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Student Life

A Story: Building Community in Study Hall

The relationships that form within our school and little touches that bring some fun and laughter into the day can make all the difference. Students have many opportunities to work on quiet individual or group study during the study hall periods* peppered throughout the week.

SAA parent Laura Zimmerman has been volunteering in a study hall of 25 grade 9-12 boys this year and, according to her, “they’re fantastic people, every one of them, but they’re still kids and so there are times when behavior can be an issue. So, like any Mom, I bribe them with food.”

In early fall, Mrs. Zimmerman made an enticing offer: if the boys were well-behaved, she’d bring in a month’s end treat! September brought candy bars (with requests taken from the boys), October featured Executive Director Joan Carey’s recipe for ‘They-Really-Should-Be-Famous-Pumpkin Bars,’ and so on. Well, to cap off the end of a wonderful year together during first block study hall, Mrs. Zimmerman promised an assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers, and a little something sweet!

“When asked for requests of types of cheese, they wanted spicy cheese (I found a hot-honey Gouda!), goat cheese (two types were presented) and, very specifically, a sheep’s cheese called Manchego. This was a new one for me, and OH MY DAYS (as the boys would say), I now have a favorite! We had fancy crackers, pita chips, toffee pretzels, butter cookies, and Beatrice (future SAA Guardian) made delicious pumpkin muffins. It was a lovely feast!”

What a wonderful way of building community and bringing something truly special to an otherwise ordinary part of the school day!

*(When asked about what skills they’re learning at SAA, students often remark “time management, such as learning to use study hall time well!” as a key skill! Good job, Guardians!)

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Why We Have Study Halls