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PURCHASE LINE: Evergreen club holds Mardi Gras celebration

by APRIL BOYER and JARVIS BAKER, Gazette Student News Reporters on April 11, 2014 10:50 AM

PURCHASE LINE — Evergreen Boys and Girls Club of Indiana County held its fourth annual Mardi Gras celebration at Benjamin’s restaurant in Indiana on March 4.

Each year, residents of Indiana County can attend for $50 per individual or $90 per couple and participate in a silent auction to win prizes.

The food served at this event is described as having “a New Orleans flare,” and included various types of chicken, along with rice, shrimp, tilapia and jalape￱o cornbread. For those with a sweet tooth, they also had blueberries and raspberry butter.

[PHOTO: Purchase Line High School senior April Boyer, left, received a $250 scholarship at the Evergreen Boys and Girls Club’s Youth of the Year ceremony March 17 in Pittsburgh. With her is Windy Zayac, of the Evergreen club and Laurie Boyer, her mom. (Submitted photo/Purchase Line High School)]

While the dinner went on, people could purchase raffle tickets for chances to win baskets filled with items such as gardening supplies, bath and body kits, and cookware.

A significant part of this event was to give recognition to Indiana County’s Youth of the Year, April Boyer, a senior at Purchase Line. She gave a speech on what club means to her.

Through the dinner and ticket sales, youths ages 5-17 benefit throughout Indiana County.

The club’s Youth of the Year ceremony was held in Pittsburgh on March 17.

A few weeks prior, students who won at the county level were interviewed for further competition. Anyone who participated in this interview was invited to a dinner for the announcement of the winner. From this, the winner will continue to Philadelphia for competition against the Eastern Region.

Purchase Line’s Boyer did not move on, but she received a $250 scholarship that was awarded to all participating seniors.

EBGC also downloaded new applications to the iPads. A program known as iTooch is being used for eighth-graders in their language arts class. It is designed to improve students’ comprehension of literature and to strengthen academic writing skills for PSSA testing. Students can keep track of their scores through charts.

Karen Conrad, eighth-grade English teacher, said, “Students are very excited about using the iTooch. The program is easy to load and is user-friendly. It is also an effective way to expose students to technology; in fact, for some, it’s the first time they’ve ever used an iPad.”

Mackenzie McCracken, a student of the class, added, “My favorite part about learning through the iPads is that they’re easy to use.” 

Industrial Arts class

In the Purchase Line School District, eighth-graders are required to take industrial arts, which is basically an introduction to wood technology. In this class, we learn how to use many different tools, and soon after, start our first project. In our class, our project is a clock.

As far as how to make it, there are many steps, such as cutting out the basic shape of the clock, then filing the edges until you get all of the bumps out of it.

[ALTERNATE PHOTO (click to view): Micah Kurka, an eighth-grader at Purchase Line High School, worked on crafting a wooden clock recently in the industrial arts class.  (Submitted photo/Purchase Line High School)]

Next, you sand the edges until it’s glass-like smooth.

After that, you can do the next few steps in any order you want.

One of the things that you have to do is use a router (a machine that clears out areas of the wood) on the back, so a battery pack can fit in, which powers the clock hands.

Afterward, you have to burn a design into the front.

There are more steps, but this is as far as we’ve gotten to this point.

When industrial arts teacher David Small was asked if he thought woodworking was important, he answered, “Yes, it gives a person the ability to operate machines and tools safely. It also gives the person the confidence to operate tools and machines, which can transfer into skills which can help you obtain a job, and save money by doing the work on your own home.”

Small also said that the confidence to operate new machines is derived from using simpler machines.

Eighth-graders Whitney Lowe and Madeline Ober sanded their projects as Brittany Eyler burned her design in her clock. “It’s interesting that you can make a whole clock out of just a board,” said Lowe. “I didn’t know anything. I learned everything from sawing to sanding,” she said.

Eighth-grader Jarvis Baker used the drawing tool to burn his design, a loaf of bread, into his clock.

Eighth-grader Nicholas Yingling said, “I thought it was pretty interesting. We got to make our own clock from scratch, and it’s pretty cool how you get to use the tools.”

When asked if he thought that the clock project would get students interested in taking future wood classes, Yingling answered, “I don’t know, I hope so.” 

“Also, I hope that they’re able to tell time by the time we’re done,” joked Small.

The project is estimated to be completed before the end of the third marking period.

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