THE CHALKBOARD: Mary Collins students Serve pasta for Shakespeare

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Eighth-graders at Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley served guests at a recent school-sponsored pasta feed fundraiser. The event took place on Nov. 8 with proceeds going to help fund a week-long trip to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore. Also included in the evening were giveaways from local businesses to help increase the total amount raised. Last week, MCCV students enjoyed a campus visit from firefighters from Petaluma Fire Department, Station One, Shift A. The school’s second- and third-grade students are learning all about fire safety during Fire Safety Month, and were excited for the annual visit from these local heros. Officers from the Petaluma Police Department also stopped by the campus, visiting the kindergarten/first-grade classes as part of a community outreach program. Officers came to read with the students and answered many questions from the young citizens.

Exciting news from Kenilworth Junior High School. Hazel Prasetya, a former Design Lab student of KJHS teacher Laura Bradley, and her brother, Andrew Prasetya, a current eighth-grade Design Lab student of Bradley’s, just won the Congressional App Challenge for California’s 2nd Congressional District. These two students will be going to Washington, D.C. in the Spring for a two-day #HouseOfCode celebration of computer science with members of Congress and other guest speakers. You can view a video of them explaining their app for a graphing calculator at Congratulations, Hazel and Andrew!

Cinnabar Charter School staff came together during a recent staff meeting to paint bowls for Petaluma People Services as part of a fundraiser to feed those in hunger in our community. The 1,000 Bowls fundraiser helps support the local Meals on Wheels program serving meals to those less fortunate 365 days a year. Once glazed, the bowls will be auctioned to benefit this program. Back in October, Cinnabar students joined members of the Elks 901-Petaluma Lodge, honoring more than 150 veterans. The middle school students volunteered community hours to help with the event. “The experience for the students was humbling as they welcomed, served, and cleaned up for the event. A 96-year old WWII veteran said that it was such a pleasure having these young students present at the event, and that he was very impressed. I believe Cinnabar students were equally impressed to serve the veterans,” shares superintendent/principal, Sandy Doyle. Doyle extended a huge thank you to the Elks Lodge for allowing its middle school students to participate and serve those who have served our country.

With the recent fires, many of our local schools were closed late last week due to poor air quality. This week we continued to see campus sharing time-sensitive information with their school families. Please be sure you have the most accurate information on your school’s communication channels for updating parents and students on important school news so you are informed about changes to schedules, etc.

(Maureen Highland is a Petaluma mother and executive director for the Petaluma Educational Foundation. She can be reached at

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