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RHS and Book Lovers partner on project

Students at Russellville High School had big smiles on Monday knowing they had played a part in helping restore the smiles of many children with certain medical needs.
Ninth grade students in Cindy Coan’s Family and Consumer Science class have partnered with the Russellville Book Lovers Club to support Operation Smile, which is an international children’s medical charity that helps children who are born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
Book Lovers supplied the materials for the students to make “no-no arm bands” for the children undergoing reconstructive surgery.
Coan said the bands are like a comfortable splint that keeps a child from touching their face once their surgery is complete.
She said the students chose bright fabrics with kid-friendly patterns to make the bands so they would be something a child would like.
“This was a great project for our students to participate in because not only did they have a good chance to work on their sewing skills but they also had the chance to be part of something worthwhile,” Coan said.
“It’s good for them to participate in community service projects like this so they can see that there is more to life than what they encounter every day – there are people out there with needs that they can help with.
“They had a good time making the bands and knowing that it would help others.”
Coan sad it took students about a week to make all the bands that the Book Lovers would send back to Operation Smile.
“It was great being able to do a project that will make a difference in children’s lives,” ninth-grader Kayla Hughes said.
And it wasn’t just the girls in the class who got in on the project. All the boys in the class pitched in as well.
“It’s not every day that I sew, but this was actually fun,” Dany Baltazar said.
“And I’m glad we were helping people, too.”
Book Lovers has adopted Operation Smile as one of their international community service projects and has supported them for the past 10 years through donations and projects, and this year they decided to include the high school students and give them an opportunity to be part of making a difference in a child’s life.
“We know school organizations are constantly looking for ways to make a difference and we though this would be the perfect project for the family and consumer science students to help with,” Book Lovers president Patricia Cox said.
“In the past we have had these classes assist us in making hospital gowns but this is the first year we have collaborated to do the ‘no-no arm bands’ and I think it was a successful project that will help many children.
“It also shows the students that by working together, you can make a difference. We appreciate Ms. Coan’s willingness to let her students participate in this project and the students for being so happy to help.”