By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Eric Land’s inner child takes over as Halloween draws near.
He’s created Fearfilled Prep this year inside the Sullivan Interagency Youth Services gym.
“There’s a lot of space here,” said Land, who heads up sKreamZ Haunted Attractions. “This is probably one of the biggest.”
Land and the Fairfield Police Activities League began working together on haunted offerings in 2010, setting up frights in a variety of locations including the PAL’s former center next to Grocery Outlet, a one-time quilt shop in downtown Fairfield and a long-abandoned restaurant at the Solano Town Center mall.
Source: PAL joins ‘sKreamZ’ to transform Fairfield school gym into Fearfilled Prep
The Vacaville Youth Roundtable will host a Teen Summit from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25 titled “Mental Health is Mental Wealth.”
All Solano County middle and high school students are welcome to attend. The summit will feature youth- and adult-led workshops discussing the importance of mental wellness during the pandemic.
Prizes and interactive activities will be available, such as a yoga session and a dance performance by Bliss.
Source: Vaca Youth Roundtable Teen Summit open to Solano middle, high school students
Travis Credit Union recently awarded 20 local high school students the Mary Keith Duff Memorial Scholarship, one of the annual scholarships TCU awards to assist its young members with the increasing cost of higher education.
All of the winning students received a ‘Gala in a Box,’ which included the scholarship award announcement of $2,000 to help with college expenses, as well as a $200 gift card. TCU board members as well as executive leadership members coordinated live Zoom calls with the families to join with them virtually in opening the ‘special delivery’ box to celebrate their achievement.
For 17 years, TCU has been awarding 20 local, college-bound seniors with a $2,000 Mary Keith Duff Memorial Scholarship. To qualify, students must be high school seniors, have a GPA of at least 3.0, and submit a 500-word personal statement essay on their plans for the future.
Source: Travis Credit Union awards scholarships to 20 local high school students – The Reporter
Solano County Office of Education is accepting applications for new Solano Youth Coalition (SYC) student members.
SYC engages students in open conversations and collaboration among a new generation of youth advocates and is open to youth residing in Solano County, ages 14-21 years old, who are attending school full time. The mission of SYC is to raise awareness and advocate for safe and healthy choices in Solano communities.
The student-based coalition educates peers and community members on issues surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs preventions, mental health awareness, violence prevention, social justice and racial equity. The coalition strives to build positive and healthy youth-adult partnerships as well as engage youth in being active leaders.
Source: Solano County Office of Education seeking new Solano Youth Coalition members – Times-Herald
By Anna Eaton
Amid a backdrop encouraging youth to “Make the Promise to Graduate” at the Trower Center, youth at the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club were honored Wednesday at the club’s annual Academic Celebration.
Members from the Padan Club, Markham Club, Trower Club and the Teen Center came together under the pavilion for a socially-distanced recognition. Club staff recognized youth who excelled in Health & Fitness, Character & Leadership and Academic Success. A majority of the kids received an award for making the 3.0 (gpa) Club and proud parents were on hand to snap photos.
Source: Vacaville youth honored by Boys & Girls Club – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Like most of us, Vacaville area educators, students and families recall the week in March 2020 when their world began to change. A year and some days since, many long for the “before times.”
However, across Solano County and the nation, online education has taken root. As classroom instruction is about to resume in a hybrid model for what’s left of the academic year, local educators hold out hope that students will welcome the change.
In emailed responses to a series of Reporter questions, Ed Santopadre, associate superintendent for Vacaville Unified, noted ways student learning and achievement has been affected by the pandemic and remote learning.
Source: Coronavirus: Solano public schools unlikely to return to the ‘before times’ – The Reporter
By Todd R. Hansen
The Vanden High School Academic Decathlon team took second to Campolindo High School of Contra Costa County in the 2021 Bay Regional Academic Decathlon.
Davis Senior High School was third.
The Vanden High team members are seniors Diana Egan, Faith Miller, Lucas Morales, Annika Serrano, Alex Melendres and Jelly Caraballo; juniors Nina Schmidt and Nihal Grewal; and sophomore Sydney Haas.
