Education Notes: University High senior honored for volunteer efforts

Erika Spivack, a senior at University High School, has won the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Women’s Philanthropy’s 12th annual Bryna Zehngut Mitzvot award.

The award recognizes Jewish teenage girls who exemplify their dedication to community volunteering and Jewish values in honor of Bryna Zehngut, who passed away in 2005.

Spivack earned the honor by working as a teacher’s aide at Congregation Anshei Israel and volunteering at a handful of organizations including Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, Reading Buddies and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She also works with the United Synagogue Youth as communications director and tutors kids in math.

As part of the award, Spivack won $613 — a nod at the Jewish tradition of 613 mizvot, or the obligations required for living a good Jewish life. She plans to use the award to travel to Israel.

Flowing Wells to host open-enrollment info night

Flowing Wells High School will host an information night for prospective open-enrollment students and their families on Wednesday, March 13.

At the event, current Flowing Wells High School students will share their experiences and opinions about campus life and academics.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium, 3725 N. Flowing Wells Road.

Elks Lodge funds shopping spree for Roadrunner kids

The Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge sent 25 Roadrunner Elementary students on a shopping spree at Walmart.

The lodge gave each participating fourth- through sixth-grader $140 to purchase new clothing and shoes.

After the shopping spree, the Elks hosted an Easter luncheon party at their lodge in Catalina, where the students received school supplies, gifts and Easter baskets. A representative from the Sheriff’s Department also taught the students about drug prevention and healthy choices.

“It is incredibly uplifting and touching to see the joy on our students’ faces and hear their laughter as they pick out clothes and enjoy being together outside of the school day,” said Roadrunner Principal Kristina Brewer.

Pi Beta Phi donates 20K books to children in need

The University of Arizona’s Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women donated 20,000 new, age-appropriate books to children in need throughout Tucson last week, according to a press release.

The book distribution was part of Pi Beta Phi’s national day of service event, the release said. Tucson was one of four communities identified by Pi Beta Phi nationally to host a distribution event because of Arizona fourth-grade students’ historic struggles to read at grade level, fraternity officials said in the release.

“We know that the ability to read proficiently is essential to children’s academic progress and is a key predictor of success and earnings potential later in life. … We believe we can impact both childhood literacy rates in Tucson and the quality of life for the families in our community,” said Sally Lanyon and Corinne Querrey, the co-chairs for the Tucson day of service event.

Make a video, score scholarship money

Population Media Center is accepting applications for its One Planet, Many People scholarship contest through Monday, April 15.

To qualify, high school seniors and college undergraduates must submit a video no longer than 60 seconds outlining the impacts of population growth on their neighborhood, city, state or country to:

Four winners will win $1,000 scholarships toward their education.

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