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Union Elementary Students Discover
The Joy Of Reaching Out To Others
BY SUSAN USHER
Dayna Ramsey-Sanders' class
was hard at work last Wednesday
Working in teams, nearly 30
youngsters were busily painting,
cutting and sketching winter scenes
as they decorated collection boxes
for the Brunswick County Literacy
Council's Holiday Book Share.
"It's so kids who don't have many
books can have some." one earnest
That's the kind of love in action
you're going to see a lot more of at
Union Elementary School, to the
benefit of both students and commu
nity. For, as philosopher and author
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote,
"It is one of the most beautiful com
pensations in life that one cannot
sincerely try to help another without
Every classroom is blending vol
untarism into the curriculum, with a
different focus at each grade level,
in a project guidance counselor Sue
Chapman and volunteer coordinator
Trish Poulos are calling GIVE. It's
an acronym for Getting Involved
"We had people coming into our
school doing things for our students,
but our students weren't doing any
thing for others," said Chapman.
"That distressed me. I felt like we
had the wrong focus."
Chapman said Dayna Ramsey
Sanders was one of the first teachers
at Union School to involve her stu
dents as volunteers. Those students
benefited so much last year that her
classes were already making plans
this year to reach out to the commu
nity again even before the GIVE
project got under way. In addition to
decorating book boxes, her students
save money and shop fui non-per
ishables for the Volunteer and Infor
mation Center (VIC); visit Autumn
Care nursing center in Shallotte
weekly and write residents whom
""They so look forward to going;
that's all they talk about all week.
They leave those people feeling so
good," said Ramsey-Sanders, who
has seen several children blossom in
ways not possible in the regular
STAff PHOTO BY SUSAN USHtK
DRESSING UP children's book collection boxes for the Brunswick County Literacy Council are
Union Elementary School third grade volunteers (clockwise from left ) Drew Sellers, Renee McCray,
Deseree David, Kyle Hughes, Eugene Hill, Rocko Auerbach and Brandice Jordan. Looking over their
work are guidance counselor Sue Chapman and teacher Dayna Ramsey-Sanders.
classroom. Center residents benefit
too; one staff member praised a stu
dent for drawing out "her" senior
during a half-hour visit more effec
tively than staff had been able to do
over a period of months.
In a math project, students saved
money for a month and clipped
coupons for non-perishable foods.
Then, in cooperation with Food
Lion, the youngsters shopped. Using
their calculators, they compared
prices of coupon Items, other brands
and generic products. With their
combined savings of $150, they
bought foodstuffs to donate to VIC's
emergency food pantry.
"They had workpH harH to save
that money, but gladly brought it in
for VIC," said Ramsey-Sanders.
"They felt good about doing some
thing for someone else."
That's what GIVE is about, com
passion and the intrinsic rewards in
volved in helping others.
"This will help teach our students
not to be self-centered. They're
learning to serve and help other peo
pie," said Chapman. "Isn't that
what's life all about ? people help
A $15,000 ServeAmerica grant,
one of only 12 awarded to schools in
North Carolina, underwrites the cost
of the new effort as well as continu
ing the ATTAC tutoring program for
a third year and supporting a part
nership with the carpentry class at
West Brunswick High School. AT
TAC is a cooperative venture with
the Brunswick County Literacy
Council that brings 20 volunteers a
week to the school to work with 60
students in second through fourth
grades who are having trouble with
reading The high ?-hnr>l carpentry
students will be building bird houses
and window boxes for elementary
student projects, as well as toys for
Union's special education class.
Through GIVE, kindergarten and
first grade classes are focusing on
environmental issues, particularly
recycling and composting. They arc
also planning an Earth Day celebra
tion next spring. First graders partic
ipated in Beach Sweep, meshing sci
encc lessons on the tide and the
coast with picking up litter.
Working with the elderly is the
focus for second grade students.
Each has "adopted" a local nursing
"We're just getting started on
this," said Chapman. "They're writ
ing letters; I have the first batch here
to be delivered. They will be making
art projects to share and will be vis
iting the nursing home at least quar
To prepare, students arc reading
stories about talking to the elderly
Share Gift Of Reading
During Holiday Season
Share the gift of reading!
