The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in Portsmouth has three special events taking place Saturday, May 12 and 17, including classes for babysitter training, pet CPR and a blood drive to honor a local teacher. "The babysitter training class hasn't been offered lately, but we think this is the right time of year to start," said Mary Arnzen, executive director of the Ohio River Valley Chapter. She said the class will help train kids 11 to 15 so they can have jobs for the summer and make some money. Helping to get the kids trained will be Red Cross-certified trainers who teach first aid and CPR. Arnzen said the course is an activity-based, multimedia classroom course that is interactive and prepares youth for the many responsibilities of caring for young children. Those attending will receive a Red Cross certificate and a babysitter kit. The class will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and participants should bring a sack lunch. To register, call (740) 354-3293. The cost of the course is $35. While the Red Cross is best known for helping keep Portsmouth area residents and their families healthy and safe, it's now spreading the word it can do the same for four-legged loved ones as well. "Lots of time cats and dogs are like family members to people and they want to keep them safe, too," said Arnzen. The pet CPR class takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. May 17, and will focus on preparing for and responding to emergencies, how to approach a sick pet, how to recognize emergencies and assisting your pet in times of crisis, Arnzen said. A cat and dog mannequin will be used and the course will be taught by Dr. Gail Counts from Shawnee Animal Clinic and Tim Wells, a veterinary technician. Arnzen said the presence of Counts and Wells brings credibility to the class. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $35. Call (740) 354-3293 for more information. A blood drive at Notre Dame Schools is set for May 12. Arnzen said the school has decided to dedicate the drive in honor of teacher Christi Layne, who was injured in a shooting/stabbing at school earlier in the year. She said it's a regularly scheduled blood drive for the school, but they wanted to honor her. Arnzen said this drive also can help the school earn scholarships depending on the amount of units collected. "It's important for them to get large numbers of donors," Arnzen said. "This drive could be beneficial for the school as well as honoring Mrs. Layne." To register for the blood drive, call the school nurse, Mary Sturgeon, at (740) 353-0719 for an appointment.
DEBORAH DANIELS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 234.