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      Westover Park Jr. High students give back to community

      Westover Park Junior High School students are stepping up to give back to some sick patients in our area. They're doing that, by raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

      The 7th grade English, Language, Arts students are reading a book about a family's struggles with leukemia. It's that story that has sparked the students interest in raising money for the local Make-A-Wish Foundation. Pronews 7 is featuring their good deed in this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education.

      That book is called, "Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie" written by Jordan Sonnenblick.

      "In this book the main character's little brother is diagnosed with leukemia and it talks about how the family goes through the disease, not just the patient. The reason we like this book is the main character is the same age as our students and they go through the same experiences and the same emotions in this books as our kids do," said English, Language, Arts 7th grade teacher, Michelle Houk.

      Houk said the book also inspired the students to give back to the community and decided they wanted to raise money for the foundation. For the last two weeks, the three 7th grade ELA classrooms have been in a competition. Students have been buying paper links to add to paper chains in the hallway. So far, raising $628.

      "The kids were really interested in it. They love this book, but they feel felt like they wanted to do something to help, to help the community, to help other children that are diagnosed with leukemia and their families".

      Students say the book has even changed how they treat their fellow classmates and their attitude toward them because you never know what they may be struggling with and keeping inside.

      "You really don't know what's going on at home with them so it's better to treat them the way you'd want to be treated," said 7th grader, Lauren Burnett.

      "It effected me because you realize how hard it is for the family going through it and you never really realize it until you actually read the book," said 7th grader, Miracle Massey.

      "Even though they're 7th graders they can make a difference in our community and in people's lives and they can connect that to the book that we're reading," said Houk.

      The last day for the competition is Friday, February 15th. The winning classroom will get a technology day, where they get to bring what ever form of technology they way to class.