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Walton Academy students host fall festival for Tri-County Head Start program

The DeFuniak Springs Herald of DeFuniak Springs, Florida

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The students of Walton Academy Charter School took advantage of the seasonal uptick in outdoor festivities to host a day of fun activities for their younger neighbors at the Tri-County Community Council's Head Start program.

Turnout was good at the inaugural fall festival, with about 65 Academy students participated in the Oct. 30 event, and easily more than 100 pre-schoolers enrolled at the Walton County Head Start branch came out to take in early the autumn air. Activities included a petting zoo, a face-painting booth, a relay race and all manner of games stations, all of which were designed, built, organized and manned by the Academy students. Guidance Counselor Marie Lauri-no said events like this first-ever fall festival are proof that Walton Academy's "Spartans" are proud to contribute their individual talents to give back to their community.

"It's been amazing to see how things went from the inception of the ideas for the booths and activity stations all the way up to day when we see their successful execution," she said. "These kids are serious about giving back. They're all-in. I don't know who had more fun today, our middle and high school students or the little kids."

Dean of Students Shekima Fields said the Academy students participating in the fall festival all had to meet exacting behavior and academic standards before they would be eligible to take part in the daylong festivities. Other field day-type events are being planned in conjunction with Tri-County, with the next being tentatively set for sometime next spring.

"Things like [the fall festival] give the kids an incentive to come to school and do what they're supposed to, so hopefully we can have more activities like this throughout the year," Fields said. "All the kids who participated today had really excellent behavior, and everyone on the faculty and staff is proud of them. I think today was a great success."

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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