Student Voices

Articles from May 11 Newsletter

Thank You For Listening

This year, Mrs. Hammond orchestrated a high school journalism elective. We were given the opportunity to write about events, express our opinions, go through the process of interviewing, and learn the ins and outs of journalism. We have been so blessed to learn and submit things to the newsletter and the news nuggets.  We are grateful to those who have read our work and supported our creative endeavors. This year has been a learning experience for all, so thank you for your patience as well!

~Student Voices

MHA Students Spread Books to Community

Bang! The sound of a staple gun going off mixed with the whirring of screwdrivers and the chatter of high school students. In the middle of the bustle a small, two-by-two-foot house with a square cut out of the front, leaving room for a glass door. A project of several months finally coming together.

The upper school students of Mile High Academy collaborated on the Little Free Library, a public bookcase for the residents of the community. While the idea has floated around, the actual work began in April, with students starting to build it with the help of Mr. Jaklich.

The first step of any project is to brainstorm the design and the logistics of the project. Because several classes were involved in the Little Free Library project, Mrs. Hammond, MHA’s upper school English teacher, put dry-erase boards up on her wall that students used to keep their thoughts in order. By the time April rolled around, the students were ready to build!

“It [the project] was fun,” Natalia V. said. “I liked working with my classmates,” though she suspected that some were less keen on building. She worked on both the construction and design of the Little Free Library. She was one of the problem solvers of the group, taking over when her classmates were struggling to help come up with solutions.

With the work of her and her classmates, the Little Free Library was already built and primed with white paint by the time she was interviewed. Pencil sketches outlined stacks of books that would soon be painted by the design crew. Izzy M. was responsible for those sketches.

She and Natalia said that while working on the project, everyone worked together and helped each other out. This collaboration made it possible to keep the project on track to finish before the end of the year.

The goal of the Little Free Library is the same as MHA’s: to spread knowledge. Though libraries are all around, having a library in your neighborhood offers convenience. The Little Free Library gives new life to books that aren’t done telling their stories. It also makes literature accessible to everyone, regardless of age and resources.

MHA’s upper school students are doing this to serve their community. They’re doing it because books should be available no matter what. Books give people voices and spread ideas. They hold commentaries about life and allow people to see themselves in others—to be part of their lives for a moment. Most of all, books teach. The Little Free Library is one step in a limitless direction. Through books, MHA is able to serve and change its community—in a small way for some, but in a big way for others. Students like Natalia and Izzy are leading this change.

Authors’ note:

This article wouldn’t feel complete without a few thank-yous. Both of us are students at Mile High Academy, meaning our journalism class is coming to an end at the end of the school year. We never would’ve had the opportunity to write this article if it weren’t for Mrs. Hammond, our journalism and English teacher. Mrs. Hammond has always emphasized the truth. If it’s not true, don’t write it. With that in mind, we would like to tell her just how thankful we are for her guidance. Her passion, her drive, and her belief that young people can be the mouthpieces of a school all gave us confidence in ourselves. She encouraged us to reach past our boundaries and explore new things. As this school year comes to an end, we want to recognize how hard she has worked to make sure our voices are heard.

We also want to thank everyone who has read our articles. We started this year knowing nothing about journalism, but with your support, we have learned to write for an audience and to write for people, not just for the sake of writing. Thank you for sticking with us on this journey!

-Eeheon R. and Adelaide E.


Go-Kart Club Sparks Creativity at Mile High Academy

Breaking things is a common occurrence in Mile High Academy’s go-kart club. Breaking clutches, breaking engines, and breaking the braking system? All in a day’s work. However, fixing things is also a common occurrence at the go-kart club.

The students who joined the go-kart club showed up to the workshop on their first day to find two broken-down go-karts, and to Phil Jaklich asking how the students felt about smoke machines. Why was this applicable? Why else, other than to put the smoke machines on the go-karts?

The club started in February when Mr. Jaklich gathered a group of students who expressed an interest in go-karts. Some had no idea how a clutch worked. Others had been around engines since they were kids.

The objective: the crew was to restore and upgrade the two go-karts, intending to personalize the go-karts based on their interests. The go-karts were in different states of disrepair. They were able to run again thanks to the work of the club members. Along with putting together things like carburetors and clutches, Mr. Jaklich didn’t forget to sneak some welding into the equation. Sparky.

“There is always something to do,” said Seth E., a member of the club, “and if there’s something we want to do, Mr. Jaklich tells us to just do it,” even when that something is attaching RGBs to the go-kart.

Often, creativity is associated with people who write fiction, or artists who paint on a canvas, but things like go-karts can unlock the imagination just the same. Everyone has different ways of exploring and unlocking their creativity. To create is to invent. It’s to find solutions. It’s to break and try again.

It wasn’t just the welding that sent sparks flying in the workshop—sparks of creativity flooded the room, too. The club members washing their grime-covered hands every Wednesday in the sink next to the art room held a sense of irony. After all, hadn’t they just finished painting on their own canvases?

-Adelaide E. and Asher L.