Food For Thought to be relocated to MAC

    macstudying

    With the library undergoing construction, Palo Alto High School students use the Media Arts Center as a place to study. During the week of finals, this area of the MAC will be teeming with many more students studying for final exams at Paly’s Food For Thought event. “In the past our numbers have been over 225 [students],” Event and Activities Specialist Mary Ellen Bena said. Photo: Dylan Zou

    Food For Thought, a biannual nighttime study session for students, will be hosted in the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Center this year due to the reconstruction of the library, where it has been held for over eight years.

    According to Paly Librarian Rachel Kellerman, Food For Thought will take place on the first three days of finals week, Dec.18-20.

    “The idea behind Food For Thought is to keep student facilities open late to let them work on projects or study for finals,” Kellerman said.

    Event and Activities Specialist Mary Ellen Bena says that the MAC will be open until 8 p.m., and the library in the Student Center will be open until 5 p.m.

    According to Bena, the first floor, conference room, MAC library and some other classrooms will be available for student use.

    “The classrooms available will depend on how many teachers we have each day after school,” Bena said. “I don’t see this being a problem, as teachers are very supportive of this program.”

    According to Bena, Food For Thought has attracted over 225 students in the past, but there is no need to worry about overcrowding. 

    Students will be provided dinner at Food For Thought, just like past years. Bena says that dinner is served at 6 p.m. and made possible by ASB and special budgetary funding.

    Beth Martin, a volunteer coordinator at Paly, will bring a group of adults with trained service dogs on all three days, according to Bena.

    “They [the dogs] are there to offer any type of support needed to help students get through these long days,” Bena said.

    For those who want a different place to work, some Palo Alto City Libraries will be hosting Finals Cram Slam, a four day period with special hours for high school students who want to study or get emotional support.

    The Rinconada Library will host a session on Dec. 16 and 17 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., opening the library past normal hours. However, a high school ID is required to enter, according to its website.

    The Mitchell Park Library and Teen Center will host their portion of Finals Cram Slam on Dec. 18 and 19 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., also extending past normal hours. According to its website, during this time, there will be snacks and therapy dogs as well.

    According to Dave Sigua, a member of the circulation staff at the Rinconada Library, the Finals Cram Slam at Rinconada will only be in the Embarcadero Room.

    “We want to make sure that other people will be able to use the library as usual,” Sigua said.

    Matt Watson, who works at the front desk of Mitchell Park Library, says that the Mitchell Park Library’s Finals Cram session will be in the Midtown Room, along with the provided snacks and therapy dogs.

    According to the Palo Alto City Library’s page, this program is funded by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, is “a member-supported non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Palo Alto Public Library and its users through volunteerism, book sales, and advocacy.”

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