If you have ever volunteered or been to the Harvest Table in Washington, then you know that it's evident that we have struggling community members. In case you haven't experienced the Harvest Table, let me explain what it is. This program serves meals on Saturday evenings in our community. Meals are made and served by volunteers from one of the five area churches that are involved. People who come to the Harvest Table for a meal, are given as many servings as they would like. Witnessing this first-hand is eye-opening. People in our community need help.
Another local resource is The Little Free Pantry. This is a national organization that has made its way into Washington. The purpose of the organization is to provide donated food and allow lower income families access to what they need with no questions asked. Their motto is “take what you need, bring what you can.”
There are four Little Free Food Pantries located around Washington that are free for struggling community members. The pantries are located at the Washington Public Library, YMCA, Peace Lutheran Church, and the Pregnancy Assistance Center.
You can bring non-perishable food items and personal care products to any of the locations. I’ve even seen things like scarves and blankets in the wintertime. Donating a few food items can provide a family items that they otherwise couldn’t afford.
If your unable to make it to the pantries, you can still donate online. Visit http://www.littlefreepantry.org/. Once you’ve navigated your way to the site, you can go to the dropdown bar and select maps. Then, all you need to do is type in your zipcode and choose what location you would like to donate to. You can now make your way to your favorite online store, purchase your items, and then use the address listed in the description of the location as the shipping address.
I was first introduced to the concept of the Little Free Food Pantries last summer when BJJTV had the opportunity to make our first-ever PSA to promote the incredible organization. Ever since, I’ve made it a personal goal to donate to one of the food pantries at least once a month. I hope that you’ll consider donating as well.
Programs like the Harvest Table and Little Free Food Pantries are making a difference in so many lives. I am thankful they are available for people in our community who are in need.
Until next time,
Dear Mrs. Williams,
You’re one of the most caring and understanding teachers I’ve ever had. It's very apparent that you care about your students and you put so much effort into making sure that your students understand the curriculum.
You’re also one of the most patient teachers I’ve ever had. I think that is very beneficial. You're always making sure that the labs are set up correctly, so that everyone knows what they are doing. I’ve never had a teacher that has cared so much about making sure that their students get the best educational experience possible.
I have had so many teachers in the past that just do the bare minimum. They don’t care if their students are understanding the curriculum, but you go a step beyond by watching videos the night before lessons so that you better understand the concepts yourself. You make your own lessons plans to better suit your teaching style. Also, you take two weeks out of your summer to learn the curriculum for the year. I appreciate it and I think many other students do as well!
You may be laid back, but you have authority over your class which is another reason why so many students respect you and are able to do so well with your guidance. You’ve done so well, not only learning the curriculum for PLTW, but taking time out of your own schedule to make sure we understand what you’re teaching.
Thanks for putting up with me these past three years of school! I’m so grateful that I was able to have you!
February 14th, Valentine's day, is a day filled with love, happiness, and appreciation for one another. February 14th, 2018 will be a day I’ll remember, not for its love and happiness, but for its tragedy and despair. That day will forever be ingrained in my mind. When I heard about the shooting at Parkland, Florida, I immediately had a flashback to a past experience.
It was a week after the Sandy Hook shooting. I was in 6th grade and my class had just come back from a field trip. When we returned, we went straight to the art room. I remember going to class, painting, and having a fun time talking with my classmates.
Then, all of a sudden, my principal announced over the intercom we were having a mandatory intruder drill. We had done these drills so many times that they had almost become natural, but nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen.
Everyone in my class began moving towards a corner of the room and hiding under tables. After several minutes had passed, we began to wonder why we were waiting for so long. Then the principal came over the intercom and said, “This is not a drill. Move away from the windows and to the safest place in your room.”
I was in shock. I had always heard about things like this happening, but never actually thought it would happen to me. We crawled on our stomachs to the closet, which was isolated and towards the back of the room, away from all the windows. We got into the closet and squeezed in as tight as we could and as far back as possible.
I remember being in that claustrophobic closet for what felt like hours. I remember everyone crying, asking the teacher if we were ever going to get out. I remember being so hot that our teacher had to crawl out of the closet to get us a cup of water that we all shared. I remember hugging my inconsolable classmates while trying to keep quiet. I remember sitting in a circle and holding hands with my classmates as we prayed for our lives and prayed for the safety of our siblings.
No words can come close to describing my thoughts and emotions that day. No child should ever have to go through this trauma. After 45 endless minutes of complete lockdown, it was finally safe to emerge from our hiding places. When I came home from school that day I was still in shock. Watching the news that night, we discovered a man had been found carrying an automatic weapon just outside my school.
The week of the Parkland shooting was one of the most depressing and emotionally draining weeks of my life. I remember scrolling through Twitter for hours Wednesday afternoon, reading the news stories, the stories from the survivors, the memorials for the victims, and the tweets demanding action for mental illness and gun reform.
The Parkland shooting really struck a nerve with me because of my experience in 6th grade. I will never understand how some people can read about these events and feel no emotional connection, or any kind of sympathy for the victims, and think that no change is needed to stop these mass killings.
We have become so numb to the fact that these things are happening all the time. School should to be viewed as a second home and a place where students are safe. My mom shouldn’t have to call the school every time that the school is on lockdown. Many of my peers and I no longer feel safe at school. Teachers should not feel the need to immediately lock the door when there is a power outage due to the fear of another underlying situation. I shouldn’t be waking up in the middle of the night because I have reocurring dreams about a school shooting.
