Horizons Carries On

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Photo by Allison Slovak

Students in Horizons participate in the WHAM competition through Google Meet.

Allison Slovak, Staff Reporter

When students in the Warren Hills Regional School District were sent home in March 2020, they all expected to be back in a couple of weeks. However, what was supposed to be  a ten-day hiatus soon turned into more than a year of restrictions because of COVID-19. Clubs could not meet the same way they used to, and some clubs couldn’t meet at all.

Luckily, the Horizons Club was able to meet and even participate in competitions this year.

Horizons is a club for people who like to write or read, or who enjoy trivia.

Students in Horizons participate in a variety of activities, like academic competitions and writing conferences. Usually, these take place in person, but this year activities were switched up a little.

The Warren Hunterdon Academic Meet (WHAM) normally is held in the fall and spring at either Voorhees High School or North Hunterdon High School, but this year the students in Horizons attended online through Google Meet.

It was a different experience, and the Warren Hills teams didn’t win, but participants agreed it was nice to experience something semi-normal after the craziness caused by COVID-19.

“In spite of the situation, the overall experience was fun,” said one participant, sophomore Nancy Desrosiers.

In May, Warren Hills planned to participate in WHAM again. 

In addition, in March, both middle school and high school students attended the annual Horizons Young Writers’ Conference, also through Google Meet.

The conference was called “Young Writers 2021 — Crossing Borders — EMPATHY,” and was presented by Anne Liontas, who is an activist, author of the novel Let Me Explain You, and instructor of creative nonfiction at George Washington University.

The conference taught students ways to make their writing better and more expressive.

Throughout the year, Horizons High School Student Literacy and Art Magazine (SLAM) meetings have also occurred over Google Meet.

Soon to be released will be SLAM’s “The Day Everything Changed” issue. The magazine will contain responses about the pandemic from students and staff in the form of art and writing.

In spring 2020, the Horizons SLAM group conducted a Poetry Slam. The slam was held virtually,  and late this month, Horizons will be hosting the slam once again. Students and staff are going to be asked to send in videos of themselves reading works that they have written.

SLAM meetings happen every Monday at 3:30 p.m., and students can email advisor Maggie Devine at [email protected] for the Google Meet link and Google Classroom code if they want to join.

The Warren Hills Regional Middle School’s Horizons Club has also been active. Students at the Middle School operate a SLAM group, and they will have their magazine published before the end of the current school year. 

Middle school students in Horizons participated in the Warren County Consortium for Student Enrichment (WCCSE) countywide Battle of the Minds in February and March, and they came in second place.

Middle School students also took part in a Disney Escape Room hosted by senior Emily Gilligan, and also acted as assistant judges in the WCCSE countywide debate.