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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Nov. 28

Coming soon to the Sonoma Valley Library.

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Santa’s coming: Soroptimist International of Sonoma Valley is holding its 41st annual “Hot Chocolate with Santa,” Friday, Dec. 1, beginning at 5 p.m, in the Sonoma Plaza. Soroptimist members will serve hot chocolate while waiting for Santa to arrive on the antique fire truck at 5:30 p.m. Santa will then give the order to light the tree atop City Hall. This event will take place rain or shine. This year Sonoma Valley High School students will carol, and cookies and brownies have been donated by the Lodge.

Holiday party: The Sonoma Valley Mothers Club is hosting its holiday party and raffle at the Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club on First Street West from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. This year, 20 percent of proceeds will go to La Luz Center’s Sonoma Fire Relief Fund. The party is free for families and will feature lots of kid entertainment, music, Picazo Food truck, wine, beer and pictures with Santa. To buy raffle tickets or for more information, visit raffles.ticketprinting.com/raffle/6394-Sonoma-Valley-Mothers-Club-Holiday-Raffle-Silent-Auction/

Truck It: The Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Try It Truck is an engineering festival on wheels and it is coming to Sonoma. This multi-hour event will feature hands-on exploration and experimentation with high and low technology, as well as design challenges and educational games. Kids will have the opportunity to work through several stations in this drop-in workshop from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at the Sonoma Valley Library on West Napa Street.

Skating in Sonoma: The new ice rink at Cornerstone will be open until Tuesday, Jan. 2. The rink will be open seven days a week, though closed on Christmas day. Admission to the ice rink is broken into two-hour intervals at $20 for adults and $10 for children, and includes ice skate rentals. For up-to-date operating hours, any rink closures and more details visit cornerstonesonoma.com/ice-rink.

Della’s lunch: The Adele Harrison Middle School PTO is raising funds for school families and staff who have been impacted by the wildfires. One of the fundraisers will be at Della Santina’s on Tuesday, Nov. 28. There will be a holiday fair and Della Santina’s will be donating 25 percent of the proceeds from lunch and dinner to the PTO.

Free portraits: On Dec. 1 and 2, portrait and wedding photographers at Milou & Olin Photography are offering complimentary mini-family portrait sessions to victims of the fires in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties. The photo session will be at Tyge Williams Cellars barn in Sonoma. People can sign up at milouandolin.com/fireportraits

Hillsborough helping: The parents of the Hillsborough School District (where Louann Carlomagno is now Interim Superintendent) have stepped forward to adopt 250 families through the Sonoma Valley Holiday Giving Program. Learn more at svholiday.org.

Lacrosse: Any Sonoma area high school girls interested in playing lacrosse in the spring of 2018 are encouraged to register ASAP on petalumalacrosse.com. A $50 deposit is required. Total cost for the season is $325. Girls planning to play in the spring are welcome to begin attending Friday Night Lights, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the East Washington Street fields through December (see Petaluma Youth Lacrosse home page for more information). Call, email or text questions to Susie Gallo 415-336-6063, susiegallo@gmail.com.

Theater fun: Santa Rosa Junior College is staging “The Little Mermaid,” opening the weekend before Thanksgiving and running through Dec 3. Based on the classic animated film inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s cherished story, it’s musical fun for ages 6 and above. The musical is taking place at Maria Carillo High School, 6975 Montecito Blvd., Nov. 17 to Dec. 3. $12-$22. theatrearts.santarosa.edu/current-season.

Fewer foreigners: Fewer foreign students are coming to study at higher-education institutions in the United States, the New York Times reports. The 7 percent drop in international students is attributed to “the increasingly uncertain social and political climate in the U.S.” In a survey of 500 campuses, 45 percent reported drops in new international enrollment.

Successful kids: According to a new multi-year study, a child’s social and emotional skills are more likely than their grades to determine whether they are likely to go college or end up in jail. For every one-point increase in children’s social competency scores in kindergarten, they were twice as likely to obtain college degrees and have full-time jobs by age 25. The kids who had trouble cooperating, listening, and resolving conflict were less likely to finish high school – let alone college - and were more likely to have legal problems and substance abuse issues. Read more at tinyurl.com/y9myg4jx

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