Even with an on-going pandemic, the students of Jamestown High School came through for the community and raised $2,400 for the Jamestown Prendergast Library through their annual Battle of the Classes. The traditional event is in its 41 st year and has raised over $300,000 for local charities and organizations.
“I am so proud of the students this year. It was the first time in 41 years that we were not able to complete our fundraising efforts and have the Battle of the Classes, but they were still able to raise money for a worthy cause in our community,” said JHS Student Organization Advisor Tony Dolce.
The annual Battle of the Classes is a competition to see which JHS class can raise the most money for a designated charity over a two-week time. The Battle normally culminates in a school wide event with fun games, sporting competitions and dance-offs to celebrate their achievement. Due to COVID-19, the in-person Battle of the Classes was cancelled. But that did not stop JHS from coming through for their community.
“We know the library isn’t in the best financial shape and it’s such a great place for our community. So many people of all ages use it,” said JHS 2020 graduate and Senior Class President, Lexi Salvaggio. “We are so happy to give our donation to the library to help them continue to provide services to our community.”
The library plans to use the funds for their MakerSpace area, which is laid out to encourage visitors of all ages to explore independently. Each day, library staff also plans and implement a daily focus activity that is a more formal discussion of a scientific topic. Daily activities include challenges that promote collaboration and critical thinking, where staff encourages children to complete a specific task that relates to a scientific concept (e.g. building a bridge that holds something heavy, identifying an image under a microscope). Any visitor who attempts a challenge receives a free science-themed book. 6-8 STEAM-themed stations change weekly, and are open for visitors to explore independently. These stations relate to different elements of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The space also includes a “free play” spot, where visitors can select from all available activities and explore what interests them. The MakerSpace promotes learning through open exploration, creativity and collaboration, while also encouraging children to apply and improve their literacy skills. These skills are vital to understanding STEAM concepts and lead to success in all subjects.
“It’s amazing what the JHS students did for us, even with schools buildings being closed,” said Anne Greene, Jamestown Prendergast Library Executive Director. “We are so proud and pleased that the students did this for us. It is so impressive to see students care so much about their community and we are thrilled to use the funds for our MakerSpace.”
For more information on the Prendergast Library’s MakerSpace, go to www.prendergastlibrary.org/makerspace.