The following article was submitted by the Take Stock in Children/Johnson Scholars Program of the School District of Palm Beach County. It is shared here with permission.
The Take Stock in Children/Johnson Scholars Program of the School District of Palm Beach County helps students build their college and career readiness through mentorship and college coaching.
This year in the program’s college and career readiness clubs, students had the opportunity to give back to their campuses by developing and implementing a school-based community service project. During the November 2022 and January 2023 College Readiness club meetings, scholars were tasked with identifying and organizing an activity that would somehow impact their school campuses.
In February, 11 club schools of the Take Stock in Children/Johnson Scholars Program (TSICJS) implemented or began their community service projects.
Jupiter High School students celebrated their custodians. When asked how the activity impacts their school and peers, Kimberly Lopez-Vasquez stated, “This activity helps our custodians know that they are appreciated and loved for everything they do.”
Brenda Garcia-Corona reflected, “I enjoyed seeing all the Jupiter High custodians happy with all the nice words that were being told to them, and seeing them have a great time with [one] other eating food.”
John I. Leonard High School students also chose to celebrate their custodians. “I enjoyed the smiles on everyone’s faces and how there was so much laughter,” said Nan Mildort.
“What I most enjoyed was eating and watching the custodians dance and have fun,” said Daniella Estrada.
“I got out of my comfort zone and read my card out loud,” said Lake Worth High student Isabel Avila Ochoa. “I helped out [by] putting stuff on the tables and helped with posters; I liked the feeling I got seeing the cafeteria workers smile and realize how much we truly appreciate them.”
“I enjoyed looking at café workers being happy today and I am glad that we did it for them,” said Micaylove Atis, Lake Worth High School.
William T. Dwyer student and cheerleader Ze’Rhyeahh Bradly remarked, “It felt great seeing all the coaches have a smile on their faces.”
“What I enjoyed most was seeing how appreciated the coaches felt and it really touched my heart to see them smiling,” said Abd Al Sami Abukhalil of William T. Dwyer High School.
The most I enjoyed while participating in this service project was the collaboration among the students who were also participating in this lovely service project,” says Palm Beach Gardens High School student Ali Hayder. “This activity allows students in the school to feel more pleased about school and themselves. It also helps support the idea that the school and TSICJS will always have our backs.”
“We began with a budget and then we decided on the flowers that would be planted. We also laid out all of the materials that we would need and agreed on the date we would start. I feel that it would make people feel that they would have a safe, positive space to relax at during lunch or in the morning. It could be a hangout place that could allow different groups to connect with each other, and uplift the school’s spirit,” said Elisha Jackson, Palm Beach Gardens High School.
Other schools used the month to begin their projects. Village Academy plans to spoil their bus drivers during the month of March. Palm Beach Lakes plans on rolling out the red carpet for the visiting 8th graders by welcoming them into their family. Glades Central High School began designing their bench painting project. They plan to paint eight benches in the front of the school with inspirational phrases and school spirit.
Santaluces High and Pahokee High are both implementing paint projects to beautify their schools. Pahokee spent the month of February [learning] how to paint the school’s sidewalk appropriately. Santaluces spent the month designing their canvas art meant to add décor to the school’s media center.
The Take Stock/Johnson Scholars were able to pay it forward at their home schools by developing and implementing projects that were impactful. Implementing these projects helped bring more awareness of the program to the schools.
Support for our scholars was gained by administration, staff, and other students, who are already brainstorming ways to impact their campuses next year.