2003-02-20 / Top Stories

Injured 10-year-old Helps His P.S. 279 Class Collect $8G For Charity

By Charles Rogers

Injured 10-year-old Helps His P.S. 279 Class Collect $8G For Charity

While teachers Cheryl Glick, left,  and Anne Marie Stone twirl the rope, Jamere Stewart shows his dexterity — despite injured leg — in jumping for Heart Association drive.                                                Charles RogersWhile teachers Cheryl Glick, left, and Anne Marie Stone twirl the rope, Jamere Stewart shows his dexterity — despite injured leg — in jumping for Heart Association drive. Charles Rogers

By Charles Rogers

In a recent "Jump for Life" fund-raising drive for the American Heart Association, fifth grade students from Community School District 18’s P.S. 279 raised more than $8,000 for pledges of cash for that worthwhile charity.

But that’s only a part of the story.

The other part has to do with determination and, most of all, courage, as one student who was injured last summer in a horrible auto accident that almost led to the loss of his left leg collected $1,000 by himself.


Jamere’s mother, Jasmine, proudly poses with her son.Jamere’s mother, Jasmine, proudly poses with her son.

On July 17, 2002, Jamere Stewart, 10, was carried away on a stretcher from the grisly scene of the accident at a Burger King Restaurant at Flat-bush Avenue and Albemarle Road. His left leg was horribly mangled after a minivan went out of control and slam-med into the restaurant, striking the boy and three others who were passing by. Witnesses said that, while the three other pedestrians were only slight-ly injured, Jamere’s leg was mangled and "twisted around like it had almost come off." The driver of the van saw the boy and the carnage and collapsed. She was eventually not charged in the accident.

Jamere’s mother, Mrs. Jasmine Stewart, told the Canarsie Courier that, even as he was lying in the hospital bed during those first days, he was consoling her, telling her he would not lose his leg, even though doctors at first thought that option might be necessary.

"He said he would ‘fight it,’ and that with God’s help he would pull through for me," the brave boy’s mother said, "I believed him. That’s the kind of boy he is."

Before the accident, Jamere had been looking forward to taking part in the "Jump for Life" fundraising event that P.S. 279 had successfully participated in for years. The youngsters would jump rope a certain number of times and receive pledges for cash for the AHA.

In a ceremony last week, Leslie Taylor, representing the Heart Asso-ciation, gave awards to the class.

P.S. 279’s principal, Mr. John Viverito thanked the students for their hard work in collecting $8,000 in donations for the charity and, along with Jamere’s class teacher Aaron Pohl, Physical Education teachers Kevin Kraft and Cheryl Glick and Special Education teacher-trainer Anne Marie Stone, praised the "wonderful" courage and determination of Jamere.

"It was truly inspirational to see this young boy come back from such adversity," said Mrs. Glick. "He went from door to door collecting the mo-ney, even getting donations from his doctors and nurses."

In a fashion that it seems will surely be typical for the precocious young-ster as he grows older, Jamere said one of the reasons he had such determination is that, because of the accident, he saw what it was like to be a victim of a tragedy.

"I saw what can happen when tra-gedy hits somebody," he said, "so I thought it would be right for me to help someone else."

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