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George Mason University's School of Information Technology and Engineering sends its students and faculty into area classrooms during National Engineering Week (E-Week), Feb. 22-28. Students and faculty members conduct hands-on activities and share their experiences with elementary and secondary school students.

George Mason University is mailing 150 packets of E-Week-related information to area high schools. The outreach effort is part of the 11th year of the "Discover E" campaign sponsored by the engineering profession nationwide. Visit www.eweek.org.

St. Ambrose Catholic School in Annandale hosts its annual auction gala on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 6-10:30 p.m. "AuCarnaval" features a Mardi-Gras theme, live and silent auctions, buffet dinner and music. The fund-raiser costs $25 per person and includes the meal. The event takes place at the school located at 3827 Woodburn Road. Call 703-698-7171 to purchase tickets and to learn more about promotions and options for donation.

An informative program about gang activity in Fairfax County and in local neighborhoods takes place on Monday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m., at Marshall High School in Michael Hall.

P.D. O'Keefe, a Safe and Drug Free Youth specialist, talks about gang activity, how to tell if a child is getting involved, and what steps to take as a community to decrease the chance of children becoming involved with gangs. A question and answer period follows the presentation.

Parents, school personnel and other interested community members are invited to attend. Marshall High is located at 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.

For more information, e-mail Barbara.D.Brown@fcps.edu or Marcia.Wise@fcps.edu.

St. John's Center for Early Childhood Education, 5312 Backlick Road, Springfield, is offering registration for 2004-2005 classes on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. Classes are available for ages pre-K through fourth grade. There is also a before and after school program for preschool children and after school care for K-5. Call 703-256-7748.

The Robert E. Lee High School wind ensemble and symphonic bands present a joint concert on Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The performances will feature selections intended for the upcoming District Band Festival competition. The concert is free and takes place in the Lee High School auditorium, 6584 Franconia Road, Springfield. For more information, call 703-924-8300.

The Frost Family Basket Bingo takes place Sunday, Feb. 29, from 3-5 p.m., at Frost Middle School, 4101 Pickett Road, Fairfax. Participants have a chance to win Longaberger baskets and gift certificates to local merchants at the fund-raising event sponsored by the PTA. Tickets are $15 per person at the door. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Snow date March 7. Call 703-425-8523 for more information.

The Virginia State Bar and its Litigation Section is sponsoring the 12th annual Law in Society Award Competition for Virginia High School students.

Students are asked to write an essay describing how far a school system should go to limit students' self-expression, in the interest of protecting them from gang violence and hate crimes.

Cash awards will be given to students whose essays show a superior understanding of the value of law in everyday life. The competition is open to all Virginia high school students 19 or younger. Entry forms and essay must be received by the offices of the Virginia State Bar by 4 p.m. on March 3, 2004.

Visit the Web site at www.vsb.org/publications/lawinsociety/index.html, e-mail lawinsociety@vsb.org or call 804-775-0586.

Fairfax County Public Schools has established a new, toll-free telephone hotline for emergency messages, with information in three languages. The new number allows more people to use the hotline at the same time, reducing delays and busy signals.

The new number, 1-800-839-FCPS (3277) is effective immediately, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the event of school closings or delays or other emergency situations, information can be obtained by dialing the toll-free number from anywhere in the region. Messages are available in English, Korean and Spanish.

Fourth grade students at Providence Elementary in Fairfax spent the day back in time with "Miss Betty" Jackson on Jan. 14. Miss Betty, a historian and former teacher who has amassed a gigantic collection of Colonial American artifacts, came to Providence to share her antiques and stories with the students.

Each student had an opportunity to dress like a Colonial Era child and experience activities such as using a quill pen, a wood block, a printer, a coffee grinder, and a mortal and pestle. They also played with Colonial Era toys like the rolling hoops. They tried on authentic clothing from the time period, carried buckets on a yoke, an dipped candles.

The Providence Elementary School Chorus performed on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Lanier Middle School auditorium. The choral group had been preparing since September under the direction of music teachers Stacy Kay and Christine Corbeil. Along with the general chorus, All-County Chorus members and Early Bird Chorus members sang the following, which included featured soloists:

Providence Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Chorus

"Gaudeamus Hodie (Let us Rejoice Today)" - traditional spiritual; "Quodlibet" - African American Spiritual;

"Winter Waltz" - Karl Hitzemann.

Early Bird Singers

"Good King Wenceslas" - Rev. John Mason Neale;

"Trampin" - African American Spiritual;

"Tzena, Tzena" - I. Miron, J. Grossman, M. Parish;

"Winter Wonderland" - F. Bernard and D. Smith.

