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How to Stick with Lick
Ever wonder what teens are learning in school these days? You'll get to find out when the students at James Lick Middle School share some of their hard-earned knowledge with families and friends at the 1998 Family Literacy Night on Tuesday, March 3.
The kids will explain how to write poetry and stories, conduct interviews, and create oral histories. The evening will also include a "poetry slam," a series of readings in which both students and families can participate. Family Literacy Night will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House at 4705 Third St.
Meanwhile, teachers and kids at the Noe Valley school -- James Lick is on the corner of Noe and 25th -- are looking for volunteers to help keep the momentum going. They need one-on-one tutors to help students with English, reading, and math. They'd also welcome volunteers to help teachers in the classroom.
"It's really rewarding to have a relationship with one kid, and to see their growth," says Rachel Weinstein, a mentor at the school. "It's great for them to have their own special person."
Volunteers must be able to help out at least one hour per week. Some training is available through San Francisco School Volunteers, but it's not required.
To volunteer, call Tiffany Lawrence at S.F. School Volunteers at 274-0250.
Wind in the Willows Reunion
Wind in the Willows, the popular preschool at Cesar Chavez and Church streets, will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an auction and reunion of alumni families on Saturday, March 21. The party will get rolling at 7 p.m. at a South of Market photography studio.
The auction will feature such goodies as a stay at Noe Valley's Garden View Bed and Breakfast, a one-month membership in Purely Physical Fitness on Castro Street, and four seats in an MVP box at a San Francisco Giants game.
"This will be a special party because it's a chance for parents of students who attended the school to get together again," says Andrea Wong, mother of Megan, a 41/2-year-old Wind in the Willows student. "A lot of local merchants have donated gift certificates and merchandise, so it's a great way to get bargains and have fun."
Raffle tickets will also be sold, to raise money for the school's programs. Prizes include a digital camera, a $50 gift certificate to Firefly Restaurant, and a night at Noe's Nest, a 23rd Street bed and breakfast. To buy raffle tickets prior to the event, stop by Wind in the Willows, 1444 Church St., or by Little Bean Sprouts on 24th Street or Peek-a-Bootique on Castro.
To make reservations and get directions to the party, call the school at 285-5510. The suggested donation for tickets is $10.
Some 'Keane' Irish Poetry
Irish poets -- many of them from Noe Valley -- will share their work this month at Keane's 3300 Club, a favorite Irish haunt on the outskirts of the neighborhood.
Keane's will celebrate both St. Patrick's Day and the club's 40th anniversary throughout the month of March. On Tuesday, March 10, the club will host an Irish poetry night featuring J.R. Brady, Jon Greene, Frank Holt, Joe Kelly, and Nancy Keane. Other poets can take the floor afterwards during the open mike.
The Irish celebration continues later in the month with a limerick contest on March 24. Free food will be on hand at both events, and you can find your favorite Irish drinks at the bar.
Keane's 3300 Club is located at 3300 Mission St. at 29th. Both events start at 7 p.m. Call ahead at 333-3494 to be listed as a featured performer, or sign up at the club to participate in the open mikes.
The Chorus Meets the Rainbow
Do your kids love music? If so, better take them to hear Noe Valley's own Singing Rainbow Youth Ensemble in concert on Sunday, March 22. The award-winning musical group will appear with the San Francisco Children's Chorus. Both ensembles are under the direction of Diamond Street resident Candy Forest.
The kids will perform a rendition of "Inch Worm" from the movie Hans Christian Anderson, "Giraffes," and many other tunes designed to "put the spring back in your step after all this rain," says Forest.
The concert will be held at 3 p.m. at Community Music Center at 544 Capp St. (between 20th and 21st streets). Everyone is invited and admission is free.
A Toast to Activist Clara Fraser
Bay Area Radical Women will celebrate International Women's Day on March 8 by honoring 75-year-old feminist writer Clara Fraser, often called the "Grande Dame of Socialism."
The group is launching Fraser's new book -- Revolution, She Wrote, a collection of essays and commentaries on women and politics -- at a special reception and dinner. Award-winning poet Nellie Wong will read selections from the book, and 86-year-old poet and writer Tillie Olsen will also perform. Copies of Revolution, She Wrote will be available for purchase.
