PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Connor Tilford is connecting with his classmates in the first McCracken County High school class — and none of them are even at the school yet.
Tilford, a seventh-grader at Heath Middle School, created the site ConnectingMcCracken about a month ago and has already signed up 24 members.
So far, Tilford told The Paducah Sun, the site is mostly populated by classmates at his current school (http://bit.ly/rrBHRE ). But, he's hopeful that students from Reidland and Lone Oak middle schools will sign on soon as word of mouth attracts students.
The site is loosely structured like Facebook. Students can apply to be a part of the site, but Tilford has the final say on who is allowed on. Students keep up profiles, somewhat similar to Facebook. They can also post pictures and respond to comments.
Tilford had already started conversations about what elective classes middle school students want to take at the new high school and what they did over fall break.
Tilford said it's helped him be more of an extrovert. Students at the new high school will likely keep to what they know, but Tilford said at some point, they will have to branch out. He hopes ConnectingMcCracken can be a catalyst.
Tildford plans to enter his website into a competition with the Student Technology Leadership Program. It's the first year for the after-school club at Heath Middle School. He hopes to have 50 student members by the December competition, with at least 10 students from each school.
Tilford's adviser, Chris Lacey, said the students have driven the program thus far.
"I'm just the facilitator," he said. "That's why I'm proud of Connor, because he has done all this on his own."
Lacey embraces Tilford's attitude about the new school.
"We're all still seventh- and eighth-grade kids, still middle school teachers," Lacey said. "He's got a strong project. But I think beyond that, it will be immeasurable what he can do."