This Tuesday, Belvidere voters will decide whether to support a 35-cent property tax increase. It's the only way to open a new high school without cutting all after-school activities in the district. Now students are working to stir up support.
Belvidere High School students are pleading voters in their community to remember one little word on Tuesday's elections, yes. Yes to a 35 cent tax increase and yes to saving the clubs and sports they call essential parts of their lives.
"I do it during school, I do it after school, I just couldn't imagine not having these things," says Belvidere Hgh student Trevor Beardsley.
Many can't imagine college applications without their favorite activities.
"It's crucial to our futures because colleges are going to accept someone that's been involved in activities over someone that hasn't," says student Kelsey Blachford.
The district needs the 35 cent increase, that adds up to about $1.88 a week more for the owner of a 100 thousand dollar home, to open Belvidere North High School and make up a $2.8 million shortfall. If the referendum fails, the money will come from major budget cuts, including those after school activities.
"For students that's such a loss. I can't even begin, you can only imagine," says student Brittany Koteles.
Finding themselves at a loss for words, students decided to make their point with a silent parade.
"We wanted to show the community what kind of void this community is going to see if these activities go," says Koteles.
And encourage voters to support one last shot to keep sports, music and theater from going dark.
"This is going to effect so many different people on so many levels and it isn't just about the 35-cent increase, it's about our futures," says Blachford.
A 65 cent referendum to operate Belvidere North failed last November, causing the $2.8 million shortfall.