Child development class raises students’ infant awareness

<p>These nine Hermiston High School students — Madisen Morgan, Lindsey Pope, Sarah Hawman, Abby Gray, Makeba Lake, Destiny Valdovino, Karen Montes, Diana Lomas and Patricia Andres — recently completed a series of projects to raise awareness and funding for healthy child development.</p>

For three weeks, nine students in the child development class at Hermiston High School worked to increase awareness of infant prematurity and how healthy habits benefit teens now and in the future.

At the end of the project, they raised about $200 to donate to March of Dimes and Good Shepherd Medical Center.

The project involved three fundraisers:

• In Bagels for Babies, students sold orange juice, bagels and toppings to talk about the importance of folic acid in prenatal development.

• Students sold Ring Pops for $1 each to raise money for the neonatal department at Good Shepherd Medical Center.

• Under the umbrella “Treats for Tots,” students hosted a bake sale in the commons, selling cookies and cupcakes during lunch periods for one week. Proceeds from the bake sale will go to March of Dimes.

Students would hand out cards about the importance of mothers being healthy before and during pregnancy.

“It went really well,” Destiny Valdovino, a sophomore, said of the bake sale. “A lot of people would stay and listen to what we had to say and ask questions. The people who bought them felt good not only because they got cookies but because the money was going to a good cause.”

All of the students are members of the child development class at Hermiston High, and most are members of the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club.

Most students said they took the class because they plan on working with children in the future, including as parents, teachers, day care providers or pediatricians.

“A lot of us want to do things with kids in the future, and the class, it really helps because when we had the bake sale and people asked questions, we could give them answers,” Valdovino said.

Senior Abby Gray said she plans to use information from the class in her future career goal: primary school teacher.

“I’ve learned a whole lot about how their brains work, how they develop,” she said. “It’s exciting, and there’s a lot to learn. You learn not only why they cry and fuss but how to deal with them correctly when they do.”

Through the class, students watched a video from the March of Dimes, one of the FCCLA national service projects this year, and that inspired the fundraiser project.

The video covered the importance of healthy behaviors and how those behaviors impact a person’s future.

“Since the students were pretty interested in the information from (the March of Dimes organization) and shocked at the number of babies that are affected by prematurity, I?challenged them to think of something they could do to help,”?Child Development teacher and FCCLA advisor Susie Cobb said Thursday. “Due to the size of the class, they broke into groups with each group planning a project to either raise funds or raise awareness about prematurity."

Gray said she would encourage students to do it again next year but to do better advertisements beforehand and visit classrooms to sell items.

“We made pretty good profit for a few hours work, and it’s a good project,” she said. “Hopefully we can continue to develop these in later years so people recognize the signs and know what this is for.”

Three students will present the project at the FCCLA state competition in April.

Two other participants will use aspects of the project in the “chapter showcase,” a summary of all the club’s activities in a year, at the same competition.

“We’ll talk about what we’ve done and what we want to change, which is getting more male and female committed members,” sophomore Makeba Lake said.

The group asked the FCCLA club to sponsor materials for the bake sale, and students purchased bagels and Ring Pops for the fundraiser.

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