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JHS Students Join in “The Shred Ahead” Project with CAP

shred it JHS students in Betsy Rowe-Baehr’s Justice for All classes sponsored a fundraising and positive mental health opportunity called “The Shred Ahead” to benefit the Child Advocacy Program (CAP) to help bring awareness and support as domestic violence and child abuse is on the rise in our community.

“The Shred Ahead” project was an interactive opportunity for JHS students and staff to look back on the last year and to look forward at what it has taught them. The Justice for All classes provided a two-sided activity handout to everyone that challenged students and staff to write down the worries and woes from last year that they would like to shred and reclaim their mindset with positive value statements that they kept.

“I believe it’s important to look back on what you went through to see how far you’ve come,” said JHS junior Regan Coombs. “A lot of our experiences through the past year have surely been less than comforting or joyful, and being able to shred those thoughts is, in many ways, freeing.”

Throughout March, Justice for All students had a "SHREDDING Station" before school and during some of the school day where people could come by and shred their worries and woes and relish in the temporary and satisfying freedom of letting those shreds go! The Justice for All class also kept track of the financial progress in the vibrant blue, front hallway cabinet, and when this campaign is complete, the paper shredding remains will be further donated to the animal shelter for bedding.

"It gives students a chance to make a difference in our society and help people out in need for whatever they are facing,” said JHS senior Anthony Melendez.

JHS students and staff were encouraged to shed even without a machine. Participants were encouraged to just tear, rip, or cut the half-sheet worries as they saw fit. They also encourage participants to capture the moment and start a small social media movement by taking and posting a photo of the experience.

“This challenging year has warranted reflection and this exercise can dismantle how these stresses have had power over us,” said Mrs. Rowe-Baehr. “Justice for All students are actively learning about their influence and agency to make an impact; knowing that the pandemic has exacerbated domestic violence and abuse is overwhelming, and we wanted to help. Shredding what’s past and donating for what’s ahead is a simple way to get involved and connect.”

The inspiring part of the project has been sharing how the JHS community is moving forward. Lessons learned were put on office and classroom doors, and conversations were had about these truths; it's been helpful to the whole school to be reminded of what matters most. And the essential part is that the school is donating money to CAP as part of this project.

“Giving children a voice especially where their own physical and mental safety is concerned should be more pronounced and I believe if there’s any way to contribute, we should,” said JHS junior Anisha Edwards. “Shred Ahead also gives a great reflection point for those looking to move on from the past year’s challenges.”

CAP is grateful for Jamestown High School’s help.

“The Child Advocacy Program staff is impressed with the creativity of the Justice for All students and so appreciative of their efforts to raise money to help children who have been abused,” said Karen Yeversky, CAP Family Advocate/Training Coordinator. “It’s inspiring to see youth helping youth and we thank all those at JHS who participated in some way with the Shred Ahead initiative.”