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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup May 23


Teen meditation: If you have a teen in your life who you think would benefit from a two-hour workshop on coping with stress, tell them about the “heART without Borders” workshop with Shannon and Nick Dalton on Tuesday, May 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Community Center. The organizers seek “to get every teen in Sonoma meditating or at least taking a little time with one of our tools every day to de-stress and connect with the awesome human that lies within. Our hope is to have meditation as an integral part of our school day.” Sign up online at heartwithoutborders.wufoo.com/forms/simply-create-meditate/.

Best book for teens: Bill Gates recently said that if he could give every graduating senior a present, it would be Steve Pinker’s book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” He describes it as the most inspiring book he has ever read.

Language learning: The NBC Learn Languages subscription-based desktop and mobile app helps students of all ages learn English — anytime, anywhere, and on any device using videos from NBC News to help learners improve their ability to speak and understand English. Four minutes of video is turned into one hour of language-learning exercises. A video demo is available at nbclearnlanguages.com. Currently available for Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, German and Portuguese speakers. The cost is $9 to 29 monthly, per user.

Free fun: Every fourth grader can visit every one of the 56 Sonoma County Regional Parks for free in the month of June. Register for a pass and learn more at sonomacountyparks.ticketleap.com.

Sing it to learn it: Brain scientists seem to agree that singing facts is an excellent way to learn. There’s a great playlist for the car, home, or classroom at growingbookbybook.com/kids-songs-that-build-literacy-skills/.

College freshman are stressed: A huge survey of today’s college freshmen has found that they are very engaged politically, they are cost-conscious (mainly about paying for college) and they love social media. Fewer freshman describe their political leanings as middle of the road than ever. The article makes the point that, thanks to medication, more college students with psychological disorders than before are able to attend college. As for social media, they love Instagram and almost half spend six hours a week on social media.

Internship: The 31st Wine Country Film Festival offers summer internships for college students (college-bound or currently enrolled). Most of the work can be done at home. Interns must commit to six weeks and have access to a car or public transportation. Most interns receive college credit or other requirements. Contact Justine Ashton at wcfilmfest@aol.com.

Health eating perks: Fascinatingly, a new study by the Brookings Institute has found that at schools where kids were fed a healthier school lunch every day, there was no drop in obesity but researchers did find a rise in academic performance.

Cheap textbooks: Bigwords.com lets students compare textbook prices from all the best online stores at once. It appears to be 35 to 45 percent cheaper than other online stores, and up to 90 percent off of list prices.

School donations: Republic of Thrift has dropped off checks for $750, representing its last of three payments to the PTOs for the 2016/17 school year. With this latest deposit, coin jar funds, sponsorships, etc. the store has donated more than $159,000 since it opened in 2012.

Ready to Work: Teen Services Sonoma is offering a fast one-week “Ready to Work” certification session June 12 to 16 at its Highway 12 location. Students, ages 14 to 21, will learn job and interviewing skills, resumes, dressing for success and more. Email emilia@teenservicessonoma.org or call 939-1452 to register.

Open house: El Verano School is hosting an open house for the community on Wednesday, May 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Supporting teens: The Cowboy Cab party is June 3, at Cornerstone Sonoma in the Barn at Tyge William Cellars. For tickets, contact Cristin Felso, cristin@teenservicessonoma.org.

Soloquest: Soloquest offers both one-on-one and online classes in the summer. Its program runs June 12 to July 28 out of its offices at 414 West Napa Street. Courses cost from $650 to $2010 depending on the number of weeks and credits. Call 939-1133 for more information.

Art camps: ArtEscape is offering some cool themed week-long art camps this summer, with full and partial scholarships available. Thailand Inspired Arts, Spanish Art & Cooking, Mexico Inspired Arts, Spanish Immersion, Bilingual Arts and Teen Camp are just some of the choices. ArtEscape is also offering a six-session Intro to Spanish class Wednesday evenings in June for ages teen through adult. Artescapesonoma.com

Thanks to: SVHS is very appreciative of the financial support and/or donations of food it received for senior project night from Girl and the Fig, Broadway Market, Sonoma Market, Basque Boulangarie, Angelo’s Meats and Vineburg Deli. The high school’s culinary program provided the desserts.

Congratulations: Marin Academy senior Renee Serota received her Gold Award pin in Santa Rosa in the “All that Glitters” Court of Awards for older Girl Scouts. Eight girls in the region were honored and each gave a speech describing their project and what they learned in the process. Renee’s project was last year’s Sonoma Valley Summer Camp Fair. Renee will be attending U.C. Berkeley in the fall.

Send story ideas and comments to ourschools@sonomanews.com.