Schroon Lake A Schroon Lake Central School teacher has reached into cyberspace to help her students.
Laura Corey is using DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that connects contributors with schools in need, to secure books for her senior political science class.
“Schroon Lake is listed as a high needs, high poverty district by DonorsChoose,” Corey said. “That makes us a priority.”
Corey needs $600 to purchase copies of the book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” To date a little more than half the money has been donated. The deadline for donations is Jan. 12.
The book, which was not included in the 2011-2012 Schroon school budget, will be used to teach ethics and social responsibility, Corey said.
“I want to provide my students with the opportunity to make connections between the social sciences and the real world,” she said. “I want to make history relevant and exciting for my students.
“I want to expose my students to different ways of thinking,” Corey said. “I want them to question the status quo and think for themselves. It is so important to expose students to as many avenues of learning as possible. I want my students to look beyond the science and see the underlying issues at play in this book. How we treat those who are less fortunate has a major impact on our society as a whole.”
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is the story of Henrietta Lacks, known to thousands of scientists as HeLa. She was a poor, black tobacco farmer whose cells — taken without her knowledge in 1951 — became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization and more.
Lack’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. She was never compensated for the use of her genetic material.
“The story of Henrietta Lacks raises so many questions,” Corey said. “She was a poor woman with cervical cancer. Her cells were taken and used without her permission. There are issues of race, ethics, medicine. I think these are issues worth thinking about and discussing with students.”
Corey is not the first Schroon Lake teacher to utilize DonorsChoose.org. Cookie Barker has successfully used the online charity to supplement her science classes.