The Environmental and Spartal Technology Laboratory (EAST) program at Viola High School held a toy drive through last week. The toys go to Viola school children, and a local church has offered to help purchase toys as well.
Dec. 12 the tables of the EAST Lab room were filled with the donated toys going to Viola Elementary students. The EAST Lab students worked diligently as the toys were coded, and sorted. The toys were sorted by age, gifts for girls and gifts for boys. The codes on each toy protected each gift's secret Santa.
In addition to the toy drive the program held a clothing drive for CASA Kids Closet by delivering a truck load of new and lightly worn items. Project members Alex Duncan, Heather Simmons, Blair Jennings and Stephanie Dillinger, the project leaders, also purchased socks and undergarments for the organization with money from donations. If you would like to make a donation to the CASA Kids Closet, contact Bobetta Baker at Baker's Drugs or the Salem CASA office.
The EAST Lab program was started in 2000 in Arkansas and now has programs in as far away as California.
Upon receiving a grant the EAST Lab group purchased a GPS device and special software they used to map the town of Viola and hope to soon map the bus routes. The goal is to make routes more efficient, help substitute bus drivers with unfamiliar stops and even tell how long individual children spend traveling on the bus.
Other Lab accomplishments include, school Web site design, finalists in the Hot Springs Documentary Film Contest, and a Lab produced video on the EAST Lab Web site. The program has an enrollment of about 30 students in three classes, grades 9-12.
"If anyone has a need for support in a project or has a project idea the program can help with, we are always ready to serve the community," said sponsor Ashley Louis.
For more information on the Viola EAST Lab program visit them on the Web at www.violaschool.k12.ar.us or call 870-458-2213.