Throughout the month of October, schools in the Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) community made strides against breast cancer. Students ages four through fourteen decided, each in their own way, to spread cancer awareness both in their community and borough, as well as help raise donations for the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Cancer does not discriminate; it is a disease that can affect anyone of any race, gender, sexual orientation and age group. Although its widespread affects are well-known, there are many women and men who do not have cancer screenings. Local schools: Primary School Abe Stark 346 (PS 346), Gateway Intermediate School 364 (IS 364) and Frederick Douglass Academy VIII (FDA VIII) decided that if they want to spread cancer awareness in their community, then they need to urge residents, family members, friends and all others to be diligent with their doctor visits and help donate towards a cure.
On October 15th, the entire student body and faculty of PS 346 made strides against breast cancer by wearing pink t-shirts, ribbons and buttons to show their support for breast cancer awareness month.
Throughout PS 346, students drew pictures with messages of hope and love for all of those who have been affected by the disease. One poster said: “Supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors, honoring those taken and never giving up on hope.” Although October is known for being Breast Cancer Awareness month, the school’s faculty teaches students about all forms of the disease, the importance of raising money for research and that the walk is one way to honor those who have battled breast cancer.
For over six years, the school has participated in the SCT’s annual Breast Cancer walk. Joining this year’s community walk were faculty members, Joan Charles, Onika Hawker and a member of the PTA, Shelly Holloway. In addition to participating in the walk, these three women also sold various breast cancer awareness products to help raise money for the ACS.
In October, on a cool autumn afternoon, onlookers, waved their hands and drivers honked their horns in support as FDA VIII’s students circled the blocks surrounding their school, carrying signs and chanting, “Breast cancer, breast cancer, let’s find a cure!”
About 200 students and their teachers participated in their fifth annual SCT’s neighborhood walk in support of “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” as part of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) nationwide public awareness and fundraiser campaign.
“Every year the school walk gets bigger and better. The students become more involved, and show how much they care by walking, wearing pink, donating money, and even joining the SCT’s community walk,” said FDA VIII teacher, Kathleen Yearwood.
The walk was both a moving and inspirational experience for 11- year-old Amaya McCune, who said “There are a lot of people who have cancer, and I think participating in this walk is our way of giving back and doing our part in finding a cure.” The school walk was a first for McCune, but it will not be the last. She plans on continuing to spread awareness and help her community by putting up flyers and making phone calls to get people to donate to the ACS. “There are so many types of cancer, and we have to keep speaking out, so that a cure can be found for all types of the disease,” McCune said. Aside from FDA VIII’s student walk, the school also hosted a breakfast where attendees paid $5 for delectable food prior to attending the SCT’s Community Breast Cancer walk on Saturday, October 24th. All of the proceeds were donated to the ACS.
For the students at IS 364, spreading breast cancer awareness is about team work. Wearing pink, creating intricate “Find a Cure” signs and walking around the community chanting about the importance of getting annual check-ups is not all that the students did to help the cause. For months, both IS 364’s student body and faculty have been training for their annual teachers versus students, breast cancer awareness soccer game.
According to IS 364 Principal Dale Kelly, “The primary goal of this annual event is to bring everyone together, and recognize the significance of this worthwhile cause. Sometimes children can’t fully grasp the concept of cancer, and by holding this event we are helping our students take a philanthropic stand in spreading breast cancer awareness, and encouraging them and their families to donate to the American Cancer Society.”
In the spirit of team work, student soccer team captain Kyaw Khant thinks that it’s wonderful to see everyone so supportive of breast cancer awareness. “By just walking around the community, we are helping to find a cure,” said Khant, who believes that the combination of the walk and game helps to get more people involved in breast cancer awareness.
Escorted by members of SCT’s Public Safety, students walked from their school on Geneva Loop to and around the “G” Lawn, where they chanted, “IS 364 making strides against breast cancer!” After the walk, the students, who were not on the soccer team, sat on the lawn and watched the game commence.
The game was highly competitive, since the teachers have won almost every year. The students had their game plans ready as they tried their best to defeat IS 364’s faculty. In the end, the student’s practice proved to have been helpful, and they won the game 3- 0.
“The game was a success,” exclaimed Physical Education instructor Parnel Legros, who was proud of the school’s soccer team. “Everyone did their best to help spread awareness for a good cause, and it was nice to see the teachers and students rally together.” Photos by Amanda Moses