May 22, 2015

Book Buyback and Rental Book Check-In Event

Our annual book buyback and rental book check-in will be held Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the cafeteria.

Books have the most value when they will be used again next year at our school or at schools across the country. This is the best time of year to sell textbooks because demand is highest.

Buyback is important to our school and to Follett to build book inventory for next Fall. A book bought back from our families stays in the Follett “pool” of books, and then is available for the next student at a lower used-brook price.

Reminder: Any books rented from the bookstore are due by 6/6/2015. You can check in these books in-person at the buyback event, or log into your bookstore rental account, print a label and return by mail.

Get more information about our Book Buyback or our Book Program.

The booklist for next fall will be posted over the summer. Let the bookstore keep an eye on the calendar for you! Sign up for a reminder message when books become available.

If you have questions, or need help, contact Follett at (877) 827-2665 or

May 21, 2015

Students enjoy fresh honey direct from hive – It doesn’t get better

Students enjoy honey fresh from the comb.

Bee Scales Wall O’ Honey

Rugby players love fresh honey.

Fresh cut honey right off the comb.

Mr. Koller approved honey.

Loco Bee Keeper wants you to stay away from his honey. JK

Clay Club Donates to Potters for Peace Clay Water Filter Program

On May 19 Bishop O’Dowd’s Clay Club is sending a check for $413.00 to Potter’s for Peace Clay Water Filter Project raised by the Clay Club.

As stated from the Potters for Peace website:

Every year 1.7 million people, mainly children under the age of five, die from diarrhea which is caused by unsafe water. The objective of the Potters for Peace Water Filter Project is to make safe drinking water available by helping set up workshops that will produce ceramic water filters made from local materials. These filters are low-tech and low-cost and eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-born disease agents.

Since 1998, Potters for Peace has been assisting in the production of a low-tech, low-cost, colloidal silver-enhanced ceramic water purifier (CWP) throughout the world and ceramic water purifiers based on the Potters for Peace technology package are now produced at over 50 independent factories in over 30 countries. These filters are the highest-rated product for rural point-of-use water treatment (Smart Disinfection Solutions, 2010).

The proceeds from the Clay Club’s “Pottery Luck” held in late March were all donated for this important program.

Here is a link for the video “Road to Hope” which shows the important work that Potters for Peace does.

The Clay Club is looking forward to next year as it plans for more fun and selfless service through the wonderful medium of ceramics.

Clay Club-The Clayiest Club on Campus

May 20, 2015

Yearbook Signing Highlights

Chicks Move Into Living Lab Coop

The Living Lab now has chickens and they were raised in the CES classroom.

Names suggestions were provided by student. Some of the more amusing names included “Nugget” and “Hot Wings”.

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

The chicks are a wide variety of species including Naked Necks.

No roosters more than 4 weeks old are allowed by the City of Oakland because their loud crowing at sunrise.

We hope to have farm fresh eggs soon, but they will not be fertile since we will have no roosters.

Thanks to David McAneny for building an amazing chicken coop!

May 19, 2015

O’Dowd Students Help Raise $42k

Three O’Dowd students just completed terms on the East Bay Jewish Teen Foundation board. Meredith McCleary ’15 served for two years, and Maddy Farrington ’17 and Hannah Reback ’17 each served for one year on the 26-member board.

The Jewish Teen Foundation trains teens in philanthropy and achieving positive change guided by shared values. Over the course of the year, the teen board develops its own mission statement and requests proposals from non-profit organizations locally, nationally and internationally. This year’s mission was “to improve the health of disadvantaged individuals and communities through preventative education and direct action.”

After evaluating proposals and selecting recipients, the young boardmembers also raised all the money that funds the grants. This year, the EBJTF raised over $42,000 (a record amount), which was awarded to six different organizations in a Grant Celebration on May 14th. The recipients included two Bay Area organizations: one providing medical care to women and children, the other educating teens about healthy relationships and supporting victims of domestic violence; a social services agency in Washington D. C. working with Holocaust survivors living in poverty; and groups in Guatemala, Ukraine and Israel serving impoverished youth and families.

The girls all enjoyed the experience of having a positive impact on peoples lives, while working together and establishing friendships with other teens from communities across the East Bay.

Spring EWaste Drive

O’Dowd Receives All-Terrain Wheelchair

Nature lovers with physical challenges can get around O’Dowd’s Living Lab with ease these days. That’s because the school recently received an all-terrain RoughRider wheelchair designed to handle rugged terrain – thanks to a persistent effort from Chris LeBoa ’15.

LeBoa ’15 was inspired to personally seek a grant that allowed for the purchase of the specialized wheelchair after helping longtime Living Lab supporter, David Nesmith (also known as Chicken), navigate the Living Lab after he suffered a stroke.

“I realized it is almost impossible to go over mulch paths in a standard wheelchair,” LeBoa said. “I wanted to get an all-terrain wheelchair for him as well as any disabled student to use.”

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

So LeBoa invited Bob Coomber, the only man to summit California’s 3rd highest peak, 14,246-foot White Mountain, in a wheelchair, to visit the Living Lab and advise which type of wheelchair would work best in that particular environment.

Later, LeBoa secured an $800 grant from the VF Foundation (VF Outdoor) in Greensboro, North Carolina, that allowed for the purchase of the RoughRider wheelchair.

Nesmith took an inaugural ride in the RoughRider on May 16, during the final Living Lab workday of the year.

Drama Oscars May 20

Attention Drama & Award Fans!
Wednesday night is the night of the Bishop O’Dowd Drama Oscars, a ceremony in which we honor the best and the brightest of our graduating drama seniors.
This annual event, starting at 7 PM, will feature a slide show and a repeat performance of this year’s popular Unity Act-The Spellblock Tango, as well as a presentation of awards.

Come one, come all. Admission is FREE!

May 18, 2015

Ben Li ’15 to Pursue her Passion for Art at RISD

Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and School of Visual Arts in New York City. International student Ben Li ’15 was admitted to some of the most competitive art schools in the United States.

In the end, Ben chose Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) – the most academically competitive U.S. art school. Initially Ben thought she might pursue a major in interior design at RISD, but she is now considering graphic design.

A native of Guiyang, China, Ben has attended O’Dowd for two years and is currently enrolled in AP Studio Art.

In some ways, it’s not surprising that Ben has pursued art. Her father, Yuduan Li, is a renowned sculptor. “I think my dad played a huge role in my interest in art. We’d talk about art during dinner and he always took me to art exhibitions,” Ben said.

Art Department chairperson Thien Pham says Ben has incredible skill, vision, and confidence. “When you look at her work you are not only amazed by the technical brilliance, but you will also be moved by her unique voice. Her work is achingly beautiful, and will stay with you long after you first see it,” he said.

International Student Coordinator Robin Lau believes that Ben’s RISD application stood out from the crowd because she is not only a well-trained, talented artist but she strives for excellence in all pursuits. “She’s really responsible and hard-working. Her academic excellence says something about her personality and how much effort she devotes to anything that she attempts,” Lau said.

Ben says she started studying art seriously only a few years ago, and that she looks to books, films and music for inspiration.

When asked what she likes best about art, Ben said, “Art is quite different and I like to be different.”

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Finding God in All Things

9500 Stearns Ave | Oakland, CA 94605 | Phone: (510) 577-9100 | Fax: (510) 638-3259