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Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, Nov. 27

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Scholarships: The Friends of the California State Fair scholarship program seek to motivate California’s well-rounded students by awarding tuition money to a diverse set of backgrounds and majors. This year they are awarding $51,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors and college students. Visit CAStateFair.org/Scholarship for more information and apply by Thursday, Feb. 28.

Santa arrives: Santa Claus is coming to town on Friday, Dec. 7. As usual, he will motor up Broadway on a vintage fire truck decorated with Christmas lights and make his traditional visit to Sonoma City Hall to preside over the tree lighting. There will be complimentary hot chocolate and candy courtesy of Soroptimist of Sonoma Valley.

Inexpensive tutors: Each fall, Sonoma Valley High School assembles a list of available student tutors. The list is organized by grade and subject area with contact information included. The list can only be picked up in person at the College & Career Center. Parents should do their own screening and negotiate a tutoring rate that is reasonable to both parties. All that said, a good student tutor could be a bargain compared to other options, and frequently it is an option your child could much prefer. The 2018-19 list available now.

Skating: Napa on Ice is now open daily (including holidays) through Jan. 6. Located inside the grounds of the Napa Expo on Third Street between Soscol Avenue and Silverado Trail, the outdoor ice rink features 6,300 square feet of real ice. Skaters can skate in the sunshine during the day, and under the stars at night. The facility is open to all ages, offering daily recreational ice skating, including free skate rental. Napa on Ice also offers parties, private ice time and special events. onicerinks.com/napa-on-ice.

Book Stars: Readers’ Books has launched its annual Book Stars program that donates new books to area children. Stop by the store to pick out a title to donate.

Crab feed tickets: Tickets to the SVHS Boosters Crab Feed and Auction fundraiser are selling fast. The event is on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building from 5 to 11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at sonomvalleyhigh.org.

Learn 3D printing: The Sonoma Valley public library is offering an Introduction to 3D Design and Printing from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, for ages 12 and up. The course will cover the basic functions of TinkerCAD, a free online CAD program. There is an intermediate course the following week on Dec. 12. Learn more at www.sonomalibrary.org/Sonoma.

Toddler events: Don’t forget that Sonoma Valley Regional Library offers free programs for tots up to 36 months and for preschoolers ages 3 to 6. The next events are Thursday, Nov. 29 at 10:30 a.m. for Wee Read (storytime, with stories, songs, movement) and 11:30 a.m. for preschool storytime. The library also is offering drop-in homework help on Tuesdays starting at 3:30 p.m. Students can get free homework coaching in all subjects on a drop-in basis.

Deadline Extended: The North Bay Construction Corps is a free career exploration and training program for high school seniors. Members will meet after school at SVHS in the evenings once a week, and one Saturday a month from late January through mid-May. Successful Corps members attend a two-week Boot Camp in June and work full time on a real construction project. Participants in the Corps will receive basic construction skills, three college units transferable to CSU, a $750 stipend, Certification in First Aid/CPR, Forklift, and the opportunity to interview local companies for immediate hire. Applications are due Dec. 7. For more information, visit www.constructioncorps.org or call 542-9502

Freshman woes: Thirty percent of college freshmen won’t return for their sophomore year, and the wheels can start to fall off as early as Thanksgiving. What can parents do? Start by reading a really great New York Times article “When a College Student Comes Home to Stay” online at https://tinyurl.com/y87wkyup.

Maker World: Join teachers and student makers for an upcoming free, community-wide family fun night event at Sonoma State on Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) focused projects and immerse attendees of all ages in hands-on, interactive maker demonstrations. Learn more about maker education at www.scoe.org/pub/htdocs/21c-maker.html

Book suggestion: Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? Check out “What Money Can’t Buy” by Michael J. Sandel. It is as a fun, thought-provoking holiday gift for teens or adults. The book is an easy read and will give your family plenty to talk about over the dinner table.

LGBTQI: The Parent University is sponsoring a free talk at El Verano Elementary from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 29, titled “Talking to my child about gay and transgender people.” To attend, contact 935-6050 or miturri@sonomaschools.org.

Email news and comments to ourschools@sonomanews.com.