Teacher sets up blood drive to teach science, giving


January 11, 2001|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE CAFETERIA AT Northwest Middle School was transformed last week from a dining area to a room filled with donors giving blood as part of teacher April Sexton's Life Science class.

Sexton, who teaches the course to seventh-graders, said she proposed the blood drive to help pupils learn about the body's circulatory system.

"I was trying to think of a way to do something for the community and to tie it into their curriculum," Sexton said.

As part of pupils' education, Sexton asked professionals from the American Red Cross to speak about donating blood.

"They spoke specifically about what they do to the blood, how they test it and separate it into its four components," Sexton said. "They talked about how many lives one pint of blood can save."

But the pupils are too young to donate blood. Instead, Sexton asked them to recruit their parents and teachers.

About 45 teachers and parents signed up to donate blood. One was Dawn Waskiewicz, mother of Stacey and Kim Waskiewicz, 12 and 13, respectively.

"I wanted to set an example for the kids," said Waskiewicz, who is a reading specialist at the school.

Waskiewicz said giving blood that day was her first time.

Kim, who has Sexton for Life Science, said one of the things she has learned from the class is how many lives can be saved with donated blood.

"I think it's pretty neat that we're doing this," she added.

Five Northwest Middle School pupils volunteered at the blood drive. They handed juice to donors after they gave blood and asked them to sign a card that would be given to the person who would receive their blood. The pupils are Jenny Chaney, 12, Andrea Chenault, 12, Brittany Hahn, 13, Sara Sewell, 13, and Matt Carman, 12.

The pupils said they were happy to volunteer, but a little unsettled by the procedure.

"I think it's kind of scary walking in here and seeing all these people with needles," Brittany said.

Sexton said she hoped that by seeing their parents and teachers give blood, the pupils would grow up wanting to give blood. Several of the volunteers made squeamish faces at the thought - but not Jenny.

"Sure, I'll give blood when I grow up," she said.

Sexton said the group's goal was at least 30 units of blood.

"We ended up getting 34 units, so we did really well," she added.

Basketball signup

Signup for Taneytown Area Recreation Council's Youth Basketball will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and tomorrow at Northwest Middle School in Taneytown.

The basketball clinic runs eight weeks and is open to girls and boys in grades one through four. Several weeks of instruction will be followed by a series of games. Instruction and games will be held at Taneytown Elementary School's gym. Volunteer coaches are needed.

Information: Bob Broderick, 410-756-2809.

Clothing drive earns award

Last fall, pupils in Gayle Sands seventh-grade class conducted a clothing drive to benefit foster children in Baltimore.

The drive was part of a service-learning program. Service learning is a method of experimental education that links academic learning with student service to benefit the community.

As part of its work on the clothing drive, Sands' class has earned a $200 award from the State Department of Education's State Service Learning Organization. In addition to the cash award, the class was featured on the Maryland Student Service Alliance's homepage last month.

Sands said the class plans to use the money to send new books to the foster children they helped earlier.

"When I talked to the representative from the Baltimore City Social Services, I learned that some of these children have never owned their own books," Sands said. "The class and I decided we wanted to use the money to buy new books for these children."

Fire company bingo

Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 holds bingo Monday nights at its activities building on Memorial Drive.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for platters and sandwiches served by the Ladies Auxiliary. Bingo starts at 7 p.m. Door prizes and jackpots are awarded during the evening.

Information: 410-756-6253.

Breakfast reminder

St. Joseph's Knights of Columbus will hold an all-you-can-eat breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday at the church hall, 44 Frederick St., Taneytown.

The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, eggs, toast, sausage gravy, chipped beef gravy, pudding and hominy, fried potatoes, hot apples and juice and coffee. Cost is $5 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 8 to 12.

Information: Larry Paro, 410-756-6855.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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