happening peoplearchive

Lorrie Burns

Because she hated school as a kid in Chicago, Lorrie Burns has taken a strong interest in the education of her own children, second-grader Dylan and kindergartener Dalton. "Dylan was bored out of his mind in first grade," says Burns, who transfered him to the Family School, an alternative school that integrates grades 1-3 and organizes study around themes (current theme: poetry). "It made a huge difference -- now he's so excited about school." Early this year, Family School parents learned that next year's budget cuts will eliminate one teacher, unless they can make up the difference. "We need $73,000 to fund a full-time teacher," Burns says. "Bake sales won't do the job." At an emergency parents' meeting, she advanced her brainstorm: selling blood plasma. Anyone willing to donate plasma five times can earn $140 for the cause -- 100 donors could raise $14,000. An inaugural session at Aventis Bio-Services on April 13 drew a crowd of 150 parents, teachers and students. "Lorrie worked countless hours to make this happen," says fellow parent Jennifer Wassermiller. Donations will be accepted through the summer -- call Burns at 870-3886 for details.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 1 May 2003

current hp