More areas to be refurbished at RBHS

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Katie Topouria

Who knew an online vote would make a difference in where students eat lunch?
That’s what happened last year at Rock Bridge High School, after the school won a $25,000 prize through a State Farm contest called “Celebrate My Drive.”
CMD rewards schools for the practice of safe driving. The program gives any school across the nation a chance to win by registering their school on www.celebratemydrive.com. The top 10 schools that receive the most votes win prize money to help toward teaching about safe driving as well as anything in their school that needs funding.
During the 2013-2014 school year, RBHS took a part in CMD and was up against more than 1,000 schools. The online voting went on for a week, and RBHS won a $25,000, which RBHS received at an all-school assembly, but only recently has the administration begun spending the money.
“Because we won that [contest], we had $25,000 to put toward anything in the building that we wanted to,” RBHS Assistant Principal David Bones said. “A part of those funds were shared with Hickman and Battle, but a significant amount was here for our school to use.”
After the the announcement, teachers and students were thrilled and showed pride in their school for the achievement.
“I was so excited when I found out that Rock Bridge was one of the schools that won,” sophomore Peyton Jones said. “It is so cool that the whole school came together and did something as awesome as this.”
After receiving the prize, Bones formed a committee of students and teachers to discuss school needs. That committee recommended furniture improvements for student common areas. A part of the prize money was recently spent on buying new tables and chairs that were put by the Planetarium, where students would often times eat without having a proper place to sit.
“Throughout the year, lots of kids would end up eating lunch on the floor and the Rock Bride staff, as well as myself, thought it would be a great idea to have different areas where students could eat lunch,” Bones said. “The new tables and chairs are a result of the funds being put to use.”
After the success of putting up tables and chairs by the planetarium, Bones asked social studies department chair Austin Reed to solicit feedback from studies teachers as to improvements in the atrium. Most of the suggestions given by the teachers were regarding furniture, such as purchasing additional wooden benches and rolling dry erase boards; however, setting up extra tables and chairs was the most popular suggestion.
“The tables and chairs that are meant to be put up in the atrium are taking the longest time,” Bones said; “however, it will all be in place for the upcoming school year.”
Aside from teachers, several students are delighted by the change in the atrium.
“I am excited for the tables and chairs to be put up,” freshman Abby Stewart said. “The benches in the main commons are always taken, and as a sophomore next year, I won’t be able to leave school, so I really like that there will be extra places when I can eat lunch with my friends.”
Bones said, unlike the 2013-2014 school year, this school year the CMD program had schools that were twice the size of RBHS in the race. Because of that, Columbia’s three public high schools decided to come together and enter as one school, so that their chance of winning would increase. If they won, the prize money would have been split among the three high schools; however; CPS didn’t win.
by Katie Topouria
Photo by Katie Topouria