Young writers workshop for middle schoolers

The Mt. Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club and the Contra Costa County libraries are sponsoring a free workshop for middle school students in preparation for the annual Young Writers Contest.

Contra Costa County students in grades 6-8 are invited to attend the free workshop from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway.

It will be led by children's authors Sarah Wilson and Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff. Visit them at and

They will discuss "How You Can Write the Best Short Story or Personal Narrative Using Character and Plot."

To reserve a space at the workshop, contact the California Writers Club Mt. Diablo Branch at:

MDUSD kindergarten registration scheduled

Preregistration of children eligible for transitional and regular kindergarten in August 2014 will be conducted at all Mt. Diablo Unified School District elementary schools on a first-come basis for most schools from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., beginning Feb. 4.

Preregistration of children to attend kindergarten at Monte Gardens Elementary will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24. Only children from the waiting list who have received written confirmation will be registering on that day.

Sequoia Elementary will hold its kindergarten registration from 8 to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 28, in the school library. Students will be called from the waiting list and given specific instructions about what will be needed.

Kindergarten registration for the Cornerstone Family School program will be 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 4, at Ygnacio Valley Elementary. Only children from the waiting list who have received phone confirmation may register on that day.

Children who will reach the age of 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2014 are eligible for kindergarten in August. Children who will reach the age of 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, 2014, are eligible for transitional kindergarten in August.

Parents should bring the following documents with them: an original birth certificate or some other official documentary proof of the child's birth date; three original documents to verify where the child resides (one must be a photo I.D.); and a written immunization record from a health care provider indicating that all immunization requirements have been met.

For more information, go to

Double donations to YVHS Renaissance

Residents have the opportunity for donations to Ygnacio Valley High School's Renaissance leadership class doubled (up to $100) through Jan. 25.

Donations will be used to purchase materials to create visual celebrations, posters, signs and display boards throughout the campus to recognize Warriors of the Week, Staff of the Month, High Five awards for student achievement and more, said Kelly Cooper, Performing Arts Department chair.

For more information, visit

To have a donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the promo code INSPIRE on the payment screen.

CHS Mardi Gras dinner dance fundraiser set

A Mardi Gras Dinner Dance fundraiser will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 22, at the Clarion Hotel, 1050 Burnett Ave., in Concord.

The Concord High School jazz bands and orchestra will be featured. There will also be an auction and raffle.

Tickets are $30 each through Jan. 31, and $35 thereafter. Contact Theresa Dowd at or call 925-586-0889.

Proceeds benefit the Concord High Instrumental Music program and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

Concord residents make fall semester dean's list

Isabella Orantes of Concord was named to the dean's list at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Orantes, majoring in nursing, made the list for the fall 2013 semester.

To qualify, a student must have completed at least 12 graded credits for the semester and earned at least a 3.25 GPA with no grade lower than C, and without any incompletes.

Chloe Williams of Concord made the fall semester dean's list at Pratt Institute in New York.

Pratt Institute prepares 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students for careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences, conferring 22 undergraduate and 25 graduate degrees.

YVHS e-waste recycling to benefit Grad Night

A free e-waste recycling will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 1, in the main parking lot at Ygnacio Valley High School, 755 Oak Grove Road, in Concord.

It will benefit Grad Night 2014.

E-waste items accepted include computers, TVs, monitors, laptops, cameras, cell phones, VCRs and DVDs, fax machines and printers, toner cartridges (in a plastic bag) and more.

Some items not accepted are lighting, household batteries, appliances and business waste without an appointment.

For more information, contact, 310-734-6700.

Items included on a space-available basis; not all submissions published. Email

VFW Post 1525 names scholarship winners

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1525 and its Ladies Auxiliary have announced winners in its 2013-2014 Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program.

Elliot Thompson, a junior at Miramonte High School in Orinda took first place and received a $500 award. He was also selected the third-place finisher at the California District 25 competition.

Anthony Caldwell, a junior at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, took second place and a $300 prize; and Joy Koonin, earned a $200 award and third place.

Thompson and Koonin were recognized at the post's annual Christmas luncheon, while Caldwell will receive his award at the annual M. Diablo High School Military Ball where he is a cadet in the JROTC program.

The Voice of Democracy program requires entrants to write and record a three- to five-minute script on a patriotic theme. "Why I'm Optimistic About our Nation's Future" was this year's theme.

VFW Post 1525 and its Ladies Auxiliary represent 400 members from Clayton, Concord, Pinole and much of Contra Costa County.