Something For Everyone at the Activity Fair

Baylee Wicken, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, October 27, the Class of 2019 gathered in the Norton Gym to learn about the wide variety of clubs that NFA offers.

According to Cranston house principal, Diane Giarratona, the purpose of the activity fair is, “to expose ninth graders to all of the different clubs and activities that are available. And allow them to ask questions of each of the clubs that are there.”  Though some clubs were not present at the event, students still had the ability to sign up for any active club at a designated table.

Classic Movie Club adviser Linda Farinha said, “Students can go to one place where the whole purpose is to learn about activities here. It’s not like when you’re sitting in homeroom and there is a lot going on, [and] lots of information coming at you. They may talk about a club, but you’re [possibly] not in the right mindset. When kids go [to the activity fair] I think they’re thinking, ‘Okay, I’m here and there is a way for me to get involved on campus,’ and that is the sole purpose of them being there; so I think they get more out of it.”

Ninth grader, Alli Sutton, said, “I was glad to have the opportunity to learn that there [are] so many clubs and activities that fueled my interests. The fair persuaded me to want to join a club with new people that share my same interests.”

The fair is traditionally held at the end of the first marking period so that clubs have the opportunity to find an adviser and then organize their members to man the tables.

Upper Maggie Peter says, “I definitely think it’s more effective if students man the club booths… I don’t think freshmen will be as intimidated. Seeing other students their age, and maybe having some friends man the tables may help freshmen to want to join the club more.”  

Giarratona agreed. “I think that different questions would be best answered by students and other questions best answered by the advisers. In the ideal world I think the best thing would be to have the adviser… and a few students…”

The Activity Fair was reserved for ninth graders because, as Director of Student Affairs and coordinator of the Activity Fair John Iovino stated, “We found that the interest wasn’t there so much as [with] the 9th graders. To be honest, by the time students finish their 9th grade year, they probably have a pretty good lay of the land, and of [what] clubs and activities are available to them.”

Sutton would improve the Activity Fair by having “representatives for all of the clubs; however, the representatives that were there had excellent information on the clubs they were speaking for.”

Peter, who worked the event, agreed.  “I think the students who man the tables should be really enthusiastic… and call freshmen over to check out their clubs, making them feel welcome and invited.”

The Activity Fair gave ninth graders the opportunity to ask other students any question that they have about any of the clubs that were present. Sutton said, “My friends [were] all eager to join clubs, as [was] I.  Before this fair we didn’t know [of] the opportunities available to us, and now we know what Norwich Free Academy can offer to better us in our 4 year experience.”