Time to sing: Omaha South will host Friday's choral festival for OPS fifth- and sixth-graders.
Learn more: Lincoln Public Schools will present three, free educational workshops that are open to the public. Each will run from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the LPS District Office Board Room. Call 402-436-1905 to RSVP. Schedule and topics follow.
» Monday will focus on vocational transition services. Learn how to prepare students for life after high school.
» Oct. 21 will be about the DD Eligibility and Appeal Process, the application, appeal process and technical assistance available to families. There also will be a discussion on ACCESSNebraska.
» Nov. 4 will provide information about the necessary process of planning for the future as students move through the educational system and prepare for life after school.
Show choir clinic: Wednesday is the deadline to register for the Papillion-La Vista show choir's kids show choir clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18. Participants will work on singing and dancing skills and then have a performance to show off what they learned. The clinic is open to boys and girls in grades three through eight. The cost is $35, which includes lunch and a snack. For more information or to register, email Melinda Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time to apply: Through Nov. 5, students in grades five through 12 can apply for Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Students must have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service within the past 12 months. The application is available at spirit.prudential.com and nassp.org/spirit. The awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, were created in 1995 to recognize middle level and high school students for helping people in need, promoting health and safety, protecting the environment or volunteering in other ways. The awards are presented annually on the local, state and national level. Applicants for 2014 awards must complete their online application by Nov. 5, then submit it for certification to a middle or high school principal, Girl Scout council, county 4-H agent, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA or HandsOn Network affiliate. Paper application forms can be requested by calling 877-525-8491 toll-free.
Take a tour: The official dedication and open house for Lincoln Public Schools' Donald D. Sherrill Educational Center will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. The facility houses the program for elementary and middle school students with behavioral disabilities. Tours will follow the official program.
On the field: It's marching band season. Here's a rundown of today's activities:
» The Capitol City Marching Band Championships will be held at Seacrest Field, 70th and A Streets in Lincoln. As host, Lincoln Southeast will perform in exhibition only. The preliminary performances culminate at 1 p.m. with an exhibition performance from the Wildcat Marching Band from Wayne (Neb.) State College. Finals competition will start at 5 p.m. with an exhibition performance from Raymond Central, a second performance from all the bands, and an exhibition performance from the Cornhusker Marching Band at 9 p.m. All-day ticket prices are (cash only) $10 for adults and students, and $7 for senior citizens. Tickets just for the finals will be $7 and $5. Children 4 and younger will be admitted free.
» The Columbus (Neb.) Marching Festival for varsity and ninth-grade bands consists of both a bands-only parade competition and a field competition. The latter event is sanctioned by the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association. The public is welcome to view the parade review, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. in downtown Columbus. Admission to the field competition at Memorial Stadium at Pawnee Park is $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens and free for children younger than 5.
» The 58th annual Southwest Iowa Band Jamboree will be in Clarinda, Iowa. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. around the downtown square, with more than 50 bands expected to participate. The afternoon field activities will start at 12:45 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. The parade is free. Admission for field activities will be $5 for adults and $3 for children.
» The Sioux Falls, S.D., high schools — Lincoln, O'Gorman, Roosevelt and Washington — will host the 26th annual Festival of Bands USA. The parade will begin at 8:45 a.m. and field competition preliminaries will begin at 10:45 a.m. at Howard Wood Field. Field finals will begin at 6 p.m. at the field. Admission will be $8 for adults, $5 for students and free for children 5 and younger. Bands from a five-state area, including Nebraska and Iowa, will participate.
All dressed up: These schools will have homecoming dances tonight: Arlington, Conestoga, Douglas County West, Elkhorn, Elkhorn Mount Michael, Omaha Duchesne, Omaha Roncalli and Omaha Skutt.
Parade time: Omaha North will have a homecoming parade at 1 p.m. Friday. The parade will start at Miller Park, head north on 30th Street and end at Kelley's North Bowl.
