Press Release: GHS to Participate in CT's Voice4Change Initiative


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Kayla Hedman
Community Relations & Special Project Coordinator
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Griswold High School to Participate in Connecticut's Voice4Change Initiative

Voice4Change Empowers High School Students to Decide How Relief Funds are Spent

Griswold, CT (November 23, 2021) - Griswold Public Schools has opted-in to Voice4Change, the Connecticut State Department of Education's (CSDE) student-participatory budgeting campaign investing more than $1.5 million in high school students across Connecticut. A total of 43 districts encompassing 77 high schools across the State have opted-in to participate, giving more than 55,000 students the opportunity to decide how American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds are spent.

Griswold High School and Griswold Alternative High School's 521 enrolled students are eligible to submit proposals starting November 29, 2021, outlining how they would like to spend $20,000 in their school. Proposals submitted by early January 2022 that are deemed eligible by the State and align with the CSDE's ARP ESSER priorities will be voted on by peers at Griswold High School on March 11, 2022, one year after the American Rescue Plan was passed.

The CSDE, students, and the school district will then work together to carry out the winning proposals in each school. Additional funding is reserved to fulfill five innovative student proposals across the State that were not victorious in their school elections.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont explained that the goal for the Voice4Change initiative is to increase student engagement while fulfilling the Connecticut State Board of Education's vision of ensuring students thrive in a global economy and civic life by challenging students to think critically and solve real-world problems. Studies have shown that promoting civic engagement in students can improve academic performance and social-emotional well-being.

"Empowering the student voice is an essential element of a student's school experience. That was a driving piece in the development of our District's 'Vision of the Griswold Graduate,' which includes being an effective communicator, resilient problem solver, critical thinker, and engaged citizen," said Griswold High School Principal Erin Palonen. "The amazing opportunity being afforded to Griswold High School through Voice4Change allows for actionable change with the students at the helm. I encourage every student to think critically about the change they wish to see at GHS and be an active part of this exciting experience."

More information can be found at

About Griswold Public Schools

The Griswold Public Schools offer a comprehensive educational program to approximately 1,700 students in grades Pre-K through 12. This program includes core academics, fine and applied arts, health and fitness, and career pathway offerings as well as special education, remedial support, an alternative high school, and an enrichment program. Griswold Public Schools educates for excellence by ensuring our students are connected, by nurturing individual student talents, and by fostering a future-focused mindset. Learn more at