Newsletters 2015-16 Focus newsletter, [3] winter - Page 4

KINDNESS PROJECT PAGE 4 Coon Rapids High School student shows compassion when helping student after bike accident Harris Racek, a Coon Rapids Middle School (CRMS) student, is thanking his lucky stars for a Good Samaritan high school student who came to his rescue after a bike accident left him lying unconscious in the street. “I was biking home from school when I took a side road, and I suddenly blacked out,” Racek said. “The next thing I remember is Ian standing right above me, asking what happened.” Ian McDeid, a ninth grader at Coon Rapids High School (CRHS), was riding down that same road when he came upon Racek lying in the street, not moving. As he approached, he saw that Racek’s face was covered in blood. “You could tell he was just out of it. He was very dazed. His bike was up in a yard about ten feet away from him,” McDeid said. McDeid immediately pulled Racek out of the road and called 911. “I asked what happened but he couldn’t remember,” he said. “I was thinking maybe he got struck by a car, because it seemed peculiar that his bike was up in the yard and he was in the middle of the road.” McDeid, who recently completed first-aid training through the YMCA, stayed with Racek until the paramedics arrived. “ Wear your helmet at all times. It could happen to anybody. ” - Harris Racek, CRMS student “If the ambulance hadn’t gotten there in the next minute I was going to take off my shirt and wrap it around his head, because he was bleeding pretty badly,” he said. McDeid also called Racek’s mother to let her know her son was being taken to Mercy Hospital. “Doctors did a whole bunch of testing on me to make sure I didn’t have any internal bleeding or broken bones, and after I checked out of the hospital that day, I spent the rest of the week recovering at home with a whole bunch of bruises on my face and stitches,” Racek said. “It was really painful.” Racek had a mild concussion and several lacerations on his face, his left eye was swollen shut, and his teeth shifted under his braces. He did avoid more serious injuries, however. The ER doctors at Mercy told Racek’s mother that if he hadn’t been wearing his helmet, he would have had a major head injury. Coon Rapids High School ninth grader Ian McDeid, left, came to the aid of Harris Racek, a student at Coon Rapids Middle School, after Racek was injured in a serious bike accident. Racek is now a staunch advocate of helmets. “After that experience, I’m telling all my family members to just wear your helmet at all times. It could happen to anybody,” he said. “If you’re going biking, skiing, snowboarding, even skateboarding, wear your helmet at all times.” What actually happened to Racek that day remains a mystery; he has no memory of the moments before the accident. But he said he will always be grateful to McDeid for being there in his time of need. Dr. Patricia MacGillivray, school nurse at CRMS, said she was really moved when she heard Racek’s story. “How wonderful it was that Ian came along and knew exactly what to do,” she said. “We’re very happy Harris is back to school and not seriously injured, and he’s surrounded by teachers, students and nurses who care about him and have been supporting him in his healing.” “He actually came to my house and gave me a Get Well card a few days later, and I’m still forever thankful for that,” said Racek, who has now been inspired to learn first-aid thanks to McDeid. McDeid said he was happy he could help. “It makes me feel really good inside, knowing that I helped someone in their time of need,” he said. “And I just hope that someone would do the same for me.” ■ Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation celebrates 25 years helping students succeed cont. from page 1 According to Vanessa Wood, the curriculum integration coordinator at the school, Dance to Learn came to Evergreen Park three years ago through a partnership with the Ordway and the Perpich Center for Arts Education. The goal of Dance to Learn is layered, but it boils down to having fun, building confidence, and teaching students to focus and work together in a totally different kind of way — in addition to some tangible classroom opportunities. “Sometimes the traditional way doesn’t work, and so this isn’t just about dance, it’s about creating a way for students to be able to focus, to be able to build unity to work together, and to collaborate,” Wood said. The problem, Wood said, was that Evergreen Park could only fund the dance program with help from the Ordway and Perpich Center for a short time. “We weren’t ready for it to be over, so we reached out to the foundation,” she said. For DeGeest, funding Dance to Learn was a no-brainer. “The foundation is really about creating opportunities for students to get excited about learning and invested in their education — to explore things that they otherwise couldn’t explore in a traditional classroom. Dance to Learn did that — it was right at the heart of what we do,” she said. Wood was ecstatic. “When (DeGeest) called and said we were recipients of the grant … I called my fifth grade team in and said ‘It’s not over, we’re going to do this on our own,’” Wood said. Karla Nweje, one of the two Dance to Learn coaches who visits Evergreen Park, was excited too. She said Evergreen Park’s students really thrive while participating in the program. “I love how you start with something messy and obscure, and it turns into this concrete and tiny masterpiece,” she said. The other part is watching kids grow — watching them open up like the petals of a flower.” Big picture Supporting the Dance to Learn program is exactly the kind of thing the foundation was founded to do, Gander said. “The students that are going through the school district will be the leaders of tomorrow, and we need to reflect what the community wants them to be,” Gander said. DeGeest couldn’t agree more. “We started out wanting to fill a budget gap and provide opportunities, but over time, more and more, we’re funding innovation,” she said. “We’re asking teachers: ‘What do you want to do that you can