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Kids head to the polls today

District 16 NewsSandy Hanson

Students throughout District 16 have spent the past month preparing for today’s election. Like their parents they will be heading to the polls to cast their votes. Through Kids Voting Colorado students have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the electoral process.The 2004 election marks the fourth year that students in District 16 have gone to the polls to vote. This will be the fifth election students have taken part in. Throughout the month of October students at all grade levels have been studying the issues that voters will be deciding on at the polls. Bea Underwood fifth-grade teacher Elaine Callister is a strong supporter of the Kids Voting program. Throughout October, students in her classroom have spent their social studies time studying the voting process, the history of voting in the United States, the issues and candidates. “I try to involve them in stimulating conversation when it comes to the issues, trying to bring up ways they can relate all the “adult talk” to their lives. They usually surprise me with their ideas,” Callister said. Callister does not endorse any issue or candidate, telling her students that she always votes and that she will share her opinions with them after the election.At Grand Valley High School, students studied the candidates and issues before holding a debate in front of their peers. Peer PALSThe Bea Underwood Elementary School Peer PALS hosted their seventh annual Food Drive recently. The drive was held in conjunction with Make A Difference Day. Every year the Peer PALS take on the task of organizing a food drive for LIFT-UP. During the week of Oct. 18-22 students in all grade levels brought in food items in a friendly competition between classrooms. The class bringing in the most items got to help with the delivery of the food to LIFT-UP. On Oct. 25, students from Deanne Hemann’s fifth-grade class busily loaded the 2,000 items collected during the food drive onto a district school bus. Students from Hemann’s classroom collected 247 items. Students were pleased to see how their efforts paid off, as on more then one occasion you could hear someone exclaim, “this is going to help a lot of people.” “LIFT-UP provides a valuable service to our community. It is a rewarding experience for our children to give back to their community. The Food Drive is one way for us to show our support,” said Peer PALS sponsor Deb Cain.The food drive isn’t the only activity that the Peer PALS are involved with. They are active throughout the school year helping in many areas. Students who wish to join Peer PALS must complete a 12-hour training program. Their work can be seen throughout the halls of Bea Underwood. They help mediate disagreements between their peers, tutor fellow students, help in the library and manage the playground equipment, to name just a few of the things Peer PALS do. “It’s a privilege for these students to serve as Peer PALS,” Cain said. One has to spend only a few minutes in the halls of Bea Underwood to see the impact the Peer PALS have. Sandy Hanson is the public information director for Garfield County School District 16. For a full schedule of district activities go to http://www.garcoschools.org.November important dates4 – NO SCHOOL ELEMENTARY ONLY Parent/Teacher Conferences Elementary only, 8 a.m. 8 p.m.5 – NO SCHOOL ELEMENTARY ONLY5-6 – GVHS Band, Northwest Colorado Honor Band, Aspen Music School9 – Board of Education Regular Meeting 6:30 p.m.11 – Parent/Teacher Conferences Secondary Only Dismissal 1 p.m. Conferences 1:30-8:00 p.m.12 – NO SCHOOL SECONDARY ONLY16 – BUE Family Reading Night17-18 – GVHS Fall Play Just Desserts, 7 p.m. GVHS Auditorium18 – NO SCHOOL ELEMENTARY Elementary staff inservice19-20 – SMS (GVHS Band) CBA Western Slope Honor Band Grand Junction23 – Preschool Thanksgiving Feast (The Center)24, 25, 26 – THANKSGIVING BREAK30 – SMS Boys Basketball hosts Glenwood, 5 p.m.


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