both at school and in the community. Come “Make a Difference!”
Math Counts: Math Counts will help prepare students to compete in Math Counts, a national math enrichment competition. Students will compete individually as well as part of a team. Students should have a strong desire to have their math skills challenged and sharpened. Participants must be in the 7th or 8th grade, be willing to be available on a Saturday in February and be committed for 2 quarters. Sign-ups are in Algebra and Geometry class. Meets at lunch December - February.
Limit: 20 Students
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Kids apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program. Time to be announced.
Limit: 25 Students
Strings Club: The Benjamin School has twelve beautiful new string instruments: violin, viola, cello, bass, available for use in the strings club. Beginning through advanced students are invited to come and experience the joy of playing an orchestral string instrument. Meetings are Mondays and Fridays from 3:30-4:30.
Limit: 12 Students
Poetry and Prose Club: This club meets from the beginning of March until late April when Poetry and Prose Night takes place. The members of this club examine, cull through, and share poetry, literature, and music as they prepare a program for this very special “open mike” evening. Poetry and Prose night has in the past been themed as a 1960’s beatnik locale called The Groovy Bucs Café. But this year’s roup may care to change the theme of the evening if they wish! Members of the Poetry and Prose club solicit readers for the evening, decorate the room, and organize the refreshments in addition to their more lofty literary duties. Open to 6th, 7th, and 8th.
Knitting Club: Learn how to knit with Ms. St. Martin! Beginners welcome. This class is open to both boys and girls and all Middle School students. The club will begin with a simple project such as a scarf and then build to a more complex project. Enjoy sitting together, sparkling conversation, and learning a new craft! Meeting once a week in the mornings all year to be announced.
Italian Cooking Club: Join Mr.Cavallo on a culinary odyssey through Italy! Learn to cook Italian dishes with everyone’s favorite coach! Recipes and the regions from which they hail will be studied and then prepared. Italian feasts will be enjoyed! This club will meet one day a week at lunch! Open to all Middle School students.
German Club: Do you want to learn a bit of conversational German? Do you want to make and eat some delicious German food? How about learning about German culture? German made cars? German clothing? German movies? German history? Maybe even go to a German restaurant? This club is for you!
Art Club:.Come draw, paint, sculpt and create original art! Art club is a great way use your imagination and have fun, while further developing your art skills. Each quarter we will focus on a specific area of art: such as drawing, painting, sculpting, etc… You will be required to complete a portfolio of your work (this will be checked each quarter). We will also make some great, creative pieces such as t-shirts, mugs, models, scrapbooks, and frames. Tuesdays before school at 7:30 AM in room 48