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HOMER-CENTER: Students hold blood drive, collection for homeless

by MICHAEL SWEENEY, Gazette Student News Reporter on November 01, 2013 10:50 AM

HOMER CITY — Homer-Center High School continues to march onwards as more and more donations and acts of kindness have been bustling through the halls.

Homer-Center has kicked off this week with its biannual bloodmobile. Those students in National Honor Society helped with working the blood drive, either by signing in those who came to donate, by walking the donators back to a resting area, or by helping nourish those in the resting area with various drinks and foods. The effort was well worth it, as the blood drive managed to gain 52 pints of usable blood, which will help out many of those in need. Overall, the students helped keep the event running smoothly, and without them, such a day could have easily gotten out of hand.

The pool of generosity doesn’t end there, however. Homer-Center’s homeless drive was held throughout this week as well, attempting to spread awareness of the tragedy known as homelessness. The school urged students to wear blue this past Wednesday in order to signify that we are aware of homelessness in our community and region.

That isn’t everything, though, as students are also encouraged to donate various useful and essential supplies to the homeless in our area. These items often range from pencils and notebooks to simple toiletries. As an additional incentive for students, if a goal of having a total of 1,000 item donations has been met, everyone will be rewarded with a movie. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone at Homer-Center.

Homer-Center’s guidance counselor, Tammy Buffone, said, “Supporting Homeless Awareness Week shows a commitment to helping others and shows our care and concern for the people in our community and in every other community as well. It gives everyone a chance to come together and help out in some way ... and every single way counts.”

Not only do many of the students of Homer-Center have a heart of gold, but there has been some recent activity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The eighth grade has been preparing for a field trip to the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, W.Va., on Nov. 15, in order to experience a simulated space station mission. What might such a mission entail? Well, the mission is titled “Rendezvous with a Comet.”

As the name suggests, the students will be dealing with Comet ISON, which is to make its grand appearance around Thanksgiving. In order to get ready for this experience, Homer-Center’s Sarah Fyock and Anthony Buffone have been incorporating science and math lessons that will be of aid to these students who are experiencing the exploration.

The eighth-grade students will also be assigned various titles in order to really gain an understanding of the process and further discover the thrill of discovery on missions through the solar system. The study gives many young minds some extra experience, as it is not just an effective teaching model. The exposure that Homer-Center students will gain from this will be priceless, as students might have an easier time deciding whether or not a STEM-related career is right for them.

After being prepped for this program, Mr. Buffone recalls, “The entire time that I was at the training I was so excited. All I kept thinking about was how excited our students are going to be for this experience and how relevant the lessons would seem once they got the opportunity to put them to real life applications!”

All in all, life continues to bustle about in Homer-Center, whether students are giving to the community or receiving a wealth of knowledge. Even those in chorus went out to the Indiana Regional Medical Center to give their support to those in need. Between all the various giving and receiving, students at Homer-Center couldn’t be any more proud to be a Wildcat.

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