Milestone for state NEA: Charles E. Smith has been elected as the first black president of the Missouri National Education Association. He starts Aug. 1.
Smith’s most recent teaching assignment was as a communication arts teacher in the Center School District, according to a Missouri NEA news release. He has been on leave for six years to work full-time as a vice-president for the 35,000-member state NEA. That job will continue during his presidency, the organization said.
A heart for homeless dogs: Grain Valley South Middle School is sponsoring its first “Doggone Days” from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday. Students and teachers are donating money and collecting supplies all week and then will view adoptable dogs at school on Friday.
All supplies and monetary donations will be given to the Kansas City Pet Project, a nonprofit that operates the Kansas City Animal Shelter.
Painting at Fire Prairie: At least 100 volunteers are needed in early June for a community painting project at a middle school that is being renamed Fire Prairie Upper Elementary School. The school, sy 24810 E. U.S. 24 in Independence, serves fifth and sixth grades
People as young as incoming fifth-graders are invited to help from 1 to 8 p.m. June 5-7 and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 8. Stints as short as an hour are welcome.
Also sought are donations of paint in specific colors, painting supplies and food for the volunteers. Contact Fire Prairie at 816-650-7158 if you can help.