One may have been visited by the St. Clair Junior High Lighthouse Team last week as they caroled and handed out cookies throughout the community.
Accompanied by Principal Eric Lause, seventh- and eighth-grade Lighthouse Team members visited Crabapple Village, St. Clair Nursing Home, Lewis Cafe, Country Mart and Farmers & Merchants Bank, for the third year in a row Wednesday, Dec. 20.
In addition to singing and handing out cookies, students passed out home-made cards to residents at Crabapple Village and St. Clair Nursing home.
Eighth-grader Kaitlyn Janson said she has liked being on the team so far. This is her second year participating on the team.
“It’s my favorite part of my day because we’re all a big team and we all work together to accomplish goals,” Janson said.
Some activities she has participated in include fundraisers to benefit community members and doing random acts of kindness for teachers and students.
She first learned about the Lighthouse Team through her best friend’s sister.
“I heard about all the good things that they were doing and I decided I wanted to be on the student Lighthouse Team,” she said.
By being on the team, Janson has come more out of her shell than when she started junior high.
“It’s affected me because I was always this quiet kid and now, I can go up and talk to anybody I want to,” Janson said.
“I feel like I can express myself in any way that I feel like and I can be myself around other people because I’ve done it all the time.”
Janson participated in the Christmas caroling, helped make batter for cookies that were distributed and gave a gift for a Little Angels donation. Some students donated gifts for the Little Angels Program this year.
She added that singing carols help lift people’s spirits during the holiday season, especially folks at Crabapple Village and St. Clair Nursing Home.
“They really like it because they never really get visitors from younger kids,” she said.
Overall, the Lighthouse Team is “definitely a good program,” Janson said.
“I highly recommend it to other schools to do because kids are more on their phones and everything and this helps them get out and do other things in their community,” Janson said.
Eighth-grader Berlyn Wohlgemuth said her time on the team so far has been great.
“I love the people because we’re all friends with each other,” Wohlgemuth said.
She enjoys planning and participating in team events and doing random acts of kindness.
Wohlgemuth also participated in the caroling event, which “was really fun,” she said.
“We all did it together. We made cookies after school and we went around the town caroling to other businesses.”
Her involvement with the team has helped improved her public speaking skills, she said.
“I feel like it made me a better person because it made me get out of my comfort zone.
“In sixth grade I was like this shy little person that did not like to go and talk in front of people,” Wohlgemuth said.
By practicing public speaking to her classmates, she said she was able to overcome her fear in seventh grade.
“It really helped me get out my comfort zone and talk in front of people and I wasn’t as shy as I was in sixth grade,” Wohlgemuth said.
About Lighthouse Team
The Lighthouse Team is one of the junior high’s leadership groups. It is run by technology teacher Lauren Banion and social studies teacher Tim Isgrig, according to Lause.
They organize and participates in community projects, fundraisers, random acts of kindness and more. The Lighthouse Team members meets everyday to plan and coordinate their next event or activity.
“They just do tons of things throughout our building and in the community,” Lause said.
Additionally, once a month Lighthouse Team members teach leadership lessons to their peers, as well as teach to elementary students, according to Lause.
If students want to be involved in the team, they are required to fill out an application and be interviewed by the team teachers and a few of the student members, according to Lause.
The Lighthouse Team was implemented five years ago for seventh- and eighth-graders. This year, the program expanded for sixth- graders to form their own Lighthouse Team.
“We felt like we were missing a group of people that were coming (to junior high) so we’ve gotten them involved as well,” Lause said.