Lincoln Middle School student Hazel Purins represented Alameda County at the Junior High State Spelling Bee Championship Saturday, May 5, in San Rafael. She finished 28th out of 50 at the state competition. She topped 27 other spellers who finished first or second in their respective counties.

“She was kind of bummed she didn’t spend more time training,” stated Hazel’s mom, Carrie, in an email. “She heard that the top three finishers would get recommendations so they could compete in the Scripps National Bee, and that was news to us.”

The Encinal High School (EHS) Extravaganza of Bands, the annual parade marching band competition, will be held for the 20th year on Saturday, May 19. The event happens in the EHS Gymnasium and on city streets on the West End from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. An expected 16 marching bands from around the region and more than 2,500 student musicians, drum majors and their parents will be participating.

The Mighty Pens, the student poetry club from Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC) will be the focus of the monthly Alameda Island Poets reading set for Wed., May 2, at 7 p.m.

In 2012, with the hope of sharing a lifelong love of poetry and the exquisite beauty of words, Cathy Dana, teacher of creative expressions at the charter school, founded the school-wide poetry club called The Mighty Pens. The group meets weekly to write and share poetry, culminating each year in a book of student poems, entitled Wandering Minds, Dancing Words.

The Alameda Education Foundation will showcase and honor inspiring school programs and volunteers at its 35th annual Salute to Education event on Friday, April 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave. 

Salute to Education celebrates the work being done in Alameda public schools. It also honors school volunteers who support local students. Reading intervention, technology, conservation, art programs and more will be recognized. Every Alameda public school will have a program and a volunteer recognized. 

Families in Alameda can broaden their knowledge of other cultures through hosting a student from Spain this summer. Help build world understanding through sharing of culture, language, values and lifestyle with these young people.