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THE CHALKBOARD: Super surprise for Kenilworth’s Bradley

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Kenilworth Junior High principal Bennett Holley joined teacher Isaac Raya and Kolt students in the school’s Digital Media class earlier this week to announce Laura Bradley’s selection as this year’s Excellence in Education honoree presented by the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and the Petaluma Argus Courier. The surprise announcement took place during a taping of the daily student-run KTV broadcast. Bradley and her fellow Community Awards of Excellence honorees will be presented with their awards on April 7, at the Sheraton Petaluma. Bradley was selected for this year’s honor for her many contributions as a teacher in our community who has never stopped learning new ways to engage and inspire her students to be the best they can be.  Congratulations, Laura Bradley!

What an honor for Lincoln School and students. Principal Sandy Doyle shares the school has been selected to receive a Civic Learning Award of Merit.  “The selection committee was very impressed with the school’s commitment to providing the students with a high-quality civic education,” according to the notification from Cynthia Miranda, Public Affairs, Judicial Council of California located in San Francisco. As earlier reported, Lincoln students hosted their annual holiday performance at the Petaluma Elk’s Club where they presented gifts and honored local veterans as part of the program.

Cinnabar School is celebrating World Book Day. Denise Ward is the school’s art instructor. She works with teachers integrating arts through the core curriculum as well as teaching art while reinforcing core programs. The event has art classes making book marks to tie the arts together. Students in transitional kindergarten through second grade will be creating a 6-card packet of Huicol Art bookmarks. Each card will contain an alphabet letter, an animal or insect, with that letter in the Huicol and Spanish name.  The youngsters will color and trade these with classmates. Third through fifth graders will create brass or copper bookmarks,designed with hammer textures and stamping. Students will celebrate all week long, creating these special day markers. “Since reading is my first love, what a better way to create love for books than having a special marker for all the books of children,” says Ward. This is the 19th year there has been a World Book Day. The international event takes place today (March 3).

Harvest Christian School third graders went to Bodega Marine Lab in Bodega Bay several weeks ago. Teachers Mrs. Gomez and Mrs. Slight wanted students to get a more hands-on experience, and learn about tide-pool creatures up close. Each student studied one creature or plant from a tide-pool so they would be more knowledgeable and have more of a connection to what they were studying, shared the teachers. The lab is situated on more than 362 acres of land used exclusively for research through UC Davis.  “Bodega Marine Lab provided an abundance of information as well as the opportunity for hands-on learning.  After visiting the Lab, we went to Campbell Cove to have lunch and have some time enjoying the sand and the shells, and the kids were excited to share their understanding of all the sea life they were discovering on the beach,” said Gomez.. The field trip brought the science lesson to life, possibly inspiring the Harvest students to become the next generation of marine biologists.  In other news, Harvest sixth graders are gearing up for their Science Camp this week.

McKinley students in Ms. Jaton’s Awesome Artists class learned about Roy Fox Lichtenstein, a 1960’s American pop artist. They were able to emulate his style while still showing their own creativity. Also getting creative are the students in fourth grade who had an amazing art docent lesson about Wangari Maathai’s watercolor treescapes.

The Synopsys-Sonoma County Science Fair takes place on March 4, and will showcase the work of students throughout Sonoma County, including some from Petaluma High, Valley Oaks and Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley. The annual competition recognizes the achievements of middle and high school students, who are challenged to go beyond their classroom studies to complete independent research-based science projects, as stated in the Sonoma County Office of Education information on the event. This year’s event will be the largest in the county’s history, drawing more than 175 grade 6 through 12 students from 21 public and private schools. The event will be held at Rohnert Park Community Center. The Synopsys Outreach Foundation is underwriting the science fair, which is coordinated by SCOE.

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

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