Finalists named for cook-off: Bryant Elementary fifth-grader Kayla Seiper, Mintz Elementary fifth-grader Nalonna Graybeal, Rampello Downtown Partnership seventh- grader Amber Buchanan, Barrington Middle seventh-grader Madison Gentry and Memorial Middle eighth-grader Arianna White have been named finalists in the school district's Cook It Up Cook-Off. All finalists will receive a prize pack.
Participants submitted a healthy and creative dessert recipe, along with a short essay explaining what makes their recipe nutritious and why it's important to establish healthful eating habits. The finalists will prepare and present their recipes to a panel of judges made up of local culinary experts in January. The winner of the Cook-Off will be named Cook It Up's "Ultimate School Lunch Chef" and receive tickets to a Justin Beiber concert in Orlando.
Media day: The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus media day included more than just professional journalists. Students from Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School and Terrace Community Middle School, along with St. Petersburg's John Hopkins Middle, Melrose Elementary and Academy Prep also got a chance to participate in the interview sessions. They also picked up interview tips from media professionals. The circus kicks off Jan. 2 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and runs through Jan. 6.
. Anything to help: Valrico Elementary students recently collected nearly 3,000 items of food to donate to the United Food Bank of Plant City. They were inspired by a promise from the school administration that the winning class would get to throw whipped cream pies at principal Anthony Montoto, assistant principal Russell Wallace and guidance counselor Dora Garcia. The class of Amanda Lorentzen and Yesenia Montefusco took top honors.
Alumni run: Jesuit High School will hold its Alumni Fun Run and Mass with Fr. Richard Hermes S.J., president of Jesuit High, at 9 a.m. on Jan. 6. The campus-wide race will begin after the mass at Alumni Track and Field and end at Paul Straub Field. There will be music, prizes and refreshments after the race. The event is free. Jesuit High is located at 4701 N Himes Ave., Tampa. For more information, call (813) 877-5344, ext. 709.
Holiday celebration: Students from 13 east Tampa schools participated in the East Tampa Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration earlier this month at the Cyrus Greene Community Center. Students from Carver Exceptional Center; Edison, James, Lockhart, Lomax, Oak Park and Potter elementary schools; Ferrell, Franklin, Orange Grove, Willams and Young middle schools; and Middleton High School put on performances and displays for the event.