The Solano County Office of Education hosted the decathlon, which attracted 240 students from 15 high schools in Solano, Alameda, Contra Costa, Imperial, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Yolo counties.
Source: Vanden 2nd at regional Academic Decathlon; will represent Solano at state event
Seventeen Solano students were recognized Saturday during a virtual Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the Chinese American Association of Solano County and awarded scholarships to aid them in their academic journeys.
“The strength of our communities and the future is directly dependent upon theeducation of our youth,”said C.C. Yin, founder and chairman of CAASC, in a press statement.
During the last 24 years, due to generous corporate sponsorships and community support, 306 students have been granted CAASC scholarships totaling in excess of $220,500, organizers said.
Source: 17 Solano students awarded college scholarships – The Reporter
Mariah Levy, a senior at Vanden High School, and Shelbri Gates, a senior at Mare Island Technology Academy, have received the first-ever Travis Credit Union Foundation scholarship.
The $500 awards were “developed to motivate and support college-aged youth from underserved communities to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities,” according to a statement released by the credit union.
The scholarships were announced during the annual Life after High School event, hosted in partnership with the Solano County Office of Education.
Source: Solano students receive Travis Credit scholarships
By Thomas Gase
When it comes to COVID-19 in Solano County, it’s like officials have heard three voices, just like in the 1989 film, “Field of Dreams.”
The first two voices say, “If you build it, they will come” and “Ease his pain.” Solano has hosted five vaccination clinics in the last two weeks at either the Solano County Fairgrounds or Benicia gym and giving out approximately 9,000 shots to people aged 75-and older or in the first tier of Phase 1, you could say the county has received that message and gotten work done.
It’s that “go the distance” message that seems to be confusing people. While many people want to return to in-person instruction with schools, distance learning seems to be the pick for the foreseeable future.
Source: When will schools go back to in-person instruction in Solano County? – Times-Herald
By Matt Sieger
Vacaville’s Imagine That! in Alamo Plaza was created to offer a place where kids of all ages can come play, learn and explore all the possibilities. But what happens to a creative program when a pandemic strikes?
Well, the creative people in charge imagined a way to adapt to the crisis.
Imagine That! came up with a unique School Support and Enrichment program which fuses its existing program with support for students’ schooling.
“It started with a throwaway line,” recalls Director of Operations Alex Christensen. “We were talking about doing afterschool programs, and (someone said), ‘Hey, instead of after school what if we just did school for them?’ The director at the time, her ears perked up and she took it to the board. Lauren (Runow, Board president) jumped on it and started talking with the Vacaville Unified (School District).”
Source: Imagine That! is doing school – The Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
They are angels with bags of food for area elementary students who may be food-insecure during weekends when local schools are not offering or distributing free lunches and breakfasts.
As co-director of the Vacaville chapter of End 68 Hours of Hunger — a reference to the weekend time period that gives the group its name — Tinamarie DeStefano of Vacaville said the mission is to give away food to eat, Friday night to Sunday night, to young students in four Solano County school districts, making a difference at more than a dozen schools in all.
The food — nonperishable pantry foods, peanut butter and jelly, granola bars, fruit cups and the like — helps the students, many of whom are from poor families or at-risk, “to focus,” improve test scores, and lessen behavioral problems, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, DeStefano said.
Source: Angels with food bags for area school kids – The Reporter
Travis Credit Union invites young adults to attend ‘Finance U,’ an interactive virtual event Thursday that’s designed to teach youth about financial aid opportunities for postsecondary education, choosing a school and preparing for campus life and admissions.
The program will include special guests and giveaways to engage youth interested in higher education after high school. All youth (ages 13 to 21) registered for the event will be entered in a drawing to win a new Chromebook. Attendees can register at traviscu.org/finance-u.
