DHS hosts first Cocoa and Cram event


DHS students study during Cocoa and Cram in the union on Dec. 8.

Brady Huggins, Editor-in-Chief

Finals week at De Soto High School is always filled with stress and studying as students attempt to end their semester on a positive note. These tests wreak havoc on underclassmen, giving younger students one of their first challenges in high school. In response to the pressure and stress that comes with finals, a handful of staff and students came up with an initiative to help prepare for finals. 

School Improvement Specialist Abby Huggins was instrumental in creating DHS’ first ever “Cocoa and Cram” event. The purpose of the event was to provide a calm, academic environment for students to prepare for their finals. 

“Primarily, we wanted to hold an event that would help students successfully prepare for finals,” Huggins said. 

Abby Adams, who teaches biology at DHS, partnered with Huggins to help create the event. Adams described it as an extension of study tables, which she oversees throughout the school year. 

“I think the idea of study tables built the foundation for Cocoa and Cram,” Adams said. “Mrs. Huggins and some students made it into more of an event.” 

Huggins mentioned how the partnership increased the event’s effectiveness. 

“The organization [of the event] was a partnership between our study tables and Cat Pride teams,” Huggins said. “We worked together to create activities that support wellness.” 

In terms of the activities provided at Cocoa and Cram, Huggins and Adams made sure there were plenty of opportunities to relieve stress and focus on mental health. 

“There was lots of hot cocoa, snacks and giveaways, along with the decompression stations,” Huggins said. “Those were areas to make crafts and engage in calming activities like coloring.” 

The cocoa and snacks, in addition to the decompression stations, attracted several students. Freshman Josey Henning shared her reasoning for attending the event. 

“All the positive reviews from other students motivated me to go and check it out,” Henning said. 

Although the activities and snacks created a great environment for students, the participation of DHS teachers also increased the effectiveness of Cocoa and Cram.

“Teachers and students offered academic support for students,” Huggins said. 

Adams voiced her appreciation of the tutors who helped with the event, mentioning how the help from teachers and students contributed to Cocoa and Cram’s main purpose.

“Cocoa and Cram aimed to give students time to focus on school before finals week and to provide them with help from tutors and teachers,” Adams said. 

Henning was also appreciative of the tutors’ help.

“I loved how all the senior volunteers were going around asking to help,” Henning said. “It was very reassuring.” 

All of the features of Cocoa and Cram resulted in a wildly successful event that increased the overall preparedness of DHS students. Henning mentioned the event’s calming environment. 

“[Cocoa and Cram] gave me a calm, quiet environment to work on my studying,” Henning said. 

A relaxing environment was exactly what Huggins and Adams had aimed for when planning the event. 

“Students seemed to enjoy having a safe and comfortable place to study alongside friends,” Huggins said. 

Adams echoed Huggins’ summarization of Cocoa and Cram’s impact. 

“I think for younger students, it gave them that final push to study and prepare for finals week,” Adams said. “I also don’t think the cocoa hurt.” 

Whether it was activities to handle stress and anxiety, tutors to aid students, or hot cocoa to lift holiday spirits, DHS’ first Cocoa and Cram event garnered drastic amounts of participation and was a key component in preparing students for finals.