Phoenix hosting NSTA Area Conference on Science Education

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) will host its 2009 Area Conference on Science Education Dec. 3 to 5 at the Phoenix Convention Center and other local venues.

Held in conjunction with the Arizona Science Teachers Association (ASTA), the three-day conference will feature hundreds of workshops, presentations and seminars on a variety of topics, aimed at engaging science educators of all levels in the latest and most innovative teaching methods and new developments in science.

Teachers interested in attending may visit for more details and to register.


SMCC, St. Mary’s team up for monthly discount food box distribution

South Mountain Community College employees and students are selling discounted boxes of high-quality food for the St. Mary’s/Westside Food Bank Alliance. The next sales event will take place 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 4 in front of the SMCC Performing Arts Center at 7050 S. 24th St.

This is not a government program or a handout, and anyone is welcome to purchase the food. St. Mary’s Food Bank purchases the food at a reduced price from area grocers and passes the savings along to consumers. There is no paperwork, and all purchases must be in cash.

For additional information and purchasing options, call (602) 305-5830.


College Financial Aid Planning Night

College Financial Aid Planning Night will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and again on Dec. 10 at Mountain Pointe High School, 4201 E. Knox Road. Parents of freshman, sophomore and junior students from all schools are invited to learn about the FAFSA form and other information to help maximize the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive. Even if you’re not eligible for need-based aid, the best strategies for paying for college on the most efficient basis will also be discussed.

Seats fill up quickly, and reservations are required by calling (480) 654-6266.


Author Tania Katan featured at SMCC Writer’s Workshop

Award-winning writer Tania Katan, author of My One-Night Stand With Cancer (, will present a free reading and writer’s workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 5 in the Student Union at South Mountain Community College, 7050 S. 24th St.

The workshop is free, but registration is required by calling (602) 305-5771 or e-mailing


Akimel hosting HATB garage sale

Akimel A-al Middle School will host its annual Hands Across the Border garage sale from 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 5, on the school’s tennis courts at 2720 E. Liberty Lane.

Akimel, in partnership with Escuela Secundaria Estatal “Manuel Robles Tovar” in Esperanza, Sonora Mexico, participates in the Hands Across the Border cultural exchange program, which involves students, parents, other family members and community members. This year Akimel celebrates 17 consecutive years of the exchange.

Akimel’s Hands Across the Border Web site is For more information on the HATB International Foundation, visit

To donate for the garage sale, contact Spanish teacher Sarah Carranza at or (480) 783-1614.


SMCC to present Highlights from Handel’s Messiah

The 22nd annual performance of Highlights from Handel’s Messiah will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in the South Mountain Community College Performance Hall, 7050 S. 24th St.

Tickets – $10 general admission – are available at or at the door.

For more information, visit or call (602) 243-8353.


Seton hosting holiday bazaar

Seton Catholic Preparatory High School will host its annual holiday bazaar following the Mothers’ Mass on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Mass begins at 1 p.m., and the holiday bazaar follows in the student quad.

A variety of local vendors will be on site with jewelry, candles, pottery, religious gifts, lotions, “blessing pillows,” gourmet treats, unusual Christmas gifts and more. Raffle tickets for great prizes will also be available.

Seton is located at 1150 N. Dobson Road in Chandler. For information, visit


Nutcracker Ballet Suite performed by DV Orchestra, En Pointe Co.

Desert Vista High School Orchestra and En Pointe Company will perform the Nutcracker Ballet Suite at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Desert Vista Performing Arts Center, 16550 S. 32nd St. A full Symphony Orchestra, along with dancers from En Pointe Company, will bring out the magic of the holiday season.

Admission is $5 (free for children seven and under) at the door. For more information, visit


Kyrene seeks donations for Winter Wonderland event to benefit homeless families

The Kyrene School District is seeking donations of new toys and games for students in kindergarten through eighth grade for their annual Winter Wonderland event that will benefit 400 homeless Kyrene families.

Toys for middle schoolers (ages 11 to 14) are particularly needed, such as sporting equipment, bath gel sets, MP3 players, wave boards, Twilight book series, etc.

Donations may be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 9 to 11 at the Kyrene District Office, 8700 S. Kyrene Road, Tempe.


MPHS Baseball Boosters hosting golf classic

The Mountain Pointe Baseball Boosters’ Fifth Annual Pride Baseball Golf Classic will be held Saturday, Jan. 23, at Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave. The classic features a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start, dinner and a silent auction.

Registration is due by Jan. 1. Sign-up fees are $500 for a foursome or $130 for individual golfers, and all MPHS Baseball Booster sponsorship contributions are tax deductible. Proceeds will help defray the cost of field preparation, equipment and other expenses that the district budget does not cover.

For more information, registration forms, sponsorship information or to donate to the silent auction, visit, call Mitch Gladstone at (602) 320-8378 or Tom Kingery at (480) 699-9841 or send an e-mail to


MPHS Boys’ Basketball Food Drive

Friday, Dec. 11, is Boys’ Basketball Community Night at Mountain Pointe High School, 4201 E. Knox Road. Community members are invited to join together to help stop hunger this holiday season by donating non-perisable food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank during the Mountain Pointe vs. Desert Vista basketball game. 


