Activities welcome Greencastle-Antrim Middle School newcomers to community

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Ice cream sundaes were the main attraction, but the underlying message was about community when the newcomers group at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School gatheredin the courtyard on a recent sunny afternoon.

For the second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic kiboshed the field trip for new students to local sites of interest such as Martin's Mill Bridge and Antrim Township Community Park, capped with a stop at Mikie's Ice Cream and Green Cow Gift Shop.

Dawn Boscolo of Mikie's Ice Cream asks eighth-grader Sabrina Cleveland, who came from Independence, Mo., what ice cream sundae toppings she would like during a gathering of the newcomers group at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School on Sept. 8.

And for the second year in a row, Mikie's owners Marty and Dawn Boscolo brought the ice cream to the kids.

"We went to the school ... we enjoy living in the community, serving the community and it's wonderful to earn a living in the community," Marty Boscolo said after dishing out ice cream on Sept. 8.

Not only do the Boscolos donate the sweet treats, they stepped in and began paying for the field trip when it was threatened by budget cuts a number of years ago.

Seventh-grader Matthew Beeler is among the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School newcomers who enjoyed an ice cream sundae during a gathering on Sept. 8.

"It think it's important for everyone to be involved in the community ... helping the common good," Boscolo said. When the kids grow up, he hopes they will volunteer anywhere from the playground to the schools.

It's hard for anyone to go to a new school and "we really want to make them feel a part of Greencastle. It's such a special community, a special school," said guidance counselor Fred Yelton, who organizes activities such as a pizza party and team-building exercises to help the newcomers integrate into the school.

There's a meet-and-greet to learn about the youngsters and "they get introduced to me so if down the road they have issues or problems, they're comfortable talking to me," Yelton said.

"Research says when kids feel secure, welcome and part of the community, they're more likely to be successful," Yelton said.

Members of the newcomers group at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School enjoyed ice cream sundaes in the courtyard on Sept. 8.

There are usually about 30 new students at G-AMS each year, but this year's group has 41. Many of them are from the area, previously attending Waynesboro, Chambersburg, Tuscarora or Hagerstown schools.

Some went to Greencastle-Antrim Schools before and just moved back, while others like Sabrina Cleveland came from farther away. Her father's work with CertainTeed brought the eighth-grader and her family from Independence, Mo.

Siblings Carly Schadt, a seventh-grader, and Lane Hallett, a sixth-grader, who moved from west Texas, are among the newcomers at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School this year.

Siblings Carly Schadt, a seventh-grader, and Lane Hallett, a sixth-grader, and their family moved from west Texas for their father's work on a deer ranch.

"I like it, it's definitely different," Carly said. "Y'all talk different."

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at