Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dual Language Academy of the Monterey Peninsula rocks on Hispanic Heritage

I decided to pay a visit to the brand new Dual Language Academy of the Monterey Peninsula -- the best decision ever taken by Monterey Peninsula Unified trustees.

Parents of the dual immersion program at Marshall West had been lobbying for more autonomy and to strengthen the program.  They were even thinking about becoming their own charter, and they sought inspiration from folks at the Bay View Academy charter.

In the end, they didn't have to spin off from the district. Administrators saw the wisdom to keep the parents in the district, so now the school remains at MPUSD and could perhaps serve a model for parental participation and enthusiasm.

Their Hispanic Heritage celebration was amazing. Children danced and sang, parents packed the multi-purpose room, and there was a great atmosphere all around. There's a lot of good energy in the school that I hope it's contagious and doesn't wane.

Here's a couple of performances, in case you missed them.

King City teacher, PG graduate, wants your help to raise $100K

Michael Jones, a 1st grade teacher at the King City Union School District, wants you to vote for his project so the district can get $100,000 from the "Thank a Million Teachers."

Jones, a graduate of PG high, MPC and CSUMB, wants the money to fund digital art classes throughout King City elementary schools.

"Our rural district is competing against two projects from highly populated areas in Nevada and Arizona. The best chance we have is finding advocates that will help us spread the word throughout California and finding believers in Arts in education," he wrote me in an email.

"My proposal is for digital arts centered after-school sessions as well as a summer session. It will benefit all of the elementary schools in my district. I am hopeful that the initial materials outlay will create sustainability for this project. We will work on mixed media projects, integrating traditional art techniques with digital photography and other digital input technologies. We will have community art shows to involve our community and show what amazing things can happen when arts are supported."

The winner will be decided by internet votes, so Jones needs people to vote early and often for his project.

The voting starts October 1 and endd on November 30. You can vote here.

 Good luck, Mr. Jones!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Madison Stander, a Monterey eleventh grader who's being home schooled through the Ocean Grove Charter School, has been nominated to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D.C., November 14-16, 2014.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. The purpose of this event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan, and resources to help them reach their goal.

“The Congress is a once in a life time chance to explore what I want to do in life,” Madison said. “I am really looking forward to representing not only the Monterey Peninsula, but also the State of California in Washington, D.C."

Madison was nominated to represent California's Ocean Grove Charter, based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

Madison intends to pursue a bachelor's degree in biology then go on to pursue a degree in medicine, to ultimately become an orthopedic surgeon.

During the three-day Congress, Madison will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science Winners talk about leading medical research; be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school; and a lot of other really cool activities having to do with the medical field.

Madison began participating in the Junior Auxiliary Program at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) this July and is already halfway towards accruing one-hundred hours of service that will make her eligible to volunteer in the emergency room.

Madison's definitely going place. We can't wait to see how far she gets!