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Middle school students invited to ice rink Friday

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By Kirsten Laskey

To seventh- and eighth- graders wondering how they should start their long weekend Friday, there is an answer to their quandary. The Los Alamos Ice Rink and Big M.A.C. have teamed up to offer a skating activity exclusively for middle school students. The program will run from 7-9 p.m. Admission is $5, which includes skate rentals. Music and a snack bar will be featured during the event.Middle school students have skates rings around the outdoor arena for several years. Mary Aiello of the Youth Activity Center, which runs Big M.A.C., said Big M.A.C. and the ice rink have sponsored the event for five years.“(It’s) just something that’s on-going,” Diane Marquez, manager of the ice rink, said.“The middle school just loves to do it,” Aiello said.Marquez agreed. “I think they just enjoy the skating.”The attendance is usually high during the program; it will likely fill up to capacity, which is about 75-80 skaters.Ice skating is just one activity Big M.A.C. sponsors. The organization also hosts several dances throughout the year. “The main thrust of the Youth Activity Center and Big M.A.C. is to provide social activities for children in (middle school) age group,” Aiello said.Students do more than attend the activities, they have a hand in running and organizing the different programs.For instance, during the skating program, student volunteers will check IDs, keep account of how many skaters attend and other duties, Aiello said.By taking an active role, students learn leadership skills, she said.“We give guidance, but the students in the Big M.A.C. committee organize it and carry it out,” Aiello said.Paul Montoya is one of the student volunteers. He said he is looking forward to the skating party because it is change from the regular dances. “I think a lot of people will like it,” Montoya said.He added he enjoyed working to make the skating party happen. “It takes a lot of time but it all pays off,” Montoya said.