Six proposals were selected as finalists for the statewide initiative, Voice4Change, which will award $20,000 to an innovative student idea that will help improve Staples High School. The vote will take place on March 28 and 29. Below are the finalists.
Free tutors for those who need them
Ayaan Olaswere ’24 has created a proposal that would allocate funds for free tutors for students who cannot afford them.
“Each school department will receive a portion of the $20,000 and use it to hire free tutors for students who cannot afford to pay tutors, those who qualify for free meals,” said Olaswere. “hired tutors will be contacted when a student requires assistance.”
She explains that even though Westport is a wealthy town, we still need to make sure everyone in the community is supported.
“Staples is fortunate to be in a city where many families are economically well off,” she said. “However, not everyone is in the same position. We need to ask ourselves: do we have a responsibility to help students in our school community who are struggling and cannot afford tutoring? This will give struggling students who cannot afford a tutor a chance to be mentored and able to do well on standardized tests, intermediate and final exams.
set me free
Led by Camille Kolek ’23, Adelia Purcell ’23 and Miriam Hurley ’23, the Staples Feminists Club created a proposal to install dispensers of free feminine products in all school bathrooms.
“Currently the dispensers in the bathroom require quarters and they don’t work either,” Kolek said. “We think pads and tampons should be free and we shouldn’t have to pay for them because they are a necessity like toilet paper and paper towels.”
Currently, there is no easy access to pads and tampons at Staples.
We believe pads and tampons should be free and we shouldn’t have to pay for them as they are a necessity like toilet paper and paper towels.
— Cami Kolek ’23
“The only free ones available are in the nurse’s office, which means that students have to take time during their studies to go to the nurse’s office and get them, which is extremely unfair,” said Kolek. . “I think people should vote for us not just for the increased convenience of accessing pads and tampons, but because of the mental stressors that periods put on students, worrying about bleeding in your clothes , worrying about running out of pads and tampons, worrying about leaving something on too long or having to hide things when you bring them to the bathroom. This proposal would alleviate these stressors.
Staples Student Government
Led by Ella Alpert ’22, Lyah Muktavarm ’22 and Tessa Moore ’22, TEAM Westport created a proposal to establish student government at Staples.
“Student government will consist of representatives elected by the entire student body and each class will have a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer,” their statement read. “Members can also create committees based on their purpose or needs. These committees could include social media, mental health and diversity.
The funds will be used for both office supplies and government initiatives.
“Student Government Classroom Office Supplies […] includes desktop computers, a printer, miscellaneous office supplies like printer ink and paper, and furniture like sofas, ottomans, and comfy chairs because we want the government hall to be a place where students feel comfortable and empowered to make a difference in the Staples community,” wrote TEAM Westport. “The remaining $10,000 will be used for government initiatives.
CEE You in the Lab: Bringing Community Engineering and Entrepreneurship to Staples
Logan Goodman ’24, Rebecca Schussheim ’23, and Jeffrey Pogue ’23 created a proposal to offer an engineering and entrepreneurship course at Staples, modeled after Scarsdale High School.
“Our proposal implements a new classroom that allows students to work in teams of five on a year-long project focusing on sustainability, disability, equity and well-being,” Goodman said. “Each team will identify an issue in these four key areas and partner with a community organization that is either directly affected by the issue or helping to alleviate it.”
They also propose the creation of a STEM laboratory.
“Second, we propose the creation of an engineering and design laboratory that will be open to all high school students and staff,” Goodman said. “CEE equipment and software will be freely available, and students will be able to pursue projects in fields such as mechanical, electrical, computer or audio engineering, graphic design, animation, 3D printing, architecture and more.”
Leaders of the CEE proposal believe that impacting the school will bring about more change for the community.
“High school students will have the unique experience of seeing their work produce substantial change, and once they understand that they can make change in their community, they will become active participants in the world and bring this agency to bigger issues,” Goodman said. “If implemented, this proposal can set a new statewide standard for STEM education.
Tutor Bus Service
Henry Foege ’23 hopes to use the funds to transport Staples tutors to low-income schools.
“My proposal is to take the $20,000 and facilitate student transportation to schools in Bridgeport. It’s important because there’s a huge literacy gap because of Covid and they really need people to help them.
The proposal would benefit both Staples tutors and students.
“I think it’s a great cause. It helps kids in need and I think it’s a great experience for people who want to become teachers in the future or mentors of any kind,” Foege said. “The only cost is the buses, so it could last at least 5 years.”
Refillable water stations
Led by Gaby Brinck ’22, the Zero Waste Committee created a proposal to increase access to better filtered and more refillable bottled water stations.
“We were hoping the $20,000 would be used to buy more filters. Most often I see them red, but we would like more accessibility to drinking water,” Brinck said. “We would also like to buy more refillable water stations so that we can reduce the number of plastic water bottles we buy in the cafeteria every day.”
The proposal serves as both a physical improvement to the school and a sustainability statement.
“People should vote for our proposal because not only would it impact Staples for years to come, but it would also raise awareness about sustainability and how we can make Staples a better place for the environment. in general,” Brinck said. “But it would also impact generations of children who come here, so it wouldn’t be short-term.”