Assignment Education

Photo | RCES PTA Joe Pritchard, co-owner of Pritchard Music Academy, was one of the volunteers honored with the Rachel Carson Hands Up Award on Feb. 5.

Photo | RCES PTA
Joe Pritchard, co-owner of Pritchard Music Academy, was
one of the volunteers honored with the Rachel Carson Hands Up Award on Feb. 5.

Hands Up Honors RCES Students, Volunteers

Rachel Carson Elementary School (RCES) honored students and volunteers with the Hands Up Award on Feb. 5. The award is part of the school’s Character Counts program where students are selected by their teachers for exhibiting one or more of these six pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and/or citizenship. Students were invited to place their handprints on one of the school’s front hallway pillars and received a certificate at the evening ceremony.

For the first time, the Hands Up Award was given to volunteers “who have gone above and beyond,” RCES PTA President Chad Older explained. These volunteers were Joe Pritchard of Pritchard Music Academy, Jenna Goldblatt of CandyCakeExplosion, Greg Webb with Paladar, and DJ Blake Motter. RCES Principal M. Deneise Hammond said the award signifies how much the school treasures its volunteers and depends upon them to run all of its PTA events.

“Staff will be putting their hands up during preservice week in August to kick off the 2019-2020 school year,” she added.

LPMS Raises Funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Lakelands Park Middle School (LPMS) SGA teamed up with the PTA to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Pennies for Patients program. The PTA donated all concessions sold at the school’s Vaentine’s Dance Party. Community members who would like to contribute can do so at

Mulch Madness Begins

Area high school athletics booster clubs have launched their popular spring fundraiser mulch sales. The Quince Orchard High School Booster Club is offering a reduced price on black mulch this year, and brown mulch prices have not risen in a few years.

Mulch is provided by Potomac Garden Center, and you can get free delivery with a minimum order of 10 bags. Spreading services are available courtesy of the QO 4A state football champs for an additional charge. Order by March 4 at for March 16 pickup and delivery.

The Northwest High School Booster Club has brown and black mulch for sale with free delivery for orders of 15 bags or more. Mulch orders will be in on Saturday, April 6 for pickup and delivery. Spreading services are available courtesy of the Northwest High School football team for an additional change. Order by March 30 at

High Schoolers Encouraged to Enter GBF Poetry Contest

For the first time, the annual Gaithersburg Book Festival writing contest is about poetry. Students in grades 9 through 12 are invited to enter a poem on any subject by Feb. 21. Contest winners will be chosen by Maryland’s poet laureate Grace Cavalieri. The top three poems will be announced at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on Saturday, May 18, 2019. First-, second- and third-place winners will receive $250, $100 and $50 gift certificates, respectively, provided by the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County campus. A fan favorite poem, selected by voting on the website, will receive a $25 gift certificate. For more information, visit