Going Places: CCHS’ SSIC Club expands to Pioneer Middle School
After over a year of quarantine, the Social Support Interactive Club (SSIC) at CCHS was revived in September of 2021 by Biology teacher Jacqueline Selan, with the hopes of creating a communal, discussion driven club at CCHS. Now, four months later, Selan and her club are helping their neighbors, Pioneer Middle School (PMS), organize an SSIC Club of their own.
The idea of expanding the club to PMS was first introduced by their counselors through contacting CCHS about the idea and asking for help with its execution.
“We had the counselors, actually, reach out to us a couple weeks ago and ask if we can help them out with setting up the club, finding a sponsor, and figuring out everything,” SSIC Club President Brandon Townsley said.
Now, after some help from CCHS’ club, PMS recruited Language Arts teacher Mary Carr to be the club’s sponsor. With some support from guidance, Carr and the CCHS team were able to schedule PMS’ first SSIC Club meeting afterschool, on Thursday, January 27. Putting the CCHS club in an excited state of planning, as their sponsor and president began to organize an introductory meeting.
“We just got updated last week that the counselors found someone, Ms. Carr … I didn’t know her that well, but I know she’s a very good person,” Townsley said. “I was willing to help as much as I could to make [the SSIC Club] happen for the middle schoolers, because I needed it when I was in middle school.”
Though little is known about the future of PMS’ SSIC Club, organizers from both clubs hope that it will become a safe space for students to have conversations and share experiences with one another.
“Having a safe space to let SSIC students open up about their feelings is important. When kids are at such a young age and they’re truly starting to figure themselves out, I think it’s good to have that space to express and/or educate themselves and truly be able to try and explore and understand who they are,” SSIC Club Vice President Savannah Wilson said. “I think this will be beneficial for a lot of students and it’s something I wish everyone could have access to.”
Through organizing PMS’ club, CCHS’ members are helping to create a space that they wish they had in middle school. This club aims to make students’ transitions through schools and stages of life easier, knowing that their peers are asking the same questions as they are.
“As a member of the club and as an officer, I think that it’s a really good idea to add this club to Pioneer [Middle School]. I say this because I know [that for] me personally, middle school was a period of time where I was exploring who I am and really discovering myself,” SSIC Club Project Manager Nathan Grey said. “And so adding this [club] to that school could help kids with that self discovery process and make them feel like they are not alone.”
Through meetings with CCHS, PMS discussed ideas to explore and topics to address during their own meetings. Planning to model CCHS’ discussion driven club that has opened up a safe space for afterschool conversations on campus.
“We’re going for hopefully more acceptance, not just tolerance,” SSIC Club sponsor Jacqueline Selan said. “[We] want people to know that it’s safe to be who you are and be authentic. Take your time, figure things out. We want that open, safe space for that.”
The first meeting occurred on January 27 at Pioneer Middle School. Organizers from both PMS and CCHS hope that the club will provide a communal space for students to discuss relevant topics and find confidence during uncertain times.