If you can’t ban them altogether: It looks like California will raise the legal age to buy cigarettes and e-cigs from 18 to 21. The bill passed the Legislature and heads now to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for approval.
Quitting a team: Around 70 percent of children in the U.S. are dropping out of organized sports before the age of 13, according to new research from Michigan State. And girls drop out of sports at six times the rate of boys. This trend is particularly concerning because there is a strong correlation between girls’ success in sports and success in the business world (and female athletes are more likely to graduate from college). tinyurl.com/of9mfyo
Speaking of athletes: The Sonoma Stompers is seeking host families for players for the 2016 season. My family hosted last year and really enjoyed our player Kristan Gayday. Host families are a critical element to any professional, minor league baseball team. Families are needed starting in mid-May. stompersbaseball.com/community/host/
Better games to play with kids: Reporter and researcher Oliver Roeder has found that some of the most beloved childhood games – Candy Land, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly – aren’t very good for the young brain. He says that the best games require meaningful action and decision-making rather than merely blind luck. He recommends a diverse array of lesser-known board and card games including The Little Orchard and Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Eye Found It! for under age 7 and Galaxy Tracker, Puzzle Strike Shadows, BattleCon: Devastation of Indines and Wings of Glory for older kids, all of which are available on amazon.com. tinyurl.com/gvfbcj5
Course changes: A handful of exciting new courses have been proposed for next year at Sonoma Valley High. Depending on enrollment, students may be able to take two new AP classes: environmental science and government and politics; as well as viticulture and 3D design.
Textbook changes: Are you interested in what instructional materials are being proposed in our schools? The Sonoma Valley Unified School District’s Curriculum Advisory Council (CAC) is reviewing new textbooks and the public is invited to weigh in on their choices weekdays at the district office at 17850 Railroad Ave. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Online materials can be requested by calling 933-4010. The new textbooks align to those above-mentioned new courses in agriculture, viticulture and soil chemistry classes, 3D design, AP government and politics and introduction to engineering and design. The Curriculum Advisory Council is composed of parents, teachers, administrators, students and members of the community.
Parent ed: Derrick Gay, an internationally recognized consultant to schools and educational organizations on issues of diversity, inclusion and global citizenship will be running a workshop at Sonoma Academy on Wednesday, March 16 on student empathy and cultural competency. The public is invited to attend. The free workshop starts at 6:30 p.m. Register by emailing Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pop-up save the date: A pop-up dinner benefiting the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 at a secret, but definitely Sonoma Valley, outdoor location. Ticket resale begins today. The first 100 tickets are $30 (remaining tickets are $40). Ages 21 and older. tinyurl.com/gumhohf.