Students From Mexico Live It Up In Pine

PINE-STRAWBERRY

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It is amazing how quickly the days get longer, a sure sign that warmer weather and spring are just around the corner. How far around the corner is yet to be determined, but with all this moisture in the ground, it should be a beautiful, colorful spring.

Hands-Across the Border students from Alerce School in Hermosillo, Mexico will be at the Pine-Strawberry School from Feb. 7 to 11. Many activities, combining school work with educational projects, are planned.

The big event is a trip to the Grand Canyon on the train. Naturally, everyone is very excited. They will also tour the Tonto Natural Bridge. Each student from Mexico is paired with a student here and will be staying at that partner's home during the visit.

Photos and messages have been exchanged via e-mail. Twelve students, primarily from the sixth-grade, will be here along with the school principal and one teacher.

Hermosillo has similar water shortage problems so the students will be studying water sheds and water quality. Communication is a challenge that all will share, and classes will be taught in both Spanish and English. Each student in the program will be putting together a photo and writing project as part of this assignment.

On Thursday afternoon, a dance followed by a dinner are planned for the students and the hosting families. The local students will travel to Mexico later in the year. They will stay in the homes of their partners and attend school. Alerce School is similar in size to the Pine-Strawberry School.

Monday, Feb. 7, is photo day at the school.

The Pine-Strawberry Emergency Task Force is an organization which supports the local fire department and any other agency that needs assistance in times of emergency.

They welcome interested volunteers. The task force is funded by the Pine-Strawberry Fire District and is activated upon the direction of the fire chief. The group was formed eight years ago and has been activated officially during three major winter storms and the Weber, Willow and 5-Mile fires.

If an evacuation was necessary, this organization would be called upon to assist the sheriff. Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month in the evening at the Pine Fire Station. Training is available both locally and in Phoenix.

For more information, call Arvid Thompson at (928) 476-2352 or the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department at (928) 476-4272. If you are looking for a worthwhile way to help your community in times of emergency, this just might fit the bill.

The Mardi Gras Celebration, sponsored by Strawberry's Elite, will be from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27. There will be great food and live music. Plan now to attend this fun event which is a fund-raiser to help children and families in Pine and Strawberry.ickets will be available at the door.

Although this column appears in the Friday edition of the Payson Roundup, my deadline is Wednesday morning. To be sure of getting your information in the paper when you want it in, it is best to get it to me by Tuesday. Thank you.

Please provide information for this column regarding upcoming events, activities and items of interest for residents and visitors of Pine and Strawberry. Call or fax (928) 476-2239 or e-mail cpwrather@earthlink.net.

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