The Policy Project’s mission is to “is to remove barriers to opportunity through solution-based policy at all levels in society—including policies of governments, businesses, families, and individuals.” One way they are looking to remove barriers for students in Utah is through the Teen Center Project.
In the Fall of 2023, a grant became available through the Utah Grant system linking The Policy Project’s Teen Center Project to available funding. The Utah Legislature funded this initiative with $15,000,000 with additional support from private donors in the amount of $3,000,000. All schools awarded the grant received $250,000.
This grant supports the Policy Project statement that “at the heart of every community is a school” and “by supporting and amplifying school efforts to meet basic needs, via ‘Teen Centers,’ we can help our most vulnerable students graduate and prepare to succeed as adults.” More information can be found at www.thepolicyproject.org/theteencenterproject
Pinnacle Canyon Academy was awarded the grant to build a Teen Center in an existing space within the secondary building. Construction started before Thanksgiving and is projected to be completed by Spring 2024. The Pinnacle Teen Center will pull together all the existing services currently being coordinated through the school’s counseling department.
During school hours, the Teen Center will provide a safe space where secondary students will be able to wash their clothes, shower, work on their grades and meet with therapists. A food pantry stocked through school food drives, employee donations, and school contributions will allow students, staff, and families access to food.
Students in need of services will reach out to their teachers who will coordinate access with the counseling department. Roberta Hardy, Pinnacle’s Chief Administrative Officer and Secondary Principal, said that she is “excited to have everything our students need to alleviate the stressors that make it hard for students to learn.”
The Pinnacle Teen Center will assist students struggling to have their basic needs met and will provide support as they move forward towards high school graduation and personal success in the future. Once construction is complete, a grand opening ceremony will be scheduled to celebrate the Pinnacle Teen Center.
Cole Barton, senior, hit his 1,000th point of his high school basketball career on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, during the varsity basketball game against the team from Altamont. Congratulations, Cole!
Elementary specials continue to keep our K-5 students moving! The elementary student government with adviser Joe Fryer held a Penny Wars fundraiser during December. The money was used to purchase gift cards from Walmart and given to families to use for food purchases during the holidays. Classroom winners were able to throw pies in the faces of Principal Jeri Atwood, Vice Principal Ray Jones and teacher Joe Fryer.