Fayette County: Booker T. Washington to get new playground

The students of Booker T. Washington Academy, with assistance from The Home Depot volunteers and organizers from the non-profit KaBOOM!, will create drawings of their dream play space — complete with slides, swings and additional playground equipment. Their ideas will be the basis for a new playground to be built at the school on Oct. 20 with help of country duo Montgomery Gentry.

The playground construction is in recognition of Montgomery Gentry being named the 2010 recipients of The Home Depot Humanitarian Award at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Humanitarian Award recipients are honored with a KaBOOM! playground built by The Home Depot. Montgomery Gentry fans selected Lexington as the site for the playground via an online voting process.

Booker T. Washington Academy, located at 475 Price Road, first opened in 1916, and now supports more than 600 students at its primary and intermediate centers. The intermediate center, which teaches students in third through fifth grades, has no playground equipment. The school strives to promote high achievement, self-discipline, and life-long learning and offers resources such as community-based mentoring and Spanish courses.

Beginning sign language offered

Fayette County Public Schools is offering a free series of Beginning Sign Language classes for families and community members. The course will be taught by Kelly Southgate.

The sessions are scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday nights: Oct. 14, 21, 28; Nov. 4, 11, 18; and Dec. 2, 9, 16. The class will meet in the annex library at "It's About Kids" Support Services, 701 E. Main St., except for Nov. 11 in the annex cafeteria.

The class size is limited to 30, and participants must plan to attend all nine sessions. To register, call Monica Johnson at (859) 381-4182.

Food help offered to students

God's Pantry Food Bank and the University of Kentucky Athletics Department are teaming up for the 2010-11 school year to help alleviate childhood hunger for children at four Lexington schools through the BackPack Program, which is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.

All of the food that is distributed is child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed and vitamin fortified.

Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or vacation.

Throughout the school year, student-athletes from all sports and all of the athletics staff at UK will help pack the weekly supplements and then deliver them to Picadome, Lansdowne and Cassidy elementary schools and Morton Middle School.

Lexington Green holds Scarecrow Fest

Scarecrow Fest is back at the Mall at Lexington Green. Bring scarecrow entries to Artique before Sept. 30. There will be a scarecrow workshop at 3 p.m. September 18 at Lexington Green. Voting runs Oct. 1-28. For more information, go to

Pilot introduces flight experience

Mike Warner, a Lexington pilot, has now given more than 200 young people a free demonstration airplane ride as part of the EAA Young Eagles program, which is introducing a new generation to the world of flight. Warner is among the 42,000 pilots who have donated their time and aircraft to the effort. The names of the pilots and the participants are included in the world's largest logbook, which is on display in the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., and online through the Young Eagles Web site. For more information, go to

Alzheimer's group holds Memory Walk

The 2010 Memory Walk, an event to raise money for Alzheimer's care, support and research, will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 19 at Masterson Station Park. For information or to register for the one-mile walk, contact Amber Lakin at (859) 266-5283.