Hollywood, FL – June 7, 2012 — A group of seventh graders from Magnolia Intermediate School, in Grass Valley, CA, were assigned an end-of-year team project in their English class to create a video on a charitable organization of their choice. The cause they selected: diabetes. One of the students on the team has a grandfather with diabetes, and a classmate has a brother with diabetes. After researching various organizations online, they selected the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine – across the country, more than 3,000 miles away.
Using the Diabetes Research Institute’s website as a virtual textbook, they created “poetry in motion,” in the style of famed poet Taylor Mali, to share with their classmates and demonstrate what they learned about diabetes and the Institute’s cure-focused work.
Upon receiving a link to the video production from the students’ teacher, the DRI and Foundation were extremely touched and wanted to respond in kind. The faculty and staff recorded their own video – a message of thanks from the organization – which was included along with other items in the personalized packages sent to each of the five students on the team. Other items were Diabetes Diplomats t-shirts, Be Part of the Cure mouse pads and a special poem.
The group’s English teacher, Lori Boothe, replied to DRI staff with a heartfelt email:
Words cannot begin to state the depth of the gratitude we have for what you did in response to the students’ effort. The details in the packages with their names, T-shirts, mouse pad…but especially your poem was amazing! Last night the room was packed with students, parents, the school board, all our school principals, and our superintendent. They were all so moved by your video, that our superintendent thought we should contact a local news station. The school board president and our principal said that they didn’t expect to get teary-eyed in a board meeting. I first showed the student video, then yours, and read the poem.
All I can say is WOW! I believe that you have inspired these and other students to get more involved in their community and to be aware of reaching out to others. Also because of your kind response, our administration is going to support more such projects! The parents were especially impressed because they had not yet seen what their children had produced. We learned a lot from this project, (and whoops, the typos are embarrassing) but we’ll use these as a model and show your great response to inspire kids to see the potential in it.
Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!
Lori Boothe and students
The Faculty and staff of the DRI and Foundation are grateful for new friends across the country who are now part of the cure!
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Lori Weintraub, APR