Sault Area Middle School welcomed nearly 200 students and visitors to Family Fun Night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. yesterday evening.
Family Fun Night was filled with numerous activities for all, ranging from Native American exploration to dodgeball to Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM). Available community resources and informative brochures were also handed out.
But the library cakewalk took the cake, drawing the majority of students in to win cakes and other festively decorated desserts.
Many guests participated in Ojibwe crafts and activities to get more acquainted with the “Place of the Rapids,” where they reside. Families beaded bracelets and necklaces, weaved dreamcatchers, made medicine wheels, and played Alaskan high kick games.
Sault Tribe Community Health Education Supervisor Heather Kerfoot came prepared with brochures on hiking and kayaking trails to promote physical health. Maintaining a healthy physical well-being also means keeping vapes away from kids.
“We want to increase physical activity and create a smoke-free environment,” said Kerfoot. “Research shows vaping is just as harmful as cigarette smoking.”
Autumn Proulx of the sixth grade learned that propylene glycol produces formaldehyde when heated. This is a known carcinogen found in cigarettes.
“Vaping is very, very bad,” said Proulx. “Kids and adults should not do it… mostly kids. Do not vape. It is habit forming.”
Advocacy Resource Center Community Educator Jess Gillotte-King set up a table with information on teen relationships.
“Teaching about healthy relationships is key,” said Gillotte-King, committed to showing young people what positive relationships look like.
Sault Tribe Traditional Medicine Program Administrative Assistant Katrina Waid was also present to teach Native American approaches to physical well-being. She brewed hot labrador (swamp) tea to share with everyone. A popular use could be treating colds, but there are said to be many more.
STEM activities were popular among students and gamers. A couple classrooms were geared toward competitive gaming and technology.
Student athletes huddled in the main gymnasium to play dodgeball. The smaller gymnasium included Alaskan high kick games, which requires a lot of balance to kick a suspended ball and land on the kicking foot.
50/50 raffle tickets were purchased for prize drawings to earn money for the school’s parent teacher organization (PTO). This allows the PTO to run fun family activities like Family Fun Night throughout the year.