West Boca High AP Students Win Scholarship

West Boca High AP Students Win Scholarship for Literacy Project
Posted on 10/14/2020
Elementary school student holding a book.

Ten West Boca Raton Community High School students have been awarded a $50,000 AP and WE Service Scholarship for a project they created to encourage literacy at a local elementary school.

The students were enrolled in an AP Research class in which they conducted studies investigating the impact that poverty has on literacy, and the long term effects that lower literacy rates have on communities.

Once the research was completed, the students developed a service project that included a series of activities to promote literacy in younger children. The students partnered with a fourth-grade class at nearby S.D. Spady Elementary School to implement their strategies and encourage a love of reading.

The AP students served as pen pals to the younger students, writing personalized books for them and creating engaging activities to reinforce reading and writing. Additionally, the group raised funds to add a literacy corner in the classroom of Kelsey Brown, a teacher at Spady.

“The connections and bonds that were built and continue to grow between the [high school and elementary] students were and continue to be huge in helping to build confidence within the students, while also fostering a love of literacy,” Brown said. “Their care and love is endless and has truly touched the lives of each one of my students.”

“While participating in AP with WE Service this year with my peers in AP Research, all of us collectively had developed a bond amongst ourselves and our wider community of Palm Beach,” said West Boca High student Chloe Campton. “It became apparent that we were a part of a cause much greater than we originally thought; youth literacy.”

The students also created a social media campaign and website to share the importance of literacy. “The social media campaign was more of a way for us to reach an audience that went beyond our age group because those were the people we needed to reach in order to ignite change, said Ariana Martinez, a West Boca High student. “In our AP Research class, we learned about how important it is to look at ideas from different perspectives.”

 According to their website, “the AP with WE Service Scholarship was created to recognize students for the completion of their service-learning projects for AP with WE Service and reward exceptional students who have made a positive impact on their local and global communities.”

The West Boca High scholarship was one of only two awarded this year. A student at the school noted the value of the scholarship and its overall significance. “Being granted this scholarship has shown me that hard work, determination, and a strong individual and group effort can pay off greatly,” said Andrew Salk.

The School District of Palm Beach County