Woodland Hawk Wings is primarily a kindness group that works to spread positivity throughout Woodland. Annually they visit Long River Middle School to help calm the 8th grader’s fears about high school and answer any questions they may have. This year, because of the pandemic, the visit was virtual.
Last year, the group visited the middle school. While there, they go through a PowerPoint with numerous classes, pass out candy and notecards to write any questions they may have to be answered at the end, and obtain one on one time with the youngsters instead of staring at them through a screen like they did this year. They created a bulletin board last year that was filled with inspirational and motivational quotes that students. Here at Woodland, students could look forward to reading while passing through the halls, as well as seeing featured images of Hawk Wing members, similar to the bulletin board they created a kindness tree, which was a bunch of kind quotes and things to say spread about to make a shape of a tree. Last year, the group also created “stress relievers” to hand out during testing. These “stress-relievers” contained a nice message and a Smarties candy to help brighten a student’s already stressful day.
The group meets almost every Wednesday after school, either virtually or in-person, to articulate what it is they can do to help students in any way manageable. This year, the group’s main focus was to successfully-virtually-visit the middle school. The 8th-grade trip is one of the biggest, most important, and memorable events that they look forward to when the club is active.
Anna Muharem, advisor of Woodland’s Hawk Wings club was upset watching the seniors present again and again videos of events that they, this year, are not able to participate in due to the virus, to the 8th graders. She thinks that Woodland is an incredibly spirited school and that it is a special place regardless of what’s going on right now. Also, she believes that eventually, we will get back to all of the events Woodland has to offer because they are cherished and so important to not only the students but the administration. Muharem says that she thinks that when Woodland does get back into the swing of things more of the events will be better appreciated because we missed them so much.
She believes that the 8th graders were less engaged this year, rather than last year when there was great energy in the classrooms.
“I think the 8th graders loved having the high school kids there. They were really giddy and excited. It definitely wasn’t the same this year, but I believe everyone did an amazing job.”
This year, the group plans to continue to participate in G.I. GO Jeans for Troops National Dress Down Day since the pandemic does not seem to affect this event, which is fantastic for the group. This is a fundraiser that raises money for veterans. During the event, teachers and students pay to “dress down” on November 10th.
“It’s a great way to acknowledge Veterans Day. I’m also really excited about our new initiatives, such as the bulletin board and the positive affirmations. I think we’re all kind of struggling to stay positive this year,” said Muharem. “We need visual reminders that we have each other to lean on when things get tough.”