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Geography Puts Student on the Map

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Students and teachers at Parkman Middle School are all abuzz over the news that seventh-grader Stephen Shull has been named a semifinalist in the National Geographic Society’s Geography Bee.

The young geography whiz, one of 100 students from 2,000 schools statewide to compete in the event, first had to best his schoolmates in a series of competitions on the Woodland Hills campus, then pass a challenging exam given by the geographical society. The winner of the statewide competition, to held Friday in Sacramento, will advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C., in May.

PROGRAM NOTES

Raising Their Voices: Music and art majors from Cal State Northridge have set up shop at Calabash Street Elementary School in Woodland Hills in an unusual program designed to bring cultural enrichment to local schools. The college students meet with their young counterparts for 30 minutes a week to teach them choral and instrumental skills in the Artists in Residence music program. The pilot program, sponsored by the Valley Cultural Center, culminates with a school choral performance in June.

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EVENTS

Leading the Way: In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Children’s Defense Fund, Hana Duschak of Frost Middle School in Granada Hills joined scores of Los Angeles-area students interested in improving race relations at the Student Leadership Network Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center recently.

Marion Wright Edelman, Maya Angelou and Quincy Jones were on hand at the two-day event, which offered workshops and round-table discussions on peace-building and tolerance.

Off to D.C.: Fifth-grade students at Gridley Street School in San Fernando have washed cars, held rummage sales and hawked candy for months now in an effort to raise $33,000 for a four-day trip to Washington, D.C., this spring, where they plan to visit the Capitol, the Library of Congress and other government landmarks. Still $10,000 shy of their goal, the history students are making a final push to meet their April 10 deadline to raise the money.

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“Many of these kids have never left the neighborhood, let alone boarded a plane,” said teacher Paul Hanson. “This will give them the opportunity to see firsthand what we’ve been studying.”

Bushel of Fun: The Glendale Community College theater arts, music and dance departments will present “Guys and Dolls” beginning Thursday and running through April 11. The popular Broadway musical features the songs of Frank Loesser, including “Luck be a Lady.” For reservations, call (818) 240-1000, Ext. 5618.

END NOTES

Eighth- through 11th-grade students in good academic standing and possessing a keen interest in the arts are invited to apply to Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts, located on the Cal State Los Angeles campus. Applications must be received by Friday and auditions will take place April 19. For information, call (213) 343-ARTS. . . . Seeking advice about your child’s education? Parents and students may call the National Principals’ Hotline this coming Monday through Wednesday to speak with a principal or school psychologist about reading problems, homework, testing policies, discipline issues and more. Hotline hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday. The toll-free number is (800) 944-1601.

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