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Warren Students Heighten Cancer Awareness In Their Community

by Mia Bivaletz

Two 4th grade students at Woodland School wanted to use their recent REACH, Too! independent study projects to make a positive difference.  Michael Percario and James Young decided to create a charity fundraising event, and the American Cancer Society seemed appropriate as both had witnessed the impact cancer has had within their circle of friends and family members.  While the students initially set out to raise money by sponsoring a community flea market, their project developed into something quite different over time.  It became a week of themed days at Woodland School, each day spotlighting ways to fight cancer. 

They held a “jeans” day to bring awareness about finding out one’s genetic cancer risks, a beach day to remind people to be safe in the sun, and a healthy snack day which inspired Amanda McGrath’s 3rd grade class to send students home with a salad grown entirely in Woodland’s courtyard vegetable garden! Additionally, there was a day for students to say no to tobacco products and yes to fresh air which culminated in them getting plenty of exercise on Field Day, hosted by Woodland’s PE teacher Nick Bayachek.  Students were excited to participate in these events, and the pair raised over $360 in donations from students and staff for the American Cancer Society.

Both boys solved problems, thought critically, and took responsibility for every facet of the project, from making posters and morning announcements to contacting the charity directly and collecting and counting donations.  They even utilized numerous recess periods working on their project in the classroom of their REACH teacher PJ Jones.  These two young Woodland students showed extraordinary compassion and citizenship, in addition to shining brighter every day!

Photo Caption: 

The entire Woodland School pledged never to smoke on No Tobacco Day, one of many days proposed to heighten cancer awareness as well as positive measures towards good health. Shown here (front l to r) are Michael Percario, Mr. PJ Jones, and James Young joined by Woodland students.

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