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Deer Lakes

High school bands from Burrell, Freeport, Highlands, Kiski Area, Leechburg, Plum, Springdale, Valley and Penn Hills will join host Deer Lakes for the Alle-Kiski Valley Band Festival at 7 tonight in Lancer Stadium, 163 E. Union Road, West Deer. Cost: $5.

Mars Area

The high school will offer its annual college and career fair from 6:30 to 8 tonight in the cafeteria, 545 Route 228.

Parents and students from any school district may speak with representatives from colleges and universities, business and technical schools and military representatives.

Information: 724-625-1581.

• Mars Area Elementary PTO will hold its annual Box Tops for Education Contest from Monday through Oct. 12, at the Primary Center, the elementary school and Centennial School.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade are asked to bring in Box Top coupons found on General Mills brand products. Box Tops for Education will make a payment to the school based on the total.

The class in each grade level with the most Box Tops collected will receive a yet-to-be-determined prize.

North Allegheny

Here are open house/curriculum nights:

• 7 to 9:30 tonight, Carson, Ingomar and Marshall middle schools.

• 7 to 9:30 p.m. next Thursday, senior high school. The intermediate high school open house was Tuesday.

Quaker Valley

Tips on the college application process will be offered to parents of seniors at the annual college night program at 7 p.m. Monday in the high school auditorium.

Director of Collegiate Affairs Kelly Frank will discuss applying to colleges and universities, transcripts, letters of recommendation, SAT/ACT scores, scholarships, the Common Application and essays.

A similar college night event for parents of junior students will be held Nov. 14. And there will be a financial aid night Oct. 17.

Information: frankk@qvsd.org or 412-749-6047.

• The district recently honored its school counselors with the Velma Award -- a giraffe, which recognizes an individual or group for sticking one's neck out.

These counselors are being credited for the district having each of its schools earn Recognized ASCA Model Program distinction from the American School Counselor Association: Rose Ann Bergandy, Osborne Elementary; Christy Clapper, middle school (recently retired); Jessica Geis-Frysinger, Edgeworth Elementary; Amy Keller, high school; Matthew Parrish, middle school; James Walls, high school.

The award was established in 2001 and named after retired assistant superintendent Velma Saire.

The award is announced during the annual opening day event that marks the start of the new school year for Quaker Valley staff. The giraffe award will be shared among the school counselors this year.

Sewickley Academy

The first Sewickley Series speaker of the year will be Marc Elliot, who will discuss "What Makes You Tic?" at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. today in Rea Auditorium. The assemblies are open to the public.

Diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at age 9, Mr. Elliot will expound on his disabilities and how he has been treated. Tourette causes people to make repeated, uncontrolled movements or sounds, called tics.

Through humor, anecdotes and lessons of tolerance, he will encourage the audience to examine how they make assumptions about others who are different from themselves.

The program is free. Information: www.sewickley.org/sewickleyseries

• Academy teachers can apply for funding to support projects or teaching strategies that go beyond the original framework of their courses under the support of the Home and School Association, the academy's parent association.

The new program is called Grants for Innovative Frameworks in Teaching.

Teachers may apply for up to $3,500 in grants for a single project. Funding above that amount may be requested if the additional money is justified within the request. Applications are assessed according to levels of innovation, collaboration, interdisciplinary approach, impact on students and experiential student engagement.

Information: www.sewickley.org/has

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