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A POET VISITS: Some second-graders at Maryvale Primary School in Cheektowaga got to have lunch last week with visiting poet J. Patrick Lewis, who specializes in funny poems but writes serious books as well. Some of his books include "Boshblobberbosh: Runcible Poems for Edward Lear" and "The Bookworm's Feast: A Potluck of Poems," and coming soon, "Please Bury Me in the Library." Find his Web site at Here's a short poem from his Web site, entitled "First Time the Sound Barrier Was Broken": A Brontosaurus tail/Could cause a frightful gale/The SNEEZE! The sudden lash, The wind -- and then the CRASH!/What first broke the sound barrier? A Brontosaurus derriere."

SAT HELP: Freaking out about the new SAT? Area high school students are welcome to sign up for free PSAT and SAT practice tests at the Buffalo Kaplan Center, 520 Lee Entrance, UB Commons, Suite 201, Amherst. The PSAT practice test will be held at 11 a.m. this Saturday and the SAT practice test at 6 p.m. Monday. A free essay workshop will be offered at 6 p.m. May 2, with tips on improving the essay. Students will receive their graded essays following the session. Pre-registration is advised as seating is limited. To register, go to or call 1-800-KAPTEST.

BAND AUDITION: High school students are invited to apply to audition for the 2005 America's Fair Pepsi-Cola Marching Band on May 23 at the Agri-Center on the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg. Students who play clarinet, flute, piccolo, sax, cymbals, trumpet, bass drum, snare drum, trombone, tuba, bells, French horn, sousaphone, mellophone, quads or euphonium are welcome. Applications are available from high school music teachers or by calling 648-9733, Ext. 412. Applications for the audition are due by May 2.

CALLING ALL BANDS: Cheektowaga Supervisor's Youth Council is looking for teen music acts to compete Saturday, June 4, starting at 3 p.m. at the Cheektowaga Recreation Center (ice rink). Acts should send a letter with demo tape or CD by May 18 to: Supervisor's Office, Cheektowaga Town Hall, 3301 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY 14227. Auditions will be held for acts that don't have a tape or CD. Entry fee per band is $50. Cash prizes will be awarded to top three acts. Any questions, call Adam Locher at 686-3467 or e-mail

ART AT THE TERMINAL: The Williamsville School District will hold a student celebration of visual arts including work from 26 Western New York schools at the historic Buffalo Central Terminal at Memorial and Paderewski Drive from noon to 5 p.m. May 7 and 8. Live music will be provided. Pizza and refreshments can be purchased.

CHARITY CONCERT: Youths from private schools will present a talent show from 7 to 10 p.m. May 13 in the Flickinger Arts Center at Nichols School. The minimum donation is $8. Charities that will benefit from the event are the Massachusetts Avenue Project and Compass House.

ESSAY CONTEST: Niagara County students in sixth-grade through high school are invited to compete in an essay contest, submitting essays (150 to 200 words) describing how lives of developmentally disabled individuals have changed over the last 50 years since advocacy agencies such as Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara were created. Essays must be received by April 22 by Opportunities Unlimited, Attn: Essay Contest, 1555 Factory Outlet Blvd., LPO Box 360, Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0360. Include student's name, school, grade level, principal's name, student's home address and phone number.

PHOTO CREDIT: Julia Gariepy took the photo of Sunset City that appeared in the April 6 Next "Meet the Band" feature.

NeXt Editor: Jean Westmoore (849-4076)

Graphic designer: Christina Visco

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