■ The Girls on the Run group at Southern Elementary and the Helping Hands club at the Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary teamed up to support Lexington's Ronald McDonald House. Together they raised $250, enough to adopt 10 teddy bears for families staying there while their children receive care in local hospitals.
Girls on the Run launched the bear-hug service project at Southern in honor of Lorraine Williams, the former principal of nearby Millcreek. When the Millcreek students heard about the fundraiser, they contributed proceeds from their 25- and 50-cent "boo gram" sales at Halloween. Girls on the Run presented a plaque at Williams' retirement celebration, describing the teddy bear campaign.
Sarah Lister, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass, visited Southern on Dec. 17 to accept the $250 donation from Girls on the Run coach Nancy Smith and Helping Hands adviser Amanda Stewart. Heidi Guckenberger, the council director for Central Kentucky's Girls on the Run, was also on hand.
■ The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council selected the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council for its third annual Best of Green Schools list in the Student Leadership category.
The Best of Green Schools highlights schools, individuals and communities working toward the goal of healthy, high-performing learning places for all. The list recognizes the work being done across the country to make schools better and honors the best examples in the green schools movement.
The youth council — the first of its kind in the nation — is composed of students from all Fayette County high schools. They meet monthly and collaborate weekly with community partners to design and implement projects, meet with guest speakers and plan events. Their culminating spring activity is an Earth Day Celebration.
■ Paul Laurence Dunbar High School again secured the Convention Sweepstakes award at the 73rd annual Kentucky Beta Club senior conference Dec. 13 and 14 at the Galt House and Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.
The quiz bowl team took first place with Athena Kern, John Luan, Valerie Sarge and Christian Wright excelling and Sarge notching the high score on the written test.
In addition to student competitions, the statewide conference included meetings, officer elections and guest speakers.
These club members also earned individual honors:
First, agriculture exam, Christian Wright; first, math exam, Kathleen Yang; first, English exam, second for cartooning, Athena Kern; second, graphic printing, Joanna Slusarewicz; third, pencil drawing, Alice Liu; third, Spanish exam, Nelson Ng; third, science exam, Joseph Schneider.