Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Sept. 4

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Teacher grants: All Sonoma County teachers, counselors or administrators are invited to fill out the Teacher’s Wishes grant application for the John Jordan Foundation grant awards. The deadline is Sept. 30. Apply at

Boosters: Have you joined SVHS Boosters? The next meeting, open to all parents, is at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10 in the library.

Free bus/train: Did you know that college students in Sonoma County can ride for free on Sonoma County Transit? The offer applies to students currently enrolled in colleges with a campus in Sonoma County. Show your current student ID when boarding the bus. If you are under 18 years of age, you can also get a 50 percent discount on the SMART Train.

Recycling: Crayola has a program called ColorCycle that will accept all brands of plastic markers, including dry erase markers and highlighters. If you collect the dead markers, they’ll send you a free shipping label and you can ship them back to Crayola to be recycled.

Book box for kids: Amazon has launched a new subscription-based Prime Book Box service. The $22.99 per box offering ships Prime members in the U.S. a curated selection of kids’ books every month or two, at up to 35 percent off the list price. The books are a combination of new releases, classics and hidden gems, and are tailored to the reader’s age range. Parents can preview their selections before the box ships, then customize the list as they choose.

Canceling football: Healdsburg High School’s varsity football team has voted to disband the squad. The team was beaten 41-0 by Drake in its first game and 61-0 by Justin-Siena last week. The team was scheduled to play at San Rafael last Friday night.

Rankings: Sonoma State University was recently made the “top 100 colleges in the West” list in Forbes magazine. Forbes based its rankings on alumni salary, debt upon graduation, academic success and graduation rates, according to a news release. The campus has 9,400 students.

Free college: Modern States offers tuition-free, high quality courses online from top institutions for college credit. The courses prepare students for Advanced Placement and CLEP exams which are accepted for credit by more than 2,900 colleges and universities. Courses, textbooks and materials are free; all you need is internet access. Students who pass eight exams are potentially earning their freshman year for free. Learn more at

Refs needed: The Boys & Girls Club is looking for referees and scorekeepers. They seek trainable referees ages 14-plus for a wide variety of sports throughout the year. Email Yair Alvarez at to learn more.

Fortnite: There are currently more than 80 U.S. schools that have e-sports (video games) teams, with a coach, daily practices and league matches against other schools, according to the National Association of Collegiate eSports. Some even offer scholarships. Ohio’s Ashland University is one of the first to offer a scholarship specifically for Fortnite. If your child isn’t obsessed with Fortnite, here’s a quick primer: Players sit in a flying bus and drop down onto a map to enter a different battlefields. The player builds fortresses, find supplies and takes down other players until one winner emerges.

CTE fundraiser: The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation is hosting its inaugural fundraiser on Sept. 26 at Bear Republic Brewing Company in Rohnert Park. It is a casual evening with a live band, dinner and beer. All proceeds will go toward supporting career technical education courses and career exploration programs for high school and middle school students in Sonoma County. Tickets are $50 at

Ballet classes: Former ballerina Leigh Donlan teaches children’s ballet classes in the Kenwood Depot every Tuesday, for ages 5 and up. For more information call 415-290-4296 or email

Take or give books: The Sonoma County Free Bookmobile will be in our area on Saturday, Sept. 8. It will be at Kenwood Market from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; the Glen Ellen P.O. from 11 a.m. to noon; and at Boyes Hot Springs/Fiesta Center from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Bilingual: Only one in five American primary and secondary students nationwide is learning a foreign language, while in Europe, that number is nine out of 10. In the U.S., New Jersey has the highest percentage, while Arkansas, Arizona and New Mexico come in last. Only 10 states and the District of Columbia have foreign language graduation requirements for high school students. Read the report at

Mobile learning: SCOE’s Mobile Learning Lab is available for schools and districts to reserve for a nominal daily fee. The remodeled cargo trailer provides an outdoor learning venue for students on a field trip, or as a pop-up lab for STEAM and make activities at a school. Learn more at

Reunion: The SVHS Class of 1978 will be holding its 40th reunion in Sonoma on Saturday, Oct. 6. For more information about the reunion, email

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