Education Roundup: Nov. 21

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

Money for college: California State Fair Scholarship Program is accepting applications for the 2018 – 2019 academic year. The program offers 14 categories of scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 each with varying eligibility requirements. Categories include: agriculture, art, academic excellence, business, culinary/hospitality/event management, education, international relations, trade school, viticulture and enology. Applicants are evaluated based on academics, community service, quality of essay and recommendation. The deadline to apply is March 2, 2018. Learn more at

Last call: Nominations for the Helen Ann Buckley Foundation 2017 Inspirational Teacher Award – which honors a Sonoma Valley elementary school teacher from Dunbar, Flowery, El Verano, Sassarini or Prestwood – will close on Dec.11. Visit for more information.

Open house: Credo High School in Rohnert Park will host an open house at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. Credo is a free, public charter high school that is guided by the core principles of public Waldorf education to deliver a college-prep program. For more details, visit

Free tutoring: Free math tutoring is back at Sonoma Valley High. If you or a teen you know could use help with math homework or better understanding before finals – then come see algebra teacher, Ruben Escamilla at the No Name Cafe on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:10 to 4:10 p.m.

Week of Code: As part of the expanded Hour of Code for CS Education Week, and Microsoft are promoting a new game, Minecraft: Hero's Journey. Introducing the Minecraft Agent, students write code to instruct the Agent to execute commands and overcome in-game obstacles.

Volunteers needed: Sonoma Valley High School's Grad Night 2018 needs volunteers. It's a great chance for parents of freshmen, sophomores and juniors to join in on the planning for an event that keeps seniors safe the night they graduate. Email to help out or learn more.

Changes at Oxbow: The Oxbow School in Napa has named Michael Williamson as its next Head of School, effective July of 2018. Oxbow is a private, boarding, art school on the banks of the Napa River.

Nature hike: Sonoma Parks is hosting a free nature hike from 4 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25 through the park and Montini Trail. Free and open to all ages, this hike is casual and easy. Meet in the Vallejo Home parking lot.

Volunteers needed: The wildfires have brought to the forefront the critical shortage of foster homes in our county. Even before the fires, foster youth has been sometimes placed in homes 100 or more miles away. CASA trains citizen volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system. They currently have 70 children waiting to be matched with a CASA volunteer. Email director Millie Gilson at if you can help.

Redwood Friday: Jack London State Historic Park is hosting a free, family-friendly guided hike the day after Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Turkey Waddle Hike is a moderate 4-mile hike. Wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. Rain cancels hike. When: Friday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., there will be a Wolf House Ruins tour. At 1 p.m., there will be a Beauty Ranch Tour. Golf cart rides available free of charge, noon to 4 p.m. only. To participate in Save the Redwoods free events, register at

Adele fundraiser: At lunch and dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 28, Della Santina's Trattoria and its adjacent Enoteca wine bar is donating 25 percent of the proceeds from the day to help out Adele Harrison Middle School families in need. There will also be a holiday fair during lunch. Contact Marilyn Munk at to learn more.

Toy drive: Sonoma Raceway will accept toys for its 14th annual High-Powered Toy Drive. All toys will be distributed to nearly 300 children at the raceway's annual Race to the Holidays Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 9. New, unwrapped gifts for newborns to 12-year-olds can be dropped at locations all over Sonoma. To learn more about the toy drive, visit or contact Jen Imbimbo at or 933-3981.

Miss Sonoma County: Entries are open now for the Miss Sonoma County and Miss Sonoma County Outstanding Teen scholarship pageant award programs. Girls ages 13 to 25 are encouraged to enter. Call 478-4585 for more info (ages 13 to 17) or 321-7873 for ages 18 to 25.

Fewer toys: Science says instead of giving toys, parents should spend their money and energy on outings, experiences and vacations. Becky Mansfield of has 50 suggestions of gifts for children that aren't 'stuff.' Here are some of the best, read the complete article at

1. A photo album of memories from the year

2. Tickets to an event.

3. Passes to an amusement park.

4. Family recipe cards and ingredients in a basket.

5. Coupon books for things like 'One coupon good to skip chores today.'

6. Calendar already filled out with fun things: playdates, special one on one time, birthdays, lunch-date, movie nights.

7. 'Your Day' – give your kids a day to pick whatever they want. Call it a 'your day.' Give them a big poster with a bunch of different ideas.

8. Painting lessons. Let children explore their inner artist.

diRosa art: The first Art Spark Family Workshop of 2018 is Sunday, Jan. 7, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Children 3 and under are free. Children 4 to 12 are $5. Adults are $15 ($10 members). Additional details and updates can be found at

Donations: The following Sonoma Valley youth groups will receive funding from Speedway Children's Charities in 2017: Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley; Friends in Sonoma Helping (F.I.S.H.); Girl Scouts of Northern California; Hanna Boys Center; Kid Scoop News; La Luz Center; North Bay Children's Center; Sonoma Ecology Center; Sonoma Valley Education Foundation; Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance; Sonoma Valley Teen Services and more. For more information on the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, visit

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