By KAITLYN NAPLES
For one month, between November and December, students and staff at Bristol Central High School, and community members, were actively voting for the school to win The Clorox Company’s “Power a Bright Future” contest. The results proved that advocating, working together as a community, and being positive can definitely pay off, since Bristol Central High School won $25,000 in the contest, to go towards renovations of the school’s auditorium.
When she’s not teaching students foreign languages, or working with the school theater productions, Gina Gallo Reinhard is focusing on writing grant proposals, and has had some success so far. The Clorox Company’s “Power a Bright Future” can be added to that list of accomplishments.
“We were up against some pretty big schools, but we remained in the top five throughout the entire contest,” Gallo Reinhard said, adding that it was “a testament to the entire Bristol community.”
The Clorox Company’s “Power a Bright Future” grant program, was giving away $50,000 to the school with the most votes. The contest, which was a national one, allowed for the schools to enter into one of three categories: play, create and explore. Bristol Central entered into the “create” category, with the request to win so it can renovate the high school auditorium, a room used by the entire Bristol community. There were seven grants given away, four based on the number of votes and three based on judge’s pick. The school with the most votes received the $50,000, and then the six others chosen based on either votes or judge’s pick will receive a $25,000 grant each.
Gallo Reinhard said in a previous interview that she wanted to ensure that this grant does not just benefit the music or theater students at the high school, but will benefit every student and faculty member that walks through the auditorium doors. A group of students worked on a series of short videos that were comical displays of the renovations needed in the auditorium, which were used for the contest.
“I’m hoping the students are able to learn that if you all bond together you can make moves,” Gallo Reinhard said, adding that she wanted to Bristol community to know “that a little effort definitely goes a long way.”
Going forward, Gallo Reinhard said she wants to see if she can garner up more support for additional renovations to the auditorium and see how “we can get the biggest bang for our buck.”
Right now, the auditorium needs things like new seats, since some are broken. Other possibilities would be to install its own lighting and/or sound system, because the theater department has to rent those effects for every performance.
Lindsey DiPietro, an English teacher at Bristol Central who also directs the high school plays, said in a previous interview that the school usually spends about $2,500 for lighting and sound for fall performances. In the spring, it costs about $4,000 for one performance.
Mayor Art Ward congratulated the school at a recent City Council meeting, and said when he would get to his office every morning there was always a reminder to vote.