Pine Strawberry School students and teachers will gather at 8:15 a.m. Aug. 29 during the school’s first flag ceremony of the year to celebrate the improvement on the new state accountability system to a B grade from last year’s C.
School officials have known about the upgrading for several weeks, but the Arizona Department of Education placed an embargo on the information until Aug. 4.
Only about 20 percent of the schools around the state improved a letter grade over the course of the year.
School superintendent/principal Cody Barlow is crediting the academic success to dedicated teachers and caring parents.
It’s a given in public education that parents and families play a crucial role in student achievement because they can help reinforce what their child is learning in school by finding out when and how the child needs help and then providing it. Also, enrolling the student in extracurricular activities expands and enhances their learning after school.
Fire on the Rim course trail work
Beginning Aug. 2, Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee members began working on the Fire on the Rim race course including single track on Trail 15 (Pine Strawberry Trail).
Work continues 8 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Aug. 24. Volunteers should meet at the junction of Forest Road 428 and Trail 15, across from the Walnut Trail trailhead.
Workers should bring their own lunch, snacks and water.
Trail work for the month wraps up 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 30. Volunteers are to meet at the Spur Trail next in 3778 Mohawk Drive in Pine. Once again, volunteers are to bring their own provisions.
Toddlers at the library
The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library will be hosting a first-ever “Daddy or Mommy and Me” toddler program from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on select September, October, November and December dates.
The program, which is for children 18 months to 3 years of age, will include nursery rhymes, finger plays, music and other activities.
Each child must have a caregiver present to participate. Enrollment is limited to six children and siblings may not enroll. The program will be offered Sept. 12, Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12.
We are excited to be offering this,” said library manager Becky Waer.
For the older set, Children’s Story Time activities are held 10:15 to 11 a.m. each Wednesday at the library. The activities, which are open to all children 3 to 5 years of age, include music, stories, games, counting, listening, crafts and physical activities.
Junetta Clifford, a staffer with years of preschool teaching experience, heads the program.
Yummy pancakes and small-town camaraderie
Judging by the long serving lines and superb reviews of the pancake breakfasts served by the Mountain Village Foundation during the Memorial Day and Fourth of July Arts and Crafts Festival, the meals were a big hit as were the opportunities for morning visits with friends and neighbors.
The foundation will be serving the breakfasts again during the Labor Day festival on Aug. 30 and 31. The menu includes scrumptious pancakes, sausage and coffee or orange juice and will be served 7 to 10 a.m. for $5.
The Labor Day festival will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 30 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. the following day.
Arts and Crafts Guild President Olga Sehnert stresses that all money earned from the arts and crafts show directly benefits the community.
The Mountain Village Foundation is a non-profit, fundraising, volunteer organization which exists to help children and families in the Pine/Strawberry communities.
The MVF, formerly Strawberry’s Elite, works throughout the year to raise funds to help wherever needed, whether it is clothes, lunches or Christmas gifts for our children or a medical, food or utility bill emergency for a neighbor in need.
The MVF meets the first Thursday of each month at the StrawBEARy Bear. New members and visitors are always welcome. Arrive at 5:30 to socialize and order dinner. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. For more information, log on to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christy at (928) 476-2239.
Cards fight, run laps
My wife Kay and I chuckled watching Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians make his players run laps as punishment for a practice scrum that broke out last week.
As a former football coach at Show Low and Payson high schools, I used a similar philosophy as punishment for fighting.
Mine, however, was a little different strategy than the Cards’ coach — I made the offending players hold hands as they chugged laps around the field.
In football, there is nothing quite as humbling as a so-called tough guy holding hands with a player who had just tried to punch his lights out.
When our grandkids visit us in Pine, they too sometimes get involved in arguments.
When those occur, the remedy is to have the offending grandkids run laps around the deck that encircles our home all the time holding hands.
It seems our grandchildren also saw the television broadcast of the Cardinals running the laps and were quick to ask me why the pro players weren’t forced to hold hands.
Beats me, it works for grandchildren and in high school.
Running for poker
Off-road vehicle owners will want to be on hand Saturday, Sept. 20 at Sidewinders Tavern and Grill when the 2014 Justice McNeeley Foundation Poker Run tips off. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the ride starts one hour later. Doors open at 8 a.m.
The poker run is traditionally a highlight on the fall recreation calendar.
Also on the agenda is a single-elimination horseshoe tournament which begins at 1 p.m. and will continue until the winner is crowned. The entry fee for horseshoes is $10 and the fee for the run is $15, which includes a drink token donated by Sidewinders.
For poker players, a Texas Hold ’em tournament begins at 1 p.m. inside Sidewinders. Buy-in is $15 and prizes will be given for first and second place.
If the munchies creep up during the morning, breakfast burritos sell for $5 and all proceeds will benefit the charity.
For details, call Katie Parks at (928) 238-0155 or Cathy Smith (480) 243-1781.