Vigil Scheduled

For Neglected Children Covenant House Washington, which serves the District's homeless and poor, has scheduled an event to raise public awareness of homeless, runaway and abused youth.

The Candlelight Vigil for Kids is to begin at 5 p.m. today in Shepherd's Park at Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. avenues SE. Participants are to begin walking to Ballou Senior High School, at 3401 Fourth St. SE, at 5:30.

This event is planned to coincide with 20 other vigils in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The vigil's theme is "Hope Is Action," and Miss USA Shauntay Hinton, a Howard University senior, is scheduled to participate.

For information, call 202-610-9608.

Contest Invites

Letters to Authors As part of a competition, District students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to write letters to their favorite author explaining how the author's works have impacted the readers' lives or outlook on life.

Letters About Literature, sponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and Weekly Reader Corp., has three levels of competition: Level I, for grades 4, 5 and 6; Level II, for grades 7 and 8; and Level III, for grades 9 through 12.

The contest deadline is Saturday, and awards are expected in April. Information and contest guidelines are available by contacting Patricia Pasqual at 202-727-2313 or at patricia.pasqual@dc.gov, or by visiting www.loc.gov/cfbook.

Energy Expo

At Gallaudet The Office of the People's Counsel and Gallaudet Community Relations Council are sponsoring the D.C. Citywide Energy Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the university's Kellogg Conference Center, 800 Florida Ave. NE.

The free public event will feature demonstrations and group discussions on topics including energy efficiency, insulation and decreasing utility bills.

Those interested in attending should register by calling 202-727-3071.

Annual Tree Lighting

Set on French Street

The French Street Neighbors Association has planned its ninth annual tree-lighting ceremony for 5 p.m. Saturday on French Street NW at R, S, Ninth and 10th streets.

Although the yearly event takes place in the Shaw neighborhood, it is open to all city residents. City officials, including Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and D.C. Council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), are expected to attend the lighting of the holiday tree.

For more information, call Bernard Demczuk at 202-387-4844.

-- Compiled by Bruce C.T. Wright