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Kelly Smith and Mila Koumpilova, Published March 15 2009

Bennett Elementary students raise $12,000

Bennett Elementary students took the cake – and the pie – this year, raising enough money to be the

No. 1 North Dakota school for the American Heart Association’s “Jump Rope for Heart” event.

The Fargo school aimed this year to exceed the $8,000 they raised last year. And to motivate them, physical education teacher Nick Christianson made them two offers: Raise $7,000 and he’d shave his hair into a Mohawk; raise $10,000 and they could throw pies in his face.

Too bad for him, they raised more than $12,000.

“It is quite a lot,” he said, pre-haircut. “We weren’t expecting that.”

But he was expecting the payback Friday as students claimed their reward – shaving part of his head and “pie-ing” both him and fellow physical education teacher Amanda Kaldor.

“They just did an outstanding job,” Kaldor said before being covered in chocolate and whipped cream.

The money they raised during the three-week fundraiser will go toward cardiovascular disease research, programs and education, said Wayne Geary of the American Heart Association. As a reward, the school will receive $500 worth of PE equipment from the association.

“It’s all about the kids working hard to reach their goals,” Geary said.

Now the students have raised the bar on next year’s goal, Christianson told the students after the assembly: “Let’s set our mark at that again.”

History buffs

More than 100 Horizon Middle School students gathered at Moorhead’s Hjemkomst Center earlier this week to unveil a novel project called “History in the Making.”

The Moorhead students had dug into local history with some help from several community partners: Bonanzaville USA, Concordia College Archives, the Historic Comstock House and the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, which also hosted the presentation. The student projects included performances, documentaries, multimedia presentations and exhibits. They all aimed to showcase the rich heritage of this region.

‘Fish Don’t Do Drugs’

With the help of 13 area pharmacies, local law enforcement and her environmental science class, West Fargo High School senior Andrea Sluke is spreading the word in West Fargo about the consequences of improperly disposing of prescriptions and medications.

Her message: When unused pharmaceuticals are washed down sinks, they can affect wildlife.

The National Environmental Education Foundation and The Weather Channel recently recognized Sluke and her project, coined “Fish Don’t Do Drugs,” giving her and 29 other students nationwide a grant to aid their efforts.


Readers can reach Forum reporters Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515 and Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5524