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Contest for "Shooting Stars"
Kids who like to dribble and slam-dunk are in for a treat in December and January.
The 1998 Hoop Shoot, in which kids compete to sink the most free throws, is coming up in December. All participants try to make 25 throws. There are three categories, each separated into boys' and girls' competitions: ages 8 and 9 (these kids will stand four feet in front of the free throw line); ages 10 and 11; and kids 12 and 13. The 10- through 13-year-olds make their shots from the free throw line.
Noe Valley basketball players can join the fun at the local level at the Upper Noe Rec Center at Day and Sanchez streets on Dec. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. Douglass Playground will also hold a competition, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. daily, Dec. 8 to 12. Participants may only compete at one playground, and prizes will be awarded for first-, second-, and third-place winners at each level. The top boy and girl scorer from each local playoff will move on to the city finals at Sunset Recreation Center on Jan. 10.
For players willing to travel outside the neighborhood, a girls' "3-for-All" basketball skills competition will be held at Sunset Recreation Center on Saturday, Dec. 6. The event will test three basic dribbling and shooting skills. The citywide competition begins at noon for ages 10 and 12; at 1:30 p.m. for girls 13 and 14; and at 3 p.m. for 15- to 17-year-olds. Applications are available at all Lady Foot Locker stores and the Sunset Recreation Center at 28th Avenue and Lawton Street.
For more information on the Hoop Shoot or the 3-for-All, call the Athletic Division of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department at 753-7029.
A Concert You Should HEAR
Young rockers will take over the Noe Valley Ministry on Sunday, Dec. 7, during the fourth annual Professor Sludge Guitar Academy Student Concert. Guitar and bass students ages 7 to 17 will take turns performing a lineup of modern and retro classics. Special guest singers Debora Iyall and Keta Bill will also perform.
The low-volume concert will benefit HEAR (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers), a nonprofit group that teaches musicians about hearing loss. Free earplugs will be available.
The Professor Sludge Academy was founded by Eric Lenchner, a 20-year veteran of the Bay Area music scene. Lenchner retired from performing in 1995 because of hearing loss from too much exposure to loud music. Since then, he has dedicated himself to working with young musicians, and to educating students and the general public about the dangers of loud noise.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door at 1021 Sanchez St. To purchase tickets ahead of time, stop by Streetlight Records at 3979 24th St., or call the store at 282-3550. The concert starts at 4 p.m.
Chaucer Comes to Bethany
A modern stage version of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Nun's Priest's Tale -- one of Chaucer's famous Canterbury Tales -- will be performed at Bethany United Methodist Church on Sanchez Street in December. The play will be produced by Geoffrey Chaucer & Co., a Bay Area theater troupe showcasing the 14th-century English poet's work. A baudy retelling of one of Aesop's fables, The Nun's Priest's Tale has been translated into modern verse by J.U. Nicolson, and will be accompanied by original music composed by Bay Area musician John Geist. The show stars Julian Lopez-Morillas, Thom-as Lynch, and Becky Parker.
According to the actor-directors, the troupe chose to stage the Tale at Bethany because the atmosphere of a church often enhances the medieval setting of The Canterbury Tales.
There will be a brown bag matinee performance on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Patrons may order a boxed lunch ahead of time or bring their own food. Another performance takes place that night at 8 p.m., and the last Noe Valley performance will be on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. All shows will be in Bethany's sanctuary at 1268 Sanchez St. (near Clipper).
Regular tickets are $15. Seniors pay $13; full-time students $10. For reservations or information about special group rates, call 491-0818.
Flea Market at James Lick
Parents and kids at James Lick Middle School are excited about their new fund-raiser -- a flea market held on the last Saturday of each month. Proceeds from the swap meets go to the school's music, art, and physical education departments.
Anyone may rent a booth to sell their wares at the market. The cost is $10 to $30, depending on the size of the booth.
Several Noe Valley families and merchants have participated this year, selling everything from handmade jewelry to secondhand clothes. For each event, the James Lick Parent-Teacher Association has asked local stores to donate coffee and snacks to sell, including hot dogs for lunch. Because school is out in December, the next market will be held on Jan. 31.
"We had our first flea market last May," said Terry Cahill, co-president of the James Lick P.T.A. "We pulled in about $800, so it was very successful." After the May fundraiser the kids took a break, but resumed their flea markets this fall.
"We really want to make this flea market part of our community," continued Ca-hill. "We want to be more visible, and to generate some money for these departments."
The flea market on Jan. 31 will happen from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the James Lick School blacktop off Castro Street between 25th and Clipper streets. For more information or to reserve a booth space, call Brian Charron at 282-1864.
Wanted: Readers for Alvarado
Love to read? Why not help kids learn to love it too? Rolling Readers, the state's largest children's literacy program, needs volunteers to help in the public schools.
Participants may choose to either read aloud to an entire classroom or tutor kids individually. Those who read aloud will become the class's weekly storyteller for the year. No special training is necessary; volunteers just need an hour per week and a love for books and kids.
One-on-one tutors are given a three-hour training session before they begin. These volunteers are grouped into teams of five tutors, with each team member assigned a different day of the week to visit the school. The volunteer is then matched with four students in grades 1 through 3 who are reading below grade level. On the assigned day, the volunteer gives each of the four students a 15-minute one-on-one tutoring session. A professional on-site coordinator is there to help the tutors.
Volunteers are needed at Alvarado Elementary School at 625 Douglass St., and at several schools in the Mission District. For more information, contact Rolling Readers at 469-4784.
Celebrate Women Artists
The annual Celebration of Craftswomen needs volunteers to help put on the country's largest juried women's crafts fair. The event will be held Dec. 5 to 7 and Dec. 12 to 14 at Fort Mason's Herbst Pavilion (at Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard).
More than 280 craftswomen will display their artistry at the two-weekend fair -- and at least four of those women live in Noe Valley. Local participants include Lea Alboher, a clock maker; Emily Hearn, a jeweler; Kooki Davis, who makes dolls; and Alice Shaw. Organizers hope for a turnout of 20,000 shoppers, to match last year's crowds.
Now in its 19th year, the Celebration of Craftswomen is sponsored by the San Francisco Women's Building on 18th Street. The fair aims to make female artists and craftswomen more visible, and to show a cross-section of work by women of different cultural backgrounds. The celebration also gives new artists a venue for their work.
Volunteers receive a free Celebration of Craftswomen tee shirt, parking, child care, and refreshments. To help out, call 731-1818.
Group Learning for Toddlers
Toddlers and their parents will be able to play with a purpose during the new "Group Learning Games for Toddlers" class led by 24th Street resident Beth Brumaghim. Children from 13 months to 2 years old will sing songs and play games that teach them to share and follow directions. The kids will also learn language and memory skills.
"The kids will have fun doing things that toddlers like to do, but the class is as much for parents as it is for the kids," says Brumaghim. "Moms and dads will have the opportunity to observe their children and understand what they are learning through playing. It's also a place for parents to talk about developmental issues of their toddler." Brumaghim spent 10 years directing education programs for infants and toddlers before she decided to stay home with her two young children.
The class will meet on Mondays from 11 a.m. to noon, Jan. 5 to 26 at Natural Resources, 1307 Castro St. (between 24th and Jersey streets). The course costs $28.
Call Beth Brumaghim at 282-3879 to register or for more information.
This month's Short Takes were written by Erin O'Briant, with help from Michele Lynn.