Travis Credit Union has come together with community partners since 2006 to increase student awareness of available state and federal opportunities for financial aid. These events exemplify the credit union’s mission to provide financial wellness in the community reflecting the credit union’s “Awesome Cause” of providing financial education, financial literacy and financial advocacy to all it serves, according to a press release from the credit union.
Source: Travis Credit Union hosts ‘Finance U’ event to promote financial aid
By Richard Bammer
As it has since the founding of our nation in the late 18th century, the Electoral College is the formal body which elects the president and vice president of the United States.
And for nearly as many years, some federal legislators have called for its abolition with a constitutional amendment and advocated for direct election of the president by registered eligible voters.
Yet, as established in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Electoral College remains legally in place and will determine the outcome of the 2020 election.
Source: A call for Constitution Essay Contest entries – The Reporter
By Richardo Cano
Kristie Summerrill immediately began texting her kindergartners’ parents to check if they were safe as the CZU Lightning Complex fires forced mass evacuations in Bonny Doon, the rural community northwest of Santa Cruz where the elementary school had just recently begun online instruction.
Many of her kindergartners’ families, some who’d lost their homes to wildfire, were sheltering at the Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, a mom told Summerrill. So the teacher and her husband drove their van to the hotel armed with seven bags filled with snacks, water, food, games and supplies, unsure if it would even be of any help or comfort to families without homes.
Source: Wildfires set school plans ablaze for more than 70k students | CalMatters
In the face of shelter in place restrictions, local artist and instructor Diane Williams had to learn newways to teach. In addition to quickly learning a variety oftechnology platforms, this week Williams launched her ownYouTube Channel, I AN I Studio channel connection.
In addition to painting full time, Williams and her husband, artist Chuck Potter, have taught local workshops in their studio in Benicia’s Arsenal. That is, until Covid stopped their classes entirely. Oddly, the pandemic pointed their teaching in a new direction – to online workshops and YouTube videos.
Source: Local artist brings students together with YouTube channel
By Todd R. Hansen
The little boy held out the ice cream to Sophia Anderson and said, “para ti.”
It means “for you.”
But the ice cream was for the boy and many others like him who live in the worst kind of poverty. Sophia and her brother, Luke Anderson, along with their family had bought the ice cream for the children in the village that has come to be known as Calle de la Esperanza.
Source: Green Valley brother, sister start nonprofit after coming face-to-face with poverty
By Maggie Fusek
As California Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out back-to-school guidelines for K-12 students across the state Friday, saying that students in counties on the state’s coronavirus monitoring list must start the school year online, the Solano County Office of Education confirmed all K-12 students in Solano County will start the school year with distance learning.
“Previously, some Solano County school districts and charter schools made plans to reopen school campuses with varying models of social distancing, modified schedules, and distance learning options for students,” SCOE Spokeswoman Jennifer Leonard said Friday in a news release.
Source: Solano County Students To Start New School Year Online | Benicia, CA Patch
By Nick Sestanovich
Going to space has been on a lot of people’s minds recently, likely due to the SpaceX launch.
Not everyone is willing to undergo the extensive training to be sent into orbit, though, so the next best thing? Looking to Vacaville’s center of imagination: Imagine That!
The interactive science and art center is in the midst of its Space Adventure Camp, where youngsters have been putting their creative skills to use by creating spaceships, planets and alien blasters, all while learning lessons about the Milky Way and the planets therein.
Source: Youth create rockets, planets at Space Adventure Camp in Vacaville – The Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
Solano County Office of Education is accepting applications for members to serve on its Solano Youth Commission, an organization aimed at raising community awareness of social and health issues facing teens.
In past years, SYC members have focused their efforts around issues related to alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention as well as mental health awareness, violence elimination and healthy relationships. This year, the focus will be something very topical: addressing racism and unconscious bias.
In the past week, the issue of race has been on the forefront of many people’s minds. The deaths of individuals like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers have prompted widespread protests in all 50 states calling for widespread changes in the criminal justice system, and Vacaville High School publicly condemned videos that surfaced this week of students using racial slurs.
Source: Solano Youth Coalition seeking members to address race, equity in coming school year – The Reporter