The gift of words

Gifts are a big part of the holiday season. But the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club likes to kick it off a bit earlier with its Gift of Words project. The dictionaries are given to third-grade students, and the effort is part of a national undertaking by the service club to promote literacy in local communities. Locally, the dictionaries are presented by representatives from Rotary along with Camas School Superintendent Mike Nerland and Washougal School Superintendent Dawn Tarzian.

School notes for Dec. 3, 2013

‘Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr.’ continues The Journey Theater Arts Group production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr.,” will continue through Sunday at The Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School, 1201 39th St. The musical is based on the classic movie, with a full score of new songs and dance numbers.

School honored for achievement

A local elementary school has made the prestigious statewide, “Schools of Distinction” list for the second year in a row. Grass Valley Elementary in Camas was one of six schools in southwest Washington to receive this honor, by being among the top 5 percent in the state posting improved student achievement in reading and math over a 5 year period. “The School of Distinction is a great honor,” said Sean McMillan, principal. “Grass Valley has now won this award two years in a row. I am very honored to be joining this wonderful school and community.”

School notes for Nov. 26, 2013

Christmas concert set The Washougal Schools Foundation will host a Christmas Holiday Family Concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Washburn Auditorium at Washougal High School, 1201 39th St. There will be several local vocalists participating in the event.

Helping feed those in need

Since 2008, the Stuff the Bus food drive has raised more than 339,000 pounds of food for people in need.It began as a friendly competition between Camas and Washougal high schools to support The Children’s Home Society of Washougal and the Christmas Activities Relief Organization Limited. The event, created by the Camas-Washougal Business Alliance, designated those two organizations in an effort to keep all donations in the local community. As Stuff the Bus enters its sixth year, there are changes in store. The biggest one is that the two high schools, in conjunction with elementary and middle schools, will work together toward a common goal of 85,000 pounds of food and personal care items.

An opportunity to help others

When it came time to pick an eighth-grade project, Canyon Creek Middle Schoolers Eli Crabtree and Tanner Howington wanted to do something to make a difference.“It seemed like most everyone was doing easy stuff, and we wanted to do something unique and help people who really needed it,” Howington said. The two, who are now ninth-graders at Washougal High School, decided to raise money for the American Legion Cape Horn Post 122 holiday food basket program. Crabtree’s dad, Vince, a Navy veteran, is the finance officer for Post 122. “They really needed funds for the food basket program,” Crabtree said. “So we decided to ask businesses for donations and have a raffle.”

School notes for Nov. 19, 2013

Journey Theater will present ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr.’ The Washburn Performing Arts Center will host “Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.,” beginning Nov. 29. The musical is based on the Broadway version and is set in New York City, circa 1922, full of intrigue and jazz. It’s a time when women were entering the workforce, and the rules for love and social behavior were changing forever.

Cups for a cause

A Washougal business is offering the opportunity to own a unique, hand-designed coffee cup while supporting a local school. Michelle McKnight, owner of Michelle’s Coffee Corner, is auctioning off reusable cups designed by community members. All styles and ages are represented. “I was wanting to do something fun and thought that taking cups and letting my customers draw, paint and color them was a good idea,” she said. “Then I decided to auction off some of the better ones and donate all proceeds to Excelsior High’s art program.”

Students honor those who served

With this past Monday being Veteran’s Day, several schools in Camas and Washougal marked the occasion with assemblies, brunches, patriotic singing and guest speakers. This year, the Post-Record will focus on Hathaway Elementary School’s efforts. Next year, another local school will be selected. Hathaway fifth-graders had the opportunity to hear first-hand from World War II veteran and Washougal resident, Duncan MacDonald. MacDonald, 86, told the students about running away from his home on Mount Pleasant at age 16 to join the Navy. With his keen eyesight, he was given the assignment of range finder, and would help shoot down enemy planes that were threatening his ship.

School notes for Nov. 12, 2013

Catching Fire’ party set There will be a party at the Camas Public Library for teens in seventh- through 12th grade to celebrate the release of the movie, “Catching Fire.”