Published: Thu, February 09, 2017
World | By Lorena Waters

Largest elementary school blood drive in the state at Burns Park |

Largest elementary school blood drive in the state at Burns Park |

Sandy Kreger joins Sandy Kreger joins Principal Chuck Hatt (aka "Cowboy Bob" in a round of "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man" Josh Martins-Caulfield helps out at the blood drive, as he does every year.

Story & photos by Jo Mathis, AAPS District News Editor

The state's largest elementary school blood drive is underway today at 7:30 pm at Burns Park Elementary, March 10, 2015.

Appointments are not necessary, so it's not too late To save a life.

Fifth grade teacher Sandy Kreger started the drive with her students about 12 years ago because she had always wanted to make a difference in a big way. I said, "I want to help!" "She recalls." At first I was not sure how, but it did not take long for us to put our heads together.

Some of those former students, including Josh Martins-Caulfield, now return to volunte

"I love contributing to the blood drive because I think it's a great cause," said Josh, an eighth grader at Tappan Middle School, sitting at the intake table. Kreger's current fifth graders chaperone donors, register donors, and are "cruise directors" guiding donors to the right places and offering magazines and snacks.

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The students are also in charge of childcare, give donors muffins and drinks, And give donors their goody bags.

Each donor gets a hand-written note from the fifth graders.

"We learn about blood, about teamwork, Says Kreger. "The students are two inches taller after knowing at this young age that they can make a difference. They can help save lives. "

" We are essentially our own competition because we get so many pints. We tend to average in the 80s, but I am shooting for 90 for this drive. Most smaller drives get about 20 pints. "

As if that was not enough, Main Chuck Hatt provided the entertainment for the afternoon, donning a cowboy hat, picking up his guitar and adopting the person of "Cowboy Bob" as he sang songs he's written, and others by Bob Dylan.

"It's a great cause," he said, between tunes.

Kelley DeLong, representative for the American Red Cross, said the blood drive is "outstanding and super exciting . "

" I was not lucky like this, "she said. "I grew up in the 70's, when we did not recycle. We did not wear seatbelts. And we certainly did not think about blood. These kids are learning such an important thing so early in life, and these will be our donors of the future. Fifth graders Dawsen, Kyle, Rohit and Francis welcome donors to the blood drive.

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