After beating out several other schools in the DMV area, CHS won WTOP’s Click for Kids contest earlier this month, giving the school a grand prize of $10,000. Runner-ups include J. Michael Lunsford Middle School, which won $7,500 and Eastern Middle School with $5,000.
“Another school had moved up from seventh or eighth place all the way up to second in one day, so I was like ‘oh, they’re coming, they’re coming.’ So it was cool to know that once five o’clock hit on that day, that we were still up front,” Principal Edward Owusu said.
In the days leading up to end of the contest, Owusu and the rest of the staff tried mobilizing everyone they could in order to win. Announcements were made every day telling students and staff to vote, and many teachers also encouraged their classes to do the same.
“I was like ‘how can we get more people to vote?’ so I started calling friends and family and I called other people and they were calling their friends and families,” Owusu said.
Once it was announced that CHS won, students were elated, though everyone had differing opinions on what the money should be used for. Each person had a different issue that they felt was particularly pressing.
“The school should get better hand dryers and fix the bathrooms,” sophomore Patricia Guillen said.
Others mentioned specific departments that they thought needed more financial support, such as the technology and art departments. Students taking technology and art classes are unhappy with the way classes are conducted and hope something is done about it.
“In Studio 1, we keep on using Crayola colored pencils and stuff like that, which is quite upsetting because how do you expect to make good art when you’re not giving us good supplies?” sophomore Samira Koraganie said.
Owusu hopes to spread out the money in different ways. He wants to use the money towards mentoring, as well as school programs and field trips. A major thing that he wants to address is lowering the cost of AP exams for poor families who can’t afford it, considering that the full cost of an AP exam is nearly $100.
“I really wanna use it for stuff to improve school morale, just improve the school in general,” Owusu said.
In addition to receiving money that will greatly help improve the school, winning also generated a great deal of school pride among students.
“Well, I was not really surprised and pretty happy because I knew that Clarksburg always comes out on top and that we were gonna win,” sophomore Asma Tariq said.