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Drama camp’s session two starts next week

Is your child an undiscovered star?

Does he or she sing and dance and make up plays at the drop of a hat?

If so, the BCHS FutureStars Drama Camp is probably for you. The camp runs June 24-28 at BCHS is a fun and exciting way to get kids 5-13 interested in performance.

Counselors from BCHS drama and the Baker County Community Theatre are on hand to teach kids all the basics of singing, dancing, stage movement and acting. At the end of each session they will show off their skills in a FutureStars Extravaganza musical performance.

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Pre-K Center welcomes spring with fun, games

Kylee Sue Johnson during tug-of-war.Jaxon Echols in the relay race.Principal Bonnie Jones drives the ATV-powered train full of children.

Children at the Prek-Kindergarten Center welcomed back spring last week at the school’s 2013 Spring Fling, a day of games, music and snow cones with parents and teachers.

Groups of children rounded the various stations — tug of war, sack race, bounce houses and others — while fast-paced music pumped from speakers and parents snapped photos of their kids playing. The annual event took place on March 28 during the last week of school before spring break.

A perfect marriage: the letters Q & U

Students at the PreK-Kindergarten Center recently conducted a marriage of sorts in which kindergarteners Isabella Gray posed as the letter “Q” and Connor Miner as the letter “U.”

Other students from the classes of kindergarten teachers Cori Wilkes and Jenna Smith served as the choir and all the other letters of the alphabet during the ceremony.

“It keeps it fresh in their minds that ‘Q’ and ‘U’ are always together in the English language and they make a unique sound,” said Ms. Wilkes, a second-year teacher.

The perils of ‘spit tobacco’

Rick Bender, mouth cancer survivor.This week students at the middle and high schools are getting a closeup look at the effects of smoking and chewing tobacco as part of a national campaign that culminates with the 18th annual Kick Butts Day on March 20.

Nationally known anti-tobacco speaker Rick Bender — a survivor of mouth cancer he attributes to using chewing tobacco as a teenager — shared his story with groups of middle schoolers on March 18 and high schoolers the following day.

Mr. Bender, who started using “spit tobacco” at age 12, opened one session at the middle school on Monday by asking the students if they’ve ever tried the product.

Only a few hands went up. But when he asked if they knew anyone who used dip regularly, nearly all the students raised their hands.

Mr. Bender of Sarasota, FL grew up in California and played baseball in high school, which was part of the reason he started using a couple of cans of dip per week. He said his aversion to cigarettes and peer pressure also contributed to his habit, which increased to one can every other day by the end of high school.

By 1988, Mr. Bender, then in his mid-20s, was up to a can a day. That’s also about the time he noticed a little sore on the side of his tongue, which was nothing new. Similar sores, appearing as white bumps or rough patches of white tissue in his mouth, had been coming and going for years.

But this time the sore didn’t go away, and instead grew rapidly to the size of dime on his tongue.

“You want to talk about hurt, this thing hurt. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t eat. It was rubbing across my teeth,” Mr. Bender said.

He consulted a family physician who couldn’t diagnose the sore. He was directed to another doctor, who biopsied the growth that proved to be cancer — an undifferiented squamous cell carcinoma to be exact.

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