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Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Kickapoo High Quarterly

KHQ TODAY

Mask Mandate: The Update

Mask+Mandate%3A+The+Update

For over a year now, we have been masked in our community. Friends’ and peers’ faces hidden by a piece of cloth intended to protect our immune systems from the novel COVID-19. But as vaccination rates are increasing and herd immunity is becoming an achievable goal, officials are reconsidering the need for facial protection.

On the afternoon of May 13th, 2021, the CDC released a new mask guideline for fully vaccinated Americans. According to cdc.gov, their new guideline states, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic,”. President Joe Biden was quick to publicize through a series of Instagram reels announcing the new news to vaccinated Americans. He also encouraged non-vaccinated Americans to quickly get the vaccine, as it is available now more than ever.

Individual communities throughout America with their own mask mandates have their own considering to do following this news. Springfield Health Department has announced the need to revisit their own ordinance, and Mayor Ken McClure has set a meeting for Monday, May 17th to vote on the topic. This meeting will determine how Green County will move forward into the summer months.

In Missouri, 1.94 million people are vaccinated, equalling about 31.6% of the population. In Green County specifically, 21% of residents are vaccinated. These percentages will be heavily influential in the decision to be made on the 27th.

Katie Towns, interim director for Springfield Health Department, has suggested that Greene County end their mask mandate on Thursday, May 27th, 2021. This is also the day that Springfield Public Schools ends their 2020-21 school year. She recommends that non-vaccinated people still be required to wear their masks in public.

If the mask revocation still makes anyone vaccinated uncomfortable, it is important to emphasize the fact that regardless of the decision, the choice to continue to wear a mask is still up to an individual’s own reservations and health concerns.

Volunteer Opportunities in the Area

Volunteering is an important part of our community that allows people to branch out and help those in need. Volunteering is also a requirement for some programs at Kickapoo. As essential an act as volunteering is, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which organizations currently need help. Thankfully, there are always opportunities in our community. 

  1. Camp Barnabas – At Camp Barnabas, you will be immersed in a camp devoted to inclusivity and friendship. Volunteering will revolve around helping out campers, being involved in activities and events, and participating in the general run and upkeep at the camp.  For more information, visit https://www.campbarnabas.org/serve/roles/
  2. Crosslines – While volunteering at crosslines, you will be assisting in getting food to families in need. Whether that is directly distributing the food, checking in families, or answering questions and phone calls, your involvement will be crucial to the wellbeing of families in need. For more information and to figure out when you can volunteer, visit http://ccozarks.org/volunteer-new/
  3. Salvation Army – The Salvation Army provides members of the community multiple opportunities to help out in the area. Annually need volunteers to help them out with things such as the holiday bell ringing. They also need virtual bell ringers for their online fundraising. For more information and to sign up to volunteer, visit https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/midland/springfieldmo/volunteer/
  4. Ozark Food Harvest – At the Ozarks Food Harvest, you will get the opportunity to provide meals to members of the community who are in need of food. In three-hour volunteer sessions, you will be distributing meals and food from the Ozarks food pantry. They are always in need of help, so to sign up, visit https://ozarksfoodharvest.org/how-to-help/volunteer/
  5. Humane Society – If working with animals sounds appealing to you, the Humane Society might be your perfect volunteering opportunity. Through a quick application process and a small orientation, you will be prepared to work with rescue animals waiting to find a home. Some of the volunteer work may include walking dogs, doing laundry, and training and socializing with the animals. To sign up, visit https://www.swh.org/volunteer1.html

 

Foreign Language Credits

Learning a foreign language isn’t for everyone. Some people excel in this department, while others struggle to wrap their minds around something so different. You might’ve heard people in your life say things like, “Without credits of foreign language, you probably won’t get into college,”. Is this statement really true?

“[Having a foreign language] sets students apart to  more employers and the general public,” Spanish teacher Kristen Wyrick said. 

Mrs. Wyrick is a teacher who believes that being fluent in another foreign language is incredibly  important. 

Now, it is not impossible to get into college without 2 credits of a foreign language, but it does set a disadvantage. When looking between someone with two foreign language credits on their application and someone with less, college admissions officers are more likely to choose the first. Foreign language fluency is more appealing to colleges because it opens the door for opportunity and success. People who are fluent in two or more languages are available to more career opportunities and are more culturally developed, after learning about a new culture and its language.  Colleges also like consistency when it comes to foreign languages. 

These classes should be in the same language—colleges would much prefer to see proficiency in one language than a superficial smattering of several languages,” Allen Grove said, in his article for ThoughtCo.com. 

Again, however, it’s not impossible for a high school senior with little to no foreign language credits to get into college. 

“I think a person can get into college but you won’t be very competitive,” Mrs. Wyrick said. 

A student who doesn’t fulfill those requirements must know that their level of competitiveness when trying to get into a college is much lower without being fluent in a foreign language. 

“That said, students who have just the minimum can win admission if their applications demonstrate strengths in other areas,” Grove from ThoughtCo.com said. 

Our 2020-21 school year is coming to an end, and people are moving up a grade, graduating, and going off to college.  It is important that students feel prepared for what is ahead, and understand all of the factors that go into making their education as successful as possible. Foreign language classes look great on applications, but aren’t for everyone. If it is something that peaks your interest, go for it. However, just know, they are not required to get into college. Everyone should pursue their own passions and skills while taking a step into further education and adulthood.

Our Next Student Body President

Election week was a busy week for Junior Orlando McElderry, who was running for the position of 2021-22 Student Body President. There was a list of things for each candidate to do, and the pressure for the outcome of the election was strong. As election week came to an end, and the results were counted, it was soon announced that the votes had resulted in a tie between Junior Ami Thompson and Orlando McElderry. A tie-breaking re-vote would be cast the next day during lunch periods. 

At the end of the second voting day, the re-vote had proven McElderry the winner and the next Student Council President. 

Election week is now over, and McElderry has experienced the beginning stages of preparation for next year’s presidency. When asked how he is feeling about his new position, he states, “I feel weird. Usually I’m the guy in the back who has friends and does his part, but definitely not the popular guy,”. Following the announcement of his victory, McElderry has felt the attention of the student body on him even more so. “I have gotten a lot more attention from everyone. I feel out of place,” he states. 

Despite feeling this way now, McElderry has positive hopes for the school year of his presidency. “Next year is looking bright. Hopefully getting to go back to five days will be a blessing, but also all of the activities and environments that we missed out on we can make up for,” he says.

A busy election week is only to be followed by an even busier year for McElderry, but for now, all there is left to do is wait and hope for an excellent 2021-22 school year.

Keeping Up With FCCLA

FCCLA has consistently been meeting once a week since the school year started. Right now, the club has 15 members, but their doors are always open to new ones. The group has already done many things, some of those things including: sewing their own lanyards, making caramel popcorn, and decorating the parking lot in positive words with sidewalk chalk. As far as future plans go, FCCLA plans to dive into the spooky season by making their own Halloween cake pops. They are also preparing for competition in January. “Next month we will pick out the STAR events we want to compete in and start preparing for the January competition for Region 10,” says Ms. Cox, the FCCLA sponsor. Big things are in the works for FCCLA, and they are always up for new members. Anyone interested is welcome, but their only requirement is to have taken a FACS class previously. Middle school FACS classes count as well. Applications to join the club are available in room 102. 

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