The Brunswick County Literacy Council is collecting new and like
new children's books for its annual Holiday Book Share.
The books will be included in Christmas baskets given to low-income
families across the county by the Brunswick County Volunteer &
I Ast year the council and VIC distributed more than 700 books for chil
dren and adults. This year the council is collecting piily children's books.
"The Volunteer & Information Center tells us that the families that
will reccive baskets this year generally have at least three children and
sometimes more," said VISTA worker Aaron Tate. "We think that the
children's books will be well read. We figure every household either has
a child or has a child in its extended family."
Third grade students of Dayna Ramsey-Sanders at Union Elementary
School have decorated collection boxes that are being placed at sites
throughout the county.
1\vo area bookstores that are also serving as collection points, L
Bookworm Book Store at Holden Beach and Little Professor Book
Cerier in Southport, are aiding the effort by offering discounts on books
purchased for donation to Holiday Book Share.
Unwrapped books may be brought to the literacy council's office on
U.S. 17 at Supply or dropped off at any of the following locations before
Monday, Dec. 12: Wal Mart, Camp United Methodist Church, Shallotte;
L Bookworm Book Store, Holden Beach: Book Nook and Calabash
Presbyterian Church, Calabash; Seaside United Methodist Church,
Sunset Beach; and at town halls in Boiling Spring Lakes, Leland, Long
Beach, Southport and Yaupon Beach.
For more information call the council at 754-7323 or, if calling from
outside the Atlantic Telephone Membership Corp. service area, 1-800
and talking about their experiences.
"Nursing home residents get a lot
of attention during the holidays, hut
not as much at other times. M said
Chapman. "I think we can help fill
in the gaps."
As part of their science classes,
third grade students are focusing on
plants ? growing them and sharing
them. The youngsters plan to take
the flowers they grow and use them
to beautify Hope Harbor Home, to
create window boxes for the literacy
council's office and to brighten the
rooms of nursing home residents.
The fourth grade is continuing its
peer helper conflict resolution pro
gram. This year third graders will
participate as well.
Fourth graders arc also participat
ing in a volunteer program that takes
advantage of the current focus on
improving writing skills. Students
arc writing stories longhand, key
hoarding and printing them using
the computer, illustrating and bind
ing them. Then they plan to read the
stories aloud to kindergarten stu
dents and give them the "books".
"I'm really excited about this pro
gram." said Chapman. "I think it's
the best thing we've ever done "
October's Weather Was Cool, Very Wet
Temperatures for October aver
aged slightly below normal, but pre
cipitation was unusually high, ac
cording to the monthly climatoiogi
cal report of the National Weather
Service Wilmington office.
Average temperature for October
was 64.4 degrees, or .9 below nor
mal. The average high was 74.6 de
grees, with the warmest being 83 de
grees on the 1st and the 31st.
Average low was 54.2 degrees,
with the coolest temperature being
41 degrees on the 28th. No record
high or low temperatures occurred.
Precipitation for October totaled
8.53 inches, or 2.69 inches above
the long-term normal. A record daily
precipitation of 5.5 inches was set
on the 13th, breaking an old record
set in 1942.
Measurable precipitation fell on 9
days, compared with 7 days for a
normal October. Thunder occurred
at the weather station on one day,
about normal for the month. The
greatest 24-hour rainfall was 7.01
inches on the 13th and 14th.
Wilmington had 9 cloudy days, 7
clear days and 15 partly cloudy
days, a cloudier-than-normal month
for a normally dry month. Accord
ingly, sunshine averaged only 44
percent, compared with a long-term
normal of 65 percent. Likewise,
daytime sky cover was 8/10, com
pared with a normal of 5/11).
Dense fog occurred on six days,
compared with a long-term average
of 2.5 days for any October.
Mean wind speed was 7.9 miles
per hour, about normal for October.
The peak wind of 37 miles an hour
occurred on the 3rd and the 15th,
both from the north with the passage
of storm systems.
For All Of Your Help and Support!
Glenda C. Browning
fJAanH you fox yowt vote
and Aivpypmt in the
j\xwemfie>i 8 election.
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