Middle-schoolers help dodge heart diseaseBy TERRI REUTER
Publications/public information coordinator,
Southern York County School District
Throughout October, students and staff at Southern Middle School dodged heart disease by playing dodge ball, wearing hats and pajamas to school, as well as voting for their favorite character. As part of a campaign for the American Heart Association, students and staff raised more than $1,869.31 for the Dodging Heart Disease fundraiser.
Students paid $1 to wear hats and pajama pants on various days. In addition, staff members participated in Staff Jean Days, when they paid to wear jeans. Students also collected pledges to compete in a dodge ball tournament. Each dodge ball team consisted of six members, with a total of 21 dodge ball teams that participated. The top teams from both seventh and eighth grades competed against the staff team. The event culminated as students and staff teams battled each other in dodge ball at Susquehannock High School.
“Each year, we have made more than the year before, said Darla Pennewill, Southern Middle School physical education teacher. “Our goal is to improve from year to year and we accomplished that.”
The school also held a Parade of Characters contest, a competition where staff members dressed as their favorite action heroes. Students voted for their favorite hero by placing money in the characters’ jars. The ‘heroes’ paraded across the gym during the tournament.
The Parade of Characters included Laura Szkudlapski and her student teacher, Beckie Voss, as Sock Monkeys; Bob Cousineau as a Ninja Turtle; Melissa Bazner as Glinda the Good Witch; Andy Warren as William Wallace; Dio Mendez and Donna Shick as Popeye and Olive Oyl; and Mike Konzelmann, Steve Funk, Steve Hildebrand, Caleb Walls, and Len Reppert as the Village People. Walls’ portrayal of the Policeman won this year’s Character contest.
“A big thank you goes to the Parade of Characters as 12 teachers/administrators dressed up in costume to surprise the students as well as the staff who formed the staff dodge ball team,” Pennewill said.
Parent volunteers also help contribute to the success of the fundraiser. “It was great to see the staff and students come together and participate in PJ, Hat and Jean Days,” she said. “We coordinated our final assembly with our PRIDE reward day. It is always enjoyable to have the assembly in the high school gym. The marching band added a great touch to the program.” The PRIDE program (which stands for Prepared, Respect, Integrity, Do Your Best, and Engaged) is the school wide effective behavior system.
“There were many opportunities for students to get involved throughout the month of October,” Pennewill said. “It was very fun and enjoyable for all of us at Southern Middle School.”