Early Bird Singers and All-County Chorus

"Dansi Na Kuimba (Dance and Sing)" - Dave and Jean Perry;

All-County Chorus, from highest to lowest voicing: Courtney Callaman, Kelly Spong, Olivia Mershon, Alex Judge, Mary Beving, Madeline Goubeaux and Karla Davis.

Providence Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Chorus

"Light the Candles All Around the World" - Teresa Jennings,

featured soloists: Brandon Touhy and Nick Brown;

"Peace on Earth" - Teresa Jennings,

featured soloists: Erik Flores, Mary Beving, Karla Davis, Lena Elhajj, Kim-Anh Tran, Alex Cross, Shannon Spivey and Yoo Jin Bae.

Providence Elementary's next choral concert will be on June 3, 6:30 p.m., at Lanier Auditorium.

On Thursday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m., orchestras from Annandale High School and Poe and Holmes middle schools perform their District X Orchestra Festival music, in the Annandale High School auditorium, 4700 Medford Drive, Annandale. The concert is free. Call 703-642-4350 Ext. 4300.

Lake Braddock Secondary School hosts the District XI Band Festival on Saturday, March 6, from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. in the Lake Braddock Little Theater. Students from seven middle schools in 19 bands will participate.

The public is invited to attend the performances in the Little Theater, 9100 Burke Lake Road, Burke, throughout the day. Refreshments are available in the cafeteria and admission is free.

The Lake Braddock Middle School bands will present a pre-festival concert on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., in the Little Theater. The concert is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

For additional information on either event, call 703-426-1072.

Sangster Elementary is having an art auction on Saturday, Feb. 28, at Springfield Golf and Country Club, 8301 Old Keene Mill Road in Springfield. The preview begins at 7 p.m., followed by the live auction at 8 p.m.

Ross Galleries of Holbrook, N.Y. conducts the auction, which will feature more than 150 framed and matted works of art, sports memorabilia and estate jewelry. Featured artists include Kinkade, Wooster Scott, Picasso, Delacroix, Chagall, Boulander, Neiman, Fauchere, and Shaviko.

Tickets for the event are $20. The ticket price includes fruit and cheese social with hors d'oeuvres and desserts and door prizes throughout the auction. There will also be a raffle.

To purchase tickets and information, call 703-912-5263.

Volunteers are needed to help with the Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair schedule for March 12-14 at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax. The fair depends on more than 100 individuals who perform tasks such as setting up the hall, preparing name tags, registration and distributing award folders. Parents, students and teachers are encouraged to participate as volunteers, judges and sponsors. Register at http://www.fcps.edu/DIS/sciencefair2004/volunteers.htm.

Hayfield Secondary School sports and entertainment marketing students have joined with the Coca-Cola Company, which has donated 70 "Step-o-meters." The Step With It program being implemented by the marketing students at Hayfield and Silverbrook elementary schools encourages students to walk 10,000 steps a day for a total of five miles to achieve their presidential fitness award. The object is to persuade students who do not participate in athletic activities outside of school to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The school is located in Alexandria.

Hayfield Secondary School teacher Amy Kraut was nominated for the Walt Disney World Teacher of the Year. Some of Kraut's activities include collecting with her students 125 pounds of acorns for the Potomac Conservancy, having a shad restoration for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in her classroom, involvement in the new science honors program at Hayfield, review sessions for the SOL test and chair of the middle school science department. The school is located in Alexandria.

The following area students were among the 144 Washington-area students selected to participate in the 11th annual Dance Theatre of Harlem Residency at the Kennedy Center: Alexa Allen of Word of Life Christian Academy; Clara Dombroski, Francesca Dombroski, Samantha Smith and Brenna Surette of Fairhill Elementary; Jonathan Earley of Daniel's Run Elementary School, Idil Mohamed-Bray of Fairfax High School and Sam Surette of Mantua Elementary. The program consists of two intensive eight week-long phases from February through June. Dance legend Arthur Mitchell, a 1993 Kennedy Center Honoree, will attend classes periodically throughout the residency.

A total of 36 students are participating in the 2004 class of the Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program. The program prepares students to become future leaders with one to two students selected from each of the county’s high schools. Students are selected based on their individual achievement in school and their involvement at their school and in their community.

Youth Leadership students visit county offices and work sites to experience first-hand the work of local government. Each month the students attend three-hour sessions sponsored by different county agencies and participate in an internship in July.

The class of 2004 includes Samantha Grill and Priya Dandawate, Fairfax High School; Kelly McGraw and Laura Spurlock, Hayfield Secondary School; Helen Chen, Lake Braddock Secondary School; Hae-Jung Cho, Robinson Secondary School; Janice Wong and Elizabeth Cole, West Springfield High School; and Lauren Spratt, Woodson High School.