SMCC Writer’s Workshop features Stella Pope Duarte

Popular Valley author Stella Pope Duarte will conduct a free writer’s workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 12, in the South Mountain Community College Student Union, 7050 S. 24th St.

The workshop, entitled “Short Days, Long Nights and Rewrites,” will treat participants to a panoramic view of the writing process. Duarte will draw on story, humor, memoir and tall tales to help participants wend their way through the world of words. Writers of all experience levels are welcome.

The workshop is free, but registration is required by calling (602) 305-5771 or e-mailing

For additional information about Duarte, visit


SMCC to offer short-term classes between fall and spring

Registration is now under way for South Mountain Community College’s “Holiday Express,” a selection of 10 course offerings that students may complete within a four-week period between the fall and spring semesters.

Online classes run from Dec. 19 through Jan. 15 and include Chemistry and Society with lab, College Critical Reading, Chicano Literature, Excel Spreadsheet, PowerPoint, Counseling in a Multi-Cultural Setting and Intro to Art Therapy. Most earn three credit hours. In addition, two one-week counseling classes will be offered the week of Jan. 11.

Tuition is $71 per credit hour, with a $15 registration fee. To enroll, students may register online at For more information, call (602) 243-8123 (English) or (602) 243-8135 (Spanish).


Popular Valley authors to teach creative writing at SMCC

This spring, South Mountain Community College students can learn creative writing skills from a pair of popular Valley authors.

Toni Eubanks, author of Passage to Womanhood: Journey Home, will teach Writing Children’s Literature (CRW120), a five-session online class beginning Jan. 16.

Stella Pope Duarte, award-winning author of such books as If I Die In Juárez, Let Their Spirits Dance, and Fragile Night, will teach Introduction to Writing Fiction (CRW170), a five-session online class beginning Jan. 23.

Each three-credit class will meet online one Saturday each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Class dates are staggered, so that students may enroll in both. Tuition for each class is $213, plus a $15 one-time registration fee. Students may enroll online at, or by calling (602) 243-8123.

For additional information about these courses, call the Language Arts Office at (602) 305-5771 or e-mail


Enjoy an evening of theater at DV

The Desert Vista Theater Troupe will present the following performances in the school’s Black Box Theatre at 16440 S. 32nd St.: One Acts Jan. 20 to 22 and Children’s Hour March 10 to 12. My Fair Lady will run April 29 to May 1 in the Dr. Joe McDonald Auditorium.

Wednesday and Thursday performances will start at 7 p.m., and Friday performances will start at 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.


SMCC offers GED high school equivalency testing

South Mountain Community College, 7050 S. 24th St., is offering GED testing for individuals who do not have a high school diploma and are seeking to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

Candidates must be at least 16 years of age. Those under 18 must bring a notarized letter of consent from a parent or guardian, along with an official letter of withdrawal from their last school attended. The GED testing fee is $75, with a $15 re-test fee for each subject area. Testing is by appointment only, and pre-registration is required prior to testing. Pre-registration takes place on Monday afternoons between 1:30 and 3 p.m. Testing takes place on Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tests are available in English, Spanish and large-print. Special accommodations are available for examinees with documented disabilities.

For more information, call (602) 243-8188.


“African Storytelling Tradition” offered at SMCC

The award-winning South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute will offer a brand new storytelling class this spring, focusing on traditional African folklore.

The class, entitled “The African Storytelling Tradition” (STO283), will focus on the history and practice of storytelling in Africa. Students will explore African myths, legends and folktales, and also research, develop and craft African stories for their own telling.

Class instructor is Marilyn Omifunke Torres, an SMCC adjunct faculty member. Torres has been an ordained West African traditional storyteller for more than 30 years and has received two chieftaincies.

The class will run for 16 weeks on Thursday evenings, from 6 to 9:05 p.m., beginning Jan. 25 in Room PAC-739 on the SMCC Main Campus, 7050 S. 24th St. Tuition for the three-credit course is $213, plus a $15 registration fee.

To enroll or get additional details, visit or call (602) 243-8026.


CGCC begins campaign to construct outdoor “green” classroom

Imagine an outdoor classroom that uses the sun and wind to save and generate energy - a “living” classroom designed to teach students about sustainability and environmental technology through hands-on learning and interaction. 

Chandler-Gilbert Community College students and faculty are looking forward to this vision becoming a reality as the college implements a fundraising campaign to secure materials, labor donations and financial support from local businesses and the community in order to construct an Environmental Technology Center on the college’s Pecos campus.

CGCC’s first partner with the project, Jan Lorant, principal of Gabor Lorant Architects Inc., has volunteered many hours to date, consulting, site planning and designing the Environmental Technology Center. The 1,200 square-foot open classroom will have solar panels, amphitheater-style seating and energy monitoring devices, surrounded by demonstration areas, gardens, wind turbines and environmental education information kiosks.

For more information about the CGCC’s Environmental Technology Center or to make a donation, call (480) 732-7030 or access

CGCC is located at 2626 E. Pecos Road in Chandler.

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