All dressed up: Conestoga, Elkhorn South, Millard North, Omaha Skutt and Ralston will have proms tonight.
Music everywhere: Here's a rundown of music events.
» Fort Calhoun will have its Variety Show Dinner at 5 p.m. today and Sunday. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights.
» The Spring Strings Festival for high school students will be today at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
» Hastings (Neb.) College will host a jazz festival Monday.
» Gretna's choir will be in Winter Park, Colo., performing Thursday through April 13.
College fair: The Omaha Area College Fair will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Sapp Fieldhouse at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The fair will feature representatives from colleges nationwide.
Service in the city: During a recent three-day weekend, a dozen Omaha Skutt students, the Rev. Jeff Mollner and several faculty members participated in SkyHawks in the City, a service trip within Omaha. Participants visited with residents at Life Care Center, cooked with participants in the VSP Club, braved the cold walking in a parade with Youth Emergency Services and working with Habitat for Humanity, organized and led a St. Patrick's Day Party with kids at Completely Kids, served dinner at the Open Door Mission, visited with residents of a maternity home and volunteered at Heart Ministry Center.
Now showing: It's play and musical season. Here's a rundown.
» Bellevue East-West, “10 Minute Play Festival” at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets available at the door.
» Carroll Kuemper, “Alice in Wonderland” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and April 13; and at 2 p.m. April 14. Tickets available at the school.
» Lincoln Southwest, “42nd Street” at 7 p.m. Thursday through April 13 and April 18-20. Tickets available at the school.
» Missouri Valley, “The Odyssey of Jeremy Jack” (this play is aimed at children), 7 p.m. Friday and April 13, and 2 p.m. April 14. Tickets: $5 for adults, $3 for students. Before the performance, stations will be set up in the commons area with games and activities based on the themes of the play.
Young poets: The John G. Neihardt Foundation has announced winners of the Young Poet's Contest for the 2012-13 school year. High school winners in descending order from first place are Shane Ourada of Perkins County in Grant, Ethan Nelson of Nelson Home School in Dalton, and Genevieve Broom of CAST Home School in Papillion. Junior high winners in descending order from first place are MacKenzie Boyle of Ponca Public Schools and Keegan Ruskamp of Wisner-Pilger Schools in Wisner.
Southbound: Bellevue East and Bellevue West each had a debater qualify for the National Forensics League national tournament June 16-21 in Birmingham, Ala. Daniel Flower of Bellevue East and Austin Brown of Bellevue West qualified in Congressional Debate during a recent competition at Millard West.
Wordwright: Papillion-La Vista South senior Matthew Trail recently competed in the Wordwright Challenge. The competition for American high school students requires close reading and analysis for prose and poetry. More than 16,000 students competed at the 12th-grade level. Trail earned a perfect score and placed among the 15 highest scoring 12th-graders nationwide.
Prom night: Bellevue East recently hosted a Special Education Prom for about 100 attendees. The school's culinary arts students prepared and served dinner. Dancing, games, snacks, a bounce house and a movie followed. This year's theme was “Welcome to the Jungle.”
Show choirs: Eighteen schools from Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota competed recently in the Mitchell (S.D.) Classics Show Choir Competition. Grand Island's Ultimate Image was the grand champion and received best choreography and best band overall. Papillion-La Vista South's Titanium was first runner-up overall and received best vocals overall. In the open division, Sioux City East's New Show was the grand champion. Grand Island's Future Image placed second.
Winter guard: Bellevue West Gold Winter Guard placed second in the Scholastic Regional A Division and first overall in the General Effect Caption for its performance recently at the Winter Guard International Regional in St. Louis.
For the arts: Are you a runner or a walker? Don't miss the Papillion-La Vista Fine Arts “Hero” 5K run and 1-mile walk April 27 at Papillion-La Vista School District Foundation Field and the Walnut Creek Recreation Area. Participants are encouraged to run as their favorite superhero. The cost is $15 for adults, $10 for children/students or $50 for a family of two adults and up to five children. Proceeds will benefit Papillion-La Vista High School's Fine Arts programs and the Wounded Warrior Project. The latter helps support the needs of wounded veterans as they transition back to the home front. Registration forms are at paplv.org under “Looking for Youth Activities for Your Child? Look No More!” The registration deadline is Friday.
Road trip for many: The SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference will be Thursday through April 13 at Central Community College in Hastings, Neb.
Engineering: The Scott Conference Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will host Thursday's engineering competition for high school students.
Convention: Nebraska's State Family Career and Community Leaders of America Convention will be Monday and Tuesday in Lincoln.
Special guest: National best-selling author Nuensie Suku recently visited Omaha Marian's yearbook and newspaper staffs. She shared insights from her personal story of tragedy to triumph. She read passages from her books “The Quest for Serendipity” and “The Road to Success” and answered students' questions about her life and experiences in Thailand and the United States.
