Students celebrate a year of summer reading (with the help of a dog named Winn Dixie): For the students of Mary Collins at Cherry Valley Charter School, the last few months will be remembered as the Summer of Winn Dixie. That’s the book — the modern dog-and-kid classic, “Because of Winn Dixie,” by novelist Kate DiCamillo — the kids have spent the summer reading. This Friday, they will be celebrating, and sharing favorite moments from the book, at a special event organized, in part, by school librarian April Derby.

“We are hosting a ‘Because of Winn Dixie’ party and barbecue,” Derby wrote in to The Buzz, “complete with live characters from the book making guest appearances — and even the dog Winn Dixie.” In the evening, the school will be screening the 2005 movie adaptation of the book. “This is such a neat event for so many reasons,” Derby said. “Especially because the books were purchased with grant monies received from The Rotary Club of Petaluma Foundation, and Friends of the Cherry Valley Library.” According to Derby, those 200 copies of “Winn Dixie” will now be passed along to three other schools in the district, for the reading pleasure of other students throughout the 2017-2018 school year. Added Derby, “It’s a win-win for so many children in Petaluma!”

Jana McClelland to be honored by Harvest Fair as Outstanding Young Farmer of 2017: From the age of 5, when Petaluma native Jana McClelland was given her first calf (named Essey), she has known she wanted to be a farmer. To stockpile money for college, she raised bull calves, and eventually obtained a BA in Agriculture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Since graduation, she’s been running the family dairy farm alongside her parents as a full partner in the business. Having transitioned to organic farming in the 2000s, the farm — with McClelland’s enthusiasm — now observes sustainable farming practices. Eventually, McClelland hopes to create a non-profit organizations dedicated to the education of farmers and the public around issues of organic and sustainable agriculture. Because of her commitment to local farming, this year’s Harvest Fair (running Oct. 6-8 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa) will be honoring McClelland as its 2017 Outstanding Young Farmer. A special dinner and celebration will take place on Oct. 1, at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, in Santa Rosa. A limited number of tickets remain available for those wanting to celebrate with McClelland. Info: or (707) 545-4200.

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