“Youth News” column for Dec. 21, 2012

Instead of accepting gifts for their birthdays this year, LSU Laboratory School sixth-graders Christian Sexton, Nathan Gilly and Spencer Thomas organized a large dance party where they collected gift cards for a needy family identified through Catholic Charities in Baton Rouge.

For the boys’ second annual charity dance party for their classmates in November, students were asked to bring a gift card in lieu of a birthday gift. The gift cards were then used to help purchase gifts for the needy family from the family’s wish list.

“It is fun to help people that don’t have as much as we have and it was really cool to do that with a dance party,” Gilly said.

Thomas added, “Christmas isn’t just about gifts and the Christmas tree. It’s more about giving to those who are less fortunate.”

This is the fourth year Sexton has foregone birthday presents in favor of giving gifts to families in need across Baton Rouge.

“I am most proud of the fact that, during the past four years I have done this, more and more people have gotten involved by adopting their own families,” Sexton said. “Really, if I can do this, anybody can.”

District 3 Beta Club winners

Alex Robertson, of Baton Rouge, placed first in current events last month at the District 3 Beta Club competition held in Alexandria, while Will Smith, of Baton Rouge, placed first in social studies.

Alexander Adams, of Vacherie, placed first in special talent; Kesany Boupapanh, of Broussard, placed second in fine arts, and Nathan Bossier, of Lottie, placed second in French.

All are students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches.

LSMSA science fair winners

The science department of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts announced winners of the 2012 Science Fair in chemistry, physics, biology and microbiology. Area winners included:

Submit youth news to teen@theadvocate.com or fax (225) 388-0351. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.