I remember when my two children were too little to stay up late, but were determined to ring in the New Year at midnight nonetheless.

They drowsed on the porch swing, occasionally jolted awake by neighborhood pyrotechnics.

Little ones might have a better time Monday at the Audubon Institute’s Zoo Year’s Eve, when revelers of all ages can wear party hats and count down to 12 — noon, that is.

Magician and clown Carl Mack will perform, along with the Porta Puppet Players, and activities will be provided by Gym Rompers, Art From the Heart and Inflatable Zoo — all free with zoo admission.

There’s also a full schedule of dance, drum and drill teams from local schools from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The highlight of the day: the countdown to noon, with a soft drink toast.

For more information, call the zoo at (504) 581-4629 or visit http://www.auduboninstitute.org/zoo-years-eve.

Children’s Museum fete

The Louisiana Children’s Museum also has a countdown to noon on Monday, topped off with a festive confetti shower and balloon release.

Visitors can stop in the art area to make a noisemaker and festive paper bag party hat to wear for the countdown.

The Lagniappe Brass Band performs from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Admission is $5 for museum members and $12 at the door.

Remember a teacher

Teachers leave their imprint on us long after we leave the classroom.

The New Orleans Agenda is partnering with New America Media to organize an essay contest on teachers.

The agenda is inviting short essays (500 words max) describing the teacher who changed your life or the life of your child.

Did this person mentor you or introduce you to a subject that became your passion?

Did she or he give you encouragement and, as in my case, a view for inspiration?

Put it into words.

There are three categories. The winner of the essay about a teacher in memory will be allowed to donate $500 to a local school. Teenagers 14 to 18 years old can write about a New Orleans area teacher and win $500 for themselves; likewise for adults 19 and older.

The deadline is Jan. 14. For the entry form and rules, visit http://www.NewOrleansAgenda.com.

A light bulb goes on

How many New Orleanians does it take to change a light bulb?

Green Light NOLA wants as many as it can get.

The organization, whose mission is to install energy-saving CLF light bulbs in the place of old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, has 3,000 households on its waiting list.

In its warehouse, it has 80,000 bulbs waiting to be installed.

You see the missing link here, don’t you?

Not only would volunteers be doing a good deed for their neighbors, they’d also be helping the Earth.

The project would offset 35 million of pounds of carbon dioxide and save residents $3.6 million, according to the folks at GreenLight.

Better yet, Green Light is a member of NOLA TimeBank, meaning that if you too become a member, you can log the hours you spend providing a service and redeem them later in the form of services from other members with different skills.

NOLA TimeBank members swap skills, hour for hour, as varied as small appliance repair, driving services, sewing, and, now, changing light bulbs.

For more information on Green Light, call Andreas Hoffmann at (504) 342-4966. Learn more about TimeBank by visiting http://www.nolatimebank.org.

Annette Sisco is Community editor. Reach her at (504) 432-9257 or asisco@theadvocate.com.