2018-02-10 / News

Activities Abound for Mackinac Island’s Youth During Winter

By Stephanie Fortino


At left: The new Photography Club at Mackinac Island Public School includes (from left) Harrison Myers, Makayla Rickley, Ava Sehoyan, Wyatt Morse, Ace Minyard, Asher Topham, and teacher Heather May, who leads the club. At left: The new Photography Club at Mackinac Island Public School includes (from left) Harrison Myers, Makayla Rickley, Ava Sehoyan, Wyatt Morse, Ace Minyard, Asher Topham, and teacher Heather May, who leads the club. Winter is filled with fun and engaging activities for our youngest residents, from afterschool clubs to social events at local churches.

New this year at Mackinac Island Public School is the Photography Club, spearheaded by art and music teacher Heather May. The club meets every Monday after school, and the program will last through the first week of March.

Drawing on her memorable experience in a photography club in middle school, Ms. May is now sharing her love of photography with her students, helping to foster their creativity while teaching them a new skill.

“To me, photography is another form of art through which students can share how they see the world,” she told the Town Crier. “Learning how to properly care for and use a DSLR camera also teaches the kids responsibility, and each lesson they learn in class helps them to formulate, prepare, and present their ideas through a picture. Through photography, one can tell a story, create awareness, share the beauty around them, and so much more!”


Eighth grader Wyatt Morse took this photograph during the Lego assignment for the new Photography Club. Club leader Heather May said this assignment was one of her favorites because the students creatively composed their tiny toy subjects for interesting pictures. Eighth grader Wyatt Morse took this photograph during the Lego assignment for the new Photography Club. Club leader Heather May said this assignment was one of her favorites because the students creatively composed their tiny toy subjects for interesting pictures. At each meeting, Ms. May discusses a new photography concept and the students practice taking photographs. They have a weekly photography assignment, which could include subjects like animals, family members, or landscapes. The students share their photographs with each other, explaining how they incorporated the lessons into their assignment.


Sixth grader Makayla Rickley captured this beautiful icy scene during a landscape assignment for the school’s Photography Club. Sixth grader Makayla Rickley captured this beautiful icy scene during a landscape assignment for the school’s Photography Club. So far, the children have learned basics of composition, like the rule of thirds and leading lines, and mechanics, like lighting. They also have learned how to take photographs outside and action shots at a sporting event. Soon, they’ll learn about illusions, portraits, and mood.

Students are using three Canon T6 DSLR cameras, which Ms. May purchased with a grant from the Mackinac Arts Council. Some other residents are involved with the program, too, as photographers Kate Dupre and Justin Wright have visited club to help share insights and tips.

Another club meeting this winter is the Mackinac Island 4-H Horse Club. Club leader LeAnne Broduer hosts monthly meetings, during which the members practice their equestrian skills like jumping fences, horse gates, and understanding leads. And while the activities are done without horses, the children all enjoy them, she said.


Noticing the details in a trophy case, ninth grader Ava Sehoyan took this photograph during a Photography Club assignment. Noticing the details in a trophy case, ninth grader Ava Sehoyan took this photograph during a Photography Club assignment. The 4-H meetings are held in the small gymnasium at the school at 3:15 p.m. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, February 28, Wednesday, March 21, and Wednesday, April 25.

The club has about 15 members this winter.

Students in grades seven through 12 can also participate in the weekly Teen Nights at Ste. Anne’s Church. Organizer Lynda Hepker and a crew of dedicated volunteers provide a fun social gathering each Saturday night from about 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Gathered in the basement of the Catholic church, the teenagers enjoy food prepared by the volunteers, watch movies on the big screen television, and have fun playing pool and foosball. After a busy school week filled with flying off the Island for sports games, the teens often just want to wind down and relax with their friends, she said.

“It’s really simple. It’s just a place for the kids to hang out.”

Sometimes the students are divided into middle school and high school students, especially if the older teens want to watch a scary movie.

Each week, between 16 and 26 students attend, which is most of the 36 students in grades seven through 12.

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