Briefly In Education

Teen drinking is topic at high school

When teens start high school and begin attending football games and parties, the inevitable subject of drinking enters the picture.

On March 1 at Laguna Beach High School, parents will have the opportunity to discuss the pressures that exist in regard to teen drinking during a special program, Parenting Alcohol Free Youth.

"It is doubtful that schools alone can play a meaningful role in reducing alcohol and other drug use without parental and community support and involvement," Irene White, LBUSD director of special education/student services, said in a statement.

The educational event will feature speakers from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence -Orange County Community Alliance Network and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) covering topics such as alcohol industry marketing strategies, products geared toward teens, alcohol and social media, and the skills needed to talk to teens about the dangers of underage drinking.

"Underage drinking is a problem and we all want to help students make good choices," Assistant Principal Bob Billinger said in a statement. "Providing parents with information which is honest, heartfelt and research-based will help them help their children make smart choices."

The presentation will start at 6 p.m. in the LBHS library. For more information, contact Irene White at LBUSD at (949) 497-7700.


Club honors members, volunteers

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Laguna Beach honored youth, parents and volunteers during a ceremony held Feb. 10 at Laguna Beach High School.

Held at the Artists Theatre, the award ceremony recognized more than 75 members from the main and TLC branches.

Some were singled out for their hard work by receiving the Youth of the Year award. Autumn McQuaid received the award for the Main Branch and Shiloah Hunter for the TLC Branch.

Staci Pellecchia received the Teen Youth of the Year award.

"The Youth of the Year awards are the most prestigious and are awarded to three individuals who have demonstrated strong moral character, community service involvement, and leadership and mentoring skills over the course of the 2010 year," The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach said in a press release.

On March 18, the three will meet up with other Orange County chapters to compete at the Orange County Youth of the Year Awards Ceremony in Irvine.

The kids weren't the only ones who walked away with awards; some adults were honored as well. Trigg Garner received Parent of the Year, and Gila Wdowinski was honored as Volunteer of the Year.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club in Laguna Beach, visit


Pack 35 wins Pinewood Derby

Cub Scout Pack 35 of Laguna Beach took home the win during the annual Pinewood Derby, a long-standing scout tradition at Laguna Presbyterian Church.

Around 45 Cub Scouts took part in the Feb. 15 racing event, in which the Scouts race handmade, wooden cars on a race track.

Anyone interested in information about the Cub Scouts should contact Pam Jensen at (949) 494-6177.


Baby drive for Marine families

Cassidy Kelly, a senior Girl Scout, will hold a drive in Laguna Beach on March 5 during the Patriots Day Parade to collect baby items for Marine families.

Cassidy, 15, is currently working toward the gold designation with her newest project, Operation Baby Shower, which is aimed at gathering baby goods for Marine families affected by deployment.

In a statement issued to the press, Cassidy stated she hopes to gather everything from diapers and baby clothes to strollers and car seats, and unveil the items at a baby shower at Camp Pendleton in June.

Cassidy, who lives in Laguna Beach said she founded the Military Support Club at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano where she attends school. In the past, the club has held evening gown drives so Marine wives have something to wear to the ball. Anyone interested in donating should visit the Laguna Beach County Water District from 9 a.m. to noon on parade day.

—Compiled by Joanna Clay

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