The tulips are up and there is a chance that winter may be gone. Spring is trying to make an entrance. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Centuries & Sleuths did not win the “independent bookseller” of the year award, but owner Augie Aleksy deserves a round of applause for running a top-notch store. I understand that some bookstore in Kentucky or Tennessee won. Maybe next year.

The student council at Garfield Elementary, under the direction of teacher Alice Reeves, decided to do its bit to alleviate hunger in the world by joining Compassion, a global food initiative. You can learn more about this movement at www.compassion.com.

The kids got a big five-gallon water jug, put a little water in the bottom and started filling it with change. Whoever put the final coins into the container causing it to overflow won a popcorn party. Congratulations to the third-grade students who made the bottle overflow!

The fourth-graders tried very hard.

In the photo, we have Mrs. Luperini‘s fourth-graders Kayla Tando, Gabino Castro, Daryl Bouchette, Matthew Skala, Titania Tillman and Alexia Hollins adding their spare change to the jug. Mrs. Reeves’ donors, Amie Witkowski, Lucas Rosa, Dhaysha Riddle, Jack Sullivan, Mallory Pargylski, Essence Scott and Rashaun Sanders took their turns adding to the collection.

Other fourth graders who contributed but are not shown are Danielle Duffy, Lauren Haeger, Luke Butler, Sharnice Dean, Hunter Halfpenny, Jasmine Hoskins, Kelly Martin, Jr., and Sophia Miller.

Celebrating birthdays this week on March 18 are, Ken Jasper, Dino Panzani, Kevin Sallerwaite, and Katie Miller; on the 19th, Geoff Flight, Sue Fishman, Tara Cassiani, Dan Gallina, Joe Giannelli, Christal Freeman and Steve Urban, and special birthday wishes to 90-year-old Ed Huebner. On March 20, Alexandria Reina, Lauren Haeger, Bob O’Brien and Ryan Mallo have a birthday, and happy anniversary to Janet and Elmer Mittelhauser; March 21, Andrew Huebner, Grace Snyder, Peter Zapotek, and anniversary celebrants Mr. and Mrs. Greg Horvath; on the 22nd, happy birthday to John Huebner, Natalie Mazzone, Riley Gierald; March 23, Tom Reich, Gary Steger, Terry Uidl, Hillary Kutak; the 24th, Jim Becker, Nicole Carlson, Julia Flukey (who is 1 year old today), and anniversary greetings to Marissa and Sonny Serio. On March 25, Victoria McKenzie and Barbara Haeger have a birthday.

Remember, March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph, and is the birthday of William Jennings Bryan, who was born in 1860. Famous for his oratory and the Scopes trial, which was his last legal endeavor, he died on July 26, 1925, a week after the trial ended.

The 20th is the Great Meat Out, go vegetarian for one day for your health and to help save the planet. March 20 is the birthday of Fred Rogers. He was born in 1928 and died Feb. 27, 2003.

Spring officially arrives here on the 20th at 6:45 a.m.