Etcetera - 10/13/11

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Friends of Children of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Public Schools are teaming to provide a school-based mentoring program. Adult volunteers must commit an hour per week during the school year for the Friends Blue Ridge ABC Program, Mark G. Brown, Friends executive director said in a release.

Held during lunch or after school, young friends and volunteer adults can meet in a safe environment on the Blue Ridge Elementary school grounds.

Children from first through fifth grades enjoy time with their adult friends while engaging in diverse activities such as reading, board games, sports, tag and art projects. Even though all contact takes place at school, there are no specific academic goals to achieve-the focus is simply on developing a friendship.

Daily sessions are lunch time, or from 3-4 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. with 18 students in the program. There is a required two-hour training requirement for volunteers, who must be 18 or older.

More details are available through the Friends office, 120 E. Birch St., Suite 10, 509-527-4745 or www.wallawallafriends.org.

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To spread the message of respect, humor played a substantial role during the Big Blue Weekend for 350-plus Walla Walla High School students. The students focused on making their school a better place and reflected on their own behavior while at the Washington Family Ranch in Antelope, Ore.

Big Blue Weekend was created to break down social barriers and build a positive school community, according to a release in Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online.

Keynote speaker Stu Cabe used humor to stress the importance of treating people with respect in his presentation. The event was chaperoned by 34 Wa-Hi and district staff members. About 30 parents, staff and community members provided work crew support.

Assistant Principal Mindy Meyer and English teachers Kristina Duncan and Carina Stillman organized the event. Plans are already in place for next year's event.

It's almost time for Walla Walla High School's annual Trunk-or-Treat event, sponsored by members of Key Club. The safe, fun Halloween experience takes place around cars that Wa-Hi student club members have decorated, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online. Little princesses, ghosts, ghouls and goblins can haunt the lot -- Wa-Hi's Science parking lot that is, from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 31. The FFA students are sponsoring a Haunted Barn at the same time. Admission is two cans of food for donation to the Christian Aid Center Food Bank.

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at 526-8313.

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