Moreau Catholic High School successfully defended its title as winner of Alameda County's mock trial competition, defeating American High School of Fremont.

The private Hayward school will represent Alameda County at the state competition March 21-23 in San Jose. Moreau's team placed fifth in last year's state competition in Riverside.

Alameda County Presiding Judge Winifred Y. Smith delivered the final ruling in Moreau's favor at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland. More than 100 Alameda County attorneys and judges volunteered to score and preside during the 28th annual monthlong competition, hosted by the county Office of Education.

An awards ceremony recognizing all participating high school teams took place Thursday. at Moreau. Other high schools taking part included: Albany; Amador Valley and Foothill, of Pleasanton; Bishop O'Dowd, Oakland Tech and Skyline, of Oakland; Granada, of Livermore; KIPP King Collegiate, of San Lorenzo; Mission San Jose, of Fremont; and Piedmont.

Hayward education group to hold benefit

The Hayward Education Foundation will host its major fundraising event, a gala inspired by "The Great Gatsby," on April 4.

The theme for the gala is "dream big," said Dianne McDermott, president of the foundation.

"We want to send a message that big dreams and bright futures are possible for all Hayward," she said.


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The foundation awards grants for Hayward teachers' innovative programs not included in the schools' budgets. Last year, it funded more than three-fourths of the requests, which included a computer lab projector, a butterfly garden, dissection specimens and supplies, robotics kits, and SAT prep course and materials.

Since 1983, the foundation has awarded almost 920 grants totaling more than $830,000.

The gala, called Party at Jay Gatsby's, takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 4 at the Cal State East Bay student union. It will have live music and dancing, appetizers and a no-host bar. Those dressed in 1920s-themed attire will receive a cocktail ticket. Tickets are $60 per person; go to http://haywarded-gala.eventbrite.com or email penny@haywarded.org.

School wins award for reading program

A New Haven Unified school is the state winner of an award that recognizes outstanding reading and language arts programs at campuses throughout North America.

Pioneer Elementary -- a K-5 school with 851 students -- is the California recipient of the 2013-2014 International Reading Association Exemplary Reading Program Award.

Cheri Benafield, principal of the Union City school, has been invited to receive the award at a ceremony scheduled Friday, May 9, in New Orleans.

The International Reading Association is a Delaware-based organization striving to improve student literacy.

New Haven Unified serves about 13,000 students attending schools in Union City and South Hayward.

Homeroom is a roundup of news from schools in Alameda County.