TORONTO - City high school seniors involved in this year's Washington, D.C., Close-Up program are gearing up for fundraisers and the chance to see the federal government in action.
Although students won't be leaving until March, the time is now to begin raising funds for the trip to the nation's capital, according to Maureen Taggart, high school principal.
"The Close-Up program - we've been participating for several years," Taggart said, adding students typically spend a week in Washington for the program. "It's a hands-on, civic education program for high school students and sponsored by the Close-Up Foundation that enables them to experience their government in action." Taggart said students will have the opportunity to discuss government with other students from across the country.
SILENT AUCTION — Seniors Katie Spadafora, left, Kristen Pursley and Danielle Mason display a couple of the items available through a silent auction to be held Sept. 29 during the public open house at the Toronto Junior/Senior High School. They are three of the 12 students who will participate in the Washington, D.C., Close-Up program this year. All proceeds from the silent auction will go toward the students’ expenses to participate in the program in March. - Contributed
"There are seminars they attend and small group workshops where they discuss current issues," said Taggart of the program. "I think one of the biggest impacts is students are exposed to peers with attitudes and opinions different from their own."
Students also are paired in living quarters for the week-long program, she added.
"They room with strangers, so it's like going to a college and meeting their roommates for the first time," Taggart continued. "It gives students a preview of what college life will be like. It also give them a 'big city' experience."
The program costs about $1,500 per students, so students are fundraising now, she said.
"Our students begin early to raise funds for the trip," said Taggart. "One of our fundraisers is collecting electronic devices to be recycled, including computers, cell phones, electronic devices, CD players and more. We thought this was a terrific fundraiser because it wouldn't cost us anything. Our collection dates will be Oct. 7 to 11."
There are companies that will pay cash for recycled electronics, she added.
"We're also going to have a silent auction from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29 for old items in the high school," Taggart said. "Bidding will be from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The winner of each item will be announced during the open house."
Taggart said the school plans future fundraisers as the trip date gets closer. Anyone wishing to donate funds should make a check payable to the Toronto Junior/High School and send it to Toronto Junior/Senior High School, 1305 Dennis Way, Toronto, OH 43964. For information, call (740) 537-2442.