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Be Part of the Children's Connection

Call for student artwork and writing; deadline Dec. 3.

During the last week of each year, The Connection devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

The annual Children's Connection is a tradition of well over a decade, and we begin getting inquiries from teachers and parents about submitting artwork and writing almost as soon as summer is over.

We publish artwork, poetry, essays, creative writing, opinion pieces, short stories, photography, photos of sculpture or gardens or other creative efforts.

We ask that all submissions be digital so they can be sent through email or delivered on CD or flash drive. Writing should be submitted in rich text format (.rtf). Artwork should be photographed or scanned and provided in jpeg format.

Identify each piece of writing or art, including the student's full name, age, grade and town of residence, plus the name of the school, name of teacher and town of school location. Please provide the submissions by Monday, Dec. 3.

Some suggestions:

  • Drawings or paintings or photographs of your family, friends, pets or some favorite activity. These should be photographed or scanned and submitted in jpeg format.

  • Short answers (50 to 100 words) to some of the following questions: If you could give your parents any gift that didn't cost money what would that gift be? What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming year? What is one thing that you would change about school? What do you want to be when you grow up? What is your favorite animal? What is your favorite toy? What makes a good parent? What makes a good friend? What is the best or worst thing that ever happened to you? What is the best gift you've ever given? Ever received?

  • Your opinion (50 to 100 words) about traffic, sports, restaurants, video games, toys, trends, etc.

  • Poetry or other creative writing.

  • Opinion pieces about family, friends, movies, traffic, sports, food, video games, toys, trends, etc.

  • News stories from school newspapers.

We welcome contributions from families, public and private schools, individuals and homeschoolers.

Email submissions for the Arlington Children's Connection to Steven Mauren at smauren@connectionnewspapers.com.

To send CDs or flash drives containing artwork and typed, electronic submissions, mark them clearly by school and hometown and mail the CD to Children's Connection, 1606 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Please send all submissions by Dec. 3. The Children's Connection will publish the week of Dec. 27, 2012.

Halloween Parties, SoberRide

Halloween is now as much of an adult party as a children's festival. Along with the Fourth of July, the holiday period including New Year's Eve and a few other dates, Halloween stands out as a holiday connected to an increase in drinking and driving.

If you will be out celebrating with alcohol, you can plan ahead. Assign a designated driver. Celebrate at home. Take public transportation. But if these plans fall through, the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) Halloween SoberRide program provides a safety net.

For six hours from 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31 until 4 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, SoberRide serves as a way to keep impaired drivers off the road. During this six-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 1-800-200-TAXI and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $30 fare), safe way home.

Sponsors of this year's Halloween SoberRide offering include: Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Diageo, Giant, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.

Since 1993, WRAP's SoberRide program has provided 55,694 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area. For more information visit www.wrap.org

Last Call

Letters to the editor from local residents about the upcoming election should be received by Friday, Oct. 26 to be considered for publication. Letters on candidates, bond questions, election procedure or any other local, election related topics are welcome and encouraged. Ideal letters will be about 200 words and convey opinion with civility. Send letters to arlington@connectionnewspapers.com

— Mary Kimm, mkimm@connectionnewspapers.com