Thursday, May 11, 2006
Vaughn wins state contest
By SUE WATSON
Holly Springs second grade student Daris Vaughn drew lots of positive attention Monday after he received the American Lung Association’s Mississippi Asthma (ALAM) Contest Award May 2, World Asthma Day.
His mother, Sheryl Vaughn, Mississippi Sen. Ralph Doxey, Jennifer Cofer, ALAM director of programs, and Primary School registered nurse Lorena Adams helped officially celebrate the presentation of a plaque in Daris Vaughn’s honor.
The winning art drawing included statements by Daris that he is unable to fully enjoy riding his bicycle due to asthma. He also has a brother in the sixth grade, Derrick, who has the disease.
“I am just so proud,” said Sheryl Vaughn, as cameras flickered in the Primary School classroom. “It was a surprise to me, besides his being an ‘A’ and ‘B’ student.”
Classroom teacher Andrea Taylor said two students in the class have asthma, a condition that is on the rise in America.
“We encouraged them to make a drawing,” she said.
Tanesha Scott shares the teaching duties with Taylor.
Daris is the first to win an individual award in Taylor’s class but the entire class won the soccer award in gymnasium class this year.
Adams noted that teachers should not hesitate to encourage students to enter contests.
“It’s a good example,” she said. “You never know when someone is going to win.”
Along with the plaque and words of praise, the entire class was treated to a pizza party with a gift certificate from Wal-Mart.
Cofer noted the importance of calling attention to the condition.
“We are so proud of Daris,” she said. “His artwork demonstrated how as a child with asthma, he cannot race bikes as fast as his friends and he sometimes doesn’t feel normal.
In the United States alone, 6.2 million children have asthma, which accounts for one-third of all pediatric emergency room visits. In addition, asthma is the number one cause of school absenteeism among children accounting for more than 14 million total missed days of school.
In response to these statistics, and in an effort to raise public awareness of the risks faced everyday by 20 million Americans living with asthma, the American Lung Association of Mississippi is joining the Environmental Protection Agency to celebrate May as Asthma Awareness Month. During the month, informative public service announcements will run on radio and activities will be held to promote asthma awareness. Each activity will help raise awareness about indoor and outdoor pollutants that trigger asthma and ways to prevent children’s episodes.
Classes K-6 were invited to enter the statewide contest.
Asthma attacks can often be prevented or managed once the person with asthma finds what triggers their episodes.
One out of 10 children in Mississippi has the condition. Signs of the condition include wheezing, coughing, congestion, shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. The asthma attack may include tightening of the airways, heavy mucus production and difficulty breathing.
For more information about Asthma Awareness Month or ALAM, log on to www.alams.org or call 1-800-LUNG-USA.
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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