Treasure Mountain students take aim at hunger
There will be a little less hunger in Park City thanks to students at Treasure Mountain Junior High.
Students in the school’s leadership class and National Junior Honor Society program ran a food drive through February. They collected nearly 1,000 cans of food, which they donated last week to the Christian Center of Park City.
Grace Wiczek is one student who devoted much of February to the project. She is the president of Treasure Mountain’s National Junior Honor Society chapter and helped coordinate the food drive. She said it’s been gratifying to know that the food will likely help students at the school who are in need.
"That kind of gives you a different perspective," she said. "When you donate the food, you’re not just donating it. There’s more meaning behind donating the food when you kind of know where it’s going. I think it gives you a sense of helping the community on a more personal level."
Julie Hooker, a Treasure Mountain teacher and adviser of the leadership class, said it was impressive to see the community rally behind the effort. Even more inspiring, however, was witnessing how seriously the students took the project.
"It makes me happy because the community does so much for us and for our students, to be able to give back is magic," Hooker said. "To see the students get excited about their community, and to feel good about themselves for doing something that makes a difference, is cool. In our leadership class, we’ve talked a lot about poverty. So they understand that there’s a very real need to provide food, and that there are a lot of kids here at Treasure that benefit from this."
Wiczek said discussing poverty in Park City during Hooker’s leadership class brought the effect the food drive can have into focus.
"I knew a little bit before the project because we’ve talked about poverty in our leadership class as something we need to address," Wiczek said. "Knowing that going into the project almost made me more motivated to make a difference compared to last year when I was participating in the food drive."
Hooker added that many students who have participated in similar projects in the past have become frequent volunteers at places such as the Christian Center. She hopes to see the current crop of students follow a similar path.
"It exposes them to the Christian Center," she said. "All of the kids here at Treasure Mountain learn about the Christian Center and they understand what they do. Now they understand about the food pantry and that there is need here in Park City."
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.