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Helping the homeless, one step at a time

Students, staff and community members at Scotchtown Hills Elementary and St. Mary of the Mills School are helping combat homelessness, one step at a time.

Both schools are hosting Help the Homeless Community Walks Friday, Oct. 16, to raise awareness about, and raise funds for, Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services. The walks raise money through registration fees; last year the walks raised $116,000, according to Laura Wellford at LARS..

LARS is a nonprofit that offers services to homeless and low-income families in the greater Laurel area, including food, housing programs, eviction prevention, utility assistance, employment services and other programs. The walks are part of the Fannie Mae Foundation's Help the Homeless Community Walk Program.

At Scotchtown Hills, more than 400 students, parents and teachers will walk Dorset Road to Brooklyn Bridge Road and back to the school. Scotchtown Hills students also will be wearing red to celebrate National Red Ribbon Day, to show that they attend a drug-free school.

At St. Mary of the Mills, more than 300 students, teachers and parents will walk down Main Street to C Street and back.

Schools 'clean up' and 'green up'

Last weekend, several Laurel-area schools participated in the annual Prince George's County's "Clean Up, Green Up" event. Volunteers from the school and local communities gathered at Laurel High School and Scotchtown Hills and Vansville elementary schools. Scotchtown Hills saw more than 50 volunteers, while more than 100 gathered at Vansville over the course of the day Saturday, Oct. 20. At all schools, volunteers cleaned up the grounds and planted trees, flowers and bulbs.

All throughout the county, 200 sites took part in the event, which included 60 neighborhood schools.

According to a release from the school system, the event was held in collaboration with Keep Prince George's County Beautiful and "represents a shared commitment to making the county a cleaner — and greener — place to live, work and play."

Community meetings scheduled for superintendent search

Prince George's County Public Schools is hosting three community meetings focused on the search for a new superintendent. Parents, staff and community members are encouraged to attend to receive updates on the search process and share their input on what qualities they would like to see in the new superintendent.

Former Superintendent William Hite left his post in September to take the top job in Philadelphia schools. Alvin Crawley, a school administrator in Washington, was named interim superintendent to lead the schools until a new superintendent is named in the spring.

Meetings are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 29 at Whitehall Elementary School in Bowie; Thursday, Nov. 1 at Oxon Hill Middle School in Fort Washington; and Thursday, Nov. 8 at Kettering Middle School in Upper Marlboro. All meetings are scheduled for 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Interim superintendent hosts community meetings for 2014 budget

Prince George's County's Interim Superintendent Alvin Crawley is hosting two community meetings on the 2014 operating budget, to allow the public to participate in the budget's development.

"Now is the time to get involved in the budget process," Crawley said in a news release. "The input I receive from these meetings will be used to develop the school system's fiscal priorities and goals for the upcoming year before they are officially presented to the Board of Education."

The operating budget for fiscal year 2013 totaled $1.66 billion.

The meetings will be held Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro, and Wednesday, Nov. 7 at Laurel High School. Both meetings are scheduled for 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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