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'Only One You' project celebrates diversity

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Altrusa International of Delta, Partners Mentoring and Drug Free Delta County are sharing life lessons with the 1,200 elementary students in Delta through the "Only One You" project.

The project is based on a children's book written by Linda Krantz. The book, "Only One You," encourages children to make healthy choices with the theme "There is only one you in this great big world. Make the world a better place."

The book was read to each class, with story boards for them to follow along.

Pam Bliss, Drug Free Delta County, said "Only One You" may be a children's book, but it's packed with wisdom for all ages. Adri, a young fish, is schooled in life's lessons by his wise Papa.

"These lessons emphasize healthy choices, individuality, being your 'best you,' and not always following the crowd. Adri learns when he makes a mistake to circle back until he gets it right.

"Drug Free Delta County's mission aligns with 'Only One You's' message," Bliss continued. "In recovery from substance abuse, our clients often circle back a number of times before they get it right. The book's final line, 'There's only one you in this great big world, make it a better place,' echoes the hope Drug Free Delta County has for all of its clients. The book simply puts forth its message which aligns well with Drug Free Delta County's message of prevention education.

The book also aligns with Altrusa's mission, said club president Ute Jantz. For much of its 100-year history, literacy has been a primary focus of the international service organization.

"This project is a constant reminder to children and adults that every one of us is important," she said.

The book features the author's uniquely painted "rockfish." After reading the book, volunteers are helping students at Garnet Mesa Elementary and Lincoln Elementary paint their own "rockfish" in their art classes.

About 10 volunteers from the three organizations "picked" enough rocks for children -- about 1,200 total -- from river rock at Pioneer Soils. The rocks were delivered to the two elementary schools, where painting took place.

At 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, Drug Free Delta County, Altrusa and Partners will lay the rocks in a "stream" at Bill Heddles Recreation Center. A dedication ceremony is planned Saturday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Betsy Shepherd, program director, said Partners Mentoring has been pleased to work with Altrusa, Delta County Drug Free and the Delta County School District to improve kids' life skills, painting rocks to celebrate diversity in our youth.

"With the permanent display at Bill Heddles Recreation Center, this project will make a lasting impression on the community," Jantz said.

Photo submitted Delta County Altrusa, its youth program ASTRA, Drug Free Delta County, and Partners sponsored the “Only One You” project. Garnet Mesa Elementary School students were given rocks to paint in whatever way they chose. Special thanks to Mrs. Hutch, GMES art teacher, for helping students create their masterpieces.
Photo by Pat Sunderland Lincoln Elementary School students Alan Asavei, Brody Morfitt and Amy Rinau put their own unique touch on rocks that are being placed in a “stream” at Bill Heddles Recreation Center. Altrusa volunteers were on hand with blowdryers, to speed up the process of layering colors.
Photo submitted Maycen Riegel, Garnet Mesa first grader, paints a rock that’s as unique as he is.
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