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The Voice Of Grant Community High School
285 E. Grand Ave.Fox Lake, IL. 60020
As the seasons change and fall gradually be-comes winter, it is not uncommon for most people to de-velop minor colds and infections. In recent weeks, however, it seems that the illnesses fl ying
around Grant Community High School are more than just common colds. It is hard to ignore this when sicknesses like mono are affecting our very own students and athletes. Pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has also begun to surface at Grant. Mononucleosis, or mono, is common in adolescence and is often called the kissing disease because it can be spread through saliva and mucus in the mouth and nose, says Ms. Kinney, school nurse. It can be contagious because many times the symptoms are mild and it can go unnoticed. Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is an infection located in the respiratory system, she says. It can be spread when you are in close contact with someone who has it. It can be easily spread because it is usually most contagious before a person even knows he or she has it. Despite the fact that is seems like every-one has mono and that these sicknesses are taking over our student body, Mr. Bentancur, school princi-pal, reaffi rms that there is no cause for alarm. There is no outbreak of mono or pertus-sis at Grant, he says. People normally get sick with the fl u [around this time of year], and colds are com-mon with the change of seasons. Bentancur says that, with so many differ-
ent types of one sickness, it is tough to say whether or not every student is sick with the same type. It is very important to understand that there is more than one type of sickness, especially with mono. There are different strands and different kinds, so to say that there is an outbreak of mono is inaccurate because there are many different types, he says. The same is true for whooping cough. Despite the fact that a health alert was recently posted on the Grant website, there is not an outbreak of this infection. The Health Department suggested that we post [the alert] on the website to alert people that a student at Grant had whooping cough, says Bentan-cur. It was just a precaution to educate the students and their parents about the infection. It is important that we educate [them] so that they can take the prop-
er precautions if they do notice any symptoms. Even though there is not an outbreak of any illnesses at Grant, this hasnt kept teachers and students from noticing the recent sicknesses fl oating around the hallways. I have noticed an increase in student ab-sences in the past few weeks, says Ms. Richards, science teacher. These sicknesses are so easy to transmit that it doesnt seem too surprising. Richards believes that whether the illness-es that are infecting students are serious or not, the increase in absences are not good and tend to have negative effects on the students and their classes. The student sometimes has diffi culty getting the work made up in a timely fashion, she says. This is especially true if they miss a substantial amount of school time and we have had tests during that time. Ms. Handzel, math teacher, agrees that,
because of common illnesses, kids miss a lot of school and fall behind very quickly. Handzel also believes that stu-dents need to be extra cautious and pro-tect themselves against catching these illnesses. Its unfortunate, but this is the time of year when most kids get sick, she says. They dont realize that germs spread quickly and get trapped in-doors. It is true that when someone spends fi ve out of every seven days in building with nearly 2,000 other people, it can be diffi cult to protect him or her-self against the thousands of germs and bacteria that are spread virtually every-where. There are, however, several pre-cautions that students can take to ensure that they have the best protection against getting sick and missing too many days of school. While most of them are seem-ingly simple, they are all equally vital to protecting everyones health. To avoid getting mono, or spreading it if you have it, do not share personal items such as toothbrushes, eating utensils, and drinking glasses, says Kinney. The same thing goes for whooping cough. Cover your nose and
mouth while sneezing or coughing and, as always, wash your hands often. It also very important that, if you have been put on treatment for any of these illnesses, you take the proper medication. If you have to be on antibiotics, take them until they are fi nished, says Kinney. Do not stop early, even if you are feeling better. Stay home until you have been cleared to return to school by your doctor. And while shots arent fun for most, Kin-ney believes that they are one of the most important safety measures against becoming ill. Make sure that you have had a recent booster shot, she says. Booster shots protect against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis. You need to have one at least every ten years to be adequately im-munized against these diseases.
Grant Community High Schools National Honor Society is an organization that gathers some of the honor students at Grant and allows them to organize school functions. National Honor Society, also known as NHS, helps Grant in various ways.
Junior Sean Varney says, This year NHS has been very productive. Weve helped out with many activities and events, and there are still many more on the schedule. One of the ways that NHS helps Grant is by running the concession stand during the sporting activities. Senior John Gray, Treasurer, says, It is fun selling concessions at sporting events. Another event that NHS does to help out with the school is the annual spaghetti dinner. This event is held in April, and is the fi rst event
that the new members get to participate in. All profi ts go to the NHS. The NHS members help by selling the tickets and by serving the food during the actual event. In addition, NHS runs the Polar Express. This is when the members of NHS ride on a train with children, and read them stories. This makes the members of NHS feel good about helping the children in their community. There are many different reasons for students to be interested in NHS. First of all, it looks really impressive when students are getting ready to apply to colleges. Gray says, I am in [NHS] partially because it looks good on a college application. Another reason people join NHS is because it allows students a chance to help out their community. Varney says, Im a member of NHS
Collin BushingOp/Ed Editor
Grants NHS does good for school and community
Jordyn L. BoylesNews Editor
Recent illnesses at Grant nothing to be alarmed about
because I like giving back to the community and helping others. To become a part of NHS, a student must
receive an application from the teacher representative Mr. Free. To receive one of these applications, a student must be on the Honor Roll. The student has to fi ll out the application, and also write an essay about why they would be a good member to NHS.
This year NHS has been going very well. The club is doing everything it said it would, and so much more.
Junior Stephanie Oehrlein, Vice President, says, NHS seems to
be going well this year. Everybody is doing an awesome job at participating and helping out,
and it enables us as an organization to reach large numbers of people.
students have to pay for ACT tutoring? Read one students opinion on page
Catch up on the latest on the Twilight Phenomenon
on page 4. Jessie Stimpson returns to Grant to share her experiences in the U.S. Air Force, page 6.
Exclusive interview with swim team member
Deborah Storm on page 7.
Jason DeLeon visits the nurse to see if he is running a temperature and spreading germs. S. Francisco/ The Bark
Picture from www.NHS.us
The Bark December 15, 2008
Opinions & EditorialsThe Bark Staff
Section EditorsJordyn L. BoylesCollin Bushing
Chief PhotographerShayla Francisco
Staff ReportersAlex Carr
Stephanie DoganPaul Kudowski
Katie LorisMonserrat Martinez
Emily PaddockHayley PallockJeshanah Smith
Meagan StephensonEssence Tillery
Mission StatementIt is the mission of
The Bark to give a voice to students and to provide those students a public forum for
student expression. The Bark is written with the intention to give students and faculty infor-mation fairly and impartially. We believe that only when a
student body is informed can it be happy, safe, and given the
freedom it deserves.
Submission PolicyIt is the policy of The Bark to be a student newspaper. We value your opinions and you have a right to express them,
especially in the form of writing to this newspaper. If you wish
to write to The Bark, you may drop off your signed
letter and the disk that it is saved on to Room 262 or Mr.
Beverlys mailbox. If you prefer to remain anonymous, we still need your signature or your letter will not be published.
Dont spread yourself too thin. It is a simple enough concept; high school is the time to try new and exciting things, but dont wear yourself out between Student Council, soccer practice, and the school play. Weve all felt the stressful times that set high school apart from our middle school days of lunchboxes and recesses. Juggling schoolwork, a job, extracurricular activities and sports can sometimes feel as if you have the weight of 12 Encyclopedia Britannicas on your shoulders. Heavy, right? The