PORT TOWNSEND — Officials with Jefferson Healthcare hospital and the Chimacum School District will work with the state Department of Health to bring a participatory budgeting project into the high school.
The Department of Health has awarded a grant of $5,000 for the project and Jefferson Healthcare of Port Townsend is asking the local community to double the impact of that grant by matching those funds.
Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget, according to Tina Herschelman of Jefferson Healthcare’s Population Health Department.
In this case, the community members will be Chimacum High School students. Students will collect ideas about the school’s needs, develop project proposals and vote on a project to fund, she said.
The participatory budgeting process, developed in 1989, has been used primarily at the city level for municipal budgets.
A nonprofit organization called the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) created a guide for using the process in schools with the aim of developing student leadership and involving the entire school in meaningful civic experiences.
“The process strengthens school communities and generates new ideas to address school and community needs,” Herschelman said.
The partnership will be facilitated by Jefferson Healthcare’s Population Health Department, which focuses on social determinants of health as primary factors that influence health and which is positioned to create a bridge between traditional individual medical care and social needs, Herschelman said.
Those interested in helping Jefferson Healthcare and Chimacum School District amass matching funds for the project can contact Herschelman at [email protected]