Yarrow’s not coming to Albert Lea

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2009

Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary won’t be coming to Albert Lea.

Organizers of the Albert Lea effort for Operation Respect, a national program to create safe and bully-free learning climates for children, had speculated last fall they might bring the singer to the city sometime in 2009.

Kim Nelson, director of The Children’s Center, announced Wednesday that they intend to use the money in more pinpointed ways instead. They still are looking for a project that would be inclusive for the entire community.

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Part of Operation Respect is the Don’t Laugh at Me program, which uses music, books and other materials to help children understand and respect others.

“Don’t Laugh at Me” is also the name of a song. Yarrow heard the song at a folk festival, then sang it to a convention of school principals. The principals sought a recording, and it grew from there into Operation Respect.

A grant from the Ken Olson Foundation helps make the local effort possible.