Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008 | midnight
For their first community service project of the year, National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Members at Jack Lund Schofield Middle School chose to help out their less fortunate peers.
The group hosted a school supplies and toiletries drive Sept. 15 through Sept. 22.
The collections were to be picked up by the Clark County School District’s Title 1 HOPE (homeless outreach program for education), which will distribute the products to those in need.
The program helps children identified by the district as homeless by providing them with basic necessities.
Program coordinator Myra Berkovitz said the number of homeless students has increased from last year.
Between Aug. 25 and Sept. 22 this year, the district identified 2,413 homeless students, she said.
Last year between the beginning of the 2007 school year through the end of September, the district counted 1,642 homeless students.
NJHS advisor Rachael Mikita said the drive is just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed, but she hopes the students will see the bigger picture.
“I think it’s important for them to be made aware of the fact that there are students much less fortunate than them,” she said.
The items collected by the students included travel-size shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and various school supplies.
NJHS member Megan Shannon, 13, said the drive is important because, “Those who can’t afford it need help from the people who can.”
Megan’s fellow group member Sammantha Niemeier, 13, said they did a couple of similarly-based community service projects last year that she thought were really helpful that included a drive for children who don’t have shoes, and a jacket drive.
For the group’s next community service project, it will work together with the student council to collect food items for a local women’s shelter.
Society advisor Colleen Larreau said the drive was important because of an added tension in the Las Vegas community due to issues with mortgages and the economy.
“Things are a little tight and there might be more students struggling to get the things they need, so we felt really motivated to help out this year,” she said.
For more information about Title 1 HOPE, call 855-6682.