Holiday light show opens at Kennywood
The second annual Kennywood Holiday Lights show opens at 5 p.m. Friday.
The event features 1,000,000 lights, some midway rides, foods, an area for kids to write letters to Santa, cookie decorating, a model train display, memorabilia from "It's a Wonderful Life" - and, of course, Santa Claus. A holiday light show starts every half hour in the area surrounding the Lagoon.
Park officials said the light displays are connected by more than 12 miles of extension cords - enough to connect the park to Heinz Field on the North Shore.
The event continues from 5 to 9 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night through Dec. 30, plus Dec. 26 and 27.
Admission is $15.99; a $2 discount if you buy tickets in advance at participating Giant Eagle locations. Children age 2 and younger free, so is parking. Details: www.kennywood.com
Burn off holiday calories and help the food bank
Keystone Health Club is hosting the Turkey Burner, a two-hour exercise class at 10 a.m. Friday to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.
"Thanksgiving is a time where we get to relax, give thanks, and too often, overindulge," club manager Gail Evans-Potter said. "The Turkey Burner is a great chance to burn off the extra turkey and pumpkin pie while providing food for those in need."
The benefit - cost $5 - is open to anyone over age of 14 and will feature several 30-minute classes, including kickboxing and resist-a-ball.
The health club is located in Keystone Commons, 655 Braddock Ave. Details: Kristen Michaels at 412-999-6229.
School day changed
The school board voted 6-3 to approve a proposal to change the school day from eight to seven periods, starting next school year.
The change will not affect the length of the school day that starts at 7:18 a.m. and ends at 2:18 p.m.
The move will allow for a scheduled "Quality Resource Time" in the middle of the day, during which teachers will provide additional support to students when necessary. Those not requiring extra class help may use the time for study hall, high school principal Ron Suvak told parents at a town hall meeting last month.
He also told parents that every effort will be made to provide all students with the electives of their choice.
The change will also provide help to students who are unable stay after school because of transportation.
There was no further discussion about the proposal at Monday night's meeting. Board members, Dennis Pavlik, Dennis Irvine and Jane Tower voted against the recommendation.
Stuff a bus for kids next week
The ninth annual "Stuff-A-Bus" toy drive is set for Monday through Friday at Miracle Mile Shopping Center, 4100 William Penn Highway.
The public is encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys during business hours to be delivered to kids who could go without this holiday season.
Last year, 25 buses were filled and the new toys delivered.
The radio station 96.1 KISS will broadcast from site. The event is sponsored by Clear Channel Communities, Safe Auto and the radio station. Details: www.961kiss.com or iHeartRadio.com
District asking for used smartphones
The district is collecting used smartphones so more students can participate in the new Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, educational program at the high and middle schools.
Both schools allow students to bring their own personal devices for educational use under the direction of a teacher. The donated phones will help those who do not own such a device.
The district will "wipe" all donated smartphones free of previous user data, connect them to the district's wireless network, load educational apps, and make them available for teachers to use with their students. The devices will not be given directly to students.
The smartphones should not be more than two years old and a wall charger should be included.
• The high school marching band won first place in competition with 25 ranked bands at the Regional Marching Band Championship held last month at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md.
The band came in first with a score of 86.95 and also won recognition for outstanding musical performance, outstanding general effect and outstanding visual performance at the event.
It was the first year in the marching band's history that Norwin musicians won three regional competitions hosted by Bands of America.
Grant to keep library open
Support from Trafford residents and council, as well as a grant from the Eden Hall Foundation, have made it possible for the Trafford Community Public Library to remain open despite financial struggles. The Eden Hall Foundation grant was critical to the fundraising efforts.
"With our immediate future secured, we are working toward long-term sustainability," said Tom Puckey, president of the library's board of directors.
Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 173, Trafford 15085.
Mon Yough Catholic needs your vote
Mon Yough Catholic School parents and teachers are looking for online votes to help the school win a grant that could be as much as $50,000.
The Clorox Power a Bright Future grant would be used to purchase iPods for the school's 103 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.
Gwen Sutton of the Mon Yough Catholic Parent Teacher Guild said the school is seeking the grant to "prepare [students] for all the technology they'll be using in the future, especially when they enter college or the work force."
Seven non-profit schools will win Clorox grants and winners will be selected on the basis of how many people vote.
Ms. Sutton said the school has been seeking votes from members of all of the parish churches that send students to the school: that includes East McKeesport, Elizabeth, Glassport, Liberty, McKeesport, North Versailles, Port Vue, White Oak, and Wilmerding.
This is the first year of a merger between the former St. Angela Merici Catholic School in White Oak and the former St. Joseph Regional School in Port Vue, now closed. Students from both schools now attend school at the former St. Angela Merici School, renamed Mon Yough Catholic School. The pre-school through eight grade school has 331 students.
Vote online until Dec. 19: powerabrightfuture.clorox.com