Literature only: Bellevue East won the annual Plum Creek Literature Quiz Bowl in Seward, Neb. These Bellevue East students competed: Nathan Crawford, Sydney Hanson, Mary Francis Laporte, Noah Madrigal and George Timmins. This quiz bowl consists solely of literature and English-related questions. Twenty high school teams from across eastern and central Nebraska competed.
For members only: FFA district soil judging will be Wednesday in Wahoo.
Top drawer: Among the 164 smallest high schools in Iowa, Council Bluffs St. Albert had the best combination of academics, athletics and fine arts for the 2012-13 school year. Officials presented the Class 1-A Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup to the school recently during an all-school assembly. This was the fourth time in five years that St. Albert won the honor. St. Albert received a crystal trophy, which will be displayed at the school, and a check for $1,750 for academic advancement. Twenty-one of St. Albert's extracurricular activities contributed to an overall score of 790. Rounding out the top five were: Sibley-Ocheyedan, Griswold, Audubon and Nodaway Valley. Carroll Kuemper won the Class 2-A award, its third Challenge Cup in school history. In Class 3-A, Decorah won. From southwest Iowa, Red Oak and Creston were fourth and fifth, respectively. Pleasant Valley won the 4-A award.
Elemental: Best-selling author Sam Kean recently spent a day at Omaha Marian speaking and answering questions about his award-winning book “The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements.” Kean is the featured author for the 2013-14 All-School Read. “I wrote 'The Disappearing Spoon' because I wanted to show everyone that the periodic table is not just about chemistry,” he said. “The periodic table is the richest source of stories out there.” Kean signed autographs and spoke at an all-school assembly during which he shared more lively stories and read excerpts from his book. Kean highlighted Otis King, a Nebraskan and his discovery of molybdenum in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Molybdenum arguably is said to have prolonged World War I, because it was used by the Germans as an alloy to strengthen weapons and armor. Kean said that the title of the book refers to a classic science prank involving gallium, which melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit: Shape the element into a spoon, serve it with a cup of coffee and watch as it melts in the subject's hand.
On stage: Autumn means that many schools offer stage performances. Here's what's playing:
» “Bunny Tracks,” 7 p.m. Friday and Oct. 12 and 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at Omaha Benson. Tickets: $5 at the door.
» “Bye Bye Birdie,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Oct. 12 at Blair. Tickets: $8 for adults and $5 for students, available in the high school office or through the music department, 402-426-4941.
» “MmmBeth,” 7 p.m. Friday and Oct. 12 at Omaha Northwest. Tickets: $6 for adults and $5 for students.
La, la, la: Millard South will host today's show choir workshop for third- through eighth-graders.
Taller and taller: Friday afternoons are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) time in the junior high science class at Holy Name School. One Friday's class used newspapers for a structural engineering exercise. James McDermott, the math and science instructor, teamed with Minden Uskevich, a Creighton University practicum student, to challenge the students. The task was to build the tallest structure using three sheets of newspaper and 30 centimeters of tape.
Party time: Sixth-, seventh- and eight-graders at Kiewit Middle School will have a homecoming party after school Thursday.
PTO news: The first Gretna Middle School PTO meeting for the school year will begin at 6 p.m. Monday in the conference room. Attendees will review the school directory designs submitted by students and choose a winner for the cover, discuss the PTO budget and plan teacher meals for fall conferences. The PTO is continuing its tradition of no fundraising. Instead, it asks for monetary donations. The suggested donation is $50 per family. Donations are accepted throughout the school year and can be made in small monthly amounts.
Keeping busy: Elkhorn Middle School will have eighth-grade activity night Friday.
Get ready, feet: Wednesday is International Walk to School Day. Districts and schools throughout Nebraska and western Iowa will participate.
Partnership: Completely KIDS has partnered with WhyArts? to deliver its Safe KIDS: Prevention Education program. It teaches kids and families how to be safe and smart online and in their community in the areas of child sexual abuse prevention and Internet safety. The prevention education program offers three interactive plays for area schools and businesses:
» The Bubbylonian Encounter teaches first- through third-graders how to recognize unhealthy touch, what to do and where to go for help.
