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• Tate’s School of Discovery is doing something different for holiday giving this year. In years past the students have sponsored a family in need, bought presents for the Angel Tree, donated to the Ronald McDonald house, participated in Toys for Tots, provided for Operation Christmas and helped with the Serenity Shelter. This year the students are purchasing and filling backpacks for school children in Iraq. The school has a contact with the U.S. Army, Captain Scot Bell, who is stationed in Iraq. Along with the backpacks filled with school supplies, the children will enclose notes from Tate’s School. The students are hoping some of the Iraqi children will write back. Since the shipping will take several weeks, the children will have to shop early in order for the students to receive their gifts by Christmas.

• The Emmy-award winning Saturday morning educational cartoon series, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, will be shown at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21, in Farragut High School’s Main Auditorium. Contact FHS drama office at 671-7167 for more information.

• The Art and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville will sponsor “Perceptions,” an exhibition of the work of Knox County art educators showcasing the talents of art specialists in Knox County Schools. The exhibition is slated to run Nov. 8-28 at the Emporium located at the corner of Gay Street and Jackson Avenue. The exhibit will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call Russ Oaks at the Knox County Schools office at 594-1905.

• Homebuilders and remodelers who complete an intensive weekend course at Pellissippi State Technical Community College in Knoxville can earn a limited residential contractor’s license without undergoing any testing normally required by the state. The course is for men and women interested in a limited license up to $70,000. If the building is a speculation project on land the contractor owns, the $70,000 limit includes land cost as well as material and labor. If the building is being constructed for someone else who owns the land, the $70,000 limit applies only to labor and material and includes residential remodeling and additions. The contractor license course begins at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19, and ends at 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 21, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus on Hardin Valley Road. The course is approved and endorsed by the Tennessee State Board of Licensing Contractors. According to experts in the field, holding the right license is becoming more important to contractors every year. This is because lending institutions and building officials are tightening up on builders who don’t have appropriate licenses. Class highlights include the Standard Building Code as it relates to residential construction, contractor law, rules and regulations and the licensing process. The instructor will also discuss the business and financial end of contracting, project management and job-site safety. Cost of the course is $295, which includes continental breakfasts, lunches and snacks, the Standard Building Code book and all other course materials. The course is limited to the first 60 who register. For information, contact Pellissippi State at 865-539-7167 or visit

• The Knox County School System’s adult education program has received a $1,000 grant from Target Stores to provide assistance to students who do not have the financial ability to pay the $55 fee required to take the GED test. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need and test scores on the Official GED Practice Test, which is now required by the State of Tennessee. Target Stores along with its parent company Target Corporation gives more than $2 million a week. That commitment is reflected in Target Stores’ grant program, which supports projects that promote education, the arts, and family violence prevention. For more information about adult education, call Nancy Seely at 865-594-3620. For more information about Target Stores, call Paula Thornton-Greear at 612-696-3444.

• Pellissippi State Technical Community College offers classes in both skiing and snowboarding this winter at Cataloochee ski area in Maggie Valley, N.C., and Gatlinburg. Options include four consecutive days on the slopes, or a series of once-a-week sessions. Students will spend four consecutive days in the mountains from Jan. 3 through Jan. 6. Fees including instruction, lift tickets, lodging and some meals range from $205 to $340, depending on the housing option a student selects and the need for rental equipment. There is a required orientation for either course at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16, in Goins Auditorium of the Pellissippi Campus on Hardin Valley Road. For information, contact faculty members Cathy Clay, 865-694-6574, or Joan Jackson, 694-6573. For students who prefer weekly sessions, Pellissippi State offers two non-credit classes in winter sports. “Learn to Ski,” a program for all skill levels, meets at Ober Gatlinburg on consecutive Sundays, 1 p.m., Jan. 23-Feb 13. The $130 fee includes lift tickets, rental equipment, four lessons and the round-trip aerial tramway up the mountain. Since both courses are noncredit programs, you don't have to be a regularly enrolled Pellissippi State student. The classes are for men and women of all ages. For more information, call 865-539-7167 or visit


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