DEAR ABBY: There is a boy I like at school. He is a very well-known person around school. I'm not. I do have a wide variety of friends, and I even talk to some of his.

My friends know I like him, and they would like for me to talk to him. I wouldn't mind that, but what would I say? They want it to happen in person, but I want to do it by text, where I feel more me. What should I do? -- TENNESSEE TEEN

DEAR TEEN: Listen to your friends and approach him in person. A smile and a hello should break the ice. Then follow it up with a question about some activity that's happening at school.


DEAR ABBY: Could you please address the etiquette of tasting samples at stores, events, food shows, etc.? People walk up and try to grab a sample with dirty, bleeding, scabby hands not realizing that other people will also be sampling that food.

Samples are supposed to be given to each person. And when that happens, the food handler should be wearing clean gloves and be the only person touching the food.

Please let people know that once someone without gloves touches this food, the demonstrator must discard it for health reasons. Also, samples cannot be given to children without their parents' permission, and any food allergies must be addressed before someone asks for a sample. -- MARY IN FLORIDA

DEAR MARY: Your suggestions are not only good manners, they also make common sense. I hope that readers who don't know better will learn from your letter for the sake of everyone's health.


DEAR ABBY: "Enough to Share" (Dec. 5) was interested in supporting her daughter's friends through the college application process. "Enough" could mention to the family that SAT and ACT fee waivers should be available through the school counseling department if the twins are considered low-income.

Students should also know about government assistance programs, such as the Pell Grant, which can give additional money toward tuition for any low-income student. They can get more information through their schools when they fill out their FAFSA forms. -- TITLE I TEACHER

DEAR TEACHER: Thank you for the pertinent information. Read on for some instructive input from another reader:

DEAR ABBY: Many schools have "Helping Hands" funds available for this purpose and would allow the family to donate to these specific girls anonymously, if need be. As an educator, I encourage everyone to reach out to a local school to offer help to struggling high school students. If they are in a position to do so, they should ask if they can sponsor a student in the college application process or sign up to mentor. -- A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY

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