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||divisive, doofus, Yikes, underside, newsletter, notepad, slim, exclusion, leeway, resolute, bounty, peers, prospect, motivate, heated, pulse
||Beside Carlos, Difference Day, Maple Creek, Before Tripp
Print Decisions, Decisions
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1 Once everyone sat down at the picnic table, Katie looked them over. Parker had a knack for claiming the left end of any bench to avoid being squeezed in the middle. Next to him sat Carlos, who was studying the sky. Beside Carlos, Lauren doodled in a notepad while talking to Jada on her right. Jada was seated across from Katie. Two slim brown fingers lay on the underside of her wrist, as if she were taking her own pulse.
2 On Katie's right, Tripp sat drumming on the table with his hands. Rounding out the group was Aaron. He was on Tripp's other side, chatting with Parker to the exclusion of Tripp.
3 Katie stood up and knocked on the picnic table.
4 "Who's there?" Tripp sang out. When the laughter died down, Katie suggested that the group examine their options for Make a Difference Day.
5 Make a Difference Day was created to motivate people of all ages to volunteer to help others. Katie and these six classmates had decided to devote the fourth Saturday in October to helping others. The question now was what to do.
6 They discussed collecting a large quantity of coats for the needy, holding a car wash and donating the proceeds to charity, holding a food drive for a food pantry, cleaning up a creek and planting flowers to benefit the neighborhood, or asking for donations of dog and cat food to give to an animal shelter.
7 "First we should determine to what extent we are willing to go in the name of community service," Jada said.
8 "The what to who?" Tripp asked, trying to be funny.
9 Jada frowned at him. "Do we want a quick and easy project, or one that takes all day and involves getting dirty?"
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