Etc. - 12/14/09


Snowy and otherwise inclement weather is upon us, if the weekend was any indication. So, for families with children attending local public schools, there are several sources from which to gather information about school closure procedures.

Walla Walla Public Schools post up-to-the-minute information based on the weather or any circumstance that would delay or cancel the normal school schedule, according to Week in Review online.

Decisions to delay or close school usually are made by 5:30 a.m. or earlier. They try to make announcements by 6 a.m. via radio, TV, the newspaper, telephone automated messages to staff and parents, their Web postings at, staff e-mails, e-news messages for which you can sign up on the District Web site, Twitter messages via; and on orange signs posted by schools.


Through the generosity of local shoppers and a team of volunteers, the Walla Walla Public Schools' "Fill the School Bus" event Dec. 5 brought in 5,326 pounds of food and $638.45 in monetary funds. The food and cash will benefit the Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank.

School buses decorated with student-made signs were parked at Albertsons, both Safeway locations, SuperOne Foods and Loney's Harvest Foods. For five hours, staff, students and parents volunteered by collecting food items and promoting the event.

Students greeted shoppers at store entrances and encouraged them to support the food drive. They made thank you stickers, passed out candy canes and helped load the food items on the school buses for delivery to the food bank, the Walla Walla School District Week in Review online reported.

Volunteers then drove the school buses to BMAC's Food Bank to unload the items. Lori Finn introduced the "Fill the School Bus" idea to Walla Walla this year after being involved in a similar activity in Spokane years ago as a PTA mom. She wanted to involve all the schools in the district and get students from K-12 together.

"Our goal was to teach kids that "Everyone can make a difference," Finn said. "It was wonderful to see students from all age groups, working with staff members and administrators on a project. This drive will have a huge impact on our community. Not only every person, but every can will make a difference this year."

A teacher at Lincoln Alternative High School, Lori and Green Park teacher Michelle Carpenter are coordinating this year's food drive, which continues through Friday. Collection bins are at each district school and the district office at 364 S. Park St. For more details, contact Michelle at or Lori at

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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