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Students Teach SOAR Classes at Area Schools

Students Teach SOAR Classes at Area Schools

Students Teach SOAR Classes at Area Schools


Haaziq Kazi ’24 teaches programming using Scratch at Salisbury Central School.

Contributing Writer

May 18, 2023

J.T. Popp '26

Established in 2000 by professor Zenas Block, SOAR provides extracurricular enrichment classes for students at Salisbury Central School. A number of students and teachers from the Hotchkiss community have offered classes this year. 

Ms. Amy Sidran, Fairfield Farm educational coordinator, works with SOAR students twice a week at Fairfield Farm. She said, “The students are in third to fifth grade, so they are young and excited about being outside, running around with lots of energy. They go home and talk about what they did that day and how they can’t wait to come back next time.” 

Chase Dobson ’23 taught “Creating Active Citizens,” a course on social justice and activism. Dobson said, “I’ve always been super-eager to pass along the educational opportunities I’ve been so lucky to receive at Hotchkiss. SOAR is an easy, enlightening way to give back.” 

Mr. Michael Boone, director of the EFX lab and instructor in engineering, has taught coding, circuits, and wood shop classes through SOAR. He said, “I really like working with the younger students. They have a way of keeping me grounded after working with high school students all day. They are eager to learn.” 

This year, Mr. Doron Blake, instructor in humanities, co-taught chess and Magic the Gathering (MTG) classes with his child, Asher Blake, an 8th-grader at Salisbury Central. Asher said, “It was exciting to be able to spread the love of chess and MTG. The greatest challenge was figuring out how to explain the concepts that I intuitively knew after playing chess for over a year, but my students definitely improved a lot.” 

Ms. Sidran said, “The program allows me to feel young again, open-minded, and willing to try new things. Sometimes, we get stuck in our little world and forget that outside of that bubble, a whole world exists.” Students in Mr. Boone’s classes at the school have assisted in his classes. He commented, “Whenever my students help out, they immediately realize how they get more out of working with these young kids than they put in. It is so much fun to see the FIRST Robotics students when they get back from an outreach event — they always seem completely energized.”

J.T. Popp is a contributing writer for The Record.

September 28th

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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