Project Thanks

Chloe DeFilippo, Reporter

On October 16th, the seniors of Briar Woods High School gave up what was essentially their day off in order to give back to the community by volunteering for Project Thanks. 


That day, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors of Briar Woods High School took the Preliminary Standard Aptitude Test (PSAT.) Because most seniors have already taken the SAT and are in the process of completing their college applications, they are exempt from taking the exam. Due to the long length and strenuous nature of the test, most teachers refrain from giving work on PSAT day. Thus, PSAT day has informally been deemed “Senior Skip Day.” Our senior class sponsors, science teacher Amber Poniatowski and English teacher Meredith Mjonnes realized this trend and wanted to encourage seniors to use their “free day” to better their community. So, Project Thanks was born. 


On Wednesday, hundreds of seniors gathered in the cafeteria at 8:40 AM where they were met with preliminary rewards for their service in the form of bagels, muffins, and donuts from our generous parent volunteers. Then, they were sent on their way on buses to various volunteer sites including the Salvation Army, Mill Run Elementary, a food bank, Eagle Ridge Middle School, and more. 


At Mill Run Elementary, four students split up to help teachers in their daily routines, which included handing out quizzes, helping with subtraction problems, and making origami cranes at recess. At Eagle Ridge Middle School, Briar Woods students oversaw the classroom, organized teachers’ papers, and shared anecdotes about high school to anxious middle schoolers while Salvation Army volunteers sorted and packed donated items. 


“I think Project Thanks was a good idea because it takes seniors who wouldn’t be doing much normally,” said senior Chelsea Imholte who volunteered at the Salvation Army. “Using our free day to volunteer is great because it gives us a break from senior year and applications and it sets aside time to give back to the community.” 


Overall, it looks like Project Thanks has been a grand success, and hopefully this year’s event will be the first of many.

Photo taken by Sabah Pajarkar