By Bhagya Pushkaran and Carmen Blum – Do we get enough funding? You’ve probably bought a muffin or two, some World’s Greatest Chocolate, or even a snow cone at Festivus. Maybe you didn’t even buy anything, you simply got a free pouch of milk fro m the weight room. Where do these snacks come from?
By Bhagya Pushkaran and Carmen Blum –
Do we get enough funding?
You’ve probably bought a muffin or two, some World’s Greatest Chocolate, or even a snow cone at Festivus. Maybe you didn’t even buy anything, you simply got a free pouch of milk fro
m the weight room.
Where do these snacks come from? To the great pride of Lincoln High, we offer a variety of clubs and activities–some of which, are Boys Tennis, Powerlifting, DECA, and Slam Poetry. These aren’t the most closely related, but all have one thing in common: lack of funding. Where is the money?
We see many schools sporting coordinated athletic uniforms, or having lavish equipment, and while some of our programs are gifted with outstanding resources, others may be left without the opportunities to use new technology or updated equipment. Shouldn’t all programs get an equal opportunity for beneficial and quality materials?
Slam Poetry. Lincoln High’s pride and joy in the English department. Our peers work hard to deliver award-winning, heart-wrenching poems that resonate within the depths of human emotion. Of course this team needs a great acoustic area and microphones to practice the projection of their voices, and new technology to help them type out their poems using tools to build grammatically correct, and new work. But, what does our Slam Poetry team really have? An interview with fellow student and Slam Poet, Bailey Steinbach, expressed her feelings about Slam Poetry and the funding behind it:
“We get our funding from LTAB [a competition named ‘Louder Than a Bomb’] and they give us [the team] a collective team investment. I know we have to pay for our T-shirts, but we get the money for rides and transportation from LPS and LTAB. Honestly, the better that our team gets and the larger it becomes, the more funding we get,” says Steinbach.
According to Slam Poetry sponsor Deborah McGinn, the season costs around $600. “What I do, from the beginning, I have to raise this money,” McGinn explained. “So I went out to Sam’s Club, and for the first three or four times, I invested quite a bit of my own money to make sure that I had something to even sell, and I do not reimburse myself for that. But at least, every day, I can be doing something from the very beginning of school to the last day to at least help with some of that,” McGinn said stating how near and dear to her heart this club is. Holding two state championships, they have rightfully earned their place in our community, as well as a fair share of the wealth from our school too. So if they deserve this, then where’s the money?
DECA: Distributive Education Clubs of America is a leadership program that competes in national competitions around the United States including places like Kansas City, Missouri and Anaheim, California. This is just one club a part of 3,500 high school chapters in the nation. The traveling costs for these types of events that they go on are high, and definitely not easy to coordinate. They rely on both fundraising, and also out-of-pocket money to take trips estimating over $300 per student. Clubs and teams like DECA have worked relentlessly to fundraise during the school year and even coming together during summers to try and work up the money for many low-income students, trying find ways to go on these trips. Although fundraising isn’t necessarily a bad thing, what club wants to raise thousands of dollars each year? And how would you like to pay hundreds of dollars to go to a conference miles away for a public school organization? They need help and support. Where’s the money?
Sports can play a major part of school budgeting. Tennis and powerlifting are just a small part to the huge world of high school sports. These students take time out of their already excruciating life dealing with homework to come everyday and practice their skills to compete in competitions and bring home the wins. They need the best equipment money can get. The only way to improve is improve our technology, and resources.
Boys Tennis is an NSAA official sport. Just like football, volleyball, girls golf, and cross country, the other fall sports. In Nebraska, with such bipolar weather, it can range from being a warm and sunny day to a dark and chilly night. They’re running with the best they can get, but that isn’t a ton compared to others. We all know the statement “Be grateful for what you have”, but what if we could get better? What if instead of just T-shirts, we could get a variety of clothing with our sport logo on it, we could get new equipment that’s more efficient, we could even get better transportation to different places! Tedd Sandberg, coach for varsity boys tennis, voiced his opinion on it. Being a baseball coach for 12 years, Sandberg says who wouldn’t want a bigger budget? “This is more from a baseball aspect, but it’s always nice to get more equipment or better equipment.” If Sandberg was given the opportunity of a bigger budget, he would spend it on weather-friendly clothing that could help the players because when playing tennis in the fall, it can range from 90 degree weather to below 40 in a couple of hours.
You may have seen the new black foam rollers in the weight room, which is great, but there are many other aspects to maintaining your health in a weight room-not to mention the costs of powerlifting competitions and transportation. We are starting fresh with a relatively new coach, Stewart Venable, who has already innovated a whole new vibe in the weight room already. Venable has a group of hand-selected athletes dedicated to putting in work in the weight room. This team of individuals competes in tournaments, which we have placed in, that are held during and out of the school year. Here’s what one of the athletes, senior Wyatt Vivier has to say. “Coach Venable, and Coach Watson are two of the most influential men in my life. They treat me with the utmost respect and I respect them immensely. They genuinely care about each and every lifter whether they’re on the team or not,” Vivier said, “This program has a Venable. Nobody else in the district has a mind like his. He is perfect for the job…Ultimately, it is my belief that the weight room is not solely for the purpose of building muscle mass and enhancing performance ability, but in a larger picture, the weight room’s purpose is to build camaraderie between teammates and students alike.” Clearly, there are a lot of people who love and care for this weight room and program in itself. And with a program as strong as this, they should be supported both community-wise, and financially. So may we ask once again, Where’s the money?
As you can see, there are many issues with any school system, and this happens to be a major one that affects our school deeply. Yes, our school board works and helps us in many ways we can’t imagine not having but it is our job as a community to help provide ourselves with what we need to become successful in these areas.
What can we do to help? Reach out to your administration, not just at Lincoln High, but come to a local school board meeting, email the director of that department, or just make yourself heard. The first step to helping yourself and these organizations is exposure. Are you ready to start the fight towards a better future in the funding for our school?
Can you help begin the search for the money?