The Sparta High School Student Council focused their energy into doing good for the community this holiday season. Student Council aims to increase their presence in the community outside of Sparta High this year by giving back through various service projects.

The events were overseen by advisors Tim Librizzi and Angela DeLuccia, but implementation was solely left up to the creativity of the student council members.

The freshman class, with assistance from class advisor David DeCrescenzi, supported Wounded Warrior Project. Freshman class President Dennis Specht said, “We raised money for Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that helps wounded and disabled veterans and their families.”

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They collected a monetary donation to Wounded Warrior Project by putting envelopes in all the freshman homerooms.  In doing so they also instilled empathetic techniques to encourage their classmates to make a donation to those whom served for their country.

The sophomore class teamed up with Project Self-Sufficiency in their annual Season of Hope toy drive through a competition between schools in Sussex and Warren counties titled Stuff the Stocking. The sophomore class set up boxes around the school requesting new, unwrapped toys and toiletries for those who need it this holiday season and also accepted monetary donations.

When asked how their service project may impact the way Spartans go into the holiday season, Treasurer Brian Schoch explained, “It showed that we are strong when we come together to donate for families in need.” Additionally, the student council was asked to assist Project Self-Sufficency at their Season of Hope Toy Shop, where mothers go to pick up a toy for their child(ren) for the holidays. The sophomore officers coordinated their events with class advisor Danielle Colte.

The junior class worked with Pass it Along to support Tilly’s Kids. Student Council received a substantial donation from Target of various school supplies and accepted them with bliss knowing they were giving to Tilly’s Kids. For the duration of the entire lunch period on Dec3, 2015, everyone was invited to join Student Council and Pass it Along assemble backpacks. Backpacks were filled with the school supplies, a Sparta t-shirt, and a note to the child. The event was supervised by junior class advisor Dana Miller and Pass It Along advisors Catherine Wille and Catherine Reese. The experience was a success for both Tilly’s Kids and Sparta Students.

Brendan Puszcz raved that Pass It Along is, “an all around great non profit organization. Pass It Along excels at getting a lot done for those in need in an efficient manner; we would most definitely assist them in future service projects.” Puszcz is the junior class President.

The senior class choose to continue participating in Stuff the Bus. In its eighth year, the Stuff the Bus campaign takes the fight against hunger in Sussex County for the most needy residents. With four years of experience, senior class Treasurer Jarod Sasdi gives some pointers on how to motivate students to donate and reach towards increased participation.

Sasdi suggests that, “You need to run events that bring the school together – both fun and effective is key. Instead of aiming towards your specific class, approach towards the whole student body. Reaching the whole spectrum is the best way to go about it.”

With class advisor Shannon Hobby-Psensky, the committee brainstormed various ideas to make the campaign a success. On Dec. 11, the senior class hosted a Student – Faculty basketball game. Admission was either four canned goods or $2; the game brought in an immense amount of canned goods and $450, which the seniors used to purchase more items for the food bank.

The campaign does not conclude until February, thus the seniors are increasing their efforts to give back. At a later date in January, they will station themselves at Stop & Shop of Sparta and hand out a list of items the food drive is requesting in case shoppers would like to make a generous donation.

Overall, Sparta High School Student Council is doing great things for society. The increased determination for working hard is evident and growing with every meeting; the group of students work together for the betterment of Sparta High and the community. All representatives account for all the other clubs at Sparta to work together if similar events arise, and are always open to new members and ideas. 

This article was written by Sparta High School student Elise Kermin for the Oracle, school news paper.