A group of Hayward students took up the challenge of illustrating what health and wellness means to them through photographs, and some of their work is on display at the Foothill Gallery.

The Cesar Chavez Middle School students took part in photography sessions through Project EAT, which stands for Educate, Act and Thrive, said Fred Frazier, a community outreach specialist with the program. They also had writing exercises.

"Our mission is to end health inequities and to close the achievement gap in school communities. That's done in a lot of different ways. We have youth engagement activities to promote changes in health and wellness," he said.

The students were assigned to photograph what health and wellness means to them. "It's totally from the perspective of the students," Frazier said.

Project EAT operates out of the Alameda County Office of Education, promoting nutrition education and physical activity. The program works primarily with schools in Hayward, San Lorenzo, San Leandro and Livermore. Project EAT has partnered with several schools to run gardens, including a farm at Tennyson High School.

The photographs will be on exhibit through May 17 at the gallery, 22394 Foothill Blvd., Hayward. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The photographs are included in the gallery's "A Triptych of Art," which also includes two other exhibits: Wanxian Chinese painting and "Vigil," featuring local artists' wood sculptures.


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A reception for the artists is planned for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. The public is welcome to attend.

Fremont first-grade student wins contest

A first-grade student at Mission San Jose Elementary has won a national art contest that highlights environmental themes.

Hannah Chacko, 6, of Fremont, won the grades K-2 category of the 2013 Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest, said Sheena Raju, the student's art teacher. Hannah's winning entry was a drawing of the endangered San Francisco garter snake. Her artwork was titled "Here Now and Then Gone?!"

Hannah's interest in drawing started from watching her mother paint and teach, said Raju, a Fremont woman who teaches monthly at the school.

"Hannah loves to compete and her drawing inspirations at the moment are pets," the art teacher said. "She has won multiple local contests sponsored by Bay Area organizations."

The art contest -- sponsored by several groups, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the International Child Art Foundation -- is part of Endangered Species Day, being celebrated nationwide on May 17.

Two other Mission San Jose Elementary students were semifinalists in the contest's grades K-2 category. Shravya Raghava, 6, and Keertana Sreekumar, 7, joined Hannah in finishing in the Top 10.

More than 2,100 students nationwide entered the contest, Raju said.

Their art soon will be on display in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Botanic Garden, the oldest continually operating botanic garden in the United States.

Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in the greater Hayward and Tri-City areas.