Craig education briefs for Jan. 10, 2015: Theater program to cast Craig kids in January show of ‘Wizard of Oz’ | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig education briefs for Jan. 10, 2015: Theater program to cast Craig kids in January show of ‘Wizard of Oz’

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

and will culminate in two shows Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the MCHS auditorium.

— An audition for the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of "The Wizard of Oz" will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane. Those auditioning should arrive at 3:45 p.m. and plan to stay for the full two hours. Some of the cast members will be asked to stay for a rehearsal immediately following the auditions.

Students in kindergarten through fifth-grade are encouraged to audition. No advance preparation is necessary. Among the roles to be cast are Dorothy, Toto, the Lion, the Tin Man, the Professor/Wizard, the Green Guard, Glinda, the Wicked Witch, Mayor Munchkin, Farmer Munchkin, the Munchkins, the Winkies, the Magicians and the Fierce and Ferocious Flowers.

Assistant directors will also be cast to aid in rehearsals throughout the week and to take on essential backstage responsibilities.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre touring productions are complete with costumes, scenery, props and makeup. MCT tour actor/directors will conduct rehearsals throughout the week from 4 to 8:30 p.m. each day.

The curtain will up for the show later that week on Jan. 17, with performances at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the MCHS auditorium.

MCT previously performed shows such as “The Pied Piper” and “Blackbeard the Pirate” in Craig.

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MCT residency in Craig is made possible by The Memorial Hospital with support from Friends of Moffat County Education.

For more information, call local coordinator Amy Peck at 970-326-6561.

College tax credits available for 2014 tax year

Two college tax credits and several other education-related tax benefits are available to qualifying students and their parents when they file 2014 federal income tax returns, according to a news release from the Internal Revenue Service. The American opportunity tax credit provides an annual credit of up to $2,500 for each eligible student for up to four tax years. Alternatively, the lifetime learning credit provides a credit of 20 percent of the amount spent on eligible expenses across all students on the return, for a maximum $2,000 credit per tax return.

Though a taxpayer often qualifies for both of these credits, he or she can only claim one of them for a particular student in a particular year. These credits can be claimed on Form 8863.

Most students will receive a Form 1098-T from their institution by the end of January with information about tuition paid or billed for the prior tax year. However, amounts shown on this form may differ from amounts taxpayers are eligible to claim for these tax credits. Taxpayers should see the instructions on Form 8863 and Publication 970 for details on properly figuring allowable tax benefits.

For those eligible, including most undergraduate students, the American opportunity tax credit will generally yield the greater tax savings. Alternatively, the lifetime learning credit should be considered by part-time students and those attending graduate school.

Income limits and other restrictions apply.

You can use the IRS's Interactive Tax Assistant tool to help determine if you are eligible for these benefits. The tool is available on IRS.gov. Details can also be found in the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center on IRS.gov.

Other education-related tax benefits include zero taxes on scholarships and fellowship grants when funds are used to pay for tuition and fees, student loan interest deductions of up to $2,500 per year, zero taxes on savings bonds used to pay for college within certain income limits, and qualified tuition programs — also called 529 plans—used to prepay or save for a child's college education.

Students encouraged to apply for BBB/Rotary Ethics Scholarship

Junior and senior high school students in northern Colorado and Wyoming are encouraged to apply for a $5,000 BBB/Rotary Ethics Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually by the Better Business Bureau Center for Character Ethics serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming and Rotary Clubs in Districts 5440, 5450 and 5470.

All interested students are encouraged to apply. One student will be selected from each district by the local Rotary Club. Applications must be submitted online by Feb. 2 using the following link: http://www.bbb.org/wyoming-and-northern-colorado/news-events/news-releases/2014/10/bbbrotary-ethics-scholarship-accessible-online.

For more information, call Renee Campbell at 970-875-1788.

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