German Regional Contest: commitment needed TOMORROW

Dear Parents/Guardians of THS German Students,
I will need to know by tomorrow in class if your student will commit to participating in German Regional Contest ("Houstonfest") on Saturday, February 3rd. Even if your student has a conflict with this date or does not wish to physically attend the contest, there are many ways to still participate in this contest! Keep reading for more information!
 
TISD is paying for student registration costs, so participation in German Regional Contest is free for students. German Regional Contest is an excellent opportunity for students, and I highly encourage students to participate. Any awards won can be listed on college and/or job applications which is a fantastic way for students to stand out in competitive applicant pools. Additionally, students who participate also receive a 100% major grade for this grading period. Over the course of the next twelve school days, we will spend two to three days per week preparing for contest in class. Students who will not participate in contest will receive required alternate assignments to work on in class that add up to a major grade. 
 
There are over 40 categories students may choose from in which to compete; these categories fall under 9 main groupings: Arts, Declamation (reading or memorizing poetry and short stories), Drama, Music (singing, playing instruments, and folk dancing), Oral Tests, Written Tests, Research Paper, Scavenger Hunt, and "Pass auf!" (a team trivia game). To find more information on the competition categories, see the contest website: www.houstonfest.org. Once at the site, click on "Rules" and then the individual grouping links to see all of the categories of competition in each grouping.
 
If students have a conflict with the contest date or do not wish to attend the contest, there are ways for students to still enter the contest. There are 13 categories (mostly art categories) in which students can complete a project; teachers can take projects to the contest for students, which I am more than happy to do! The 13 categories are: German Club Album, Craft, Digital Logo Design, Gingerbread House (Traditional and Non-Traditional), Doll Costume, Model, Needlework, Poster, Photography, Photo Essay, Shirt Design, and Video. For any students who are good writers and could knock out a paper in the next 16 days, a Research Paper (written in English) is also a category. Entering a paper in the Research Paper category is actually an excellent idea, because the same paper could be entered into two other essay contests sponsored by the German-Texan Heritage Society and the Texas German Society, both of which award scholarships. 
 
For more information about German Regional Contest and German State Contest (Sat., Feb. 24 in San Marcos), please visit the contest website www.houstonfest.org To get an idea of what student entries look like for the art categories listed above, click on the link "Photo Gallery 2014." For category rules and expectations, click on "Rules" and then the grouping (for example "Declamation" for poetry and prose reading or "Arts" for any art category).
 
Lastly, if you are a native or near-native speaker of German and might have some time over the next two weeks, I am looking for volunteers who could come to school during the day (any period) to listen to students read their poetry and prose selections for contest and provide assistance with pronunciation. Volunteers would work with students one-on-one in the hallway. Please contact me if you would be willing to help out in this area.
 
Thank you for your support of the THS German program. I hope to make this our 10th consecutive year in which we have student German State Contest qualifiers! 
 
Sincerely yours,
Brenda Bauske
THS German Teacher