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OMS goes Greek for character ed

Opp Middle School is teaching character education in a different way, by incorporating “Greek Life,” into the school.

The idea for the Greek houses stemmed from the OMS counselor looking at Honeysuckle Middle School in Dothan’s Greek house program and tweaking it a little.

“We wanted a way for kids to learn about character education,” OMS teacher Katie Johnson, who helps with the Greek house program, said. “They can build unity through these houses and become friends with people in different age groups.”

The Greek houses are split into gender-based groups, with 15 fraternities and 15 sororities, each sponsored by a teacher at OMS.

“We meet once a month,” Johnson said. “And it is more of a mentorship based program.”

The school held its “Bid Day,” last Friday, where the incoming groups of fifth graders were able to join a Greek House.

“They were all very excited to join a house,” Johnson said. “They all received a T-shirt that had the OMS Greek symbols that we use for the program that say Omega Mu Sigma.”

This is the third year that OMS has done the program, but Johnson said that it ends right after middle school.

“They will have the same house all three years of middle school,” Johnson said. “But once they leave then won’t do it again.”

Johnson said that the students really enjoy the competitive nature of the Greek houses as well.

“We hold a sort of field day at the end of the year,” Johnson said. “And we call it our Greek Games and all of the houses compete against each other.”

Eighth grader Caroline Courson is a part of Coach Boutwell’s Greek house and she said that she enjoys it because they get to talk about different values.

“We learn about character education and what it means to be a better person,” Courson said. “We get to have fun activities and connect with people that I didn’t think I would ever be friends with.”

Seventh grader Omaya Wommack, who is in Mrs. Wilson’s Greek house, said that she enjoys Greek house because she gets to mentor younger children.

“It is always fun watching bid day,” Wommack said. “All of the younger kids get to run to their houses after they find out which one they are in. I like to think of this program as a chance to mentor younger students, take them under my wing and guide them in the right direction.”