PLAINFIELD, NJ - Coach Carol Taffaro, a Gym Teacher at Plainfield High School, began preparing her students two months in advance of the blood drive that was held Friday, and her efforts paid off.  This year students and members of the community donated the most pints of blood compared to the last seven years that Taffaro has hosted the drive.

“This is our best year yet, with over 70 pints collected, 160 students who registered to give blood, 135 who qualified to donate, and over 40 student volunteers. The drive went smoothly, with no long lines and little disruptions,” Taffaro said.

Coach Taffaro credits the success to the teamwork and dedication of her students.

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“Students understood their role and they made it happen. We were all on the same page today and it paid off,” said Taffaro.

The drive was hosted in partnership with the American Red Cross, whose volunteers collected the blood, and over 20 students enrolled in Allied Health, a course Coach Taffaro teaches as a Rutgers University Adjunct. The course teaches students Emergency Health, CPR, and Community Service.  Over 20 additional students volunteered to serve.  All the students will receive community service credits for their service.

But far from any other lesson the students learned during the Blood Drive, they learned to work as a team and to be responsible for others. Students covered each others’ stations, transitioned from location to location, conducted Intake and Registration, nourished students who came to donate, and served as helping hands answering students’ questions.

Adrian Martinez, a 12th grader, said this is a great experience for him. He saw his role in the Blood Drive as basic training for his future career as a “blood splat” forensic expert, and “I also enjoy serving people,” he said.



Jessica Jasmohan, an 11th grader, saw her participation in the Blood Drive as a way to help others.  She hopes to become a Neo-Natal or ER Nurse in the future. During the Blood Drive her focus was on the students and the people who donated blood. “I want everyone coming to donate to feel they were well taken care of and that we provided a service.”

Most importantly, Coach Taffaro said the Blood Drive teaches her students the importance of public health and service to people.

Coach Taffaro will host a second Blood Drive next April 2018. She is only 36 pints short of her goal of 100 pints for this school year.  The 100 pints of blood will help over 400 people according to the American Red Cross. In addition to that, Coach Taffaro’s students will qualify for scholarships for the college of their choice.

Members of the community donate as walk-ins with a state-issued ID. Many have been coming for years to support the students.

For more information, call 908-731-4333, email gmontealegre@plainfield.k12.nj.us or visit www.plainfieldnjk12.org.