The event begins at 3 p.m., and a salmon buffet dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. for a $10 donation. The book launch will be at New Valencia Hall, 1908 Mission St., near the 16th Street BART Station. For more information, call 864-1278.
Go Loco for Jamestown
Get ready for a great party -- to benefit an even better cause. The second annual Jamestown Jam is coming up on Thursday, March 19. The Smokejumpers -- a "punk rockabilly" band -- will warm up the crowd. Then Dr. Loco and his Rockin' Jalapeño Band will headline the event.
"Dr. Loco plays everything from salsa to blues to Latin rock," says Katie Brackenridge of Jamestown Community Center. "It's really good dance music."
Proceeds will support Jamestown Community Center's summer activities for Mission District young people, such as free academic programs, sports teams, tutoring, and health services. More than 300 youths ages 8 to 18 participate in James-town-sponsored programs every year.
The fundraiser will take place at the Transmission Theater at 308 11th St. from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For tickets or more information, call Jamestown at 647-4709.
Computer Classes for Seniors
Senior citizens who'd like to learn about computers will get their chance starting March 9. The Mission YMCA will sponsor a four-week computer class geared especially for older people. Students will learn the basics of working with a Macintosh and will learn to use ClarisWorks, a standard word processing program.
Peggy Cartwright, an instructor with six years' experience, will be leading the course. Classes will meet twice a week for two hours each session.
"There's a lot of repetition to help the students feel comfortable with the computer," says Gloria Garcia of the Mission Y. "The first thing people have to do is get over their fear of breaking the computer. Then they can start to learn to use it."
To provide lots of practice, the class cost of $32 includes six months of computer lab time.
The group will meet at the YMCA, 4080 Mission St., on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. To register, call 586-6900.
Lowell a 'Wonderful Town'
The kids at Lowell High School are busy memorizing lines and hammering sets for their annual spring musical, scheduled to open March 19. They'll be performing Wonderful Town, a Leonard Bernstein musical that tells the story of two small-town sisters from Ohio who find excitement in New York City.
"They meet all the crazy characters you would think of from Greenwich Village in 1935," says Director Diane Price. "I really think this is going to be awfully good."
The Lowell Drama Department has paired up with dance majors from San Francisco State University to produce the musical. Wendy Jones, the choreographer, is receiving school credit at State for the project. Music will be provided by the Lowell High School orchestra.
Performances are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, March 19 to 21, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 22, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the door. The musical will be held at the Carol Channing Theater at Lowell High School, 1101 Eucalyptus Drive. Call 759-2730 for more information.
Nominate a Leader
The San Francisco Foundation has announced a new Community Leadership Awards program to honor individuals or groups who have helped improve or protect Bay Area communities. The foundation will award four prizes -- each a lump sum of $10,000 for individuals or $20,000 for organizations.
The awards will be presented in October at a celebration wrapping up a yearlong observance of the San Francisco Foundation's 50th anniversary. The foundation is giving out the awards in hopes that they will inspire even more community involvement.
Nominations are due by April 15. Individuals and nonprofit groups in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties only will be considered. Nomination forms are available by calling the foundation at 495-3100 or 510-436-3100.
Mayor Brown Reads Aloud
Two Noe Valley schools -- Alvarado Elementary and James Lick Middle School -- will participate in the fourth annual Read Aloud Day on Thursday, March 12. Sponsored by the Bay Area Book Council, Read Aloud Day is designed to encourage parents to read aloud to their kids -- and to help kids learn to love reading. The libraries at Alvarado and James Lick will each have a special program on March 12 for their students.
That same day, Mayor Willie Brown will read aloud to kids at the San Francisco Main Library in the Children's Room at 10 a.m. Throughout the Bay Area, authors, illustrators, and community leaders will read aloud to more than 10,000 kids in schools, libraries, and bookstores. For more information, call the San Francisco Bay Area Book Council at 908-2833.
This month's Short Takes were written by Erin O'Briant and Michele Lynn.