Lorna Sheridan: Education Roundup, March 26

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Bee Kind: It is Bee Kind Week across the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. At Sonoma Valley High, students will create a kindness mural, do a creek cleanup, make sure that “no one eats alone” and students will hear from speaker Houston Kraft in a schoolwide “Kindness Matters” assembly.

Social Media: Speaking of (not) being kind, the next local parent education workshop is “Parenting in the Age of Social Media,” March 27, 6 to 8 p.m., Altimira multi-use building.

Video game drivers ed: There is a new driver training simulation made specifically for Xbox that teaches new, teenage drivers how to deal with dangerous situations without actually being in danger. This is the first driver training simulation designed for a gaming console. Driving Essentials XE is being released on March 28.

WiFi on campuses: Purdue University is the first (but won’t be the only) college to eliminate access to streaming services on campus. The university found that only 4 percent of Internet traffic came from academic sites and some professors said they couldn’t lead online class activities because their students were streaming music or videos during class.

Donations: Republic of Thrift, which is a big supporter of Sonoma Valley schools, has changed the schedule that it accepts donations. Drop off your new or almost-new items on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays only. See flyer online for exact hours or visit republicofthrift.com.

Money sense: It’s never too early to teach youngsters to be smart and responsible with money. March 30 through April 6 is Money Smart Week at the Sonoma County Library, with activities and stories that emphasize saving. The activities are aimed at children ages 3 to 8. At Sonoma Valley, a librarian will read “Sammy’s Big Dream!” and lead a coloring activity at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 4.

Online computer training: The girls-only cybersecurity program Girls Go CyberStart is designed to encourage more young women into the cybersecurity sector and reduce the digital skills gap in America. Girls who want to participate in the free program do not need any experience in gaming or computer science, but must be at least 13 years old and enrolled at a public or private school. Sign up at girlsgocyberstart.org/interest.

Ballet for boys: There is a new Ballet Club for Boys (ages 6 to 12) class on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to noon at the Sonoma Community Center in dance studio 213. Boys work on upper body strength, jumps, leaps and discipline/control. Try a class, run by Miss Molly’s Dance, for free. Call 299-9528 or email missmollyballet@gmail.com.

Free tennis: The free community tennis program at Maxwell Park for ages 6 to 14 runs April 6 to May 11. There are two afternoon sessions to choose from at 3 and 4 p.m. Players must register online at ustanorcal.com/register, under Hits Programs.

Fundraiser: St. Francis Solano School is having its largest fundraiser of the year on March 30 at Viansa Winery. There will be a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, dinner by Lombardi’s Catering and dancing. All of the proceeds raised will support the school’s students and teachers. Tickets are on sale now at events.readysetauction.com/saintfrancissolanoschool/2019gala.

SRJC: Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine listed Santa Rosa Junior College as one of the nation’s “Top 50 Community Colleges for Hispanics.” Currently, 34 percent of students enrolled at SRJC are Latinx.

Art Contest: Rep. Mike Thompson is accepting applications for the 2019 5th Congressional District High School Art Competition. Winning pieces are displayed in the U.S. Capitol. The deadline to submit artwork is Tuesday, April 16. Guidelines can be found at house.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/2019-Rules-for-Students-and-Teachers.pdf.

Scholarship: The Steve Silver Foundation and Beach Blanket Babylon “Scholarship for the Arts” provides a handful of $15,000 awards for high school seniors who go to school within 100 miles of Club Fugazi (venue for Beach Blanket Babylon). There are three categories – singing, acting or dancing; and nine finalists are selected, three from each category, by a panel of performing arts professionals. The program judging is based entirely on talent; grades and financial needs are not factors. All entries must be received by April 26. Visit beachblanketbabylon.com/2019-scholarship-form/.

CASA: Spring volunteer training for the nonprofit Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program will take place over three and a half days beginning Thursday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., then run from Tuesday, April 23 through Thursday, April 25 near Oakmont in Santa Rosa. For more information and to sign up, contact Millie Gilson at 565-6375 or info@sonomacasa.org. Learn more at sonomacasa.org.

Smart phones in school: A new bill introduced by California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi would allow school administrators to ban students from using smartphones at school. Muratsuchi proposed the measure, saying the devices interfere with learning. Schools would be allowed to determine their own rules. Read more at tinyurl.com/y5yp4jgb.

Save the date: There will be a Bicycle Skills and Safety Rodeo and Health Fair on the El Verano Elementary School campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. There will be free helmets and helmet inspections and free bike checks/repairs.

Small but grand: The annual exhibition of student art at Sonoma Arts Guild opens with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4.

Email comments and news to ourschools@sonomanews.com.

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