Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Good things happening

God and Family award presented to Jr. Girl Scouts

The words God and family are vital at Crescent Springs Presbyterian Church.

Four Junior Girl Scouts learned how important they were in a five-month project involving God, family, service and religion.

They earned the God and Family Award presented by the Rev. Michael Brewer, pastor of the church.

They are: Grace Thoeny, 10, Troop 614, a fifth-grader at St. Agnes School; Monica Pence, 11, Troop 1939, a sixth-grader at Concordia Lutheran School; Emma McGregor, 10, Troop 177, a fifth-grader at Fort Wright School; and Sarah Handlon, 11, Troop 244, a fifth-grader at Taylor Mill School.

Moms Patricia McGregor, Lisa Handlon, Valerie Pence and Stephanie Thoeny worked with the girls.

"We did the project with PRAY, which means Programs of Religious Activities with Youth,'' said Stephanie Thoeny. "The National Girl Scout Council hooked us up with the group. The project required both Bible study and service projects. Each girl had to do a history of their family tree and do a family tree on biblical families.''

Developing the family tree was special for Grace Thoeny.

"We had to research a little of our family's history and then make a poster of it,'' Grace said. "I also enjoyed seeing the other girls' family histories.''

And of course, she enjoyed a pool party given in their honor when the project was finished.

St. Dominic teacher cited

A classroom is a brightly decorated home, comfortable and flexible, where students can interact with me and each other.

Those are words from teacher Janet Gates, who was selected by her peers at St. Dominic School in Delhi Township as Teacher of the Year for 2003-2004. She also was the recipient of the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Teacher Award.

"This is exciting and unbelievable,'' Gates said. "When I was nominated for the NCEA award, I didn't think I had a chance.''

Gates, a divorced mother of three children, has been a teacher for 22 years.

She teaches third-grade at St. Dominic.

The award will be presented at the NCEA annual national convention in Boston on April 3.

Gates received a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1968 from the University of Cincinnati.

McAuley focuses on health

Tobacco, seat belt use, diet, driving under the influence, exercise, injury prevention and dating violence are part of the issues to be discussed at Health Slam from 10:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Dec. 15 at McAuley High School in College Hill.

Twelve exhibitors, including school resource officer Ron Ehlers, will participate.

Information: Kathy Dietrich, 681-1800, extension 2272, or Peggy Hock, 681-1800, extension 1126.

Positively kids: Club connects with troops

Students from Amelia High School's Key Club became an interesting part of the war on terrorism this year.

The club, made up of about 30 students devoted to community service, sold lollipops and collected donations to buy items for members of the 101st Airborne stationed in Afghanistan in March. The club has a connection through the adviser, Amelia teacher Stacy Recker, 28, of Mount Lookout, who knows a member of the unit, Capt. Tom Harris.

The group, led by Club President Sara Clifford, Stephanie Berndt, Monica Coehen, Heather Schott, Laura Seigman and Rachel Sweet, sent a large box of snacks, magazines, candy, letters and an Amelia athletic boosters flag

"It was really neat, and we raised a lot of awareness in the school about the war," Clifford said. "We were showing our support of the troops, that we really care."

But it wasn't until this school year that the students learned what their gift meant to the troops, when Harris returned with the flag, signed by members of the his unit, and a picture of it hanging in Afghanistan.

The local Kiwanis group had the flag and picture framed for the club.

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