Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Claws for a Cause returns to benefit Juvenile Diabetes research

Mom-with-a-cause Stephanie Morgan is busy organizing the 5th annual "Claws for a Cause," a fundraiser to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

I wrote about Stephanie two years ago as her son Landon was getting ready to go to school. Landon, now 11, was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes when he was 5, and he needs to have his blood sugar monitored constantly so he can take the insulin his body needs to break down food.

Through her fundraiser, which consists of a lobster dinner and a silent auction, Morgan has raised over $100,000 for Type 1 Diabetes research.

"Last years fundraising efforts was a record breaking $26,000 donated to JDRF," Morgan said in an email. "This year we have more support from JDRF, and Medtronic which is one of the insulin pump manufacturing companies that has been at Claws for the last 2 years."

The lobster dinner fundraiser  takes place  Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Amaral Barn, 23616 Parker Rd, Salinas.  Adults $90; children $50. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page here or contact Stephanie Morgan at (831)601-5721

Landon Morgan checking his insulin as his mother Stephanie watches in Aug. 2014 at his home in Salinas, Calif.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

MPUSD celebrates energy savings

Energy measures implemented at the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District have earned them more than $2.2 million in savings, a milestone trustees celebrated at a recent board meeting.

The cost savings were achieved during the last 37 months, since hiring national energy conservation company Cenergistic, a MPUSD spokesperson said.

Trustees approved a four-year, $892,800 contract with Cenergistic in Nov. 2012. The company, then known as Energy Education Inc., has been implementing cost-saving measures based on analyzing energy consumption habits and changing behaviors. The contract does not include the salary of the district's in-house energy specialist, which is also paid from the energy savings.

As part of the program, MPUSD’s Energy Specialist David Chandler tracks energy consumption — including electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and fuel oil — using energy-accounting software. He compares current energy use to a baseline period and calculates the amount of energy that would have been used had conservation and management practices not been implemented. By tracking consumption and analyzing energy use, he can quickly identify and correct areas that need immediate attention.

Stockton teachers coming to Monterey to share tips on Common Core

Stockton teachers Liz and Bill James will be signing copies of their new book, Method to the Madness: A Common Core Guide to Creating Critical Thinkers through the Study of Literature, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 27 at Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler St., Monterey.

The book was published in April by Rowman and Littlefield and is designed to help teachers develop rigorous curriculum that meets the needs of the Common Core standards, something that many teachers haven't had practice doing in the scripted, test-prep-focused NCLB-era.

The book is being described as being "ideal for the thousands of teachers who entered the profession in the last ten years and taught prescribed curriculum geared toward end of year bubble testing. Its intent is to empower districts and their teachers to create their own (free!) curriculum that will exceed the expectations of Common Core assessments, as well as create life-long learners that are college and career ready. By employing inquiry based units of study that insist on the use of iconic literature at the center, students will be more prepared for what awaits them with Common Core exams.

For more information about the event, click here.