Purple ribbons are popping up all over Frewsburg to gear up for The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life, and area students are working to show their support.
Students at Robert H. Jackson Elementary School in Frewsburg, Temple Elementary School in Kennedy and Fenner Elementary School in Falconer have been helping The American Cancer Society by working on their ABC's Art Beating Cancer.
"The program, Art Beating Cancer, was created for youths in the schools. Other areas with relays have taken the program on," said Dina Telford, UPK teacher at Temple Elementary School, and co-chair of the Relay For Life.
At left, students from Robert H. Jackson Elementary School, along with teacher Jennifer Swanson, show off the luminaria bags that they decorated as a part of The American Cancer Society’s Art Beating Cancer. At top, students from Temple Elementary School pose with Dina Telford Relay For Life co-chair to display their luminaria bags.
P-J photos by Liz Skoczylas
In their art classes, the elementary students have been learning about preventing cancer, as well as ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students also had a chance to decorate luminaria bags in class, and donate $5 to have their bag on display at the Relay For Life.
"We are so proud to have the students from Falconer and Frewsburg schools involved in this wonderful project. It has been a great way to teach students about the importance of physical activity, nutrition and sun safety in preventing certain types of cancer as well as the dangers of using tobacco all while being able to share a story or draw a picture to support or honor friends or family who have been affected by cancer," said Michael Porpiglia, community executive of The American Cancer Society.
Mrs. Telford said that the program is running in the two districts this year, because she teaches in Falconer and her children go to school in Frewsburg. In the future, she hopes that the program will expand to other elementary schools in this area.
"They are going to be taking some of the bags that the children have made, and they are going to be the centerpieces in the survivor tent the day of the event. The other bags will be placed according to school and grade level, so any families that want to come and see their child's bag on display will be able to locate them fairly easily," Mrs. Telford said.
Although the final numbers aren't in yet as to how much money the two districts have been able to raise, Jennifer Swanson, visual arts and technology teacher at Robert H. Jackson Elementary, estimated that the school had raised more than $200 toward the cause. And, Mrs. Telford guessed that Temple Elementary had brought in around $600, though she was unsure of how much Fenner Elementary had raised.
"We had a lot of bags returned with in honor of or in memory of a family member or a friend of the family that has had cancer. There aren't many families that haven't been touched by cancer," Mrs. Telford said.
The Relay For Life will be held May 19 from 12 p.m. until 12 a.m. There will be a chance to see the luminaria bags that the students created, as well as other events surrounding Relay For Life.
"It's a day of good fun and fundraising for a great cause," Mrs. Telford said.