The American Youth Philharmonic, under the direction of Luis Haza, performs a concert on Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m. at George Mason University Center for the Arts. Orchestra members include Alexander White, trumpet, Lake Braddock Secondary School; Alicia Ward, cello, Marshall High School; Kathryn Farenish, flute, Lake Braddock Secondary School; Rena Kimura, violin, National Cathedral School; and Rachelle Hunt, violin, McLean High School.

Tickets are $14 for adults; $10 for students and seniors. For advance tickets and information, call 703-642-8051 or visit www.ayporchestras.org. Tickets are also available at the door.

Enterprises for Hispanic Youth Foundation, in collaboration with George Mason University, is launching the "Hispanic Teacher of the Year Award," awarding an outstanding teacher with over five years of dedicated service to public schools k-12. The awardee will receive $2,000 stipend and be honored at a dinner banquet on April 8, with commemorative prize at the George Mason University campus in Fairfax. Contact Shelley Grohmann at 703-383-7224.

The third annual MHz Shortz Student Film Festival is calling for entries. A part of the MHz Networks' division of EAT (Education Arts Technology), MHz Shortz features live action and animated films created by K-12 students and teachers. All films for this year's entry must be submitted by March 19, 2004. Requirements and entry forms may be obtained directly from the MHz Networks Web site at www.mhznetworks.org.

The MHz Shortz Student Film Festival is an opportunity to showcase student creativity and culminates in a public event featuring and awarding student films based on age appropriate entry categories. The festival also presents prizes for outstanding work and special awards for teachers who motivate, instruct, and advise student projects.

MHz Networks (MHz and MHz2) is an independent, noncommercial, television network delivering international, educational and arts programming. MHz provides diverse cultural perspectives for a globally minded audience. Serving the Washington, DC area's 4.3 million residents, MHz Networks features programs in more than 20 different languages from over 25 countries.

The Jewish Social Service Agency is offering eight scholarship funds for undergraduate and graduate study. Three of these funds are established at JSSA; the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's United Jewish Endowment Fund holds five.

The scholarships fund a wide variety of opportunities, including study in the United States and abroad, graduate and undergraduate programs, and study in Jewish communal service. Depending on the fund, grants range from $250 to as much as $6,500 per year for four years.

Each scholarship carries its own set of eligibility requirements. Students who submit the required application will be considered for any and all grants for which they qualify.

Students may also apply for no-interest educational loans. Repayment of loans must begin with three months of completion of studies.

For more information and an application, contact Lynn Ponton at JSSA, 301-816-2616, or visit JSSA's Web site at www.jssa.org. Application forms may be downloaded from the scholarship page. The deadline is March 1.

Long & Foster Real Estate is sponsoring a $150,000 Scholarship Program for well-rounded graduating high school seniors entering an accredited four-year college or university. The Long & Foster Scholarship Program will award $1,000 to each of 150 worthy recipients throughout the seven-state region for the 2004-2005 academic year. The deadline for applying is March 1, 2004 and the scholarships will be awarded beginning May 3, 2004. More than 1,200 applicants vied for the 125 scholarships in 2003. Scholarship candidates must have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; demonstrate community involvement; provide a photo and submit an essay. Applications for the Long & Foster Scholarship Program can be obtained from any of Long & Foster's residential sales offices located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, from high school guidance counselors, or via Long & Foster's Web Site at www.longandfoster.com/scholarship. A hard copy of the application and the required attachments must be mailed by March 1, 2004 to Long & Foster Corporate Headquarters at the following address: Long & Foster Scholarship Program, c/o Corporate Marketing Department, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., 11351 Random Hills Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-6082, Attn: Colleen Park.

Need the help of a reliable teenager? West Springfield High School maintains a job and volunteer opportunity board. Students come to the Career Center at school to obtain information about part-time jobs and volunteer needs. From baby-sitting to yard work to word processing, there is a student to help. Contact the Career Center at 703-913-3828 with a description of the job, hours and contact information.

Registration for winter classes offered by the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Office of Adult and Community Education (ACE) is now under way. Classes, Etc., the ACE course catalog, is in the mail to Fairfax County residents. Registration will be ongoing throughout the term, January through April. Class information is also available on the ACE Web site at http://www.fcps.edu/adult.htm by clicking on “Classes, Etc.” For additional information, contact Jennifer Rhodes at 703-227-2229.

The following students attending Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Va. were named to the honor rolls for the second quarter of the 2003-2004 academic year:

Jonathan Conard, a 10th grader from Fairfax, was named to the Upper School president's list; and Thomas Knight, a 12th grader from Burke; Jason Bhuller, a 12th grader from Fairfax; Dustin Johnston, a ninth grader from Fairfax; Vincent Cao, an 11th grader from Fairfax; Stephen Blyskal, a 12th grader from Fairfax; Brian Platt, a 12th grader from Springfield; and Charles Fowler, an 11th grader from Springfield, were all named to the Upper School dean's list.

