Students in the Hannibal public school district find themselves with a “smorgasbord” of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities from which to choose.

Students in the Hannibal public school district find themselves with a “smorgasbord” of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities from which to choose.

“The opportunities are much more numerous than in past,” said Maria Mundle, director of curriculum and instruction with the Hannibal public school district, who praised the community for its “strong support” of these offerings.

As it has for years, the LEAP (Logic Enrichment Academic Pursuit) program continues to serve academically gifted students at both the elementary and middle school levels. At last report, 29 second though fifth graders are participating, as are 59 middle schoolers.

At the high school, students have 22 weighted classes from which to choose.

A total of 165 students are taking advantage of dual enrollment courses through Hannibal-LaGrange University, which gives them the chance to earn college credits while still in high school.

“The dual-enrollment opportunities have expanded from 10 years ago,” said Mundle.

Mundle added that the district is working on increasing “advanced placement offerings” for students.

Other chances to learn are provided though programs such as: Job Shadowing (approximately 60 paticipants), Service in Action (approximately 105 students) and Natural Helpers (over 100 members).

Extra-curricular activities begin to present themselves at the elementary level, where teachers oversee clubs that are based on student interests. More club activities present themselves as students reach middle school and high school.


Exploring interests


According to Mundle, these extra-curricular activities are intended to allow students to explore areas in which they have an “interest or passion that wouldn’t happen during a normal school day.”

Clint Graham, activities director at the high school, believes extra-curricular activities “help broaden a student’s view of school.”

“It provides camaraderie with other students,” he said.

Mundle added that as students excel in extra-curricular activities it gives them a “sense of value, pride and accomplishment.”

One of the most popular forms of extra-curricular activity is athletics. Graham reports the number of young people going out for sports is holding steady.

“They’re down slightly in some sports and up in others,” he said.

Graham believes extra-curricular activities can be a great motivator.

“To participate in things like music and sports, they know they have to keep their grades up. That motivates quite a few kids to stay on track,” he said.

Mundle says extra-curricular pastimes help “keep students motivated to learn.”

Mundle is not surprised by the level of participation in extra-curricular activities.

“I’d love to see these numbers continue to grow,” she said. “They’re designed to be engaging and a benefit to students.”

“The more opportunities that can be provided students the better off the school district and community will be,” added Graham.