INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - State Health Commissioner Doctor Judy Monroe was stunned by acoincidence at Craig Middle School. Weeks ago she was invitedto the school Wednesday to see the children's books 7th gradestudents wrote about preventing the spread of communicablediseases.
Language Arts, Science, Art and Spanish lessons were combinedinto one project. Students were challenged to write, illustrate andtranslate into Spanish, stories about preventing the spread ofcommunicable diseases.
Darby Conner reads from a story she wrote, "They laugh at himand his scrub a dub dubs, so he sits and cries in his cleanbathtub."
Darby and her team wrote their story in Dr. Seuss style.
"Because we thought that kids would find it more fun so thenthey would listen and then they would learn the lesson we weretrying to teach."
Teachers knew the books would be cute and creative, but theydidn't know what a truly teachable moment they would provide theyoung authors until a new virus captured global headlines.
"They know why we now need to share this information withyounger students so it couldn't have been better timing for us eventhough it was an unfortunate situation with the flu outbreak," saidLanguage Arts teacher Dianna Kennedy.
Dr. Monroe said the H1N1 flu virus has been a great dressrehearsal for a significant pandemic that she believes is imminent.
"And we found areas to improve upon because it was like adress rehearsal," said Dr. Monroe.
But like the high marks she gave the students for theirbooks, she also gave Hoosiers high scores for pandemic readiness.
"It's all hands on deck. We're all in this together and Ithink Hoosiers stepped up like they usually do," said Dr. Monroe.
The 7th graders will read their stories to young, buthopefully attentive audiences at elementary schools and earlylearning centers in Lawrence Township. The books will be left inthe school libraries for future students to read.
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