05/17/17 — Solving the problem right under our noses

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Solving the problem right under our noses

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 17, 2017 9:57 AM

Some problems, like childhood hunger, are as plain as the nose on your face.

So when Goldsboro High School students in Janet Krueger's health science-related classes learned about a cause dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty, they were on board.

Red Nose Day -- the national campaign through Walgreens -- is in contrast to the plight, encouraging everyone to don a bright red clown nose, with proceeds going to the effort.

Ms. Krueger decided to involve her students in the health sciences academy, teen PEP, a school mentoring program, and HOSA, or Health Occupations Students of America.

"One of the things we do is make public service announcements," she said. "We wanted to jump on the bandwagon for the Red Nose project because it ultimately relates to the Boys and Girls Club as a beneficiary.

"There's actually eight organizations that they fund both nationally and internationally but the Boys and Girls Club is one that's actually affected here in Goldsboro."

Red Nose Day is May 25, but students will not be in school that day since GHS converted to the Wayne Community College calendar this year. Their last day is May 23.

That's no excuse for not participating, Ms. Krueger said.

"We wanted to bring attention ahead of time to buy the nose for a dollar and make a donation for the kids in the community," she said.

T'ziah Kelly, a sophomore health science student, agreed.

"I think it's good. It's a good way to raise money for the kids," she said. "That's a good cause."

She appreciated knowing a portion of the proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club, as she had been a member there when she was younger.

Senior Natiana Barnes said she appreciated the opportunity to raise awareness in advance.

"We want to get people to realize the day is coming up and how important it is," she said.

The students have done their homework on the subject.

Senior Precious Grant pointed out that hunger and child poverty is widespread around the world. Statistically, it affects one in five children, she said.

"Child hunger's a real big problem here in the U.S.," Miss Kelly said.

"It's a big problem in Wayne County," added Jaiel Ashford, a senior and co-president of the HOSA Club.

And with school getting out for the summer, Miss Kelly said it is especially an issue for those kids reliant on the breakfast and lunch programs schools provide to offset hunger.

The cause is worthwhile, the students agreed.

They appreciate being in a position to get that message out.

Simply by affixing a bright red nose to their face.

It may draw a bit of awkward attention in one respect, but it will be worth it, they say.

"When people ask, we're going to tell them what it's for," said Jacob Owens, a senior and the other co-president of HOSA.

Whether sharing the message in person or through social media, the students said they have gained an awareness of their own -- that their voice matters and it needs to be heard.

"I feel like us being seniors, we're role models," Ashford said.

"They'll listen to us," Owens added.

Even if it did seem like another of their teacher's hokey ideas when it was first suggested, the students said with a laugh.

"We're always willing to do things that will help our community in the long run," Ashford said.

"The point is, if you walk up with a nose on, somebody's going to ask about it," Ms. Krueger reminded them.

Ashford conceded, agreeing that if folks don't hear about it, they won't know about the need.

Getting the word out may "ring in your brain," he said.

"People are willing to help. They just need to know," Owens said.

For the graduating seniors who leave the school behind next week, they said this exercise will be a lasting one.

"It's like I could probably do this later on," Miss Grant said.

"I'll continue in college," Ashford said.