One School, One Culture
Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
Ryan Grandis, Investigative Reporter
The government shutdown has effected many people and programs like SNAP. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or also known as food stamps.
SNAP provides people with a debit card and they buy what they need with the money given. SNAP has certain restriction of foods that you can and can’t buy. Foods you can buy are breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, seeds, and plants that produce food for the household. Foods you can’t buy are beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco, pet foods, soap, paper products, household supplies, vitamins, medicines, foods that will be eaten in the store, and hot foods.
Some other foods that you can buy for special occasions are soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, ice cream, seafood, steak, and bakery cakes. Items such as birthday and other special occasion cakes are eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits as long as the value of non-edible decorations does not exceed 50 percent of the purchase price of the cake.
Funding for SNAP is provided by the govenment. While the government was shutdown, SNAP or food stamps were no longer supported by government funding, and were using the last of their resources to give out the last food stamps. Feeding South Florida is the leading domestic hunger relief organization serving 25% of the states food insecure population. According to FSS website, “Feeding South Florida distributes more than 50 million pounds (42 million meals) of food annually to over 700,000 individuals – 240,190 of whom are children and 110,000 are older adults.” F Over 60% of the 706,000 people they serve have at least one working adult in the household, so feeding South Florida really helps these families out. Feeding South Florida has partial government funding but is also getting privately funded from donations and private investors.
When programs like SNAP are shutdown, food banks like Feeding South Florida will have to step up and help people in need. Food banks have been in operation long before the government shutdown. Organizations like Feeding South Florida have helped people who can’t afford to buy groceries get meals. Feeding South Florida using private donations as well as government grants to provide for the community.
As the largest non profit provider in the state of Florida, Feeding South Florida has connections with over 500 retail stores to help get food and supplies. Feeding South Florida helps children, older adults, working poor, single parents, veterans, and former neighbors. Last month, Feeding South Florida hosted six distributions of food in 4 counties. This past week, Feeding South Florida helped TSA, Coast Guard, and other employees working in prisons and at airports. Google has rated the Feeding South Florida food bank 4.7 stars out of 5 stars. Also on Facebook, Feeding South Florida has 110 reviews and has a solid 5 stars. Even though the government reopened on January 28, 2019, the SNAP program will not be able to provide food stamps for 40 days.
Even though none of the middle schoolers interviewed have ever used SNAP benefits or food banks, they gave several opinion on it, John Blunt an 8th grader said that the government shutdown is a very selfish task, and he thinks that the funding for the wall should go to the people in need in America. John thinks that the people inside America should be helped first before helping strengthen our security. He also said that the government getting reopened for three weeks is very good, but the shutdown shouldn’t have even happened in the first place.
Another 8th grader, Liam White said that he thinks it is awful that some families aren't being fed and others have to go into their savings. He also said that the government reopening for three weeks is a step in the right direction, but the government will only be open for two more weeks, which isn’t that good. Dietrich Derenzo said that America has the funding and supplies to provide for the people that need it. The government should help the people who aren’t getting paid instead of not helping them at all.
With the government reopened, most federal workers have gotten their back pay that they missed when the government was shutdown. The government shutdown is a very terrible incident for federal workers, but foods banks and charities have helped federal workers in their hard times. Feeding South Florida reminds us that for every $1 dollar donated 6 families can get free meals.
Effects of the Shutdown
Continued on page 2
Danilo Asbell, Investigative Reporter
A Unity tradition is for our 5th graders to partner up with our kindergarten friends in order to learn leadership and help our young students grow. In the past few weeks, the relationships between 5th grade and our kindergarten friends has gotten even stronger. Recently, they shared their time and enjoyed a visit from the Palm Beach Zoo. The local zoo thought they would pay a fun educational visit to our Unity students. Our students were surprised to find many exotic animals. Palm Beach Zoo was kind enough to bring animals like a python, which is a reptile and a type of snake. 5th grader Ryder Simmel ,commented that it took more than four people to carry the massive snake. The Palm Beach Zoo also brought an interesting species of turtle, the box turtle, as well as a small lizard.
