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
A free virtual Girls in Robotics Leadership Camp is being offered to middle school girls starting Monday.
The camp is being put on by the Solano County Office of Education in partnership with the Vacaville School District and the University of California, Davis, Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math division.
It runs through Friday.
Source: Virtual girls robotics camp starts Monday in Solano
By Kelly Pidgeon James
A new kids art contest begins on May 25th for all kids 17 and under living in Solano County. Each contestant can submit one drawing or painting depicting how their city is standing up against Covid-19. The entries will be sorted into online galleries for each of Solano’s seven cities as well as a gallery for kids living in unincorporated Solano. At the end of the contest, the mayors of each of the seven cities will select the winning entry from their city’s gallery to represent the city on a poster which will be hung in various public buildings throughout Solano County.
Source: Good News: FS Kids Art Online Gallery is excited to announce a new online art contest for all Solano County kids!
With the pandemic limiting high school graduations to very little pomp under a bad circumstance, getting “adopted” by a stranger puts a boost into the joy barometer, one American Canyon High School graduate confirmed.
Oh sure, Kaylee Davis was admittedly “kind of embarrassed,” stepping from her Vallejo home to see a Kona Ice truck and congratulatory cupcakes, not mention various food, beverages and bathroom essentials that previously arrived.
Still, “it’s kind of nice,” the 17-year-old said. “It is weird to have this much attention.”
Source: Facebook groups help high school seniors get ‘adopted’ [Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif.]
By Bill Hicks
Part of the reason “high school” movies succeed is because the students are easily relatable, no matter when the story is set – today, the 1980s or the ’50s.
There are the students into sports, the students into academics, the students involved in band, and the students not really into it at all – no matter the era, school experiences have generally been unchanged for decades.
Except for this year.
Source: Weirdest . . . school year . . . ever
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Dae Spering made a joke on Facebook recently about putting a photo of her son Wiley Lloyd, who is graduating from Vacaville Christian High School, on the Downtown Theatre marquee.
After all, the Class of 2020 has missed out on many rituals in their last year of high school. Some will even graduate with their class – virtually – rather than have family and friends cheer when the graduate’s name is called.
Source: High school, college graduates can see their names, faces in lights
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
The future of Spam and Sparkles looked uncertain Friday.The same for Rusty the steer.
Spam and Sparkles are two pigs who were raised to be auctioned at the Dixon May Fair. The fair has been canceled for 2020 due to the novel coronavirus and related stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements.
Efforts to keep the livestock auction fell into place Saturday night. Chico-based Bidcal.com will bring the auction online.
Source: Dixon May Fair junior livestock auction finds home online for 2020
By Thomas Gase
There was no hoarding or long lines. And no, there wasn’t any toilet paper, sanitary supplies or soap.
However, there was a ton of food and it was free thanks to the Vallejo City Unified School District, which, along with shelf stable provisions donated by the Food Bank, is providing for families in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meals and provisions will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis for breakfast and lunch in a “grab-and-go” routine from 8 to 9 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to noon for lunch.
Source: In a crisis, Vallejo schools providing free meals – Times-Herald
By Todd R. Hansen
The 18th annual Youth Ag Day has been postponed due to concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Solano County Fair Association announced Wednesday the event scheduled for Tuesday will not occur.
“It is hoped that this is merely a postponement of the event, and not an outright cancellation,” a statement released by the association states.
“This decision to postpone was informed by evolving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local public health agencies. The SCFA has been following CDC warning level guidelines, but the rapidly changing situation has made it difficult to predict future conditions,” the statement said.
Source: Solano fair association postpones Youth Ag Day due to Covid-19
By Richard Bammer
The December holidays are a special time of year for billions of people worldwide, but Silveyville Christmas Tree Farm in Dixon became an especially magical yuletide universe of its own Friday morning for more than 100 Solano County special-needs children.
In its 28th year, the annual Special Needs Day at the Silveyville Road farm serves to brighten the holidays for these children. Most come from Solano public schools, from Vacaville and Dixon to Fairfield and Vallejo school districts, plus some from programs managed by the Solano County Office of Education in Fairfield.
By 10 a.m., teachers and parents herding excitable groups of children, 130 in all during the two-hour event and ranging in age from 3 to 18, walked happily through the farm’s gates, oblivious to the light rain falling, temperatures in the mid-50s and gloomy skies.
Source: A special two hours for special-needs kids in Solano County – Times-Herald
By Arletta Kelley Cortright
The Fairfield – Nirasaki Sister City Program invites all interested high school students and their parents to attend an information meeting on Wednesday, December 11th, at 6 PM in the Fairfield Adult Recreation Center. Students can learn about participating in the 2020 summer exchange visit to Fairfield’s Sister City, Nirasaki, Japan. During the three-week stay, students live with host families and travel to Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and many local historic and cultural sites in the Nirasaki area. This exciting opportunity is open to all high school students who reside in Fairfield or attend a Fairfield high school. Applications for the exchange group will be available at the meeting. In addition, the regular monthly Sister City Committee meeting will follow the information meeting at 7 PM, and students are welcome to stay for that meeting as well. The Adult Recreation Center is located at 1200 Civic Center Drive, Fairfield. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Press Release: High School Students Can Apply to Visit Japan
By Bill Hicks
Schoolchildren from across Fairfield and Suisun were running throughout Laurel Creek Park, Wednesday, which is exactly what the namesake of the annual Doug Butt Run would have wanted.
In a 2009 Daily Republic article about the former Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District physical education teacher’s death, Butt was described as a “titan on the fitness scene in Fairfield.”
But it was this run, the former FSUSD elementary cross country meet, which now bears Doug Butt’s name that his two passions are combined – his love of fitness and his desire to share that love with the schoolchildren he taught for so many years.
Source: Youth runners push themselves in annual Doug Butt Run