Six-hundred East Valley High School students learned last week about Romania - a land where farming is 100 years behind, where thousands of unwanted children are cast off into orphanages, where some parents actually remove an infant’s hand or foot, so as to have a pitiful toddler who can beg.
Hour after hour, Terri Teasdale, a volunteer for the non-profit Romanian Children’s Fund, spoke and showed slides to upwards of 100 students at a time.
Some students went more than one period.
“It really put stuff into perspective about how good we have it here under democracy and how bad communism is,” said Shaun Skidmore, a senior who attended the presentation during his current world affairs class.
“I went fourth, fifth and sixth (periods),” said Bianca Koepsell, a junior. Koepsell is involved in SOCS, East Valley’s Student Oriented Community Service. She and Mirella Funaro, both juniors, have led the SOCS commitment to adopt a Romanian orphanage.
The immediate need is a heating system. There is none in the crumbling castle where 125 girls live.
“This is an area of Transylvania where it can get 50 below in the winter,” Teasdale told the students. She has been to Romania repeated times and adopted a 15-year-old girl from the orphanage.
One picture showed a vat of water. It was a dismal gray. That’s after all 125 girls washed themselves.
SOCS director Lynn Lauer, Koepsell and Funaro asked Teasdale to come to East Valley in hopes of raising substantial money.
Through a lack of organization and publicity, their efforts fell short. A spaghetti dinner Thursday attracted only a handful of people.
Then on Friday, Teasdale spoke to English, history and current world affairs classes.
“We did it backwards. We should have had the dinner Friday night,” Koepsell said this week.
Students gave whatever small amounts of money they had - sometimes a dollar, sometimes just a quarter.
The service group still will send money to the children’s fund. In other SOCS fund-raisers, more than $1,000 has been raised. Teasdale went home to Colorado with enough socks for each girl in the orphanage.
Koepsell and Funaro say they’ll keep on working for the orphanage, for the same reason they started.
“We had to. For ourselves,” Koepsell said.
Contributions to the all-volunteer, non-profit Romanian Children’s Fund can be sent to Lynn Lauer, East Valley High School, 15711 E. Wellesley, Spokane, WA 99216.
CV helps the hungry
Central Valley High School students are holding a food drive through Dec. 17 for the Spokane Valley Food Bank.
Students from Leanne Donley’s leadership class organized the drive at CV, and also at Blake, McDonald and Progress elementary schools. Food also is being collected at Yokes Pac N’ Save and Safeway.
The students’ goal is to give 6,300 items to the food bank.
Vote on West Valley trees
Each of West Valley’s elementary schools has decorated a tree for “Christmas at Northwood.”
The Christmas trees are in model homes at Northwood. Community members are encouraged to visit and vote for their favorite tree this weekend. Donations of clean, used or new items are also appreciated.
“I don’t have a town hall to put these trees in, so I did the next best thing,” said Sallie Moore, plat manager for Northwood.
The schools and Northwood will donate the trees and the donated items to six charities: the Valley Center, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, SCAN, Ogden Hall and the Union Gospel Mission.
The tree gaining the most votes will be accompanied by a check from Northwood for $100. The second place tree will have a $50 check.
Honors for CV singers
Two Central Valley High School seniors, Daniel Jones and Kimberly Jordin have been named to the All Northwest Choir. The choir is assembled every other year, and 800 students from six states applied for the honor. The choir will perform in March in Portland.
Washington’s All State Choir, which attracted almost 2,000 applicants, includes Central Valley students Jordin, Kasey Graham and Megan Waterbury.
, DataTimes MEMO: The Education Notebook is the spot The Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com
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