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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.