March 13, 2020
SchoolHouse Jocks, a new initiative launched at Chardon High School on Feb. 12, is facilitated by high-achieving student athletes with a mission to tutor and mentor the younger population at the school. A SchoolHouse Jocks mentor must be a student-athlete in good academic standing and have the attributes of a positive role model to be enrolled in this program.
Initially, the primary focus of SchoolHouse Jocks is on students involved in the schools’ eighth-grade advisory program. In addition, the club will be mindful to aid eighth- through tenth-grade students in all opportunities presented to them. Oftentimes, the school’s young students look up to the CHS athletes for their athletic abilities, and SchoolHouse Jocks provides a platform for SchoolHouse Jocks to foster this connection through a mentoring opportunity.
Due to time constraints involved with participating in Chardon sports, student-athletes often do not have the ability to volunteer in service programs offered by the school. Therefore, an additional benefit of the program is it provides the students with the chance to serve as leaders in the school community off the field/court as well. The club meets on Wednesday mornings at the high school before classes begin.
SchoolHouse Jocks, which currently hosts about 12 students in all, is spearheaded and advised by staff members Kyle Kovach, Joan Blackburn, Dawn Tupaz and Amber Yeager.
“The program was Kyle’s brilliant idea,” said Blackburn. “Kyle is the eighth-grade guidance counselor and he came up with this idea as a way of providing mentoring and tutoring for eighth-grade students. We have a great group of students who are giving up their own time to make this happen.”
Chardon High School eighth-grade Arthur Holden Leadership Institute students decided for their service project this year to create “buddy bags” that the Geauga County Sheriff’s Department can give to children who they encounter in difficult situations, including car accidents and neglect situations.
“Chardon Dollar General donated all the stuffed animals and gave parent and project donor Elizabeth Fullerman an incredible deal on over 40 activity packs,” said Chardon High School teacher and eighth-grade AHLI advisor Amber Yeager. “They were very moved by the AHLI service project.”
The student-led community service project also received donations from American Cancer Society Discovery Shop, Beans Coffee Shop, Chardon Square Association, Chardon Police Department, Hutter Performance, The Nest, and the Sheehan and Lester families.
“These bags will provide some comfort for children in Geauga County by providing them with blankets, stuffed animals, activity books and more,” said Yeager.