Park City High School club turns attention to COVID relief
Park Record intern
The impacts of COVID-19 have rippled throughout the community, affecting day-to-day life for almost everyone who lives in Park City.
Among the many Parkites who have stood up to help during the pandemic are the members of the National Honors Society at Park City High School. The club plans to sponsor a mask drive toward the end of the month to help mitigate COVID-19 risk in the community, as well as performing numerous other service-oriented projects.
The National Honors Society is a nationwide organization for high school students. Its selection criteria include leadership, scholarship, service and character, and members provide many service projects for the school and community.
PCHS’s chapter is co-led by seniors Linsday Miller and Caroline Waldman. The club still has the same mission and goals as it did the previous year but is shifting its focus to COVID-19.
“In times like this, we’re basically adapting the whole year because of COVID to try to help the impacts,” Miller said. “We definitely understand how hard it is.”
This month, members will be making masks to ensure that all students have access to face coverings. They will also make instructional signs to be placed around the school, detailing safety protocols and coronavirus symptoms.
“I know that our school needs a lot of help right now, so we’re going to do that, but we also want to help the full community in any way that we can,” Miller said.
More projects are being planned, including some that go beyond the walls of PCHS. For instance, the club plans to have students drive and deliver groceries to elderly residents.
While both projects will be fulfilled by students who are attending in-person classes, the National Honors Society is accommodating remote learners as well. One project that the remote learners will be working on is writing “thank you” letters to health care employees and other frontline workers.
“It’s really hard for students right now to be online, and so we’re definitely making sure the club is available to everybody regardless if you’re online or in-person,” Miller said.
Although the club is organizing many small projects, it is also focusing on a bigger project this year. Each year, the National Honor Society holds a school-wide food and supplies drive that benefits the pantries at the Christian Center of Park City and Saint Mary’s Catholic Church.
The drive collects donations ranging from canned goods to clothing.
This year, the number of Parkites relying on food pantries has increased due to the pandemic, meaning the drive is more important than ever. To that end, the National Honor Society wants to collaborate with other clubs at the high school, as well as reach out to other schools, Miller said.
“We’ve contacted Wasatch High School and we are hopeful of having our food drive competition with them this year, which is awesome to try and have that friendly competition between two schools because it will get so many more students involved,” she said.
Additionally, the club teams up with the Ouelessebougou Alliance, a nonprofit based in Millcreek. It partners with villages in Ouelessebougou, a region of Mali, West Africa, to deliver sustainable health, education and self-reliance programs.
The National Honor Society works with a representative from the alliance to try and raise enough money for the Bassa school, an elementary school in West Africa. The club is working to ensure students have enough school supplies along with a good classroom environment to learn in.
“They’ve especially had a lot of troubles this year because of COVID. We’re going to help them like we have in the past,” Miller said.
Throughout the year, the club encourages members to donate to the cause, as well as organizing bake sales and other fundraisers to earn money for the alliance.
The club’s main goal this year is to help PCHS students, the community and the region of Ouelessebougou.
“Our plan for this year is basically just hoping to help out our community in any way possible because we really need it right now,” Miller said.
The arsenic-and-lead-containing soil has been a contentious issue for the district, which piled it onto the junior high campus in actions that were later discovered to be in violation of a covenant with the Environmental Protection Agency.
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