Code.org, 007, cyberbullying, gifted conference, Dragon’s Tale, ‘FrankenSwine’

Schools Education

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor


The high school’s terrific media arts program gets a great deal of its funding from the Sonoma International Film Festival. SIFF is having its major annual fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 10 p.m. Not only are student films screened to a standing-room-only audience at the April festival each year, these film students are getting into colleges that specialize in filmmaking, graduating and getting jobs in the industry. The community is invited to come dressed in James Bond 007 garb or cocktail attire for a night of casino games, raffles, wine and food at Buena Vista Winery. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased at sonomafilmfest.org.

The Boys & Girls Club needs volunteers to read to and with their kids at the Maxwell clubhouse after school, just an hour, on weekdays. This is a great opportunity, in particular for students in seventh and eighth grade, as finding appropriate volunteer opportunities for them can be difficult. If interested, visit bgcsonoma.org/volunteer-opportunities.html.

You can read Sonoma Valley High School’s terrific student newspaper, Dragon’s Tale, online at svhsdragonstale.com.

Science Discovery Day–North Bay will be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11 a .m. to 4 p.m. This is a free, hands-on science event that is both educational and fun. Sonoma families who have attended in past year have given it rave reviews. (bayareascience.org).

AAUW (American Association of University Women) Sonoma Branch is presenting a talk on cyberbullying on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 275 E. Spain St. (aauwsonoma.org).

Sonoma-based Seeds of Learning is having its annual fundraising event “The Meaning of Education” on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Hanna Boys Center from 5 to 9 p.m. For the past 22 years, Seeds of Hope has worked to increase access to quality education and cross-cultural understanding by bringing a work group of students and community members to Central America to build schools. I have met several students whose lives were really changed by participating in an SOL work group. Tickets to the dinner and auction are $95, and can be purchased online at seedsoflearning.org.

This year, the California Association for the Gifted’s Northern California Symposium will focus on innovative hands-on strategies for implementing and enhancing the Common Core State Standards. Nationally known presenters will offer workshops all day on Saturday, Nov. 2, at American Canyon High School. The cost of $85 for the full day includes the keynote address, four workshops of your choice, refreshments and lunch. I run into a dozen or more Sonoma teachers and parents at this each year.

Every time I drive by Sonoma Chevrolet on West Napa, I am struck by how lucky our town is to have such a generous local business. Most Saturdays, the Chevy dealer has donated the use of its front lot (and water) to nonprofits hosting car washes and the dealership also donates the used car to Grad Night every year. Next time I need a car, I’ll be stopping by there first to look.

A portion of the proceeds from the InVino Wine Warehouse sale Friday, Oct. 25, from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. will benefit the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. InVino is located at 19698 Eighth St. E., next to Pets Lifeline.

If your child loves puppets, don’t miss the free “FrankenSwine” show on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 W. Napa St.

Almost three-dozen community members showed up to beautify the high school last weekend as a part of the annual “Faith in Action” initiative. Kids and adults painted trash barrels, trimmed roses, weeded, spread new bark, scraped gum off cement, power washed, planted wine barrels and prepared the beginnings of a new outdoor classroom. Their efforts, and those of the school’s maintenance crews, were much appreciated.

I just came across a listing of 50 great resources for the parents and teachers of gifted and talented students (teachthought.com): organizations, blogs, twitter feeds, articles and more. The complete list is here: tinyurl.com/kwsuhfm.

There is a great piece about El Verano teacher Diane Dalenberg on the Sonoma State University School of Education website. Dalenberg received her administrative credential and her master’s degree from SSU’s educational leadership program. Her development of the third grade Reading Academy in Sonoma (with another alum, Principal Maite Iturri) is heralded by SSU as groundbreaking. sonoma.edu/education/blog/index.

Sonoma Community Center is offering several classes for the under 5 set. Its early arts education programs include the Spanish song, dance, music and play class “Exploradores” on Fridays until Nov. 15 from 9:45 to 10:30 am; and “Storytime Soundtrack” storytime, music and movement class on Saturdays from Oct. 19 to Nov. 23, from 10 to 11 a.m. There will be three new classes starting in January. (sonomacommunitycenter.org).

The Witchie Poo Players present their 33rd annual Halloween stage show this weekend,  Oct. 26 and 27, at 2 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre. This show is truly fun for all ages.

The Sonoma Valley High School music department has a Black Bear Diner dine and donate day Wednesday, Oct. 23, all day. The music students will be performing between 2:30 and 9 p.m.

It seems early to be thinking about summer but if you are the parent of a 15-to-21 year old, the fact is that the best summer enrichment programs, the ones that are selective because they are either low cost or free, have deadlines starting in November. Here are some ideas to get you started: tinyurl.com/aqy3m4r.

Ninety percent of K-12 schools in the U.S. don’t teach computer science, says Code.org. By the end of 2013, it wants to flip that stat around so that 90 percent do teach it. The nonprofit wants 10 million students to participate in the “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week Dec. 9 to 15. Participation kits are available for schools, community organizations and even local officials. In the meantime, here are 361 resources for learning how to code: tinyurl.com/lrt4fhj.

On Friday, Nov. 1, from 5 to 9 p.m., youth ages 7-to-12 are invited to Petaluma Wildlife Museum’s first “Night at the Museum.” On this Day of the Dead, students will build an altar to extinct species, have a pizza dinner, and watch a movie ($25). On Saturday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the museum is having an open house. General admission is $5, free to members and children under 6. The museum is on the Petaluma High School campus at 201 Fair St. Visit petalumawildlifemuseum.com to register.