Updated: Wednesday, 06 May 2009, 6:33 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 06 May 2009, 6:33 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - State Health Commissioner Doctor Judy Monroe was stunned by a
coincidence at Craig Middle School. Weeks ago she was invited
to the school Wednesday to see the children's books 7th grade
students wrote about preventing the spread of communicable
Language Arts, Science, Art and Spanish lessons were combined into one project. Students were challenged to write, illustrate and translate into Spanish, stories about preventing the spread of communicable diseases.
Darby Conner reads from a story she wrote, "They laugh at him and his scrub a dub dubs, so he sits and cries in his clean bathtub."
Darby and her team wrote their story in Dr. Seuss style.
"Because we thought that kids would find it more fun so then they would listen and then they would learn the lesson we were trying to teach."
Teachers knew the books would be cute and creative, but they didn't know what a truly teachable moment they would provide the young authors until a new virus captured global headlines.
"They know why we now need to share this information with younger students so it couldn't have been better timing for us even though it was an unfortunate situation with the flu outbreak," said Language Arts teacher Dianna Kennedy.
Dr. Monroe said the H1N1 flu virus has been a great dress rehearsal for a significant pandemic that she believes is imminent.
"And we found areas to improve upon because it was like a dress rehearsal," said Dr. Monroe.
But like the high marks she gave the students for their books, she also gave Hoosiers high scores for pandemic readiness.
"It's all hands on deck. We're all in this together and I think Hoosiers stepped up like they usually do," said Dr. Monroe.
The 7th graders will read their stories to young, but hopefully attentive audiences at elementary schools and early learning centers in Lawrence Township. The books will be left in the school libraries for future students to read.
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