San Leandro High hosts national AP Art exhibit

A national Advanced Placement Studio Art exhibit featuring the best drawing, design and sculpture work from students across the country is on display at San Leandro High School.

The 25-piece exhibit includes the digital design work of 12th-grader Catherine Farinas of Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward. Other pieces showcase photography, pencil and watercolor art.

Audrey Brown, AP Studio Art teacher and chairwoman of San Leandro High's visual and performing art department, said the yearlong course she's taught for 18 years allows students to earn a weighted high school grade and possibly college credit for a 24-piece portfolio. Twenty-two students are enrolled this year.

"It's a very intense class, and I think it's harder than a lot of the other AP classes. It doesn't have the multiple choice," Brown said. "The AP course is extremely rigorous, and students who love art will do very well on it, and that will lead to a great deal of success in any career that they choose."

The event, sponsored by the Educational Testing Service and College Board, marks the only stop for the exhibit on the West Coast. Two public receptions are scheduled for Jan. 24 and Feb. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the school's Arts Education Center lobby gallery.

Students encouraged to enter Newark Optimist Club's annual essay contest

All Tri-City-area students age 19 and younger are invited to enter the annual Newark Optimist Club Essay Contest. Contest entry is free, said Denise Fullerton, the club's contest chairwoman.

This year's contest topic is, "How Can I Help My Friends Realize their Value?"

The contest's winner will be awarded a cash prize of $200, the second-place contestant will receive $125 and $75 will go to the student finishing third, Fullerton said. The first-place finisher will advance to the Optimist International's Pacific Central District competition, where the winner will receive a $2,500 college scholarship.

The 2012 Newark Optimist Club winner, Ella Gunady, finished second in that regional competition, which includes contestants from Northern California, Northern Nevada and Utah.

Contest application forms can be found online at www.optimist.org. Completed essays can be submitted by emailing promsyrslf@sbcglobal.net, or by mailing an envelope to Newark Optimist Club, P.O. Box 402, Newark, CA 94560.

All essays must be received by Feb. 16. Winners will be announced Feb. 22.

For more information, call 510-793-6074.

National speech and debate competition to be held at Union City school

Students from around the nation will compete this weekend at the 17th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational Forensics Tournament, a speech and debate contest held in Union City.

Logan High's forensics team, led by squad director Tommie Lindsey, will welcome more than 1,800 students from 91 schools from as far away as Wyoming and Mississippi. They will compete Friday through Sunday in contests showcasing their public speaking skills.

Community members interested in judging are asked to call 510-589-3519 or email florence.graham@att.net. Training is available for first-time judges at the school.

Logan High is at 1800 H St. in Union City. For more information about the school's forensics team or the yearly competition, visit www.jlhsforensics.org.