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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bridge Academy students take part in Senior Summit

The staff at the Coeur d’Alene Bridge Academy is preparing the school’s 80 seniors for life after spring graduation with what they are calling their Senior Summit.

Like the senior projects required at large public high schools, which often involve job-shadowing with a professional, Bridge Academy’s summit has a job-shadowing component. But the summit also involves seniors in community volunteer work and the real-life experiences of living on a budget, paying rent and applying for a job. Each Bridge Academy senior is required to take part in a community project, whether it be walking dogs for the Humane Society, planting tulips for Idaho Drug-Free Youth or helping with the coats-for-kids drive at the Harding Family Center. The students must volunteer for a minimum of eight hours.

Principal Stephanie Bennett said that if the students volunteer for projects, they tend to be more aware of what is going on in their community. Most of the Bridge Academy students have jobs in addition to attending school, so the flexibility of the summit works well for them. The Bridge Academy is in its second year of operation.

Many Bridge Academy seniors will interview and possibly job-shadow members of the Coeur d’Alene Rotary.

The club awarded the Bridge Academy a $20,000 grant last spring and chose to work with the school as its Centennial Project in celebration of Rotary International’s 100th anniversary.

“We have been working with Stephanie and the Bridge Academy since last year on a number of projects,” said Barry McHugh, Coeur d’Alene Rotary president. “We provided funding for them to provide additional computers, so they could expand, since their waiting list was so long.”

As part of the service portion of their Centennial Project, some club members will be interviewed by Bridge Academy seniors about their professions. Thanks to Rotary’s diverse membership base, club members could help answer questions about a wide variety of careers. Each senior will pick two careers they are interested, then interview the professional, asking questions such as why they chose that field, and what education did they need to get the job. If there aren’t any local interviewees to match a senior’s chosen profession – an astronaut, for example – a telephone or online interview will be acceptable. Bennett said one student is vacillating between becoming a model or a physician, both of which Bennett feels the student is capable of. The third part of the summit could be a real wake-up call for many of the students. They must create a monthly budget, including the cost of food. They have to find an ad for an affordable one-bedroom house or apartment, find out what the rent is and call the utility companies to plug in those costs. They also need to identify the cost of medical and auto insurance.

The seniors must plan a week’s menu with three meals a day, including all the essential food groups, then price out all of the food they need by visiting a grocery store. The cost of one week’s food is multiplied by four and plugged into the budget.

Finally, they must apply at Job Service and bring copies of all the paperwork to Bennett.

“These are skills we feel will help them move on after graduation,” Bennett said. “It’s a culminating experience.”

Bennett said the students are really excited about the summit. With the help of the Rotary, she hopes doors will open for this group of seniors.

Journalism workshop

Last week North Idaho College played host to the “Thrills and Skills” high school journalism workshop. More than 200 students from 12 high schools in North Idaho, Western Montana and Eastern Washington attended the event. Volunteers from The Spokesman-Review, the Coeur d’Alene Press and Spokane radio and TV stations provided nine workshops for the students to choose from. The event was organized by the Idaho Press Club.

The Tiger Tells of Timberlake High School won first place in the Best of Show Newspaper. The Cedar Post of Sandpoint High School and the Bengal’s Purr from Lewiston won second and third places, respectively, for general excellence. The contest took into account the sizes of the schools and their newspaper staffs, and the improvement of their papers from previous years.

Lakes fall carnival

Lakes Middle School is playing host to a fall carnival and haunted house today from 5 to 9 p.m. Dinner will be available from 5 to 7, and the haunted house gets under way at 6. Activities include carnival games, bingo, a cakewalk, pie toss, dunk tank and entertainment. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Auction and dinner

Today is the last day to buy tickets for the Lake City Junior Academy Auction and dinner next Saturday at the Coeur d’Alene Inn.

A variety of Christmas gifts will be available to purchase at both the silent and live auctions. The event gets under way at 5:30 p.m. Child care is available at the school gymnasium for children ages 3 through the sixth grade. Tickets for the dinner and auction are $15, and child care including a meal is $10. Proceeds will benefit continued quality education, new computers and sound equipment. Tickets are available at the Academy, 111 Locust Ave., or by calling 667-0877.

PF seniors holding auction

The Post Falls High School senior class will hold its 10th annual auction next Saturday in the high school commons, with the silent auction and viewing beginning at 5:30 p.m. The live auction gets under way at 7. All proceeds will be used to fund the senior all-night drug- and alcohol-free party.

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