West Side Education News & Notes
RMS students to pay it forward
GREATER AKRON — Members of Rachel’s Challenge at Revere Middle School (RMS) will fan out around the area May 5 to surprise strangers with random acts of kindness.
Students will be in groups and accompanied by parents, organizers of the effort said. Sixth-grade students will be in the Montrose area, seventh-graders will be in Wadsworth and eighth-grade students will head into Fairlawn.
Students are expected to surprise people by paying for a tank of gas, groceries or coffee and handing out items such as jewelry donated by local businesses. Organizers said the students also will hand out a card letting them know about the effort and encouraging the recipients to “pay it forward” by doing a random act of kindness for someone else.
The RMS chapter has been preparing for the project all year by raising funds through different activities, according to parent mentor Brenda Saridakis.
“Over the last two months, we have worked with our kids in determining where they want to hand out the random acts, and to whom,” Saridakis said. “We talked to them about how you never know what is happening in a person’s life and maybe buying their cup of coffee will really brighten the person’s day. We are planning to help with groceries, gas, prescriptions, meals and even pet care.”
She added about 20 students are expected to take part in the day’s activities.
Other parent mentors of the club are Bunny Oldham, Traci Hunt and Laura Guilliam. Teacher mentors are Joan Lyons and Joyce Pushpak.
Rachel’s Challenge is a national organization that was inspired by Rachel Scott, one of the first victims in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. The group’s chapters “exist to inspire, equip and empower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business and community by starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion,” according to its mission statement.
Spicy Lamb Farm hosting educational programs at new pavilion
PENINSULA — The Spicy Lamb Farm, a Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) farm dedicated to educating the public on the need for local sustainable farming and environmental stewardship, recently announced the completion of a new educational pavilion.
The farm, which is located at 6560 Akron-Peninsula Road, will provide a free spring lecture series with guest experts in the new educational pavilion. These lectures will take place on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m.:
• May 9, “Religious Care for the Environment,” with the Rev. George Murphy;
• May 16, “Biodiversity,” with Michael Liptak;
• May 23, “The Shepherd’s Calendar,” with Roger High, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association & Ohio Farm Bureau; and
• May 30, “Using Sheep and Goats to Mow,” with a panel of Ohio shepherds and Urban Shepherds.
Dinner will be available from the caterer prior to the lectures at 6 p.m. but require a reservation.
The pavilion also is open to the public for rentals. It was made possible thanks to the donation of Greg Shellabarger, of Akron. With seating for 56-80 guests and audio-visual equipment, it is an outdoor space where visitors can enjoy a day on the farm and hold dinners or meetings, according to Spicy Lamb Farm owner Laura DeYoung. Farm staff can be on hand to: provide herding demonstrations; give hay wagon, sleigh or pony rides; provide hands-on-carding, spinning and felting activities; lead nature hikes; or answer questions about the farm and the park. Ten percent of all rentals goes to the CVNP, and the rest is put toward educational programming. Donations also are welcome. For more information, visit www.thespicylamb.com.
Other 2012 events, for which the farm charges a fee except for those who adopt a sheep through the Lease-a-Sheep program, include:
√ Dinner in the Valley, Aug. 16, hosted by the Conservancy for CVNP;
√ Fall Lecture Series, Wednesday nights, Sept. 5 to Oct. 3;
√ Fun Herding Trial, Sept. 22-23, for the herding dogs on the B course. Spectators are welcome; and
√ The Blessing of the Animals, Oct. 6, with bagpipes and a herding demonstration.
For details, the farm can be reached at 330-657-2012.
— By Stephanie Kist
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