» Natalie the Net Nanny teaches third- and fourth-graders how to be safe and smart online by addressing password privacy, texting, cyberbullying and “friending.”
» Internet Safety Squad 5.6 is available for fifth and sixth grades. It teaches youths how to avoid the “viral spiral” and its sickening effects by educating them on how to respond and be responsible on social media.
This year's first performances were given recently at St. James/Seton School and at Dundee Elementary, the latter in OPS. Completely KIDS developed the scripts, schedules plays, conducts evaluations and manages the overall direction of the prevention education program. WhyArts? coordinates the actors for the plays.
BELLEVUE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
On the bus: Kindergarten, first- and second-graders at Birchcrest will take a field trip Wednesday to Offutt Air Force Base.
Craft fair: Leonard Lawrence, 13204 S. 29th St. in Bellevue, will sponsor a craft fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 12. Admission is $1. Light snacks and beverages will be available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit the school.
ELKHORN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Author visit: Manchester will host author Mary Downing Hahn on Wednesday for a visit with fourth- and fifth-graders.
FREMONT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Walking: Bell Field Counselor Chris Denker and physical education teacher Brittney Kuhr started the school's Walking and Reading Club in September for second- through fourth-graders. Kindergartners and first-graders will be added this month. About 60 to 70 students take part in the walking portion, which is three days a week, and 30 to 40 students participate in the reading portion, which is the other two days. Students earn a punch or stamp on their 20-punch card for each day of participation. A filled card earns them a shoe tag and a chance at a once-a-month prize box drawing. Bell Field's Walking and Reading Club is part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program in which adults and students work together to choose and implement school-improvement changes that best meet their school's wellness goals. A Walking Club also has started at Clarmar, where all students in grades one through four walk laps around the playground. Physical education teacher Ryan Ganzel keeps track of students' participation. Besides receiving the benefit of getting their students active, Clarmar staff also noted no tardies in September. This is Washington's second year of Walking Club. PE teacher Rob Bishop started the club last year. Students walk every morning and keep track of their miles. Each class works on a personal best for the week. Bishop keeps track of class and school total miles. After reaching a goal of 1,000 miles, students were rewarded with Hat Day.
GRETNA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Interaction: Author Tom Birdseye will visit Palisades on Tuesday and Gretna Elementary on Thursday.
MILLARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Bedtime stories: Abbott's fourth- and fifth-graders will have a reading and writing pajama party Tuesday evening with their parents. Teachers and special guests will read aloud several stories related to superheroes, stuffed animals and dreams. Students then will use a “4 Square” writing graphic to create a story related to the theme.
OMAHA ARCHDIOCESAN SCHOOLS
Blueberry, please: St. Matthew School in Bellevue will host Muffins With Mom before school Wednesday.
Let's read: Holy Name School students had a great time at the first Family Reading Night. Students through grade five arrived in their pajamas for a night packed with reading, good books, activities and snacks. Teachers picked some of their favorite books to share and every student took home a free book.
Moi? Principal William Huben of St. Wenceslaus School puckered up for Princess Mango to pay off a promise. He agreed to be kissed by a pig in front of the students if they met their walk-a-thon pledge goal. Who do you think squealed louder, Huben, 900 students or Princess Mango?
OMAHA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Movie night: Sixth-graders at Wilson Focus School and Parents Pride will host family movie night Friday.
Special guest: Author Helen Lester will visit Columbian on Monday.
For families: Adams will have two family nights next week. The second- and third-grade family night will be Wednesday. Fourth- and fifth-graders will have family night Thursday.
PLATTSMOUTH COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Pass the popcorn: Movie night will be Friday at Plattsmouth.
WESTSIDE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Be ready to clap: Swanson will stage a variety show Thursday evening.
The World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.