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November 24, 2013

Academy students pack gift boxes

Two Rivers raised funds for Operation Christmas Child.

The students of Two Rivers Academy hustled through classrooms Friday morning as they packed Operation Christmas Child boxes.

After exceeding a goal of $100, Two Rivers Academy students were able to pack 20 to 25 boxes to send overseas through Operation Christmas Child. Items purchased to go in the boxes included toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs and various toys for both boys and girls. Each box also had a card inside.

Two Rivers Academy is an alternative middle school program offered at the Family Opportunity Center, located near the Cass County 4-H fairgrounds. Students who attend come from Lincoln and Columbia Middle Schools for various reasons, including falling behind in school or having emotional difficulties.

Chuck LaDow, director of the alternative middle school program, teaches the students. The program, which meets from 8 to 3:30 p.m. during the week, currently has nine students and covers a full curriculum.

“Middle school is a tough time,” LaDow said.

Students eventually transition back to Columbia and Lincoln middle schools. After students transition back, a counselor at the school meets with students and LaDow said he checks up on them as well.

LaDow, who has been involved with the program for three years, said in addition to the class they try to do other activities.

Students in the program had a Thanksgiving meal Friday afternoon and later attended the Logansport High School Winter Fantasy production of “Grease.” Some students also went shopping to help pick out the items to go in the Operation Christmas Child boxes.

“Our focus now is that this is a great opportunity to get kids back on the right path,” LaDow said.

The program has involved a lot of goal setting, like the $100 goal for the Operation Christmas Child boxes, LaDow said.

Brady Kreighbaum, a student at Two Rivers, chose to pack a box to send to a boy between the ages of 10 to 14. Brady was also one of the students who was allowed to go shopping to get the items to pack the boxes.

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