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Courtesy photo
Alison Mansfield is surrounded by Canterbury Lower School students collecting school supplies.
education notebook

Lending a hand to Afghan kids

Project proposed by GIs to senior at Homestead

Alison Mansfield, a senior at Homestead High School, is well-known for her efforts to aid the troops in Afghanistan.

In 2005, when she was 10, she started a campaign to send letters to troops in Afghanistan. Eventually, she expanded her efforts to collect socks, toiletries and other supplies.

These days, she has another goal: delivering school supplies, toiletries and toys to Afghan youths.

Mansfield, 17, got the idea for her project, called “America to Afghanistan: Hands Across Our Lands” by emailing with a soldier on one of the U.S. military’s cultural support teams.

The teams, made up of female soldiers are there to interact with Afghan women when it’s not culturally appropriate for men in the Army to do so.

As part of their duties, they visit Afghan women and children to help them meet their basic needs. Often they will hand out toys, school supplies or other items.

“It’s getting to the root of the problem,” Mansfield said. “It shows America as a friend rather than a foe.”

Hands Across Our Lands was originally a Girl Scout project for Mansfield, who won the Girl Scout Gold Medal Award for her efforts.

To date, she’s collected 10,345 items for the cultural support teams, working with Canterbury Lower School, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Indiana Classical Junior League and others to collect the supplies.

To continue her work, she is holding a collection drive through Aug. 20. A collection bin will be outside the front door of VFW Kekionga Post 1421, 7712 Bluffton Road. People can also drop off items at the Southwest Allen County Schools Administration Building, 4824 Homestead Road. The SACS building has reduced hours over the summer.

For questions about the drive, contact Mansfield at


•Registration for the 2012-13 school year is today at all 49 Fort Wayne Community Schools elementary, middle and high school buildings.

Parents can visit their child’s school from noon to 7 p.m. Students must register at the school they will attend, even if they attended that school last year. Parents should bring all necessary contact information, and those new to the district should bring vaccination records, birth certificates and proof of residency. Many of the forms parents will need to fill out are available at www.fort Click the green back-to-school backpack and select Enrollment Forms. Parents may print them out and complete them at home and bring them to registration to save time on registration day. Those not able to register during the set registration times should contact the school their child will be attending to make other arrangements.

•The Fort Wayne Community Schools application for free and reduced-price meals and textbooks for students is available online. Applications are accepted throughout the year but need to be returned by Friday to be processed in time for the first day of school Aug. 20. Applications are available online at

Paper applications are also available at all FWCS schools, the Student Services Office at 1200 S. Clinton St. and Nutrition Services at 3211 W. Ludwig Road. Applications are available in English and Spanish.

•East Allen County Schools will have online registration through Sunday for currently enrolled students. If parents do not have computer and Internet access at home, the schools will have computer labs available during registration on several days. Elementary and secondary registration will take place from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. Paul Harding Junior High will have registration from noon to 7 p.m. today. Southwick will have registration from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Prince Chapman will have registration from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. Translators will be available. Parents should bring password or activation codes to register at school.


•Huntington University has been named one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes.

•IPFW received a MAP-Works Excellence Award for Cross Campus Collaborations.

•Garrett Center Head Start was named a five star program by The Indiana Department of Environmental Management.


Alfred Tatum will present “Reading as a Civil Right” at the NAACP Statewide Education Summit at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Ivy Tech Northeast. To register online for the summit, visit

Huntington University

•The Fandana Film Festival will be held Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $48 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-10 for the full event or single day passes are $29. Children 5 and younger are free.

Tickets are on sale now at Discounts are available for groups and youth groups.

Indiana Tech

•Indiana Tech’s traditional admissions office will host a registration day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. The event offers students enrolling in the traditional program for fall 2012 the opportunity to meet with advisers, tour campus, schedule classes, get student ID pictures taken, and complete any necessary financial aid paperwork.

Education Notebook appears Mondays. To have an item listed, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893; or e-mail at least two weeks before the desired publication. Dean’s lists, honor society initiations, courses with fees and graduation and internship announcements are not accepted.