Riverdale honors victims of tragedy

Riverdale Middle School in Jefferson remembered the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy with a memorial Dec. 22, including the planting and dedication of a weeping willow tree.

Riverdale’s eighth-grade Pearl Girls Club shared their thoughts about the tragedy on paper then attached their sentiments to green and white balloons — the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary — which they released into the air.

Volunteer group seeks reading tutors

Start the Adventure in Reading is looking for reading tutors to work with students from Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes.

STAIR is a volunteer-based, nonprofit children’s literacy organization that provides free one-on-one reading tutors for public school students in grades first through third. No teaching experience is necessary for volunteers, and only one training session is required.

Training in Metairie is Jan. 8, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Episcopal Church, 3412 Haring Road, Metairie. The Metairie center serves students at Bissonet Plaza Elementary School.

Training in Orleans Parish is Jan. 16, and Jan. 29 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1545 State St.

Orleans volunteers work with Ashe, Success Preparatory and Lafayette Academy charter schools.

To register for training or for more information, call (504) 899-0820 or email Elizabeth@scapc.org.

Four Orleans schools start wellness plan

Local nonprofit Healthy Lifestyle Choices has teamed up with Fannie C. Williams, Lake Forest Elementary Charter School, St. Mary’s Academy and Pierre A. Capdau Charter School to improve the overall health and well-being of its faculty, students and community.

The project is funded through the Methodist Health System Foundation, Inc.

This summer, MHSFI awarded HLC a grant for a school wellness coordinator to provide technical assistance to the four local schools using the HLC Behavioral Health Program.

These schools are charged with developing and implementing a school wellness action plan for the 2012-13 school year.

With the combined enrollment of the four schools, this project stands to affect 1,800 local students.

The grant will pay Healthy Lifestyle Choices to guide each school in convening a wellness team composed of school faculty, staff and parents.

To date, all four teams have completed the School Health Index and, based on results, have moved on to developing an action plans.

“Working with Healthy Lifestyle Choices has been a great opportunity for our faculty, staff and students to come together and develop a plan to increase the overall well-being of our school,” said Bernetta Sisco, dean of students at Fannie C. Williams.

School health initiatives at Fannie C. Williams will include a bimonthly healthy news section prepared by their school nurse in Warrior News and hosting free fitness classes four days a week after school for faculty, staff, parents and other community members.

For more information about Healthy Lifestyle Choices, contact Ari Silber at (504) 299-1966 or asilber@hlconline.org.

NOCCA sends teachers to training

Staff members of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts recently attended a training on child abuse provided by the New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center, a program of Children Hospital of New Orleans.

NOCCA participated in a sponsored program, “Darkness to Light”, which teaches adults to prevent, respond and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. For information on Darkness to Light training, contact the NOCAC at (504) 896-9237 or NOCACcor@chnola.org.

Compiled by the New Orleans bureau