Noe Valley Voice April 2013


Noe Schools Know How to Party

By Heather World

Three Noe Valley schools will host events on Saturday, April 27, and if you have a car, you can just about hit them all.

Start at the Archbishop Riordan High School track, 175 Phelan Ave., where St. Paul’s Elementary School will hold its annual Walk-a-Thon from 9 a.m. to noon. Students will rack up pledged donations by circling the quarter-mile track, and parents can rack up volunteer hours by helping to set up.

Eighty percent of each student’s take goes toward the family’s financial obligation, which is one way St. Paul’s works to make its school affordable, says Kate Depman, a parent group board member.

“Our school offers financial aid, but families also want the opportunity to contribute in these community-building ways,” she says.

After a few laps, you can head over to 1220 Noe St. for James Lick Middle School’s free Lickstock festival between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. More than a student talent showcase, Lickstock features performances by parents and teachers as well.

Look for local favorite band District 8, whose lead singer is Lick parent Lara Karchmar, and Soul Society, the band of music teacher Brendan Reilly.

The stage is not just reserved for musicians, says PTSA President Todd Standish.

“We have sixth-grader Brandon, who does unbelievably awesome yoyo tricks,” he says.

Those whose talents lie in the kitchen will also have a chance to shine. Bring homemade tamales and enter the Top Tamale contest, or pay $10 for a round of tasting and a ballot instead. The top chef wins the pot.

Finally, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, 4235 19th St. at Collingwood,will host its annual spring carnival from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Look for traditional carnival fun like games, a cake walk, face-painting, and bouncy houses. Classrooms are creating art for sale, and the parent organization expects to bring in an animal show too.

Meanwhile, Immaculate Conception Academy, at 3625 24th St., welcomes back graduate Fatima Duran, the school’s fifth student to be recognized as a Gates Millennium Scholar, which honors academic excellence and leadership. Duran used her scholarship money to help finance a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco—she graduated with honors last May—and will use more of it to get a graduate degree in international comparative education, she says.

In between, she is managing ICA students volunteering for Reading Partners, a nonprofit that pairs tutors with struggling readers. Duran is an outreach coordinator for the group.

“ICA taught me to be a community leader and I want to give other ICA students that opportunity,” says Duran, who has 12 ICA students at three of the program’s sites.

Over at Alvarado Elementary School at 625 Douglass St., students are getting ready to read their winning entries in the 2013 River of Words Art and Poetry Contest. They will present their works at an open reception at the Main Library on Earth Day, April 21. Fourth-graders Luke Closson, Amelia Ellis, Joaquin Rainey, and Jackson Wainwright and fifth-grader Noelia Vega were voted poetry finalists, and fifth-grader Aladdin Wang won Monkey’s Raincoat Haiku Prize for his poem “The Mole”:


Even on a

clear day the mole could

still not see.


The 18-year-old international contest is run by the Center for Environmental Literacy at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, which is hosting the free reception starting at 1:30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium in the San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin St.

All contest winners will be awarded their prizes by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass. They will also have a chance to read their poems and explain their art—and sign books. (The center publishes an anthology of winning selections, including finalists.)