By: Brianna Kalina
Small steps can make a substantial difference in someone’s life. Proudly, our Half Hollow Hills school district can prove that this is true. This year, our schools are participating in the international Students Rebuild challenge. Following last year’s tremendous efforts to raise money and support for ocean conservation, this year, Half Hollow Hills is taking this task to a new level and for a different cause. We, along with teachers and students worldwide, are fighting against hunger and malnutrition. All of the money donated towards this cause comes from the Bezos Family Foundation, but nothing is possible without the action taken by students and teachers.
Why hunger you may ask? Hunger leaves more than just immediate health and well-being threats. Overtime, it can hinder the learning and development of children to their full potential. Tens of millions of children worldwide go to bed hungry, or malnourished each night. Our participation in this challenge can help prevent this around the world. The way this challenge works is that students fill out different recipe sheets and color as many other food related templates as possible. For each of the different templates decorated, the Bezos Family Foundation donates $3. If artwork is sent in before March 6th (a deadline that HHH was way ahead of), each piece is worth $6. The Bezos Family Foundation will donate up to $700,000 dollars for contributed student art. Knowing this and knowing how much this can benefit kids around the world, it is our duty to produce as much artwork as possible.
HHH’s participation in this stems from the heart and work of High School East’s Mrs.Cullen. Not only was she the original teacher in our building to take on this challenge, but she was also the one to take it to the next level. In fact, Mrs.Cullen was selected last year as one of eight teachers in the country to go to California and help prep for this year’s challenge! On Friday, February 14, High School East held a Student’s Rebuild Day, with the intentions of producing as much art as possible and spreading awareness to the students. Members of the Amnesty Club, GLI Club, and the National Art Honor Society worked at different stations around the gym, teaching students about hunger and food insecurity. Other clubs throughout our school have also been completing templates independently as well, including the Thunderbird Newspaper staff!
The Hunger Challenge has not ended just yet. So far, we currently have over 25,000 pieces of art, which is equal to over $150,000. This total is not counting our 2 middle schools and 2 other participating elementary schools, meaning there is room for a lot more to be accumulated! These numbers make HHH once again responsible for a significant portion of the grand total. None of this could be possible without Mrs. Cullen, and many other teachers and students in our community. The beauty of the Students Rebuild challenge is that it uses “a unique combination of art and philanthropy as a doorway to greater global understanding” (Students Rebuild). Our district’s involvement, and even just High School East’s involvement in this mission, is not only amazing, but also shows how successfully our school community is able to come together to fight for such an important issue.
Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Jedreicich.