RENT, Hanna, Disaster Hero, mindfulness, Olympians as kids, documentaries

Schools Education

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor


Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be the mother of an Olympic athlete?  What those early years are like? Think,  a lot of driving but also some challenges you might not expect. You can read the complete article at http://tinyurl.com/m59msz4.

Have you ever walked in to find your child watching a TV show that you KNOW they have seen before? It makes me crazy. There is a cool website that features more than 300 mind-expanding documentary films, many of which are appropriate for all ages.  These are also a great classroom resource. Check out the list at diygenius.com/mind-expanding-documentaries/.

Tickets are available now for Cat Austin’s Experimental Theater Company’s (ETC) production of the musical “Rent: The New Generation” on the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall at the Sonoma Community Center, at 8 p.m. on Feb. 20, 21, 22 and at 3 p.m. on Feb. 23. Tickets are $22. For 16 weeks, teens have been working on the production at an ETC workshop. The musical is best suited for ages 14 and older. sonomacommunitycenter.org/box-office

Republic of Thrift’s new winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Sunday, which is noon to 5 p.m. The store’s second-year anniversary takes place on Feb. 2 with 40 percent off all items in the store and 50 percent off clothing.

The Sonoma Valley High School Music Department seeks silent auction donations (products and services) from the community for its 2014 “Jazz ‘N Cakes” pancake breakfast fundraiser on Feb. 9. Companies interested in sponsoring the event should contact Anastasia Encarnacion at anastasiae1@hotmail.com or Emily Moore, music department director at emoore@sonomavly.k12.ca.us.

The Sonoma Valley Public Library is hosting Dave The Horn Guy from 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. This free show is great for all ages and is fast-paced and high energy.

Disaster Hero is a free online game designed to teach children (grades 1 through 8), parents and teachers how to prepare for disasters. The goal is to ensure that kids know what to do before, during, and after a disaster. Disasterhero.com

More than 125 students at Sonoma Valley High School registered to take a practice ACT exam last weekend. The ACT is now more commonly taken by students than the SAT and the practice test was a great opportunity to experience the test, and gauge expected results, prior to the real thing. Kudos to those students for giving up a Saturday morning to get a head start on the college application process.

The Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley is very supportive of Sonoma schools. The Rotary is having a “Luck of the Irish” raffle to raise money for its scholarships and community projects. A $50 donation gets you a ticket, only 1,200 will be sold, and the winner gets a two-week trip for two to Ireland. Tickets can be purchased at The Red Grape.

In March, the Latino population is projected to surpass that of whites in California.

Latinos will make up 39 percent of California’s population, edging out non-Hispanic whites at 38.8 percent. Nearly 25 years ago, non-Hispanic whites made up 57 percent of the state, while Latinos made up 26 percent.

While I am still not exactly sure what it is, I keep reading about studies that tout mindfulness training as crucial to academic success. The latest study looked at college students (who are notorious for high levels of distraction and stress). Mindfulness training can focus attention and improve learning, according to a new study by University of Miami researchers. Mindfulness is a mental state in which a person pays attention to the present experience without ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness training emphasizes attention-building exercises and learning to observe the activity of the mind.

The most recent data released by Ed Week shows the state of California at the bottom in per pupil spending on education, with only Washington, D.C., and Utah spending less on its students. The good news? Proposition 30 will improve those numbers for 2012-13 and Governor Brown is proposing an increase in per pupil spending of 8.6 percent for 2014-15.

If your student is interested in a career in law enforcement, emergency medical care, park ranger, corrections or public safety, they should plan to attend Santa Rosa Junior College’s free Public Safety Career Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8. Participants must pre-register at santarosa.edu and must speak to their high school counselor about other required forms prior to attending.

Hanna Boys Center is accepting applications. Hanna offers full-time residential treatment on its 160-acre campus as well as fully accredited educational services along with health care, physical education, sports and recreational opportunities. Tuition at Hanna is based on a family’s ability to pay; no boy is ever turned away because of financial reasons. In order for a youngster to be considered for enrollment, there must be a need for an out-of-home placement and the boy must express a strong desire to be at Hanna. hannacenter.org

Fusion Academy Marin is a new school that offers a very different take on the traditional classroom. This WASC-accredited private school and tutoring center serves students in grades 6-12 for whom traditional schools do not work, for one reason or another. According to their materials, it is the only school in the North Bay that offers one-to-one classrooms, mastery learning, and flexible class schedules, with a state of the art campus. Enrollment is ongoing throughout the year. Its next open house will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 1600 Los Gamos Dr. in San Rafael. fusionacademy.com/academy/marin/welcome