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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup Feb. 7


Low enrollment: California, which has one of the world’s 10 largest economies, is currently in the midst of its lowest birthrate since the Great Depression. In San Francisco, the share of children fell to 13 percent. New York City, by comparison, has 21 percent, and 23 percent is the national average. San Francisco, population 865,000, has roughly the same number of dogs as children: 120,000. Why? Because of such factors as prohibitive housing costs, public schools of uneven quality and the large number of gay men and women, many of them childless. Whether this has changed the character of the city is a top topic right now. tinyurl.com/gvog5tu

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No phone zone: Common Sense media suggests five places that neither you nor your kids should be using a phone. The complete article is pretty compelling – tinyurl.com/je5n3sr

1. In the bed

2. At the table

3. Reading a book

4. In the outdoors

5. In the car

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New school signs: From 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at the district office at 17850 Railroad Ave., designer Lori Winter will share updated designs and material options for the new marquee signs planned for every Sonoma Valley public school campus. The community gave the district feedback on Dec. 19. Up next: The Sonoma Valley Unified School District board will provide feedback during its March meeting.

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Fashion show: To raise money for a spring break service trip to Nicaragua, the Sonoma Valley High School Seeds of Learning Club is putting on a fashion show and auction displaying clothing from local Sonoma businesses. The event is at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Sonoma Community Center. Warm drinks and baked goods will be provided. The tickets are $20 and are available for sale at the Seeds of Learning office in the SCC. For more information, contact Grace Turner at graceturner428@gmail.com.

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Art classes for kids: Sonoma Community Center is offering a clay class for ages 14 and up on Feb.11 and 12. Ceramic artist Wesley Wright will teach students how to sculpt animal heads and busts with clay. Visit sonomacommunitycenter.org for details. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is hosting a clay class for ages 9 and up on Saturday, March 11. Instructor: Dianne Aoki will lead a fun art workshop integrating clay sculpting with imagination and contemporary action figure influences. Visit svma.org for details.

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Book sale: The Friends of Sonoma Library Winter Book Sale is Feb. 8 to 11. First book is free to students throughout the sale. Books are free to schools, local nonprofits and neighborhood libraries on Saturday.

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Student artists: The City’s Cultural Fine Arts Commission awards $2,000 to a local art student ages 16 to 21 each year. The categories are fine art, drama, film, creative writing, graphic design, photography, dance, music or singing. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 21. Visit tinyurl.com/hhwslpb or sonomacity.org for details.

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College support: Sonoma Valley High School students have access to a series of college planning workshops this winter and spring including “What You Can Do Today to Improve Your Chances of Being Accepted into the College of your Dreams” on Feb. 7; “The ABCs of College Applications” on Feb. 28; “Building a Balanced College List” on March 14; and three college essay writing workshops in April and June. Students should stop by the College & Career Center at SVHS for more information and a pass to attend.

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Table tennis fun: Presentation School is inviting the community to both its annual Johnny Cash Tribute party and tennis table tournament on Saturday, Feb. 10. Visit presentationschool.org for tickets.

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Crab feed: The next major fundraiser for the Valley of the Moon Lions Club will be its annual crab feed on Feb. 25, at the Sonoma Veteran’s Memorial Building. Tickets are on sale at Pat’s Copy World. All proceeds support local youth activities.

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Best college farms: Many colleges around the country have stepped up their agricultural studies programs. They are working to connect farm-to-table concepts and increase global connectivity with food. Collegerank.net recently released a list of the best college farms in the United States. In California, Butte College, Cal Poly, Cal State Chico, Pomona, UC Davis and Deep Springs College made the list. College Rank is a website dedicated to evaluating and ranking academic and student experiences.

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Speed networking: The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce is again hosting Speed Networking with Teens event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27 at the Lodge. Chamber businesses will interact with teens from Sonoma Valley High School, Stand by Me Mentoring, the Boys & Girls Club, Teen Services and Hanna Boys Center. Email info@sonomachamber.org to get involved.

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Donation: Terra Firma Real Estate has donated more than $30,000 to Prestwood Elementary School’s Prestwood Direct fundraising campaign in just over a year. The company gives a percentage of its sales commission to the school for houses sold within the school area.

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Dean’s List: Glen Ellen resident Serena Spry has made the academic deans list at Azusa Pacific University student at APU. Spry is a youth ministry major. APU is an evangelical Christian university with 10,700 students on campus in Southern California and online.

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Writers contest: Students are invited to share their talent in Jack London State Historic Park’s second annual Young Writers Contest for grades four through eight. The contest is open through Monday, Feb. 28. Visit jacklondonpark.com to enter.

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Birthing babies: Sonoma Valley Hospital’s Birthplace is offering a series of classes on childbirth preparation, taught by Nurse Rebecca Hengehold. The classes are open to all expecting mothers in their second or third trimester and their partners. The classes begin Feb. 13 and will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $100. To register or for more information, call 935-5084. For a tour of The Birthplace, call 935.5301.

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New tennis coach: Congratulation to the news boys’ tennis coach at Sonoma Valley High School, none other than Creekside High School teacher Walt Williams.

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Spoiled Kids: New York Times personal finance reporter Ron Lieber will be in Sonoma to speak about his bestselling book, “Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money” on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. Lieber will discuss the how, when and why to talk to kids about money. He’ll cover the basics – allowance, chores, phones, cars and college. The event is co-hosted by the Presentation School and the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. Tickets are on sale at presentationschool.com.

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