ASHLAND — First Friday in March will feature the Ashland Gallery Association celebrating student art.

ASHLAND — First Friday in March will feature the Ashland Gallery Association celebrating student art.

AGA galleries will feature works by budding artists from the art departments of Ashland High School, the Wilderness Charter School and Southern Oregon University. During the Art Walk on March 7 and throughout the month, visitors to AGA galleries will view paintings, drawings, photography and video productions by the students. There also will be fiber arts, special woodworking pieces and stained glass on display.

Uptown, downtown and Railroad District galleries will participate in the student art show. The Ashland Middle school band will play at Briscoe Art Wing during the First Friday Art Walk.

The student artists will be on hand at their respective galleries from 5 to 8 p.m. March 7 to discuss their work. For more information, please call 488-8430.

Project Graduation 2008 and Barnes & Noble Booksellers are teaming up to raise money for the alcohol/drug-free graduation party for North and South Medford high schools graduating seniors.

A portion of all sales made Saturday and Sunday at Barnes & Noble, 1400 Biddle Road, Medford, will be donated to Project Graduation. In addition, Barnes & Noble will provide a prize to the school that generates the most sales.

For more information, call Carol Valdez at 857-8017.

The Elastic Mind book discussion group will discuss "Do We Need Religion?" from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd.

Suggested readings include "The World Religions" by Huston Smith, "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins or any book that responds to this theme. This lively meeting is led by Joanna Fenn and all are welcome to come and join in. The Elastic Mind is sponsored by Friends of the Ashland Public Library. For more information, call 774-6996.

Rogue Valley Medical Center needs volunteer chaplains to bring spiritual comfort to patients and families. There will be an exploratory two-day training session March 13-14. Clergy and laypersons are welcome.

At the two-day training, volunteers will learn techniques for listening and how to respond to a patient's spiritual needs.

Both days of training will be at the Smullin Center on the RVMC campus at 2825 E. Barnett Road. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $35 and includes lunch. Registration deadline is Saturday.

If accepted into the program, volunteers complete an additional 24 hours of training and will work with a mentor before working independently. Volunteers make a minimum commitment of four hours a week for two years in one hospital. Interfaith caregivers are encouraged to grow spiritually through reading and through a monthly meeting and training class. There are other opportunities for seminars in spiritual caregiving.

To register or for more information, call RVMC Chaplain Joe McMahan at 789-5218, ext. 2. Application forms are available at www.asante.org/caregivertraining07.pdf online.

Compiled from staff reports