Oklahoma Schools Help In Fight Against AIDS

Monday, February 5th 2007, 10:31 am
By: News On 6

Two Green country schools are teaming up to raise awareness about AIDS in Africa. News on 6 reporter Chris Wright reports on “Unite for the Fight.”

They are usually rivals, but students at Broken Arrow and Union have put aside their differences to get the word out about AIDS in Africa.

After the national anthem was played, and the cheerleaders performed an assembly at Broken Arrow High School took a somber turn. Several members of the newly formed organization “Unite for the Fight” addressed the crowd, as students tried to spell out “Beat AIDS” with construction paper. The group, inspired by U2 singer Bono's “Project Red” is trying to raise both money for, and awareness of, the AIDS problem in Africa.

"When you show someone the facts, show them the reality, they can't turn around," said Broken Arrow Senior Nicole Vazquez.

The group sold wristbands and T-shirts at Monday’s pep rally, and the items will be sold at other sporting events in the near future. All of the money raised will go towards AIDS research in Africa. In an effort to sell all 1,500 T-shirts Broken Arrow students have teamed up with an unlikely partner, Union High School.

"I realized I am a teacher at the biggest high school in Oklahoma, and if we could get Union to join us, this could be the coolest thing, to be able to help them out,” said teacher Amy Cook.

The shirts and wristbands will be sold on both campuses during the school day; they will also be sold at Friday night's big basketball game between Broken Arrow and Union.

Broken Arrow students say while it might be a little strange to work side by side with kids from Union, they are willing to put aside their differences for the time being.

"There's been this long rivalry, somewhat of a hatred for each other, so we can finally come together for a good cause," Broken Arrow Junior Sam Best said.

"We'll come together as people, not as Broken Arrow and Union, I think that's the big difference, help us get past this little rivalry," Vazquez said.

The group hopes to raise at least $11,000 from T-shirt sales alone. Broken Arrow and Union also intend to expand the “Unite for the Fight” campaign to other schools in the area, next year.