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Pursuing an Education in the Wilds


School may be out this week, but that doesn't mean the learning stops. Just ask the 30 students from Madison Middle School in North Hollywood and Grant High School in Van Nuys, who are heading to the Kern River on Monday to spend three days learning survival skills, rock-climbing technique and animal behavior.

The rugged camping trip is the culminating activity for the Volunteer Center Assistance League of Southern California's Youth Serving Youth Initiative, which seeks to help build young people's self-esteem.

The program matches at-risk middle school students with highly motivated honor students, who participate together in community service projects.

"The younger ones learn through role-modeling what it takes to get to college," said Tom Hoener, the Volunteer Center's youth service coordinator. "The older kids learn responsibility and the gratification of helping others. They all gain from the experience."


Classy Quilts: Friendship proved to be a winning theme in the third annual Class Quilts LA competition sponsored by UCLA's Fowler Museum of Cultural History. Held Enrichment School's "Friendship Quilt" and 13 other quilts from Los Angeles-area schools were selected from 28 entries for a six-week exhibition at the university museum. Chosen for its originality and collaborative effort, the Tarzana school's 23-square quilt depicts friendship scenes, such as children playing together and a friend consoling a friend. The quilts will be on display through Aug. 1.

Beautification:Wilbur Avenue Elementary School's auditorium is sporting a bright new entryway, thanks to the artistic talents of the Tarzana school's student body. Each of the 680 students and 40 faculty members painted a square tile, measuring 6 inches by 6 inches, depicting a nature theme. Funds for the beautification project were provided by the school booster club and the Los Angeles Department of Public Works.


Picture That: Louisa B. Caucia's yearbook students at Columbus Middle School in Canoga Park have won the silver medal awarded by Columbia University's Scholastic Press Assn. This is the school's ninth yearbook award since 1990. The yearbooks are judged on concept, photography, writing, graphic design and coverage.

Caucia's cable news students also earned honors--the Los Angeles Unified School District's Video in the Classroom award--for their 30-minute newscast. They were awarded $750 by the Hollywood Radio and Television Society.

Capitol Day: Five winners of a student essay contest sponsored by state Sen. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) toured the state Capitol with the legislator Monday. Tanya Cholakian, 16, and Clayton Walker, 17, of Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta, Thomas Holland, 16, of Verdugo Hills High School in Tujunga and two Pasadena students wrote the winning essays, which detailed how they would address teen issues if they were state senators.


Space is still available for musicians, ages 6-14, at the Kadima Conservatory of Music's Summer Music Seminar for strings, wind, brass and percussion. The Sherman Oaks program runs for four to six weeks, beginning June 29. For information, call Beth Elliott at (818) 780-9596 . . . Speed-reading classes for fifth- and sixth-graders are being offered at Pierce College in Woodland Hills. Tuition is $239 for the enrichment classes, which run through Aug. 29.

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