College credit offered for ethnic-studies class

Prescott College will be offering college credit to students who enroll in a community Mexican-American studies class.

The class is taught by Curtis Acosta, a TUSD teacher who previously taught the district's Mexican American Studies literature course.

Acosta's class and other Mexican American Studies courses were eliminated earlier this year after the Tucson Unified School District was found to be in violation of state law.

Since then, Acosta - who now teaches a traditional literature course for TUSD - put together the free community class, which meets Sunday afternoons at the John A. Valenzuela Youth Center in South Tucson.

The class will be worth two college credit hours for high school students who complete the class in the spring.

A fund has been set up to support students enrolling for college credit. Donors can send contributions by mailing a check to Prescott College, 220 Grove Ave., Prescott, AZ 86301.

Write "CLASS" in the memo line of the check.

The class has already reached capacity for the spring semester. For information on enrollment in the future, contact Anita Fernández at afernandez@prescott.edu

Memorial account set for Empire HS student

The family and friends of Grayson Weeks have set up a memorial account to help pay for funeral expenses for the student.

Weeks, 16, an Empire High School quarterback and wrestler, was killed Dec. 16 when he was ejected from a car and then struck by another vehicle on Interstate 10 near Benson. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Donations to the Grayson Weeks Memorial Account can be made at all Vantage West Credit Union branches, Account No. 873753.

Tax-credit deadline for schools is Dec. 31

The deadline to make a tax-credit contribution to the public or private school of your choice is approaching.

Contributions to support extracurricular activities, field trips, the arts and after-school activities, including sports and tutoring, are due by the end of the year.

Donations are matched dollar-for-dollar in the form of a tax reduction. This tax credit is available to all Arizona individuals who pay state income taxes, regardless of whether they have children in school.

For public-school tax-credit contributions, single people can receive a credit of up to $200. Married couples filing a joint return can receive a credit of up to $400.

For private-school tuition credits, single people can receive a credit of up to $500. Married couples filing jointly can receive a credit of up to $1,000.

To donate, contact the school of your choice by phone or through the district's website.

Marana science teacher wins excellence award

Marana Middle School teacher Lynn Mitts has been named the New Science Teacher of the Year.

The honor was presented by the Arizona Science Teachers Association.

It recognizes a science teacher who demonstrated during the first year outstanding potential for sustained-quality science teaching.

Mitts joined Marana Middle School just before the 2011-12 school year. She teaches eighth-grade science.

Her students have used inquiry to create hot-air balloons, simulate mitosis with Oreo cookies and experience natural selection through a class competition.

In one year, the percentage of Marana Middle School students who met or exceeded standards on the science AIMS test increased by 10 percent.

Compiled by Alexis Huicochea. Contact her at ahuicochea@azstarnet.com or 573-4175.