At the Plantation Key School in Tavernier, Florida, students in the fifth and sixth grades are the proud authors and illustrators of a new book, called "Have No Fear Walk with Me." The book tells the story of two children in Africa who receive measles vaccinations from a Red Cross volunteer. The book teaches young children about measles, the vaccination process, and the role of the Red Cross in helping to reduce measles in Africa.
Shannon McCormick, a student at the Plantation Key School, reads the book from "Have No Fear Walk with Me".(Photo Credit: Grace Connors/American Red Cross)
Immediately after the students saw a presentation on the Measles Initiative by Michelle Sutter, a volunteer for the American Red Cross of Greater Miami and The Keys, they knew they wanted to get involved with the program. In addition to the book, the students put together presentations and a short video clip about measles to educate their fellow students about the disease and the Measles Initiative.
“For one dollar, they could save a life,” said Sutter. “This was profound to many of them that for so little they could help so much.”
The Measles Initiative is a partnership committed to reducing measles deaths globally. Launched in 2001, the Initiative—led by the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and World Health Organization—provides support to governments and communities on measles vaccination campaigns around the world. To date, the Initiative has supported the vaccination of more than 372 million children, mostly in Africa.
Students at the book-signing event that raised $1,500 for the Measles Initiative. From left: Shanna Morehouse, Alexys Ramos, Briaunna Purdo, and Michaela Walters. (Photo Credit: Grace Connors/American Red Cross)
The Monroe Youth Challenge Program, a grassroots youth development organization, published the book through a grant from Florida Learn and Serve, a federally funded grant program that encourages schools to engage youth in service-learning. Each book costs $10 and the proceeds go to benefit the Measles Initiative. On May 14, 2019, the students held a book-signing event at Plantation Key School, raising more than $1,500 for the Initiative.
Through this experience, students are learning about public service in their school, while helping children abroad.
One student, Samantha Jo Wood-Greer said, "I am glad we got to do it because we helped other kids. I hope other schools can do things like we did."
(Note: If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, contact Grace Connors at (305) 852-9612 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Measles Initiative, launched in 2001, is a partnership committed to reducing measles deaths globally, with the goal of cutting measles deaths by 90 percent by 2010 compared with estimates from 2000. During its first five years (2001-2005), the Initiative was the main international supporter of mass measles immunization campaigns that led to the vaccination of more than 360 million children, predominantly in Africa. Building on its success in Africa, the Initiative has expanded into Asia. The Initiative increasingly provides additional life-saving health interventions in its campaigns, including Vitamin A, de-worming medicine and insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria prevention. The Measles Initiative has mobilized more than $308 million through 2006 to support campaigns in more than 43 countries in Africa and Asia. In 2007, for the first time, the Measles Initiative will support vaccination campaigns in each of the six WHO regions of the world. This will be made possible by new funding from the International Finance Facility for Immunization. Leading the Measles Initiative efforts are the American Red Cross, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Foundation, UNICEF and the World Health Organization. For more information or to make a donation, log on to www.measlesinitiative.org.