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Herkimer BOCES 12:1:1 class raises money to
bring music, smiles to children battling cancer

May 21, 2014




ILION – Students in teacher Roseann Norod’s Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES 12:1:1 class have raised more than $800 to help provide music to children battling cancer.

The students have been selling $2 heart stickers through the KEYS Program of Sherrill. Every $20 raised results in a child who is battling cancer receiving a “smile” package that includes a CD, an MP3 player or musical toy, a book and information about how music can help.

Norod’s class is on its way to reaching its goal of raising enough money to provide the music packages to at least 50 children.

The class has aimed to get information out to the community and act as role models to others for what can be done, student John Kraszewski said.

“If they see us, they might follow us and donate money,” he said.

The class voted to pursue the effort as this year’s character development project after Norod heard about the KEYS Program, which is a nonprofit children’s charity with a goal of providing music, hope and happiness to kids battling cancer across the United States.

Norod’s 12:1:1 class operates out of the Herkimer BOCES Remington Educational Complex in Ilion and includes students from several school districts in the Herkimer BOCES region.

In addition to John, the other students in the class are Robert VanGorder, Cameron Markowski, Sahlenna Failing, Kari Maass, Michael Clemons, David Edwards, Matthew Baldwin, Jedda Lou Crim, John Barhydt, Brittney Emery and Chris Keiner.

‘Support them’

The $2 heart stickers the students have been selling are meant to be worn on your sleeve on Friday, June 13, in memory or honor of someone who has battled cancer. This is done the week before Father’s Day each year in honor of KEYS Program co-founder Colleen Bennett’s father, who died from cancer, but was soothed in the hospital by listening to music.

All of the students have sold stickers, and their families have been supportive.

Norod’s class also has been raising money in another way.

Normally, Norod grants the class a smile token for good behavior each day, and when enough tokens are collected, she buys the class an ice cream reward.

The class, however, voted recently to forgo the ice cream rewards, and instead Norod is donating $20 to the cause each time enough tokens are earned.

“Anything we can do to support kids,” Norod said.

Turning down the ice cream to help the children was a decision the students didn’t hesitate to make, John said.

“We can get that anytime, and kids battling cancer may not have that option” he said.

‘Ready to go’

Some students from the class also recently joined Norod to put on a presentation for the Herkimer BOCES Board of Education to help spread information about the KEYS Program and collect more donations to help children battling cancer.

“They are battling it every day, and it’s sad,” John said, during the meeting. “We want to help them by donating money.”

John later said he wasn’t nervous about the meeting because he is comfortable and confident speaking in public. His purpose for speaking was to tell the board members what the class is doing and to ask for help.

“I was ready to go and do what I had to do,” he said.

Robert said the meeting was his first time speaking in public, so he was nervous. When the students successfully completed the presentation and the board members said they did a good job, he felt “awesome,” he said.

Kari said speaking to the board was easier than she expected it to be, and the positive reaction was nice.

“It felt good,” she said.

‘Passing it on’

The class has some other plans to help as well – including using a video Norod and her students made to help spread information about the fundraising efforts. The infomercial will be available at www.herkimer-boces.org.

“Children shouldn’t have cancer, and they shouldn’t have to battle it alone,” Michael said.

In another effort to increase awareness, Matthew created animal characters such as an elephant and a macaw and made posters with sayings such as “It’s ele-fun to help the community” and “It’s macawesome to help others.”

The class also is considering reading the book “On the Night You Were Born” and recording it, so it can be played for children. Another idea is to write their own version of the book as a class, call it “On the Day You Were Born” and use Matthew’s animal characters as the illustrations, Norod said.

It’s all about raising awareness and providing “happy feelings for the kids who have cancer,” Chris said.

“So we can have other people help us donate and get more for the children,” he said.

The class also talked about the concept of “paying it forward,” Norod said.

“You keep passing it on,” Kari said. “Do something kind, and someone else does something kind.”

For information about donating to the KEYS Program through the Herkimer BOCES class, email Norod at rnorod@herkimer-boces.org. For information about the KEYS Program, visit www.theKEYSprogram.org.



Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES teacher Roseann Norod’s 12:1:1 class speaks to the Herkimer BOCES Board of Education on May 15, 2014, about raising money for the KEYS Program to provide music to children battling cancer. Pictured from left to right: Norod, student Robert VanGorder, student Cameron Markowski, teaching assistant Shelley Smith, student Sahlenna Failing, student John Kraszewski, student Kari Maass, student Michael Clemons and Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington Principal Kim Conley. The other students in the class are David Edwards, Matthew Baldwin, Jedda Lou Crim, John Barhydt, Brittney Emery and Chris Keiner. For information about donating to the KEYS Program through the Herkimer BOCES class, email Norod at rnorod@herkimer-boces.org. For information about the KEYS Program, visit www.theKEYSprogram.org.




Students in Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES teacher Roseann Norod’s 12:1:1 class have been raising money through the KEYS Program to help provide music to children battling cancer. Pictured here, some students from the class speak to the Herkimer BOCES Board of Education on May 15, 2014, about their efforts.




Matthew Baldwin, a student in Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES teacher Roseann Norod’s 12:1:1 class, sits on May 19, 2014, with posters he made to spread awareness about the class’s efforts to raise money through the KEYS Program to provide music to children suffering from cancer.





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