The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library's innovative summer reading program, "Catch the Reading Bug," wrapped up Friday, July 18 with rewards and lunch at the "Creepy Crawly Bug Café." Although attendance was fewer than anticipated, those there were enthusiastic in their participation in games, songs and stories.
The goal of the outstanding program was to encourage youngsters to take time to read during the summer months. Youth program coordinator Sandy Carver accomplished that goal by putting together a venue rivaling the best in the state regardless of library size.
A reward was offered to youngsters accumulating 26 reading points. To earn the points, participants were required to read eight hours, attend two of the four library sessions and complete two entomologist activities.
Those achieving the goals were presented certificates and $10 gift cards from Wal-Mart.
Winners included Elizabeth Donsback, Kevin Donsback, Anna England, Abby Bossert, Dustin Friedman, Isaac Branson, Seth Branson and Emma Branson.
After the awards, all enjoyed a delicious lunch.
The eclectic menu included Caterpillar Cocoons, Ants on a Log, Ritzy Spiders, Dirt Worm Farms and Mosquito Juice.
School begins July 28
Parents and guardians shouldn't forget the first day of school for students entering kindergarten through eighth grade is July 28. The first day for those entering pre-kindergarten is Aug. 12.
Bus services will begin July 28, but there will be an early release on that day at 1:30 p.m. Full day schedules begin July 29.
At Payson High School, July 29 is freshmen orientation day. The Pine-Strawberry bus will make its normal morning run on Aug. 29.
For those students who do not get picked up in one of the two towns, the bus will leave for Payson at 7:45 a.m. from the elementary school parking lot. The students will be picked up at 12:30 p.m. and bussed back to Pine by about 1:10 p.m.
Normal school bus service for PHS students begins July 20.
The extracurricular activity bus schedule will be determined at a later date.
Pine School superintendent/principal Mike Clark says a few staff changes have taken place during the summer.
Holly Heintz is the new middle school teacher, replacing Eileen Hayes who moved to the Valley.
Heintz was previously a middle and high school language arts teacher in South Dakota.
David Crane, formerly a substitute teacher in the Payson School District is a newly hired fifth-grade teacher.
Candi Paine will assume the reins of the pre-kindergartner program. She is a veteran teacher, but took time off to raise her children.
The school's resource officer Darrell Stubbs recently retired from the Gila County Sheriff's Office and will not return as SRO.
Clark says there is a chance the school might not have an SRO this year.
Also at Pine School, the Edline link will be available sometime after school begins. It is an online tool for those who want to stay current with what is occurring on campus.
Edline will guide users to the school calendar, breakfast/lunch menus and specific grade level sites that will allow parents and students to review grades and homework assignments. The sites are password protected.
There is some criticism, around the country, from those who believe services like Edline further burden teachers with non-teaching tasks.
Some also argue that parent involvement in school and face-to-face communication between teachers and parents is a more desired form of information exchange than using a PC.
However, others argue that Edline-like services help parents and teachers stay in touch by giving parents a simple way of maintaining communication with their children's teachers.
Wherever the truth lies, it is obvious online resources are the wave of the future.
For those with questions about Edline or opening day, call (928) 476-3283.
Free school readiness kits at library
The Pine library has received, from United Way, great school readiness kits for pre-schoolers and kindergartners, ages 4 and 5. The kits include loads of information about getting a child ready for school, books, pencil bag and crayons, a CD and much more. Parents can pick up a kit at the Pine library.
The kits are free, but there are a limited number, so it's on a first-come basis.
Buy tickets now for the Chair-ish Auction and support Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library. The auction will be held Aug. 2 at the Pine Community Center Cultural Hall.
The annual auction, sponsored by the Pine-Strawberry Take Pride Project, begins at 4 p.m. with a previewing of the chairs. The auction begins at 6 p.m.
Frank Allen will have a busy time auctioning off the many beautiful chairs, each a work of art.
A silent auction is also on the agenda. Items include an autographed copy of Jim Paxon's book, "The Monster Reared His Ugly Head," an account of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire. Stained glass art pieces, children's chairs and other treasures will be offered.
The DPS Quilt Angels have contributed a beautiful quilt to raffle off.
Chuck and Barbara Casey of "Trouble in Paradise" will entertain the crowd with toe-tapping tunes.
To round out the evening, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and drinks will be served.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for $10 and are available at Pine library, ERA Young Realty in Pine, Sunny Mountain Realty, Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty and Ponderosa Market or from any Take Pride member. The cost of the tickets at the door are $12, children under 12 are $5.
The chairs to be auctioned can be viewed at the Web site: http://www.pine-strawberrytakeprideproject.org/