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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, April 3

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Wait till 8th: The “Wait Until 8th” pledge ask parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least eighth grade. The idea is that by banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over the kids having a smartphone. The pledge recommends a basic phone, if crucial, as it avoids many of the distractions and dangers of a smartphone. waituntil8th.org.

Donors Choose: Ripple, a cryptocurrency company, donated $29 million in cryptocurrency to the teacher/school donation platform DonorsChoose.org last week. The donation fulfilled every single classroom project request on its site – 35,647 requests in all, from 28,210 teachers at 16,561 public schools. Usually Sonoma Valley has a few open projects on the site looking for funding but according to Donors Choose, sadly none last week.

Congrats: Santa Rosa Junior College has beaten U.C. Berkeley to win the overall National Collegiate Debate Championship, the first time that a two-year institution has won in 25 years. No students from the Valley participated but a great honor for the college.

Name change: Napa school board trustees have voted unanimously to change Napa Valley High School’s longtime symbol and mascot the Indians after a year of community debate on the issue. The board also voted to change the logo of the Redwood Middle School Warriors, to eliminate the Native American-style spear tip. There will be a phased-in approach for removing the name and logo and replacing them with new ones.

Mini-book sale: Friends of the Sonoma Valley Library is hosting a small two-day sale of fiction only from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6, and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on and Saturday, April 7. Students get their first book free. Prices are the same as a regular sale: $2 for hardbacks; $1 for paperbacks.

Sonoma Fit: Sonoma Fit is a big sponsor of the Sonoma Valley High Boosters Club, and their involvement has led owners Jenny and Adam Kovacs to extend an offer of a reduced membership fee of $49 a month to any SVHS student athlete. The membership form is online at sonomavalleyhigh.org.

Ropes training: The Challenge Sonoma Adventure Ropes Course will be holding two leader training sessions for teens. The position can turn into a job after training is complete. The sessions are April 12 to 15 and May 10 to 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn more at challengesonoma.com.

Get involved: SVHS is looking for two parent reps to participate on the District Curriculum Advisory Council (CAC/DAC). The council meets once a month on a Thursday at the District offices from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The next meetings for 2018-2019 are April 12 and May 17. The role of CAC/DAC is to provide input and advice by making recommendations for textbook adoptions and curriculum selections. If you are interested, email Danielle Contreras at dcontreras@sonomaschools.org or call her at 933-4030.

Car show: Sonoma Valley High School student Dean Dunham is organizing a Dragons car show for his senior project. The cost is $20 per car entry. All proceeds go to the SVSH metal shop. The show is Saturday, April 7, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the student parking lot at SVHS, 20000 Broadway.

Cash for college: Race to Submit is a one-stop online resource customized for California students to help them understand the state and federal grants available to help them offset the cost of college and connect with workshops – like Cash for College and the Get Schooled text-line – for guidance. webutil.csac.ca.gov/Dashboard.

Dim the lights: It turns out that children’s eyes are anatomically different and they let in more light. A new study suggests that exposure to bright light before bedtime can throw their body clocks out of whack. “Particularly in the evening, it tends to suppress the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin,” said the study authors. Children whose melatonin response has been dampened may look “tired and wired.” tinyurl.com/y93kbckc.

Save the date: On Tuesday, April 10, the Sonoma County Office of Education Challenges of Youth Conference invites educators and nonprofits that serve children to gain practical insights into childhood trauma, bullying and more. This free conference will provide information, tips and tools to empower those serving county youth to help them overcome the challenges they face. Reserve a spot at scoe.org/youth.

Impatient kids: A fun list of “Waiting Games for Kids on the Go” is making its way around the internet. The ideas include Guess What’s In My Purse, Two Truths and a Lie, How Many Can You Name and others. Read them all at whatdowedoallday.com/waiting-games-for-kids.

Send story ideas to ourschools@sonomanews.com.