Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Dec. 22

News, tips and resources for Sonoma Valley parents and students.|

Free showing of “Nutcracker”: Ballet fans or anyone still looking to get in the holiday spirit can watch a free performance of the “Nutcracker Ballet” performed by dancers from the New York City Ballet, from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 at youtube.com/c/BardavonPresents/videos.

Local children’s book: There is a sweet children’s book set in Sonoma, “My Little Sonoma Valley Book,” written and illustrated by Manette Fairmont, for sale at the Fairmont Gallery on the Plaza, 447 First St. W. Learn more at fairmontgallery.com.

Book recommendation: “How to Be a Happier Parent” is an encouraging guide to helping parents find more happiness in their day-to-day family life. The book, written by the New York Times’ “Motherlode” blogger KJ Dell’Antonia, is a solution-packed look at how to change family life so that it is more full of joy.

CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates make sure foster kids don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in unsupportive foster homes. CASA volunteers stay with children until their court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. Juvenile court officials have identified an additional 65 youth who need advocates and CASA is appealing to Sonoma County residents to volunteer. If you care and have about 10 hours a month to spend, being an advocate can be very gratifying work. The Spring Volunteer Training starts Thursday, March 18. For more information, contact Millie Gilson at 565-6375 or info@sonomacasa.org.

Free hotposts: Do you know someone who lacks access to the internet? The Sonoma Valley library has a number of “SonomaFI“ Wi-Fi hotspots available for two-week check out, and a smaller number of Chromebook laptop kits with hotspots included. Come to the library and request a device by phone at 996-5217.

New career program: Santa Rosa Junior College’s Wine Studies program has launched a new degree for wine cellar workers. The degree teaches students, through hands-on experience, the theory and practices used in the production of wine, including basic grape-growing practices and vineyard decisions, steps in the wine-making process from harvest to bottling, basic wine lab analyses, and the use of winery production equipment. The Wine Cellar Worker program offers a certificate or an associate degree. ag.santarosa.edu/wine-studies.

Lower the drinking age? One in five California parents believe the drinking age should be lowered from 21, according to a recent survey. A survey of 3,090 parents by Alcohol.org found that the average parent said they would allow their child to have their first alcoholic drink at the age of 19 – two years below the legal drinking age. According to the National Institute of Health, young people between the ages of 12 and 20 consume one-tenth (10 percent) of all alcohol consumed across the U.S.

SRJC spring semester: Santa Rosa Junior College will expand its on-campus course offerings in the spring semester to include 98 total courses with some or all content delivered in-person, an increase of 29 more courses than were offered in fall 2020. The offerings are programs that train the state’s essential workforce, courses that require hand-on components, such as labs, and other programs that cannot be taught fully online. The majority will be offered in a hybrid format with lecture online and labs or other activities in-person. All classes will follow strict social-distancing protocols, such as requiring masks, six feet of distance between students and thorough cleaning of instructional spaces after each use. Some will also be taught primarily in an outdoor setting.

Congratulations: Sophia Schwartz-Cutler, class of 2021, has been named to the dean's list for the fall 2020 semester at the University of Vermont. Schwartz-Cutler is in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Art contest: The Wildlife Forever Fish Art Contest seeks to “hook youth into fish and fishing.” To enter, contestants create an original illustration of any species from the official fish list and a one-page writing entry. Learn more at FishArt.org. The deadline to enter is March 31, 2021. Entries are categorized in four grade levels: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. fishart.org.

Contact Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com

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