Briefly In Education

Last chance to sign up for dodgeball

SchoolPower will host a special fundraising tournament on Thursday, when adult and child divisions will vie for the title of Dodgeball Champion in the two Laguna Beach High School gymnasiums.

The competition — broken into adult/high school, middle school, and fourth- and fifth-grade divisions —will be played not only for bragging rights and trophies, but a chance to win some cash for a school organization of their choice.

Winners of the adult division will designate $500, and kid divisions $100, to any Laguna Beach school group they wish. That means a department or sports team has a lot to gain by entering their own team.

The deadline for team entries is at midnight today. Teams consist of 6 to 10 players; uniforms are required, but any uniform of the team's choice is permitted.

Sign-up cost for adults is $30, $10 for kids. To register, visit http://www.lbschoolpower.org. Alvaro's authentic, fresh-grilled taco meals are also available for pre-order online for $10. Spectators are free.

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National essay contest opens

High school students and teachers from across the country are invited to compete for nearly $115,000 in prize money and a trip to the nation's capital in the Bill of Rights Institute's fifth annual "Being an American" essay contest.

Attracting more than 50,000 essays last year and awarding 180 students and teachers with cash prizes, the contest explores the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.

"This contest is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to think about the important civic values communicated in our Founding documents, and embodied by American civic heroes," said Dr. Jason Ross, vice president of the Bill of Rights Institute Education Programs. "This context is vital to helping students see their own acts of good citizenship as a meaningful part of the American experiment of self-government."

Students are asked to share their thoughts on American citizenship by answering the following question: "What civic value do you believe is most essential to being an American?"

The top three student winners and their teachers from each of the nine geographical regions will be announced at a special Washington, D.C. Awards Gala in the spring of 2011, where they will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000 (first place); $1,000 (second place); and $500 (third place).

The winning students will get to explore the capital, meet contemporary American heroes and national leaders, and visit national landmarks.

Additionally, the contest will award 126 honorable mention prizes of $100 to seven students and their teachers from each region.

"The contest not only honors and awards sponsoring teachers, but also equips them with free lesson plans and other supplemental materials that meet state and national academic standards so they can easily incorporate the essay contest into their classrooms," said contest director John Croft.

Based in Washington D.C., the Bill of Rights Institute is a nonprofit educational organization that is devoted to educating children about the Constitution and Founding principles. The sponsors include the History Channel and the Stuart Family Foundation.

The deadline for essays is Dec. 1. For more information or a complete list of contest guidelines, visit http://www.beinganamerican.org.

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Adult ESL Classes

The Laguna Beach Unified School District Adult Education Program and La Playa Center are now offering free adult English-as-a-Second Language classes.

The classes are held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Laguna Beach High. The classroom is located on the second floor building behind the swimming pool on Park Ave., which can be accessed from the path to the right of the pool.

Classes are also held from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays at the Boys & Girls Club, 1085 Laguna Canyon Road.

Students may attend any or all of the classes. Enroll with the instructor in the classroom.

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