From, Legos to layups, there's plenty to celebrate this week in a trio of the achievements by local students and, with their efforts, the contributions of the community.
First, Hood River Valley High School teams won State in the First Tech Challenge Championship Tournament on Feb. 26 in Hillsboro (Details on page A1).
The robotics teams of all ages throughout the Gorge are on the rise, thanks to the dedicated help of local engineers and other professionals and volunteers who rightly have seen robotics as a great opportunity to teach kids about math and science, along with teamwork, and have fun at the same time.
Second, the Horizon boys basketball team defeated Jordan Valley to advance to the State Class 1A OSAA tournament in Baker. The Hawks prevailed through the talent and determination needed to withstand a tough Jordan Valley team that drove 7.5 hours to get here. The local squad also persevered through their own mistakes, a lesson in itself.
Safe travels to the team and its supporters as they head east on Interstate 84 to Baker for the final high school basketball competitions of the season. Kudos to the team for its second straight appearance at State. Here's hoping they bring home a trophy, but certainly they'll carry away good memories.
Third, the continued accomplishments of FFA students at HRVHS were on display in the annual open house at the Learning Lab, where students learn to care for plants and animals, and students pointed to surface upgrades that will improve the facility's sustainability as a neighbor of Indian Creek. The walls of the shop classrooms are lined with banners reflecting prizes earned at FFA competition in tests of scientific knowledge, business organization, leadership, public speaking and more.
What all three of these programs have in common is that they are community efforts. Adults, some of them with no direct family connection to the endeavor, are lending their time and expertise to help our young people learn to excel. Robotics, basketball and FFA group efforts are examples of how, through athletics as well as a variety of fields of learning, young people in our midst are advancing through their own hard work and the help of others.