Our network

Arts & Culture

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Sequoyah HS theater director now in Ga. Thespians Hall of Fame

Sequoyah HS theater director now in Ga. Thespians Hall of Fame

CANTON, Ga. -- The theater director at Cherokee County's Sequoyah High School is the newest member of the Georgia Thespians Hall of Fame.

Gerald Parker was honored with a surprise induction during this year's Georgia Thespian Festival in Columbus.

Parker began working at Sequoyah in 1990 and became assistant director of the school's thespian troupe the following year. He was named head of the theater department in 2006 and went on to become chair of the fine arts department in 2010. He was also honored as Sequoyah's Teacher of the Year in 2012.

Since taking over the theater department, Parker has led Sequoyah to a number of local honors, including the Schuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre. In 2012, his student, Ben Fierke, was cast as the lead in an International Thespian Festival production of Aida.

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

(WXIA) -- It's back! The wildly popular Doodle 4 Google contest, which gives children the opportunity to create a Google Doodle, is now accepting entries.

Students in grades K-12 can enter the competition by drawing the Google logo with the theme, "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place ..."

"So many of the world's greatest inventions started out as simple doodles -- just think of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of flying machines long before airplanes were made. We hope students will think big and surprise us with their creative ideas, just like they've done in years past!" Google said in a release.

Google will choose one finalist from each state. Last year's Georgia winner was Christine Jeong, a 5th grader at Wilson Creek Elementary School in Johns Creek. Meet Christine and see her winning doodle.

AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest open

AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest open

ATLANTA -- Calling all artists: the AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest is now accepting entries.

Designers have until Friday, Feb. 28 to submit their works of art. All entries will be whittled down to five finalists, which will be unveiled on ajc.com/peachtree on Saturday, Mar. 15.

No one will see the winning design until race day, when it will adorn tens of thousands of finishers' T-shirts.

"The AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest is a great way to showcase the work of our local artists, and we are always impressed with the entries we receive," Atlanta Track Club interim executive director Sue Payne said in a statement.

Whoever wins the contest receives $1,000, while each of the four finalists gets $100.

Author Carmen Agra Deedy visits Canton ES

Author Carmen Agra Deedy visits Canton ES

CANTON, Ga. -- Students at Canton Elementary School STEM Academy were thrilled when one of their favorite authors visited earlier this month.

Carmen Agra Deedy is a much-loved author of children's books. She has published more than 20 of them, most notably "The Library Dragon" and "Agatha's Feather Bed."

During her visit to Canton, Deedy told some of her most popular stories to students. She also spoke to them about the importance of becoming strong readers, writers and speakers.

Deedy was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1964. She lives in Decatur, where she is constantly honing her storytelling skills.

RELATED | Author Lois Ruby visits Macedonia ES

Chanukah celebration and LEGO menorah lighting

Chanukah celebration and LEGO menorah lighting

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- The message of Chanukah is a universal one, celebrating religious freedom for all and light over darkness.

The construction of a giant LEGO Menorah will highlight this year’s annual Chanukah celebration.

The public celebration, now in its sixth year is co-sponsored by the new Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, the Cherokee County area business community and the Chabad Jewish Center. Festivities will begin with the Menorah build at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1, followed by the lighting ceremony and Chanukah celebration at 5 p.m.

“We are always looking for new ideas to keep the kids on the edge of their seats. The LEGO Menorah was perfect,” said Rabbi Zalman Charytan, director of the Chabad Jewish Center. “The uniqueness of the Menorah is what the child remembers. Not only are we trying to give the children a unique and exciting Chanukah experience, we are teaching them that Judaism is fun and exciting.”

Author Lois Ruby visits Macedonia ES

Author Lois Ruby visits Macedonia ES

CANTON, Ga. -- Some fifth grade students at Macedonia Elementary School recently got the chance to meet one of their favorite authors.

After reading Lois Ruby's novel Steal Away Home, the children in Nancy Baker's class were thrilled when Ruby visited the school last Friday.

The students dressed up as characters from the novel to hear Ruby speak in the Canton school's media center.

"Students were captivated with Mrs. Ruby's stories, and Mrs. Ruby was thrilled to see the students dressed in character for her visit," Macedonia Elementary principal Tammy Castleberry said.

Steal Away Home is the story of a 12-year-old girl who finds a hidden room in her family's home -- and a skeleton inside. She eventually learns that her house was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the skeleton belongs to a former slave named Lizbet.