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Clawson Middle School gives back, student bonds grow stronger

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published December 10, 2019

 Clawson Middle School students make sandwiches to donate to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit during the third annual Mustang Community Day Nov. 26.

Clawson Middle School students make sandwiches to donate to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit during the third annual Mustang Community Day Nov. 26.

Photo provided by Michelle Haight

 Seventh grader Nilyn Hughes shows off a rock she painted. Students will distribute the rocks they painted with inspirational messages around the city this spring.

Seventh grader Nilyn Hughes shows off a rock she painted. Students will distribute the rocks they painted with inspirational messages around the city this spring.

Photo provided by Michelle Haight

 Eighth grader Korey Perrymond creates a card for Clawson military personnel.

Eighth grader Korey Perrymond creates a card for Clawson military personnel.

Photo provided by Michelle Haight

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CLAWSON — On Nov. 26, students in all three grades at Clawson Middle School took advantage of their half day before Thanksgiving break to spend some time working together to help others in the community and build a sense of belonging.

The third annual Mustang Community Day included making 350 meat and cheese sandwiches to donate to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit, crafting holiday cards for Clawson military personnel and their families, painting rocks with kind messages, and participating in team-oriented games.

New to the event this year, teachers and administrators led seminars on respect, team building and restorative justice. It tied in with new seminar classes, which were introduced this year and combine students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades once a week to discuss social and emotional topics.

Michelle Haight, a sixth grade English language arts and eighth grade plan for success teacher, came up with the idea for Mustang Community Day, and it has evolved to become a team experience.

“I think I just wanted to recognize a need for all students to have a sense of belonging, especially in middle school,” Haight said. “Coming up with a series of diverse activities all students could enjoy just fell into place.”

She said the day is designed so that each student has the opportunity to participate and interact with other age groups.

“With the seminar classes, which are mixed, some of my eighth graders have taken on that role of an older sibling,” Haight said. “It ties in nicely with leading off to Thanksgiving break, and they can be a support to one another.”

Clawson Middle School Principal Adam Schihl said that even though the day was jam-packed with activities, everything ran smoothly and the different seminar groups were well behaved and engaged.

“The kids like doing good,” Schihl said. “I ran a respect class. The kids were engaged, and it built a sense of community.”

One of the favorite projects, he said, was painting rocks with inspirational messages in the auxiliary gym. Haight said students will disperse the rocks throughout the city of Clawson when the weather is more pleasant this spring for the public to find.

“I think it just fits into our whole character education,” Schihl said. “The character theme of the month was citizenship, and that’s basically what they did.”

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