Craft fair: Millard West will host a spring craft fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
Inter-school: Dundy County-Stratton, Quinter (Kan.) and Hitchcock County topped all other participating schools to claim academic division titles at the recent annual competition at McCook (Neb.) Community College. Those three schools bested 16 others vying for top academic honors in 28 categories. Dundy County-Stratton claimed the large school division over McCook and Arapahoe. Quinter placed first in Division 2 over Sutherland, and Medicine Valley and Southwest tied for third. In the small-school division, Hitchcock County bested Maywood and Wauneta-Palisade.
Middle schools Wash your hands! Seventh graders at Louisville Middle School may have been preoccupied with germs and viruses. They read “Fever, 1793” and excerpts from “The Hot Zone.” “Fever, 1793” is a nonfiction book about the yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia. Teacher Nathan VanMeter read “The Hot Zone” during science class. It deals with the ebola virus.
Honor band: Otte Blair Middle School will host today's Blair Middle School Honor Band. It is a top honor band for Nebraska middle-schoolers. More than 200 band students from 40-plus schools will rehearse all day and then give a performance at 4 p.m.
State tourney: The Destination Imagination state tournament is today in Kearney.
BELLEVUE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Districtwide: Offutt Family Advocacy, Integrated Delivery Services and Bellevue Public Schools will sponsor Parent University 2013 on April 20 at Peter Sarpy Elementary School. Parent University is a half-day workshop for persons who wants to learn more about child-rearing and positive interaction skills. The program is free to those in the Bellevue Public Schools and the Offutt military community. For more information and to register, call 402-293-4941.
CONESTOGA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Turn it off: The PTO at Conestoga Elementary will sponsor Screen Free Week starting Monday. Families are asked to turn off their screens for entertainment and choose alternate forms, such as reading, playing outdoors or playing board games. Families are asked to limit their entertainment screen time to 30 minutes a day.
An honor: Conestoga Elementary received a “2013 Recognized School in Action” award recently at the Nebraska Action for Healthy Kids Summit in Lincoln. The school was honored for efforts to increase physical activity and improve nutrition for students and staff.
OMAHA CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE SCHOOLS
Last blast: Current and former students, alumni, teachers and administrators, parishioners, parents, neighbors and friends are invited to a celebration of St. Stanislaus School, which will close in May after 93 years. A Mass will begin at 10 a.m. April 14 at the church, followed by social activities until 3 p.m., including self-guided tours of the school and grounds. St. Stanislaus Catholic Church is not closing.
Musical guest: Students from Holy Name and Sacred Heart Schools joined together to experience a performance from musical guest Shanta. She came to Holy Name from the Illinois Road Scholars program. During her performance “From Anansi to Brer Rabbit,” Shanta taught through African instruments, African folk tales and song.
Bible Bowl: St. Bernard School recently hosted its 22nd annual Bible Bowl. Eleven Catholic schools sent 66 contestants to compete in this event, which is similar to “Wheel of Fortune,” but with all the puzzles coming from the Bible. Winners are listed in descending order from first place.
» Individual winners: Nick Mundt of St. Columbkille School in Papillion, Audrey Lane of St. Columbkille and Trevin Detwiler of Holy Cross School in Omaha.
» Team winners: St. Columbkille, Trey Krueger, Brendan DeWerth, Jake Woodard, James Kolbo, Audrey Laney, Nick Mundt; St. Thomas More School, Alex Castillo, Vincent Cacioppo, Lauren McKenzie, Brett Brodin, Audra Pflug, Brandt Vomacka; (tied for third) St. Margaret Mary School, Sarah Ritterling, Margaret Kelly, Oliver Billig, Savannah Short, Margaret Ryan, Morgan Mayer; and (tied for third) Christ the King School, Arak Lual, Megan Carter, Mary Drews, Ben de Mayo, Claire Bruck, Aubrey Cervantes.
Buddies: Eighth graders at St. Patrick Catholic School in the Elkhorn area have been putting their story-writing abilities to the test with the help of their kindergarten reading buddies. The eighth graders were paired with kindergartners who were interviewed about their favorite stories. The eighth-graders took the ideas and developed stories of their own. The kindergartners illustrated the front covers. Then the two groups read the stories together. The activity concluded with the eighth-graders giving the children's stories to their buddies as gifts. Lenten activity: Students at Our Lady of Lourdes School did a project that combined math and Lent. Students used math skills (measuring) to make pretzels. The Lenten aspect dealt with the early Christians and how they prayed. They crossed their arms and touched each shoulder with the opposite hand. A monk used the form of praying arms for children created the pretzel shape.
WESTSIDE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Read-a-thon: The Community Club at Paddock Road substituted a read-a-thon for its standard fundraiser. Students read 100,926 minutes and raised $15,874.56 — triple the goal set by organizers.
Compiled by Sue Story Truax with World-Herald News Service