Westside schools:
CHAMPS at West; CHS drama on the road

       In 72 countries, there are unexploded land mines from past wars. It has been determined that certain dogs, when properly trained, can detect the scent of explosives in a mine, alert their trainers and thus save human lives.
       Connie Graven's West Middle School SAIL class has joined CHAMPS (Children Against Mines Program), which is raising money to train such dogs and put them to work. The class's first fundraiser will be a “Readathon” Thursday, Oct. 18, according to seventh-grader France Sarrell, the student leader from Graven's class.
       Sponsors are being sought for the Readathon's readers. It's the start of the class' effort to raise $20,000 (the cost to train one dog), explained Sarrell, one of about 20 students involved in the effort. “There will be other projects and fundraisers over time,” she added.
       Money raised through CHAMPS goes to the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI). General (Ret.) Gordon R. Sullivan, the 32nd Chief of Staff of the United States Army, founded MLI in 1997 - the 50th Anniversary year of the post-World War II Marshall Plan - in honor of George C. Marshall, the only soldier to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
       For more information, call West at 328-3900. The CHAMPS and MLI websites can be accessed at champskids.org.
       With the school auditorium under construction, the Coronado High School Theatre Department will present its fall show, “Noises Off!” Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 17-19 at Palmer High School, 301 N. Nevada Ave.
       “We've been rehearsing in my room and in stairwells!” drama instructor Elizabeth Kahn-Lanning said. “It's been insane.”
       Set construction has taken place in student Ashley Hill's family garage, Kahn added.
       Tickets are $7 for the general public ($5 for students) and will be available at the door. Showtime each night is 7 p.m.
       “Noises Off!” is a British comedy that follows “the on- and off-stage behavior of an incompetent acting troupe as they stumble from blundering dress rehearsal to the catastrophic closing night,” according to a Kahn press release.
       Also performing off campus this fall is the Coronado Choir, which gave its Fall Choir Concert Oct. 10 at Wasson High and will sing again Nov. 3 at Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus.
       In a $4.4 million project funded primarily with 2004 bond issue funds, the Coronado auditorium is being rebuilt with doubled seating and upgraded facilities. Completion is predicted next spring.
       Coronado High Principal Susan Humphrey has been selected Administrator of the Year by the Colorado High School Press Association for leading the return of a school newspaper to Coronado. The Cougar Chronicle started last year after Humphrey worked out a plan, including continuing journalism classes, with English Department Chair Jenny Chapman.
       The award will be presented at a journalism day Thursday, Oct. 11 in Fort Collins.
       Pay It Forward-CHS, a new organization at Coronado High led by English teacher Dave Lippincott, will hold a free car wash (donations accepted) Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Del Taco off Garden of the Gods Road, just east of I-25.
       Those having their cars washed will be given a note requesting they “pay forward” the act of kindness three times. The idea is taken from the 2000 book, “Pay It Forward,” by Catherine Ryan Hyde, who has since started a foundation by that name.

Westside Pioneer/press releases