Our community based training is in full swing, and this week we had groups going shopping and out to eat. Also, two of our classes, with some of the students dressed in their Halloween costumes, visited the residents at Heartland Health Center in Berea. On Wednesday, Ms. Piper’s class made a special trip to the Bons Secours Wellness Center to participate in a CAN event held that day. CAN is the local organization charged with increasing community access for individuals with special needs and disabilities, and Wednesday a large group convened to celebrate the progress that the organization has made in Greenville. 

This week Linda Thigpen hosted several engineering students from Bob Jones University. These young people want to design implements for Washington Center students who have difficulty with grasp in order to help them to hold and use pens, paint brushes and other tools more easily. Many thanks to the folks from Bob Jones --- always so very supportive of Washington Center. Another guest this week was author Melinda Long. She came and read some of the books she has written for children, and everyone enjoyed getting to know her “pirates”. 

In class, students talked about the World Series and studied topics such as safety signs, motion, gravity and football. As a special treat, Ryana Wilson’s class has invited several of the Hillcrest High School football players, who are coached by our own Trez McDaniel, for a visit. Mrs. Wilson’s students have been following game results and tracking the progress of various football teams throughout the fall.

Monday of next week will end the first quarter, and on Tuesday we will have our Boo in The School celebration with “trick or treating” and a “Monster Bash” party. Feel free to join us for that event from 9:30 to 11:30. Washington Center at Hollis will have their Halloween celebration at 1 on Tuesday so they don’t disturb the students at Hollis Academy who will be in testing in the morning. Also next week we will have teacher cadets from Legacy Charter School coming for a tour, and on Saturday, November 4, Belk will be holding their sale to benefit schools. If you are interested in taking advantage of the bargains they will be offering between 6 am and 10 am on the 4th, Jennifer Lancaster Tillman would love for you to come by the media center to buy a five dollar admission ticket. Money from tickets sold will go back to our library and will be refunded with your first purchase at Belk. 

Next week you will be receiving a flyer inviting you to participate, on behalf of your child, in this year’s Washington Center Christmas gift giving initiative. In the past, Klaver Klub groups have given gifts to each of our students, but this year they have to cut back a bit, so we will be sponsoring our own “Seagull Tree”. Virginia Cook and Ryana Wilson are doing the planning for this and they will need to know by Friday whether or not to include your student on the tree. Names and pictures will not be on tags --- just a number indicating who the recipient of the gift is to be.  If you are a member of a group who would like to help with this by taking several seagulls from the tree, Virginia and Ryana will welcome your participation.

Mark your calendars for a couple of upcoming events. PTA Family Night with dinner for everyone and many community service providers here to talk with you about what they can offer will be on November 9, and our Washington Center Parent Thanksgiving Dinner will be on November 16. Be sure to sign up for both events.