20 years of Holiday Workshop at L-S

The holidays bring with them a desire to spend time with loved ones, act a little nicer, and break the Thanksgiving record for eating the most artery-clogging food. But what do third graders at Hans Herr Elementary look forward to during this special time of the year? According to their teachers, it is the high school’s Holiday Workshop.
The tech ed department hallway bulletin board depicts 20 years of newspaper clippings from its annual Holiday Workshop
L-S has conducted this special event for some 20 years, preparing child-friendly activities that involve every student and give them a sense of holiday spirit. The students wait eagerly for the high school visit. They love visiting with the "big kids". High school volunteers interact with the elementary children, teaching them skills that they garnered while taking classes here. The high schoolers use small talk to get to know their young wards while still keeping them entertained with their station work.

Each station is held in a specialty classroom, including Mr. Todd Garber’s CADD lab, Mr. Adrian Baker’s Wood Tech workshop, Mrs. Holly Oberholtzer’s Ag and Vet Science room, and Mr. Ben Krothe's photography classroom. The high school teachers usually give an introduction to explain what the class teaches and what the planned activity is for that period. Each period lasts 25 minutes, with 5 minutes in between, a transition reminiscent of the high school hallway grind.
Third grade student decorating graham cracker houses in Mr. Garber's classroom.
Students work on activities prepared by high school teachers and their students.
Because these interactions usually try to prepare elementary students for the subjects of high school classes, the activities reflect the subject material taught. For example, Baker had the kids help to construct a wooden gumball machine. High school students assisted because of safety issues, but the process still demonstrates a section of the course. Garber taught the children about architectural design and had them decorate gingerbread houses. Oberholtzer instructed elementary students on how to create birdseed cakes that feed the animals and help the environment flourish during cold months, and Zurn and Krothe aided the students in printing pictures onto coloring books and creating an imitation Instagram picture with a handwritten hashtag.

The goal is to get the children excited about their future education, and these activities ease them gently into the thought of their high school careers. They bridge the age gap between high school and elementary school, allowing a similar love of the holidays to bring the two groups closer. If elementary students learn about interesting, new subjects in an easy-going environment, they will build up excitement for high school. And there really is no better way to inspire a child than to fill them up with candy and send them on their merry ways, goodie bag in hand.
--Lillian Murr, LSNews.org School News Editor; Photos by Ashley Crutcher, LSNews.org Co-Director of Photography

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