Hecht volunteer award nominations are open

Nominations are now open for the annual Arthur Hecht Volunteer of the Year award.

The award is presented annually to individuals who have volunteered their efforts over a period of time and made a difference because of their involvement and commitment to Piedmont's youth.

Nominations will be kept confidential. The deadline for nominations is March 15. Later in March, a selection committee will vote on the award recipient, who will be honored at the May 8 Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education meeting, where the honoree's good works can be acknowledged. The recipient also will receive the gift of a work of student art. The student will receive a monetary award and commendation from the board. Previous recipients include: Anne-Marie Lamarche and Mark Menke (2009); Janiele Maffei Tovani (2010); Andrea Swenson (2011) and June Monach (2012).

Art Hecht was a tireless community volunteer and was dedicated to students in Piedmont and Oakland. He served on Piedmont's Board of Education from 1970 to 1982. He also was very active with the Piedmont Continuation High School (now called Millennium High School). In 1998, the Art Hecht Volunteer of the Year Award was established in his memory. To obtain a nomination form, visit district offices at 760 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont, or call 510-594-2600.

-- Linda Davis

Speaker series features Stanford lecturer

At 7 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Alan Harvey Theater, Dr. Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education and author of the award-winning book, "Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students," will share her insights on how parents and educators can help students at all grade levels find meaning and motivation in their studies.

Pope's work specializes in student engagement, curriculum studies, and service learning. She founded and served as director of Stressed-Out Students (SOS), and co-founded Challenge Success.

"Doing School" was awarded a Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal.

Pope is a three-time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award. She lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity.

This event is open to all with a $10 suggested donation for anyone not already registered for this event through the education speaker Series (http://www.piedmontportal.org/education-speaker-series/)

International Women's Day event in Piedmont

The Spot Oakland Chinatown Youth Center and Asian Health Services Youth Program are hosting their first International Women's Day Celebration Dinner at 6:30 p.m. March 8 at the Piedmont Community Hall.

The Spot is a new youth center in Oakland Chinatown that offers leadership development and career exploration resources for local youth to prepare for their futures. For more than 15 years, AHSYP has provided health education and counseling services that promote for youth involvement in healthy relationships. While focused on the Asian-American community, The Spot and AHSYP provide services to youth of all backgrounds from the Oakland area.

The Piedmont Asian-American Club is co-sponsoring the event. Piedmont Mayor John Chiang will be making opening remarks. At the first-ever International Women's Day Celebration Dinner, the co-hosts will honor inspirational women whose work has helped empower youth in our communities: Sherry Hirota -- chief executive officer, Asian Health Services; Dr. Isami Arifuku -- senior researcher, National Council Crime and Delinquency; and Jennifer Lee -- director of community services, Asian Health Services.

The event is $75 per person or $550 for a group of eight. The event includes a buffet dinner, live entertainment, a raffle and silent auction.

For more information, contact Michael Lok at mlok@thespotoakland.org or at 510-306-1866.