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Special projects at LMS help eighth-graders prep for SWHS

Madi Boyd, an eighth-grader at Langley Middle School, took on a newspaper writing project for her senior project at the school. She met with the news staff at the Record to get tips on story writing, interviewing and other  essentials. - Brian Kelly / The Record
Madi Boyd, an eighth-grader at Langley Middle School, took on a newspaper writing project for her senior project at the school. She met with the news staff at the Record to get tips on story writing, interviewing and other essentials.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / The Record

BY MADI BOYD

When I first entered middle school, a naive little sixth-grader, one of the first things they informed (warned) us of, were the eighth-grade projects.

My teachers told me to start thinking of some things that I might find interesting to explore once I reached eighth grade. So naturally, I, like most other students attending Langley Middle School, tried as hard as possible to keep the thoughts of all the hard work ahead out of mind.

Now that I’m here, I am quickly learning that the point of this project isn’t to just try to make our teenage lives more difficult, but to help better prepare us for our future, and to also give us the chance to display our talents and share our interests with our fellow students and community. Though there are guidelines, this annual project is fairly open for us to add our own personal ingenuity and creativity.

The topic of this project varies from student to student, similar to the senior projects at South Whidbey High School.

“The students are always very creative, and I’m seeing new things each year,” said LMS principal Rod Merrell.

Merrell believes these projects help students to be more self-directed, and give us plenty of research practice for high school. It’s also a way to give us a taste of what we can expect as seniors.

To my surprise, many of the students that I interviewed agree that this project is helping them prepare for their upcoming years in high school. A peer of mine, Sydney Ackerman, is doing her project on scuba diving, and what it takes to get certified.

“It is work, but it’s also a great learning experience, and something I love to do,” she said.

Chris Neal, another eighth-grader, will be taking apart and putting together computers for his project. He said he thinks doing this project will help LMS students in high school because it gives us a sense of what’s coming up, and also a sense of what the teachers may expect once we reach ninth grade.

June 2, Showcase Day at LMS, steadily draws nearer. Since mid-December, the teachers and staff have been carefully mentoring us, doing their best to keep us on track.

According to principal Merrell, the expectations of the students are simply to do the research for their projects, keep up and follow through. The result of our project will be one-seventh of our second semester grade.

As you may have already realized, this lovely article is, in fact, my project. People have asked, why out of many subjects, did I pick journalism? It’s beginning to become more self-evident that expressing myself on paper is preferred. Or to make it simpler, I enjoy writing, and doing this project has definitely made the possibilities seem larger.

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