The gun that the man had during my lockdown was the same automatic weapon that the Parkland shooter used. I believe that there is no need for militarized automatic weapons to be in the hands of any citizen. I honestly can’t think of a feasible reason for that weapon to be on the streets.
How many more innocent people have to die until something changes? Why is money viewed as more vital than the lives of young, innocent children? When are these lives going to mean something to politicians? Thoughts and prayers no longer suffice. We need change immediately. Enough is Enough.
*If you're a student reading this, I urge you to stay up to date with the news. Be aware of what's going on around you. If you notice a negative dramatic change in someone report it to a teacher, guidance counselor, resource officer, etc. Use your voice, it can save lives.*
*If you're a teacher reading this, I urge you to talk to your students when tragic events like school shootings occur. We want and need to talk about this. These killings affect us more than you know. Don’t just overlook these events.*
I wake up every morning and every morning is the same and is always structured. I go to bed at night thinking about what I need to do the next day and what I need to get accomplished. My life as of now entails the same daily routine, the same high school, the same small town, the same social circle, but when I leave this little bubble I’m living in and enter the world to have all these things taken away, what will I make of it? That’s the scary part.
Not knowing my future terrifies me to the point that, sometimes I go to bed so overwhelmed by the fact that I don't know what the outcome of my future will be. What am I going to major in? Will I go out of state to college? How will I pay off all my college debt? Will I decide to have kids? Will I get married? These are just some of the questions that constantly run through my mind.
There are so many firsts about to come in my life; the first time I will ever have to live on my own, have to fully support myself, vote, walk into my first day of college classes, say my goodbyes to lifelong friends, hear my name get called at graduation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond excited to experience all kinds of different things these next few years of my life, but I just don’t like the unpredictability of it all.
I think that there are so many people, especially teens, that are worried about their future and I wish we could all be guaranteed success, but I guess that’s the mystery of it all. All you can really do is have hope and focus on the present to work toward your success-filled future. I hope that I can look back and know that I did everything I possibly could to get to where I have come to be, had fun along the way, and am happy.
In the sectional tournament, Nash beat out her competitors by four strokes and was denied the trophy to continue on to the state tournament. Why? Because she’s a girl.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) states that girls are allowed to compete in the fall on the boys team, but aren’t allowed to compete in the boys fall tournament. Nash later stated that she was unaware of the rule. MIAA should have taken more steps to insure that Nash knew of the rule and also that the schools were also aware. Better yet, perhaps they should revisit this rule and consider abolishing it since it is 2017 not 1917.
Nash should be allowed to compete at the highest level to allow herself to grow as an athlete, as well as an individual. I believe that Emily should be allowed to play in the state tournament, especially due to the fact that her school doesn't have a full girls golf team! How else could she compete at a the high level she is clearly meant to perform at?
Sleep deprivation has become an epidemic across the nation. Teens especially suffer severely from the symptoms of sleep deprivation.
Young adults need to get around 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night and only 15% of teens say that they get 8½ hours of sleep on school nights. The effects of sleep deprivation upon youth is really starting to show in their physical and emotional health.
There are many reasons that teens aren't getting enough sleep. Many teens contribute their lack of sleep to extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs, overwhelming amounts of homework, part-time jobs, social gatherings, anxiety, and other factors to their sleeplessness.
There are endless amounts of healthy habits to get into to improve the overall quality and amount of sleep you get.
My Thoughts on Global Warming, the Paris Climate Agreement, and America's Role in Solving this Problem
Global warming is something that everyone should be concerned about and want to end. I feel that global warming should be the world’s biggest concern at this point. If the world doesn’t start taking action to reduce and even acknowledge this is happening, the damage already done will be irreversible. Species on this planet will cease to exist.
Global warming is the rise in the Earth’s surface temperature, and it’s caused by a number of carbon dioxide emissions from the constant burning of fossil fuels and the stripping of lush forests of their hundreds-of-years old, beautiful trees, also known as deforestation.
Some other causes of global warming include the pollution created by factories, methane gas produced by landfills and agriculture, and nitrous oxide produced by fertilizers. The list goes on and on.
The effects of global warming are concerning. The lack of acknowledgment and awareness about the issue have caused sea levels to rise while ice and glaciers melt worldwide (especially at the poles). Many species are on the brink of extinction, while others are moving to cooler climates. The increase in the severity of natural disasters, the spread of diseases, coral bleaching, and other irreversible effects will only continue to get worse if action isn't taken.
Over a month ago President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, which is aimed at tackling climate change. Personally, I feel that this was an extremely selfish act considering that 195 other nations signed and are concerned about the planet's future.
Trump says that his reasoning for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord is due to wanting to keep America’s sovereignty intact and believing that America can do things to impact global warming in the US alone.
Global warming isn’t just America’s issue, China’s, Paris’s, or Russia’s; it’s a problem worldwide that needs to start being addressed. America needs to put aside the desire to rule the world and wanting to be independent and finding solutions on their own. Sorry President Trump, but going it alone isn't going to work to solve the Earth's problems. We must unite with other nations to conquer climate change.
At this point, the effects of global warming are extensive and can be experienced everywhere, but it’s not a complete lost cause, although action needs to be taken immediately. There are so many ways to reduce the dramatic effects of global warming. A great start would be to reduce your carbon emission footprint, embrace renewable energy like solar or wind power to help power your home, purchase energy-efficient appliances, invest in a fuel-efficient vehicle, recycle as much as you can at home, and lower the amount of water you waste.
Global warming is a very real thing, and it's not just going to go away on its own. Everyone around the world needs to start taking responsibility and try to stop the effects they may have on global warming. To learn more about global warming and ways to help stop its damaging effects visit: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101