WEST SHAMOKIN: Baby exercise a learning experience
December 13, 2013 11:00 AM
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RURAL VALLEY — As students and young adults, we have learned many things from our experiences in high school, both socially and intellectually. High school has molded who we are. Education goes much further than our core classes, though; some of the most useful information comes from our electives. Electives can completely change one’s perceptions.

Six months ago, we may have felt like we were prepared mentally and emotionally to care for a child. Luckily, many of us knew that we were not financially capable of buying diapers, formula, etc. Being in the child development class and taking care of the “Real Care Babies” has proved that we may be capable, but we no longer have any desire to struggle day in and day out, lacking sleep and social time, trying to provide affection, care and necessities for a child to thrive.

The project seemed simple enough: students picked up their babies at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, cared for them for 48 hours and returned them at the same time on Friday.

While in our care, we had to feed, burp, comfort and change our baby’s diapers. To accomplish this, we were given a wristlet to “check in” with our baby before caring for him/her, a car seat and a diaper bag with the baby’s bottle, diapers and various clothes.

When the baby cried, the student parents would have to try each possibility until they found what the baby wanted. The babies also registered neglect or abuse when parents would ignore their child, be rough with him/her or fail to support the infant’s neck. The babies’ needs gave the students insight on what real parents have to do for their children.

At first, these tasks seemed easy enough and we didn’t mind doing them. However, when it came time for parent and baby to go to bed, only one of us got the memo. Most babies were fussy throughout both nights and this directly affected the parents’ mood, social skills and ability to focus on schoolwork.

Because of this, many of us realized that, though having a baby is a wonderful part of many people’s lives, it is extremely complicated to be a parent as a teenager. The “Real Care Baby” showed us that to be the best parent you can be, without going insane, you must give up your social life, your disposable income and a whole lot of sleep.

2013 Fall Carnival

To kick off this year’s Thanksgiving break, the senior class at West Shamokin High School hosted a fall carnival in the gymnasium and cafeteria. The carnival was held for students in grades seven through nine and lasted all through the morning of Nov. 26.

The carnival itself consisted of games hosted by our seniors in which the junior high students played to win tickets that they later redeemed for an array of carnival prizes. Some of the games were “Just Dance,” a shooting gallery, fishing, face painting, “Simon Says” and pick-a-duck. All of the prizes were generously donated by seniors and the staff and faculty at West Shamokin.

The carnival was led by Heather Priester, Kyle McElwain and Makayla Murray with help from multiple other seniors, who all did a wonderful job planning this event. It was a fun-filled day for the students and was very efficient in raising money toward the senior class trip to New York City.

In fact, it was the most successful carnival in the history of the event, raising more than $1,700 for the class trip fund. Seniors are being asked to make a deposit of $75 on the trip by Thursday so that the officers planning the trip can determine an accurate total due based on the number of students planning on attending.

Students can have their deposit refunded if they decide that the total amount is not manageable by a date that will be set in January. Seniors are to see Eric Moyer for a permission slip and return the permission slip and deposit to Moyer.

[PHOTO: Keely Kijowski, Hailey Solley, Sydney Dailey and Olivia Claypoole, seventh-graders at West Shamokin High School, checked out their gaming options in the gymnasium after purchasing game tokens during the fall carnival Nov. 26. The carnival was held to help the senior class raise money for their senior trip to New York City. (Submitted photo/West Shamokin High School)]

[PHOTO: Andrew Orlosky and Olivia Fusaro, eighth-graders at West Shamokin High School, displayed a cute and cuddly prize won while playing some games during the fall carnival. Prizes were generously donated by teachers, staff and seniors.  (Submitted photo/West Shamokin High School)]

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