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United Way of Northern Arizona is hosting a Day of Action today to support childhood literacy. Volunteers are needed to tutor students who need individual help, to read with kids in and after school, and to mentor kids who need someone to believe in them. Caring adults working with kids -- of all ages, from the early years through high school -- can help boost academic achievement.

Community members are asked to participate by donating to UWNA's Virtual Book Drive or pledging to be a reader, mentor or tutor. The book drive launched today will continue for two weeks.

First Book, a nonprofit organization providing brand new books to programs serving children in need, is a partner in the effort. For as little as $2.50, a book can be provided to a child in need in northern Arizona. The goal is to raise $1,500 and provide 600 books to children of Coconino County.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate, visit www.nazunitedway.org or call 773-9813.

USFS/NPS interpretive walks continue this week

The U.S. Forest Service/National Park Service summer interpretive programs continue this week, beginning with a new walk and program about the origins of the Rio de Flag. Call 527-8229 for information.

The schedule includes:

TODAY, 9 - 11:30 A.M.

Origin of Rio de Flag (first in a series of three) -- Join USFS ranger Richard Holm for a guided walk on the Flagstaff Urban Trail System and learn how and when the Rio de Flag carved its course through Flagstaff. Easy 2 miles. Meet at Cheshire Park on Fremont Boulevard (off U.S. 180 just north of the Museum of Northern Arizona).

FRIDAY, 9 - 10:30 A.M.

Tree Detective Hike -- Unlock the mystery to identifying pine, fir and spruce trees. Stroll along the Aspen Interpretive Loop with NPS teacher-ranger Marilyn Halker and USFS ranger Judi Irons. Reduced lift prices after the walk for participants. North 7 miles on U.S. 180 and up Snowbowl Road to meet at Humphreys trailhead in Snowbowl lot 9. Be aware of pipeline construction on road. Moderate difficulty at 9,000 feet. Bring sturdy shoes and water.

FRIDAY, 8 P.M.

Snake Mythbuster -- Join NPS teacher-ranger Charlene Stone for a fascinating slide show that is fun for the whole family. Snakes aren't so fearsome when you find out some of their surprising qualities. Meets at Bonito amphitheater parking area opposite the trailhead. Bring chairs. Go north 12 miles on U.S. 89 to Sunset Crater National Monument turnoff and proceed 2 miles to campground just before park entrance kiosk.

SATURDAY, 3 P.M.

Dairy Springs Nature Walk -- Join USFS ranger Chelsea Schroeder for a family walk on the Dairy Springs Loop Trail learning about the flora and fauna of the Mormon Lake area. Meet at the Dairy Springs campground amphitheater. Go 20 miles south on Lake Mary Road to Mormon Lake turn and 3.7 miles to Dairy Springs campground. Follow signs for amphitheater. Parking limited beyond campground entrance.

SATURDAY, 8 P.M.

The Wise Owl in a Changing Forest -- Join USFS ranger Chelsea Schroeder to learn about the Mexican spotted owl and how this threatened species is trying to survive in a changing environment. Meets at Pine Grove amphitheater. Go 18 miles south of Flagstaff on Lake Mary Road to Pine Grove Campground. Parking available at amphitheater.

SUNDAY, 9 - 11 A.M.

Leroux Springs History Walk -- Join NPS ranger John Westerlund to learn about the early exploration and settlement of Flagstaff. Learn about Antoine Leroux and the Sitgreaves expedition of 1851. Easy 2 miles. Go 7 miles north on U.S. 180 and meet 1 mile up Snowbowl Road at first turn.

Send Around the Town to Abbie Gripman at agripman@azdailysun.com or call her at 556-2241.

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