Helping Hands- Not Just a Club

Written by: Lourelai Cavanaugh-Montgomery

There are a variety of clubs and service organizations at Citrus High School.  One of them includes the Helping Hands Club.

Helping Hands is run by one of Citrus High’s English teachers Mrs. Evans. She has been running helping hands for about two years now. Helping Hands offers many opportunities for students to meet others, help others, build bonds, as well as gaining community service hours.

When students participate in community services like Helping Hands, they can develop a sense of empathy and compassion, by interacting with different individuals and communities. Students get a better understanding of the challenges others face.

Community service has proven to be a great tool for personal growth while making a positive impact on the lives of other children. With social responsibility and recognition, more and more students are starting to realize the benefits of giving back to their communities.

Participating in community service allows students to learn essential life skills that will serve them well beyond their high school years. By being in many types of projects and services, students can improve their communication, problem solving and critical thinking abilities. They also learn the value of teamwork and leadership as they collaborate with others to accomplish goals.

Earlier this month, our Helping Hands club teamed up with our crochet club to crochet and make blankets for students who need them to stay warm during these cold winter nights.

(Senior participant) Hope Walter’s shares being in Helping Hands has really “opened her eyes to other people’s situations”, and how “even just little bit of help can go a long way.”

For the children on the receiving side of community service, the benefits are amazing. Having guidance from other students can help open people up when they’re in a hard situation. Even just spending time and interacting with people can uplift and motivate them in many ways!

(Senior participant) Nicholas Schuchard says that participating in Helping Hands has shown him that “caring about others and giving back to the community really does benefit everybody.”

As the demand for community service and those needing help continues to grow, CHS is providing more and more opportunities for students to get involved. From goodie baskets, to crocheting blankets, and toy drives, students are encouraged to give back to their community while also gaining community service hours for future colleges and jobs. Everyone can benefit from our Helping Hands club here at Citrus High!

CHS Helping Hands
Photo Credit to Chloe Dunn, Students in Crochet Club are using their skills to create gifts for “Helping Hands”.

The Foreign Exchange Experience

By Titus Theis


Through the lens of personal anecdotes and introspection, Crystal River High School junior and German exchange student, Titus Theis explores the unique blend of resilience, adaptability, and curiosity that defines the exchange student experience, shedding light on the profound impact it has on shaping perspectives and fostering a sense of interconnectedness in an ever-shrinking world.
CRH Logo
In the whirlwind of cultural exchange, the life of an exchange student unfolds as a tapestry woven with the threads of adventure, challenges, and self-discovery. In this feature, we delve into the firsthand experiences of those who embark on this transformative journey, navigating the maze of new languages, customs, and friendships.

From the initial excitement of stepping onto unfamiliar soil to the poignant moments of homesickness and the joy of forming global connections, this narrative captures the essence of what it truly feels like to be an exchange student.

Being an exchange student from Germany in America has been a transformative and eye-opening experience, marked by a myriad of cultural nuances and exciting challenges. The stark contrast between the structured, efficiency-oriented German lifestyle and the more laid-back, diverse atmosphere in the United States has been both refreshing and perplexing. From the bustling city life to the vast expanses of nature, every corner of America seems to tell a unique story.

One of the most significant aspects of this journey has been navigating the American education system, which prioritizes individuality and creativity. The interactive classrooms and emphasis on extracurricular activities have provided a holistic learning experience that goes beyond textbooks. Moreover, the warmth and openness of the American people have made integration into this new environment smoother than expected. Engaging in conversations with classmates, participating in cultural exchanges, and immersing myself in local traditions have broadened my perspectives and fostered genuine connections.

While there have been moments of homesickness and cultural dissonance, the overall experience has been a fascinating blend of personal growth, cross-cultural understanding, and the forging of lifelong memories. As an exchange student, every day brings a new adventure, reinforcing the idea that the world is a diverse tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored.

As I reflect on my journey as an exchange student from Germany in America, I find myself at the midway point of this transformative experience. The initial challenges of adapting to a new culture, navigating unfamiliar social landscapes, and immersing myself in the vibrant tapestry of American life have paved the way for personal growth and an expanded worldview. The connections I've forged, the lessons I've learned, and the memories I've made are already indelibly etched into the narrative of my life.

As I look forward to the remaining months, I anticipate further adventures, deeper connections, and a continued exploration of the beautiful complexities that make up the American experience.

This halfway mark is not just a checkpoint; it's a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, the power of cultural exchange, and the profound impact of embracing the unknown. The second half beckons with promise, and I eagerly embrace the forthcoming chapters of this extraordinary journey.

Prep and Prevail: LHS Students Share Strategies for Conquering SAT and ACT

Leila Rodriguez, Student Writer -

LHSAt Lecanto High School [LHS], the Scholastic Assessment Test [SAT] and American College Testing [ACT] play pivotal roles in college admissions, wielding the power to shape the future trajectories of students. Beyond being a mere assessment, the scores attained can open doors to scholarships. Achieving a high test score is undoubtedly challenging yet feasible with unwavering determination. Many students invest months in preparing for these inherently unpredictable tests. However, amidst the myriad of study approaches, what strategies prove most effective for mastering the ACT or SAT?

Testing yourself with a pretest provides students with a preview of what to anticipate during the actual tests, offering insights on how to navigate challenging problems and providing strategies for approaching unfamiliar questions.

“I go to libraries and check out pretest books and do the test in those because they give me an idea of what could be on the ACT and SAT,” said junior Jaelynn Reid. Eliminating more answer choices significantly enhances the likelihood of success in these tests. Students must grasp and apply these practical SAT tips, which are pivotal in realizing their future aspirations.

“If I can’t figure out the answer, I try to get rid of the choices I know are wrong and then pick whatever seems the most logical,” said junior Elijah Giguere.

Students who earnestly invest effort in their studies will recognize the significant benefits of thorough exam preparation. These assessments are not merely a measure of intelligence; they also gauge students' college readiness.

“I studied every day for weeks before I took my SAT and ACT, and it honestly wasn’t even that bad because I was so prepared for it,” said junior Hope Prevost.

Student dedication to studying is evident in their desire to attend a prestigious college on scholarship. Their ambition to pursue higher education at an esteemed institution demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence. With an unwavering focus on your studies, it will undoubtedly lead to success in securing a scholarship.

“I’ve been studying for so long because I want to go to a nice college out of state with a scholarship,” said junior Avery Schwarzer.

Lecanto is proud of its community approach to supporting students in academic and post-secondary goals. Students can receive educational assistance at LHS, including preparing for standardized testing, through the LHS College and Career Center and the PASS program. The College and Career Center opened three years ago and has aided hundreds of students within Lecanto High School and Citrus County who are preparing for standardized testing and earning their way into college or scholarships. This year has seen the emergence of the Panther Afterschool Snack and Study program [PASS]. The PASS program is offered every day after school until 4 PM and provides teacher and student-led academic support.

“PASS has helped dozens of students prepare for the SAT or ACT; we have seen a measurable increase in scores over the past six months with the students we are assisting,” said PASS coordinator Celeste Rausch.