BY RYAN MERARD
At CCHS, most students entering their freshman year are coming over from either Pioneer Middle School or Renaissance Charter School. However, there are numerous students that are coming from different school districts, states or even countries. These students may face some trouble adjusting to the school as they try to make new friends and interact with their peers in an unfamiliar environment.
In order to help these new students handle the transition, a new club was introduced to CCHS on February 8, called “New To Cooper.” The sponsor of the club is ninth grade guidance counselor Kimberly Lilly. This club aims to make students who did not come from a local school feel welcome at CCHS and socialize with others that are in the same situation.
Lilly has had experience moving somewhere new herself, which gave her the inspiration to start New to Cooper. Before she moved to Cooper City prior to the school year, she lived in North Carolina.
“Moving here to Cooper City, there [are a] lot of holes in my knowledge because I am new,” Lilly said. “I find it very humbling constantly having to ask questions and having to seek help— and because I know what that feels like, I have a [passion] to help those that are new and want to get involved but don’t know how.”
“I have a [passion] to help those that are new and want to get involved but don’t know how.”
As soon as the club was established, Lilly was already planning to work alongside other clubs to start their first project. On February 15, New To Cooper and other clubs partook in No One Sits Alone Day. This is a day where students in the cafeteria are encouraged to invite those who sit by themselves to their table.
New To Cooper decorated colorful heart and leaf-shaped papers with kind messages on them to put up on a tree that was displayed in the cafeteria on No One Sits Alone Day. This project was completed with other clubs, such as Interact and HOPE Club.
During the start of the second semester, there are usually quite a few students who transfer to different schools. Many of those students may not know all the details of what their school has to offer. Despite that, some of them have been finding ways to get involved. For example, freshman Annabelle Garcia just registered to CCHS during the last week of January and is already participating in extracurriculars by joining New To Cooper.
“I joined this club because I have moved schools before [and] I know how hard it is to make new friends and get used to the school,” Garcia said.
Along with clubs like New To Cooper, CCHS staff and administration have been helping to make sure that these new students’ adjustment to the school is as smooth as possible. Guidance counselors and teachers have been trying to make these students feel more welcome.
“I joined this club because I have moved schools before [and] I know how hard it is to make new friends and get used to the school.”
“The switch from Brazil to Cooper City was way easier than I thought it would be,” junior Maria Goncalves said. “Ms. Baez (10th and 11th grade guidance counselor) has helped me pick my schedule for this year and next year and made the whole process so easy for me.”
With the club still being new, the foundations are still being laid down. The club is currently still asking for new members to join, and officer positions such as President and Vice President are still open. The club may be called New To Cooper, but one does not actually have to be a new student to join. New students are just more encouraged to get involved with this club.
To join New To Cooper, see Ms. Lilly or Ms. Ramirez in the guidance office.
“People who are looking for a friend, looking to be involved and even the people that might not even need a friend are all welcome to join this club,” Lilly said. “New students that do not know the basis of the school should definitely join this club [and] the people who have been at CCHS for a while now, too, so that we can all blend our ideas together and become one Cooper family.”
Photo by Cassie Hartmann