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A good start to the day

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Cinnabar School is brewing up some fun. Ms. Marcia started a Friday coffee cart program with her students serving Cinnabar staff. The students are enjoying interacting with staff in this way, and they are mastering business and customer service skills of taking orders, preparing the coffee, delivering and giving change, shares Superintendent/Principal Sandy Doyle. Doyle also reports the campus library has been expanded in size by 50 percent, and the students had their first peek Aug. 29 when the doors were opened for “business.” The new librarian, Alexandria Lowry, was eager to greet the students and introduce them to new sitting nooks, interesting books and themes from many stories that decorated the room. Additional shelving will house more books for middle school students to access as well as updated books for all grade levels. Some of the comments that came from the students according to Lowry were, “This looks amazing,” “I LOVE the extra space,” I just want to read every book now,” “The sitting areas are super cool and cozy.”

Touch A Truck is coming back to River Montessori Charter School. For the fourth year in a row, the community event organized by the school invites local businesses and organizations to park their large-scale vehicles in the school lot for children of all ages to explore up close. The event takes place Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 3880 Cypress Drive. The program also includes a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a nonprofit that supports cancer research, especially for pediatric cancers. The goal this year for RMCS is to earn $10,000 to help fund research, treatment, and a cure for childhood cancer. Alex’s Lemonade Stand donation page is at https://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1513104. In other news from River Montessori, the upper elementary students Service Project Launch Day was a big success. Last week, students focused their service effort on the environmental care of their neighborhood. This included a walk around Schollenberger Park and along Adobe Creek Trail looking for and picking up litter, and was a great opportunity for nature learning.

Back to School Night for Harvest Christian School took place on Aug. 30. Both new and familiar faces were in the crowd. Principal Wraith and his wife, Thea Wraith, also part-time art teacher for the school, took a seat in the third-grade classroom (the Wraith family also has children in TK and kindergarten) where their son sits, and seated next to them was Mr. Villa, vice principal for the elementary grades at Harvest, in his son’s regular seat. All the parents enjoyed hearing from teachers and learning about plans for the coming year. All are looking forward to a wonderful year for the Harvest Lions and their families.

St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School has launched a world language program. Daily Spanish classes are now part of the core curriculum. Students look forward to interactive classes that focus on vocabulary development and pronunciation, according to SVES marketing contact Danielle Rynning. New elective offerings at both the elementary school and St. Vincent High School are also part of the program at the schools.

Petaluma High School student Samantha Gambonini, who exhibited her dairy cow, Gamlake Destry Sallie, won Grand Champion of the Junior Show, Best Bred & Owned of the Junior Show, and Reserve Grand Champion of the Open Show at the Western Fall National Dairy Show last weekend in Oregon. Gambonini is a sophomore at Petaluma High School, member of the school’s FFA program, and is a part of the Petaluma FFA’s officer team. This event was not part of the student program, but did bring attention to Petaluma in the winner’s circle promoting its longstanding agricultural heritage.

The John Jordon Foundation has announced The Teacher’s Wishes grant application 2018 is now open through the month of September. Awards will be announced in late October. All Sonoma County teachers, including Petaluma-area teachers, counselors or administrators that have a class, school program or innovative idea are welcome to apply according to the website. For more information, visit https://www.johnjordanfoundation.org.

Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF) Impact Grant applications are due no later than Oct. 1. Grant awards can be up to $15,000 each for innovative and engaging curriculum supporting student learning across academic focus areas. Contact PEF Program Director Katy Verke at 778-5063 for more information.

(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and executive director for the Petaluma Educational Foundation. She can be reached at schools@argus-courier.com)