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Learning Doesn't Stop When the School Day Ends

It’s 4 pm on a weekday. At the recently-built, state- of- the- art Crawfordsville Middle School, the bell signifying the end of the school day rang a few minutes ago. But for hundreds of sixth, seventh and eighth graders the ride home will be postponed a few hours. This is “Spirit Night” and the Athenian basketball or football team is about to do battle with one of its county arch-rivals. CMS students, proudly clad in their gold and blue Athenian spirit wear and supervised by a dedicated group of teachers and staff, will now watch movies and play games before heading down to the gym or being bussed out to the football field for the big game. Leading the way will be the Blue Krew, the CMS pep club which meets each week to practice cheers and chants harkening to days gone by when this sort of activity was the rule rather than the exception.

The CMS Spirit Nights and Blue Krew Club are just two examples of the commitment that Crawfordsville Community Schools have in providing its students with positive extra-curricular activities that can be, but are not necessarily, sports related.

And it all starts with CCSC’s youngest learners at the Laura Hose Elementary K-1 building. There, the Discovery Club provides after-school care in which teachers and staff provide homework help and fun activities.

At Meredith Nicholson Elementary, second- and third- grade ambassadors who represent each classroom meet monthly to plan Fuel Up to Play 60 events as part of the NFL’s wellness program. This program brings Wabash athletes to Nicholson during recess and includes an annual Bike and Hike, a Marathon Walking Club and several activities involving the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts mascot, Blue, visits the school and every other year in May, the Colts’ coaches and staff conduct a mini-camp for the students.

Nicholson students also elect a student council which meets each month to plan school and service events such as spirit days, food drives, a mitten tree, Valentine Grams, a walk-a-thon and spring clean-up days. The Discovery Club, like its counterpart at Hose Elementary, provides after-school tutoring and care.

At Mollie B. Hoover’s fourth and fifth grade building, students are invited and encouraged to take advantage of a multitude of after-school clubs such as chess, robotics team, crafts, drawing, fitness, Math Bowl, Orff Ensemble, scrapbooking and Spell Bowl. Hoover has been designated as a 21st Century Learning Center and prides itself in providing academic enrichment activities after school. Bus transportation and a snack is provided.

Fifth graders at Hoover always look forward to the annual camping trip to Camp Tecumseh in Tippecanoe County early in the school year. Teachers and administrators accompany the students, and camp personnel entertain the students with a variety of games, hikes and fun activities. And for those sports-minded students, Hoover offers basketball, volleyball and track throughout the school year.

Besides the aforementioned Blue Krew, Crawfordsville Middle School offers students many ways to get involved in extra-curricular activities.

 One of highlights for eighth graders is an October trip to Springfield, Illinois. There, students are given guided tours of sites associated with the nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. These include the state-of-the-art Lincoln Museum, the Lincoln Home and the Lincoln Tomb. Another extra-curricular opportunity at the middle school is the CMS A-Team which conducts community service projects throughout the year. And each spring, CMS students can show off their various singing, dancing and instrumental abilities at the annual Talent Show. The middle school also sponsors Academic Super Bowl teams in Math, English/Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. In 2016, The ELA squad finished third in the state, and in the all-team competition, CMS notched a top-ten finish. For the athletic-minded students, no less than 13 sports are offered at Crawfordsville Middle School.

Crawfordsville High School offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities for its students. Besides the usual team sports, CHS students can join successful and award- winning Academic, Speech and Robotics teams. Other organizations include National Honor Society, Student Council, National Art Honor Society, Sunshine Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Students can also join clubs such as Libro, Chess, French, Green, Diversity Appreciation. Ceramics, Spirit, Peer Pals, Games, Animated Media, Link Crew and Key Club. Band and Show Choir classes are also offered at CHS for the more musically inclined. Most of the clubs and organizations meet during an Activity Period that is built into the schedule on Wednesdays.   

The new and improved athletic and recreational venues at Crawfordsville High School, Crawfordsville Middle School and the three elementary schools are great examples of CCSC’s commitment to sports and recreational opportunities. The newly built middle school contains two state-of-the-art gymnasiums as well as fitness and wrestling rooms. Recently, improvements were also made to existing facilities at the high school. The three elementary schools each have their own modern gymnasiums and brand new playground equipment. Add it all up, and Crawfordsville Schools can boast that its facilities are among the state’s best.

Over the past few years the school system has instituted major upgrades to the Athenian Sports Complex. Artificial turf was laid on the football field which now allows for all CHS and CMS football and soccer games to be hosted at that facility without causing damage to the field itself. Also, the old Hoover football field was renovated into three football and soccer fields for practices and games. A brick wall and tall screen were added to the already well-kept Athenian baseball and softball complexes, giving those two venues a big-time program look and feel. Three new tennis courts were added, and all eight of the existing courts were resurfaced, allowing for all CHS and CMS meets to be held at that complex. Of course, Crawfordsville also has the state-of-the-art Aquatics Center. It ranks as one of the largest and finest swim facilities anywhere and is host for many important high school, middle school, Sugar Creek Swim Club and college meets, thus providing an economic boost for the businesses of Montgomery County. This impressive venue also is used extensively by Crawfordsville Parks and Recreation, making it a community icon as well. The Athenians also boast one of the more spacious and aesthetically-pleasing gymnasiums in the area with its bi-level configuration, wide seats, and standing room area on the ends.

These upgraded and newly- built facilities get a tremendous amount of use. And the size of the school corporation allows for the consolidation of the venues so that they can be shared with all schools and the community. The aquatics center, tennis courts, gymnasiums and football and soccer fields are continually being used by school and community sports teams and organizations. This allows CCSC to focus its efforts on maintaining outstanding facilities at one stadium, one set of tennis courts and one aquatic center rather than dividing its efforts over multiple facilities and locations.

School personnel, student athletes and members of the Crawfordsville community are not the only people impressed with these athletic facilities. Visitors from outside the community have expressed their admiration as well. It’s been impressive to hear what outsiders such as coaches, administrators, fans and athletes say about CCSC’s facilities. Crawfordsville Schools host everything from major high school events to college championships, and always receive positive feedback from event organizers and visitors.

Without a doubt, these facilities reflect the pride that CCSC has in its schools and community, and exemplifies the commitment the school corporation has toward extra-curricular opportunities for students of all grade levels.