Katherine Moore Philpott of Fairfax has received a faculty scholarship at Cedarville University in Ohio. Scholarships are awarded to first-year students who have high ACT/SAT scores and a cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The renewable scholarship ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.

A senior a Robinson Secondary School, Philpott received the 4-H Senior Honor Award. She is the daughter of Jay and Linda Philpott of Fairfax and plans to major in nursing.

Kevin Andrews of Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria has been chosen to participate in the 2004 Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors' Association all-district band.

The drama team at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria placed first in the Patriot District for the One-Act Play. Team members include Brian Bruanlich, Lindsey Kraftschik, James Messenger, Julia Miller, John Michelli, Dale Placek, Nathan Shropshire and Eric Zitz.

Hayfield Secondary students Mariya Pantyukhina, Truman Horwitz and Brenden Samuel have been selected as award winners in the Fairfax County Regional Scholastic Art Competition of 2004. Artworks were honored by art teachers and a distinguished panel of judges who selected from among 1,400 entries.

Hayfield Secondary School's automotive technology students competed in the District 14 Skills USA Championships. For the third year in a row Hayfield students won everything they entered. The team was lead by three-time district champion Greg Harvey taking the gold medal in automotive service technology, the gold medal in automotive maintenance and a silver medal in motorcycle service technology. Three time district champion Orion Majewski took the gold medal in motorcycle service technology. Other medalists were Thomas Brown with a gold medal in action skills and a silver in automotive maintenance. Tim Ard won a gold medal in related technical math. Adrian Yanez a silver medal in related technical math. James Showalter a bronze medal in automotive maintenance

A number of Hayfield Secondary students were selected to the District X All-District Orchestra.

Middle school students include:

Violin: Yena Lee, Bryon Cheon, Michael Liu, Legan Lee, Jung Park, Young Kim and Grace Kim. Viola: Matt Jewell (1st chair), Jennifer Witt, Stefan Neher, Hannah Moser, Lauren Greenlee. Cello: Taylor Swansen, Matt Gerton. Bass: Jane Albertson.

High school students include:

Violin: Madeline Allard, Kim Campbell, JP Pantoja, John Bae, Taehun Choi, Julie Kozinski, Danica-ella Pantoja and Narang Choi. Cello: Chris Tolpa.

Hayfield Secondary ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher Dr. Phyllis Gron had two lesson plans featured on the ArtsEdge Web site. The online resource helps educators to teach the arts by providing the tools to develop interdisciplinary curricula, integrating the arts with other academic subjects. Visit http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org.

Gron has also been awarded a Polaroid Education Program Visual Learning Project Grant. Her high ESOL 1 students will all receive three cameras and 10 rolls of film to prepare a pictorial guide for new ESOL students entering Hayfield.

The Lake Braddock Symphonic Band, conducted by Roy C. Holder, has been selected to perform at the 2004 American Bandmasters Association Convention Thursday, March 4 in Williamsburg, Va. The American Bandmasters Association (ABA) was founded by John Philip Sousa, Edwin Franko Goldman and Henry Filmore to honor the nation's "most outstanding band conductors."

All 10th-12th grade high school students in Northern Virginia are eligible for the Civil Liberties Essay Contest, sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.

Winning prizes, $300 for first place and $200 for runner-up, will be awarded in June.

Essays should address the student’s opinion or analysis of a current civil liberties issue and will be judged on clarity of thought, cogency of argument and eloquence of expression. Entries must be 700 words maximum. See http://members.aol.com/acluva for excerpts from last year's winning essays.

Essays must be typed and postmarked by March 31, mailed to: Northern Virginia Chapter of the ACLU, P.O. Box 19242, Alexandria, VA 22320-0242. Include a cover sheet with name, address, phone number and the name of the high school attended.

Winners will be notified by May 15.

Call the ACLU message line at 703-360-1096.

Fairfax County Public Schools has expanded support services for families of students with disabilities. Parents can now access the services of a special education ombudsman for guidance and support. The eight ombudsmen are part of a network that provides assistance to parents who are navigating the special education process and feel they could benefit from the advice and knowledge of a more experienced and specially trained parent. Parent ombudsmen can provide information about the special education process and services provided by Fairfax County Public Schools, as well as information about special education regulations, procedures, and policies. They may collaborate with parents to assist them in resolving problems. They may also attend Individualized Education Program (IEP) or school-based meetings to help parents and staff members reach consensus regarding the special education process. For more information, contact the Parent Resource Center at 703-204-3941. For a listing of the eight ombudsmen

visit www.fcps.edu/DSSSE/ombudsmen/index.htm.