"Good education predicts good health," says a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control. Helping at-risk kids graduate on time is the goal of the non-profit Communities in Schools of Spokane County, which is part of a nationwide drop-out prevention program. Executive Director Sherry Barrett says the CISS provides "wraparound" assistance to more than 3,000 local students. "We help them set goals so they can achieve school success. We also do monthly food distributions, and we have clothing closets that kids can access. We also provide hygiene items for students who need those." Avoiding substance abuse and other risky behaviors are topics of seminars for kids, while parents learn effective strategies for dealing with their teens.

Although grants support much of the group's work, the Masque Your Aid Benefit and Auction, now in its seventh year, contributes important funds. And it's fun. Along with a three-course dinner and the auction, Barrett says there will be live music, and a "nice cash prize" for best costume. The group hopes to raise $75,000 to benefit, "Kids who have amazing potential and oftentimes lots of barriers to educational success."

Communities in Schools of Spokane County's 7th Annual Masque-Your-Aid Benefit and Auction • Sat, Oct. 18 at 6 pm • $50 per ticket, $75 or two • Red Lion Hotel at the Park • 303 W. North River Dr. • 413-1436

Keiko Hara: Four Decades of Paintings and Prints @ Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through March 4
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About The Author

Anne McGregor

Anne McGregor is a contributor to the Inlander and the editor of InHealth. She is married to Inlander editor/publisher Ted S. McGregor, Jr.