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Published September 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

K-12 Notebook: Homeless and Hungry event kicks off

Student organizers for the annual Homeless and Hungry fundraiser have their sights on surpassing last year.

By: Kelly Smith and Mila Koumpilova, INFORUM

Student organizers for the annual Homeless and Hungry fundraiser have their sights on surpassing last year.

On Thursday, they’ll meet at Concordia College to kick off the fundraiser by “getting everyone pumped up” for the Oct. 3-4 event, said Fargo South High School senior John Mitzel, one of the organizers.

Their goal: raise $250,000 and 25,000 pounds of items to donate to area shelters.

About 750 people are involved with the fundraiser – a majority of whom are high school and college students, Mitzel said.

Last year, the group raised $200,000 and 20,000 pounds.

Yet, while the fundraiser is going on its fourth year, organizers say it sometimes gets overshadowed by the Fill the Dome project, which is organized by the Metro Area Youth Partnership.

“We work with each other; we just have different focuses,” Mitzel said.

For more information or to donate, go to www.homelessandhungry.org.

In the spirit of helping

The Shanley High School band is spending this week’s homecoming celebrations lending a hand.

From now until Friday, they’re looking for new or used-but-in-good-condition children’s books for kindergarten-age or younger children that they’ll donate to local day cares.

“Instead of people throwing them away, we’ll put them to use,” said band director Don Pochmara.

The “Book Blitz” is the start of an annual service project they’ll do to give back to the community during the spirit week.

To donate, drop books off at the Fargo school.

Top teachers recognized

Two North Dakota high school teachers are among nine K-12 teachers the National Council of Geography Educators will honor Wednesday through Sept. 27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

May-Port CG High School social studies teacher Phil Murphy and Wahpeton High School social studies teacher Larry Lasch will receive recognition at the national conference.

The K-12 Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes and supports excellence in geography teaching among the nation’s elementary, middle and high school teachers.

Choir director honored

Pamela Burns, an artistic director at Lake Agassiz Girls Choir, was recently recognized as an outstanding music educator by Heritage Music Festivals.

Besides working at the choir for third- through 12th-grade girls in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Burns also directs choirs for Fargo Public Schools and First Presbyterian Church in Fargo.

Readers can reach Forum reporters Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515 and

Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5524