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Jan. 26: This week’s best tips, resources and events for Sonoma Valley parents, students and teachers

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You don’t hear much about girls having ADHD but it definitely exists. Between 2003 and 2011, the diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) increased 55 percent for girls, compared to 40 percent for boys, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry The author of “Understanding Girls with AD/HD” believes that ADHD materializes dramatically differently in girls, and the consequences for girls can be anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Girls with ADHD exhibit carelessness, trouble following instructions and daydreaming. While boys sometimes outgrow their ADHD, with girls, the symptoms get worse after puberty. While the ratio of diagnosed boys vs. girls with ADHD used to be 10 to 1, now it is closer to 4 to 1 or 2 to 1. In adult women, ADHD is frequently found in high IQ women who are easily overwhelmed and frantic in coping with day-to-day basic things. tinyurl.com/h5vx3wt

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A new study has identified six things that help determine how long you will live. Two factors increasing the risk of death that surprised me were sleeping too much and sitting too long. The others are smoking, alcohol use, dietary behavior and physical inactivity. tinyurl.com/p48o7xy

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In other sleeping news, a new study has found that the more fiber you eat, the more time your body will spend in deep sleep. Too much sugar also causes arousal from deep sleep. Essentially, the study found that diet influences sleep quality (how long it takes to fall asleep and the quality of the sleep) more than people perhaps realized. tinyurl.com/z9sklcp

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Speaking of standing, researchers at Texas A&M have found that the “continued use of standing desks was associated with significant improvements in executive function and working memory capabilities,” according to the professor who led the study. “Changes in corresponding brain activation patterns were also observed.” Most focus on standing desks has centered around behavior (kids are less fidgety) but this is the first study I have seen that indicates that students actually learn better while standing. It is good news that the Sonoma school district is considering adding some standing desks to the mix in its new furniture order. tinyurl.com/jlv3wbg

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There are a slew of new and returning TV shows that are actually recommended for children and teens by Common Sense Media. Their top picks (from youngest to oldest) include Ready Jet Go!, The Lion Guard, The Amazing Race, Fresh Off The Boat, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidy and X-Files. The complete list is at commonsensemedia.org.

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A new article in Psychology Today suggests that one can successfully treat a child with extreme mood issues by eliminating all electronics use for several weeks. Victoria Dunckley, MD, writes that an “electronics fast” allows the nervous system to “reset.” “If done correctly, this intervention can produce deeper sleep, a brighter and more even mood, better focus and organization, and an increase in physical activity. The ability to tolerate stress improves, so meltdowns diminish in both frequency and severity. The child begins to enjoy the things they used to, is more drawn to nature, and imaginary or creative play returns. In teens and young adults, an increase in self-directed behavior is observed – the exact opposite of apathy and hopelessness,” said Dunkley.

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Researchers have found that attractive students get better grades. They looked at the records of tens of thousands of students and compared the students’ class grades to ratings of their attractiveness, as judged by outside observers. Less attractive women earned significantly lower grades, after controlling for what grades you might expect, based on their ACT scores. The best-looking women earned higher grades. The key finding was that when these same exact students took online courses, where appearance is not an issue, the benefits of attractiveness basically disappeared. n.pr/1mFXa2w

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In unrelated news, it is terrific that NASA’s latest class of astronauts is 50 percent female, and that according to NASA, several of them are likely to be assigned to the inaugural trip to Mars in 15 years. The January issue of Glamour has a profile on four of the young women and they are truly inspiring. tinyurl.com/zongtl2

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The Ecology Center’s EnviroLeader paid internship program is accepting applications through Friday, Jan. 29. The current spring session runs from Wednesday, Feb. 10 to Wednesday, May 11. The program is open to teens between the ages of 14 to 18 and offers hands-on, practical apprenticeships and internships in the fields of sustainable agriculture and restoration. They meet twice a week, at the Sonoma Garden Park and other sites around the Valley, and upon completion earn a stipend of $500.

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ARTescape Sonoma has a slew of new workshops in the weeks ahead for various ages. If your child enjoys art, visit its website to get on the mailing list. Some upcoming classes include fused glass, linoleum printing, dulcimer making, mixed media transfer techniques, dream catchers, beginning knitting and more. The studio is also offering a circular weaving class on the next public school holiday, Monday, Feb. 15. Sign up early, as space is limited. artescapesonoma.com

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Once a month, Sonoma Valley High principal Kathleen Hawing offers a “coffee with the principal” discussion in the school library. On Friday, Feb. 5, the topic will be “scheduling, course offerings and academic rigor.” As a number of new classes may be added at SVHS next year, this would be a great opportunity to learn more. Register at sonomavalleyhigh.org/coffee-with-the-principal.html

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Woodland Star Charter School is offering school tours and open houses in the weeks ahead for prospective students and their families. There are tours on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 at 8:30 a.m. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 and at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23 the school is offering kindergarten open houses with complimentary childcare. Call the school at 996-3849 to reserve a spot. Woodland Star is a Waldorf-based K-8 public charter school.

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St. Francis Solano School is hosting its big annual open house and tour at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 29. Call 996-4994 to reserve a spot.

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Sonoma Valley Library’s free homework help sessions on Tuesday afternoons are now a regular offering. Students can drop in from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m through the end of the school year. Adults from the community, many whom are retired teachers, volunteer their time to provide a little extra boost for students needing the time, space, and resources that the public library can provide.

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Prestwood School is holding its annual Maker Week Feb. 1 to 5 and they are collecting recyclable goods. Drop any cardboard tubes, water bottles, clean corks, shoe boxes, clean milk cartons, berry baskets, fabric or small pieces of wood in the collection bin just inside the school’s multipurpose room. Maker Week is a hands-on activity of invention, creativity and resourcefulness that will take place, during the school day and culminate with a family Maker Faire night on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Contact nursmurph@sbcglobal.net with questions.

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Teen Services Sonoma needs adults for a few volunteer openings. They are looking for a bike basement supervisor for their terrific Operation Bicycle program (Tuesday and Thursday afternoon). They also need math and science tutors for the No Name Café homework program (after school each weekday). Lastly, they are looking for an assistant treasurer to serve on their board of directors. If you can help, email cristin@teenservicessonoma.org.

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Moody’s Mega Math Challenge is a math modeling contest for high school juniors and seniors. Students gain the experience of working in teams to tackle a real-world problem under time and resource constraints akin to those faced by industrial applied mathematicians. Teams are comprised of three to five students and one teacher-coach. There are cash prizes up to $20,000. Challenge weekend starts on Saturday, Feb. 27 and ends on Sunday, Feb. 28. m3challenge.siam.org

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A lot of scholarship websites aren’t any good. They suggest scholarships for students which aren’t remotely appropriate. A new site, Scholly, aims to help reduce the $100 million in scholarships that go unclaimed every year. For each user, Scholly generates a list of 100 to 200 or more scholarships for which they are eligible, based on criteria the student provides. Users start by downloading the app or registering on the website. The site has between 10,000 and 20,000 scholarships loaded onto it. The site garnered investment support on Shark Tank. I paid the $2.99 to check it out and so far it does seem superior to all the other options out there. Scholly.com

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Contact Lorna at ourschools@sonomanews.com.