P. O. BOX 2120

October 31, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Month for Children

The 1995 General Assembly through HJR 496 designated May of every
year as the Month for Children in Virginia.  The 1997 General
Assembly passed a bill amending the Code of Virginia making May
officially "The Month for Children" in Virginia (Section 2.1-27.9. 
Month for Children in Virginia. -- The Month of May is
designated as the "Month for Children" in Virginia to focus on
children's special contributions to family, school, and
community; to counter the manifold ills that afflict children in
the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world; and to encourage the
citizens of Virginia to rededicate themselves and to redouble
their efforts to improve the lives and ensure the futures of
children everywhere. {1997, cc. 432, 442.})  The purpose of this
memorandum is to call attention to this designation, and to
encourage special activities and media coverage that focus on the
contributions made by our children and youth.

To support this endeavor, The Children and Youth Task Force's
mission is to:

          Provide a yearly forum to recognize and appreciate
          children and youth and their mentors for the good they
          do, and create an awareness throughout the State of the
          unheralded contributions they make to the communities
          in which they live and learn.

On May 8, 1997, fourteen children and nine mentors were honored
at the First Annual May is the Month for Children Awards ceremony
at the Science Museum of Virginia.  This event was made possible
through donations made by Capital One, Crestar Bank, Virginia
Power, and the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation.  Children,
mentors, their families, and guests were invited to enjoy the
museum prior to the awards ceremony and experience a film in the
IMAX theatre following the distribution of awards.  The award was
a certificate of recognition issued by the Governor.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia in May 1998, sixteen children and
youth and sixteen mentors will be honored in a special
celebration at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.  It is
a time for all Virginians to give long overdue recognition to our
children and youth and their mentors.  The exact details of date
and time for our celebration will be made known as soon as plans
are finalized.

Enclosed is a list of task force members, a flyer to post or
copy, and information regarding student and mentor nominations. 
Please note February deadline for nominations.

Questions related to this effort should be directed to Ken Magill
at (804) 225-2073 or Sydney Diggs, Task Force Director, at (804)


Enclosures:    A hard copy of this memo and its enclosures will
               be sent to the superintendent's office.