Students took time to discuss the types of animals they were interested in. Jack Walsh commented on his partner’s interest in sharks and their high intelligence. Another 5th grade student,Lennon mentioned dinosaurs as an interest of his learning partner. Most of the students enjoyed the features of the box turtle. Some students debated on which animal was the best. Although the most popular animal that was shown was the snake. The class highly enjoyed their time with the animals and wish to see more wonders of animal life.
Learning partners are an important part of both 5th grade and Kindergarten. We depend on our learning partners to teach us independence and leadership. As somebody who has worked with learning partners and someone who has been someone’s learning partner, I think this is a great way to learn about these qualities, and we all benefit from more activities and contact with our young learning partners.
Learning Partners Get a Visit From the Zoo
Bea Byers, Unity School Photographer
Feeding South Florida
Continued from page 1
Aidan Smith, Investigative Reporter
On January 21st, at a packed Delray Beach Workshop the city commission led by Mayor Shelly Petrolia decided to veto the proposal of bike lanes on Swinton Avenue, a highly controversial topic. This was a major decision because the bike lanes could have destroyed more than 100 trees in the process.
The mass opinion of the public was to vote against the bike lanes. Many people believed that it was not a good decision because there are already new bike lanes on Seacrest Street. Construction of bike lanes would also require the removal of many trees, destroying an important part of Historic Swinton. The mayor proposed that instead of bike lanes, the city is going to replace the streets with new freshly paved streets, and even replacing sidewalks in certain areas.
When asked about the their opinions on the Swinton bike lanes many Unity School teachers and students disagreed. Elementary school Spanish teacher, Senora George, expressed that since the beginning of the movement she disagreed with the general idea of Swinton bike lanes because Swinton is a peaceful street with lots of shade provided by the trees. While Senora George said she does not bike she enjoys walking down Swinton with her dogs and her husband.
Makayla Whelchel, a 6th grade student, mostly agreed with Senora George, but at the onset not knowing about the tree destruction she thought it would be a good revamp for Swinton. Makayla enjoys riding her bike and also enjoys walking in her neighborhood with her family. Makayla would hate to have just a few bike lanes take away the beauty of historic Swinton from Delray Beach. An eighth grader Ryan Grandis gave some very good information on this topic. Ryan said that the trees shouldn’t be cut down because Swinton Avenue is historic and the road just across from it was just paved with sidewalks and bike lanes. Ryan would very much dislike if the bike lanes were added to Swinton.
This controversy taught us that the power of the people is very important. In this situation, the people of Delray Beach did not agree that the idea was good, so they decided to speak up about it. This is major for empowering the people to encourage speaking up against destruction of nature.
A Swinton Avenue Controversy
Name: Mr. Bolivar (Middle School Math)
Full Name: Luis Antonio Bolivar
Teaching Time: 3 years
Favorite Sports Team: Chicago Bulls
Favorite Food: Black bean rice with shredded meat and cheese
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite part about Unity: The whole school
Name: Señora Mini (5th and MS Spanish)
Full Name: Ana Maria Mini
Teaching Time: ½ year
Favorite Sports Team: Italy National Soccer Team
Favorite Food: Italian
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Part about Unity: Small, friendly school feeling
Name: Ms. Simpson ( Middle School Math)
Full Name: Linda Tourison Simpson
Teaching Time: 24 years
Favorite Sports Team: The Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite Food: Pizza and Diet Coke
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite part about Unity: The Middle School students especially 8th grade
Save the Trees
New Teacher Profiles
Continued on page 4
Ryan Grandis, Investigative Reporter Aidan Smith, Invetigative Reporter
Name: Ms. Partridge
Full Name: Carli Ember Partridge
Teaching Time: 15 years
Favorite Sports Team: Seattle Seahawks
Favorite Food: Kiwis
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite part about Unity: The kindness and learning from her students
Continued from page 3
Name: Ms. Methol
Full Name: Linda Methol
Teaching Time: 4 years
Favorite Sports Team: Barcelona soccer
Favorite Food: Italian pizza
Favorite Color: Turquoise
Favorite part about Unity: The students.
Name: Ms. Charles
Full Name: Natalie Charles
Favorite Sports Team: Dallas cowboys
Favorite Color: Lime green and burnt orange
Favorite part about Unity:
Love the small family knit environment and administration is awesome!