St. Lucie West Centennial High School students recently donated $2,500 to New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee to support mental health and addiction recovery programs for children and adolescents.
The funds were raised during CENTennial Cares Week, a campaign promoting compassion and kindness in tribute of the students and staff that lost their lives last year at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
During the week, students handed out compliments, granted favors, went out of their way to say hello, filled bulletin boards with positive affirmations, and donated their “cents,” which can add up to make significant “change” in the world.
“There was such an outpouring of generosity,” said Amanda Bevacqua, a teacher and organizer of the inaugural event.
The majority of funds – a whopping $700 – were donated by students in Kenneth Skurnick’s and Rebecca Davis’ classes.
In total, the students raised $1,250 during the CENTennial Cares Week. Those funds were matched by the Student Government, for a sizeable check of $2,500 to New Horizons for increased access to mental health for students and community.
“We know as a community of teachers that unless we have our student’s total health in mind, minimal learning will occur.” said Bevacqua, who added that she and her colleagues “know New Horizon’s services are essential to their students’ overall health.”
New Horizons is the most comprehensive mental health and substance abuse recovery agency in the region, with nine offices across four counties serving 14,000 children and adults, regardless of their ability to pay.
In fact, 57% of New Horizons clients have no source of income or insurance, yet as nonprofit, no one is turned away due to lack of financial resources. Funds raised from incredible groups like Centennial High School go directly to their care.
You may be hearing buzz around the District and are asking yourself, what is a Tower Garden? Tower Gardens are a vertical, aeroponic growing system, compact in design, and contain a closed-loop technology system. This technology allows you to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers in less than three square feet – indoors or outdoors. Because this system allows you to grow plants indoors using special grow lights, with no dirt, we have incorporated hands-on learning into our curriculum in collaboration with Child Nutrition Services and the ESE Department. Tower Gardens grow up to 3 times faster and produce 30% greater yields than the average garden, and we do not have to worry about pests and disease.
We are honored to be able to support this project through our Farm to School Award. This gives our students the opportunity to learn where their food is from, understand the entire growing process, and sample what is grown. Schools incorporate items into their kitchens so students can eat what has been harvested. The hope is that students then go home to share what they have tried and/or seen growing in the Tower Garden and have an entire family eating healthier together.
Treasure Coast High School is the first pilot in the District to use Tower Gardens. Ms. Nelson’s students have done a wonderful job setting up the garden, watering it daily, maintaining healthy ph levels for optimal growing, and will soon be transplanting the wool cubes into the system. We are hoping to continue our partnerships with the remaining high schools and have Tower Gardens purchased for the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.
The Farm to School Award also supports outdoor gardens, nutrition education, community and student culinary events, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, cooking classes, and much more! To find out more, please contact Stacy Donnelly, Farm to School Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org | 772-200-7148.
The Coordinator of Accountability, Pete Zsiga, PhD, for St. Lucie Public Schools, shares how the district uses actionable data from PowerSchool Performance Matters Assessment and Analytics to support teachers and drive student success.
Congratulations to Fort Pierce Central High School Senior Laura Haggerty! Laura was honored on Senior Day for her academic and athletic accomplishments. With 4 Years Varsity Soccer and 3 Years Varsity Tennis, Laura will graduate this May from FPCHS with a 5.58 weighted GPA, and 3.98 unweighted GPA. She will also graduate from IRSC with her AA degree on May 2, 2019. Laura plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall to study engineering. Congrats Laura! Once a Cobra, Always a Cobra!
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