Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Oct. 31


Spirit day: The Sonoma Valley school district will have an all-campus Spirit Day on Friday, Nov. 3. It is the high school’s rescheduled Homecoming Game and all schools are on board to have a Dragon/Sonoma Pride/First Responder spirit day on the same day. Students and staff will be wearing school spiritwear, clothing representing the Valley, clothing representing first responders and anything green. This will happen at all five elementary schools, both middle schools, Creekside and of course, SVHS.

Coffee with the principal: The next Coffee with Principal Kathleen Hawing at Sonoma Valley High is set for Friday, Nov. 3 at 8:30 a.m. in the library. Topic tbd.

Pie sale: Don’t forget to order your Lovin’ Oven Holiday Pies – apple cranberry crumble, pumpkin and pecan – $20 each. Your purchase of Lovin’ Oven pies helps to engage and support teens and young adults with work-readiness skills and experiences that empower them to succeed. Email with type of pie and number of each type you want to order.

Art contest: Sonoma Valley High is organizing a Homecoming week partnership with Mary’s Pizza Shack running from Oct. 30 to Nov. 4. The SVHS Dragon will be featured in a coloring contest at both Mary’s Pizza Sonoma locations. The contest will be open for all ages with five age groups. There will be three winners in each age group. Entries will be judged by Mary’s managers and crew. Pick up the contest form at the restaurant.

Victorian Christmas canceled: The Sonoma Petaluma Parks has canceled its Victorian Christmas Crafts Workshop scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017 at the General Vallejo Home State Park.

Coat drive: YWCA Sonoma County is hosting its second annual “Safe ‘n’ Warm” Coat and Gift Card Drive a benefit for at-risk Sonoma County families from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, at Ramekins – 450 W. Spain St. Organizer Sheana Davis will be providing cheese, and there will be appetizers provided by the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and wine from Cline Cellars.

Fire impact: At least 480 Santa Rosa Junior College students lost homes in the recent fires. The college surveyed its students and found many more had lost jobs because their place of employment or their employers house were destroyed in the fires. Many indicated they were worried about lost wages, or not having money for food, rent, bills and childcare. A SRJC Fire Relief Fund has been established to support the urgent needs of current students and employees who’ve lost their homes. Donations can be made online at

Book recommendation: “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is filled with all types of girls and types of women doing all types of things. The book, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, is a collection of 100 stories from real-life women, from Frida Kahlo to Jane Austen to Serena Williams, re-told as bedtime stories for kids. Each inspirational story shows young girls that they can be anyone they want to be.

Mental health support: UCLA Chancellor Gene Block has announced that the university will for the first time offer free mental health screenings and, if appropriate, treatment, to all incoming freshmen and transfer students. The free screenings will eventually be made available to the entire UCLA community, and are one part of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, a campuswide effort to reduce the health and economic impacts of depression by half globally by the year 2050. The online screening and treatment program is thought to be the first-ever campuswide mental health screening program conducted at a university.

Local government: If your teen is interested in issues surrounding local politics and civil service, they should check out Play Counties Work, a new video game about local government.

Program opportunity: A pilot program to expose young adults to opportunities in the water industry is being offered as a new Career Pathways Program in an extension of the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps. The program provides out-of-school young adults the opportunity to work for six months performing stream maintenance work for the Water Agency, and then work for an additional six months as an intern in one of several fields, including water mechanics, fleet mechanics, sanitation systems and fisheries. The 18-month pilot program is open to ages 18 to 24.

Speaker Series: On Nov. 7, the Presentation Speaker Series, along with Readers’ Books, will welcome Mark Lukach, who will read from and discuss “My Lovely Wife in the Psyche Ward.” Lukach is a Bay Area educator and writer, whose young wife experienced a devastating mental health crisis that changed both of their lives, as well as their beliefs about love, health, commitment and the value of sharing real and difficult stories. Donations offered at the door will be given to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Free bookmobile: The Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County is looking forward to helping people to start replacing books lost in the fires. They will be in our area on Saturday, Nov. 4. Look for the green van Kenwood Market from noon to 1 p.m.; at Glen Ellen Post Office from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.; and Boyes Fiesta Center from 3 to 5 p.m.

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