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Mattlin Students Become 'Little Doctors' For Blood Drive

Fifth graders help the New York Blood Center collect the gift of life.

's cafeteria was transformed Tuesday into a bloodmobile. Refreshments were still served -- along with a dose of kindness.

The New York Blood Center (NYBC) partnered with the to hold the third annual . The goal was 50 pints of blood, courtesy of some generous residents.

Last year's drive netted 42 pints, largely due to the efforts of the 'Little Doctors' themselves: Mattlin fifth grade students may not be able to donate blood, but give a lot of time and energy of themselves to make the drive a success.

Students learned all about blood, the types, how its collected and what it's used for. Then they got to work, with each child trying to solicit 10 blood donors each. Finally they don their scrubs and become little doctors, assisting the NYBC during the drive, making sure donors know where to get screened and what's expected of them. And of course, they helped provide refreshments afterward, to get that blood sugar back up.

"We're hoping [the experience] makes [students] lifelong blood donors, but we also hope they're getting a spirit of community activism, selfless giving, and then later on maybe they'll be the chairpeople of drives in their communities," said , co-chair of the PTA council blood drives.

Many of the little doctors came from Cori Cohen's class, and she says the timing of the drive is perfect, since fifth graders will be diving into the science curriculum in the coming weeks.

"I hope they realize how important it is to donate blood, and how by making one donation, it can help so many people," Cohen said.

As for the doctors/students themselves? They know what a hearty supply of blood means, and how important it is to help out in any way they can.

"I want to help people and save lives, and since I can't donate yet, just help out here," said Alana Zeilander.

"I want to accomplish helping people and want them to feel happy for their donation and for them to think they did the right thing," said Andrew Reynolds.

Trust us Andrew, they did. And so did you.

The next district blood drive is Thursday May 10, at 3:30 p.m. at POB Middle School.

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