Youth briefs

‘A Pocketful of Dirt’ musical production debuts at Gryphon Theatre

The actors and musicians of Studio 253 are set to debut “A Pocketful of Dirt,” a new musical theater production. “A Pocketful of Dirt” tells the story of three Irish families in the 1840s and their adventures as they emigrate to America, according to a news release. The show opens 7 p.m. Friday and plays again on 7 p.m. Saturday in the Gryphon Theatre, 710 Garfield St. Tickets are available at, in person at the Laramie Plains Community Center Main Office, or at the door 30 minutes before each performance. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $6 for children (suitable for ages 6 and older.)

Written and directed by Studio 253 founder Deborah Kassner, “A Pocketful of Dirt” shines a light on 1840s Ireland, when millions of lives were forever changed by the devastating potato famine and the events that followed. Filled with humor, heart and hope, “A Pocketful of Dirt” offers a view into the political and personal conflicts of the time, ideas and issues that are as relevant today as they were 150 years ago. The musical score combines traditional Irish songs and dances with several original tunes, with live music — piano, accordion, tin whistlers and fiddlers, the release states.

Ten percent of all ticket sales will be donated to Interfaith-Good Samaritan’s Albany County School District No. 1 Backpack Program, food support for school-age children. Volunteers will also be available to collect donations of canned goods before and after the show. This program is supported, in part, by a generous grant from the Wyoming Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Go to for more information.

Japanese Festival for Children planned for April 28

The Japan-America Society of Wyoming (JASWY) will celebrate Children’s Day from 2-3:30 p.m. April 28 at the Albany County Public Library, 310 S. Eighth St.

This JASWY Children’s Day marks the 11th year that JASWY has partnered with the Library to sponsor the event, according to a news release. The society will also be assisted by the Laramie High School Japanese Culture Club. The Children’s Day celebration will include the following activities led by local volunteers: reading of Japanese folk tales, learning fun Japanese songs in Japanese and English, learning Japanese dance, Origami (paper folding of a Kabuto (helmet), creating head bands, crafting a turtle and tasting Japanese foods (cookies, rice crackers, nori, squid, etc.). As part of this event, JASWY has placed some interesting Japanese items in the display case at the Albany County Public Library through April 28. Children ages 8 and younger are encouraged to attend. The event is free to the public.

The event is co-sponsored by the Albany County Public Library. Email for more information.

Local Montessori Preschool has openings for 3-5 year olds

The Montessori Children’s House of Laramie, a local nonprofit preschool, has openings for students ages 3-5, according to a news release. The preschool prides itself on fostering a love of learning. Children are taught by a Montessori certified teacher and use Montessori materials, which encourage hands-on, self-directed learning. Music, art, and outdoor time are also a part of the curriculum, the release states.

Snacks and nap/rest time are included in the child’s day. Half-, school- and full-day options are available.

Those interested in learning more can email or call 460-9220 from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

Laramie Youth Council accepting applications

The Laramie Youth Council is a student group coordinated by Sarah Reese, an administrator for the city of Laramie as an outreach effort to get Laramie students involved in governance at the local and state level, according to a news release. Currently, LYC is working on an economic development project for the city trying to heighten youth input. Candidates ages 14-19 are selected annually through an application process. The application deadline for the 2018-2019 school year program is May 1. Go to for more information.

Laramie Amateur Hockey Club announces post season honors

The Laramie Amateur Hockey Club awarded its top volunteerism honor to Janet Upchurch. The Dale Wade Award is named for club founder and coach Dale Wade, who in 1975 was instrumental in establishing the club. The Dale Wade Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a club member and is for a demonstration of exceptional service to the hockey club, according to the news release. Current Board President Scott Miller presented the award to Upchurch at club’s annual meeting Thursday. Currently a 14U and 19U Girls team-level parent, Upchurch has shown exceptional commitment to Laramie hockey through her consistent willingness to step-up and serve the club. She has served multiple times as a team manager, is currently the club jersey manager, coordinated team vendors and organized local hockey tournaments and team events. Upchurch represents outstanding volunteerism in Laramie Outlaw hockey by seeking opportunities to support the club, represent the community, and ensure Laramie youth have a safe and supportive sports opportunities.

At the Wyoming Amateur Hockey League state playoffs, five Laramie players were elected to All-State High School teams. Emmie Wahlgren, Gabby Schwindt and Annie Erikson were elected to the 2018 WAHL Girls All-State A-Team in Cody on March 4. 18U High School players Evan Naughton and Zach Johnson were selected for the 2018 WAHL High School All-State B-Team. Their awards were announced at the high school championships in Sheridan on Feb. 24.

State Development Camp selections were made March 23-25, and a record eight players from Laramie hockey were selected to represent Wyoming and participate May 4-6 in the 2018 Northern Plains District Player Development Camp in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Northern Plains Camp admits top players from the four state regions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Players selected include Nick Schwindt, Sam Miller, Lucie Meeker-Gordon, Drake Crawford, Dan Upton, Avery Hilton, Joey Salmans and Maggie Miller.

How to submit to Youth Briefs

If you have a Youth Brief you’d like to submit, send it to, bring it to the office at 320 Grand Ave. or fax it to 721-2973. Include who, what, when, where, why and how in the brief, as well as the cost and where to go for more information, if applicable. Word limit for briefs is 125 words. Submitting information for briefs does not preclude us from possibly writing a story on it. Submissions must be approved by the editor before publication. All submissions will be edited for grammar, style, spelling, libel and length. The deadline is 4 p.m. Mondays for publication in Tuesday papers. Contact Peter Baumann at 755-3328 or for more information.

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