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Tutors needed, best novels, college jobs, e-books, Cal admissions, library events, morality

Schools Education

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

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Strong math students who are looking to earn a little money should know that Adele Harrison Middle School is hiring tutors for right after school Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The pay is $8.16 an hour. Stop by the College & Career Center at the high school to apply.

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A fantastic invite arrived in the mail last week for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Fashion in the Vineyards event. The fundraiser is always fun and it’s bigger this year, spread out over two days: Saturday night at Nicholson Ranch and Sunday at Gundlach Bundschu Winery. The money raised will support both the BGC’s College Bound program and its Career Launch program. If you didn’t get an invite, call 938-8544, ext. 106 or visit bgcsonoma.org.

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The Boys & Girls Club’s Reading Buddies program is a great opportunity for volunteers to help the club’s younger members who struggle with reading. Adult reading buddies are paired with first- to third-grade students for one hour a week. For more information, call 938-8544, ext. 105 or email mdoran@bgcsonoma.org. If you’d like to donate a book for the Reading Buddies program, there are book drops at the following locations: Sonoma Market, Glen Ellen Village Market, Lucky’s, Whole Foods Market, Pharmaca and Parkpoint Health Club.

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If you’re looking for a book to spark great dinner table conversation with your teens (and adults), I highly recommend “What Money Can’t Buy” by Michael Sandel. The book asks the thought-provoking question, “Are there some things that money can buy, but shouldn’t?” Some examples: a spot in the carpool lane, use of a womb, votes, organs, citizenship, college admissions … The author gives very specific examples and his arguments weave together philosophy, history, sociology, economics and morals.

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A new study suggests that adding a mental-health component to school-based lifestyle programs for teens might be an important tool in lowering obesity, improving grades, combating depression and reducing drug and alcohol abuse. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 14 to 24, according to the Center for Disease Control but mental health is rarely included in school health curriculums. Ohio State conduced the research and its education program, called COPE, dropped scores of severely depressed teens almost in half. (American Journal of Preventative Medicine).

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I love the idea of gaining work experience while still in college and earning money. U.S. News recently ran a piece on seven of the best jobs you can have while in college to launch your career after graduation. They are: social media coordinator (for your college or local businesses); campus brand ambassador (many large companies hire students to promote their brands on campuses); office of institutional research assistant (this office collects and analyzes data about students, parents and alumni – great practice for investment banking or consulting); career center staffer (my personal favorite as you get early access to jobs and recruiters); group exercise teacher (teaching workout classes shows leadership and the ability to motivate others); and finally chief executive of your own start-up (college is a great time to start a company and use all the on-campus resources for advice and counsel).

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If you have a recent college graduate who is looking for work, suggest that they plan a visit back to their alma mater. Even after graduation, the college and career center is willing and eager to help. Graduates can return to search job listings, get help with resumes and interview tips and attend networking events. Many schools even have a job list-serve where open positions are posted in real time.

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Sonoma Valley Library is increasing its social media efforts and “liking” the library’s new Facebook page is a great way to hear about the many free children’s, family, teen and adult programs it hosts every month. facebook.com/SonomaValleyLibrary.

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The New York Times has a really well-conceived website for teachers, parents and students called The Learning Network. The site features a weekly news quiz, features for ELL students, a word of the day and college advice. Everything on the site is free without needing a digital subscription. It is definitely worth checking out. (learning.blogs.nytimes.com).

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Time Magazine recently printed a list of the all-time best 100 novels. There is no number one or I would share it with you. Instead the list is in alphabetical order and available here: http://ti.me/o98PmV.

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If you went to UC Berkeley or would like to one day, you might be interested to read the universities student-run admissions which provides an inside at what life at UC Berkeley is all about. blog.admissions.berkeley.edu.

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The new app Oyster plans to offer with books what Spotify offers in music. Oyster offers a huge variety of best-selling books and classic novels. Users pay a monthly fee of $9.95 for unlimited access to 100,000 books with more to be added in the weeks and months ahead. oysterbooks.com.

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Dunbar School needs volunteers for its Schools of Hope program (United Way of Wine Country) in which volunteers read with first-grade students 30 minutes a week. Site coordinator Renea Magnani can be contacted at 337-9770 or rmagnani@svusdca.org. Dunbar’s mentoring program (Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance) has a wait list of students hoping to find a mentor. Contact MJ Armer at dunbar@sonomamentoring.org or 935-6070. The school’s Jog-A-Thon is Friday, Sept. 27. Funds raised will support garden, science and art programs as well as field trips throughout the school year. Contact Magnani to help out. Donations should be sent to P.O. Box 1713, Glen Ellen, CA 95433.

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The entire community is invited to join parents, students and staff of Prestwood Elementary School in a Garden Work Day on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. No need to bring any supplies. All help is welcome.

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ArtEscape is offering a free drop-in “Play with Paper” session for all ages on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. 17474-A Sonoma Highway. artescapesonoma.com.

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A major ranking of community colleges was just released by Washington Monthly Magazine and not one California school made the top 50. Determining each college’s rank was: the hours spent preparing for class; the percentage of new students who return for a second year; the percentage who graduate or transfer elsewhere within three years; the number of books and papers students are assigned; the amount of interaction with faculty; and the overall ratio of credentials granted for every 100 students enrolled. (washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2013/community_rank.php).

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Edutopia offers an incredible array of free downloadable guides for parents including: A Parent’s Guide to 21st-Century Learning; Mobile Devices for Learning: What You Need to Know; How To Thank A Teacher and more. edutopia.org/classroom-guides-downloads.

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I have gotten very positive feedback from readers on the Catching Up With a Grad series. I appreciate getting suggestions of people to profile. I am also seeking suggestions of teachers to profile. Email me at ourschools@sonomanews.com.