Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Carmel mock trial team outdoes itself in San Francisco

Last year, in their debut participation in Empire Mock trial in San Francisco, Carmel High students took fourth place.

This year, they snatched silver.

The team, composed of Mindy Morgan, Yuan Tao, Savannah Foster, Anna Gumberg, Madeleine Fontenay, Sara Phillips, Teejan Saddy, Becca Goren, Julia Sudol, Madi Brothers, Ian Geertsen, Alex Poletti, and Sarah Morgan, was undefeated in the preliminary rounds, reports team coach Bill Schrier. After earning a spot in the final, they finished second out of 22 teams from 6 countries.

That's not all. Teejan Saddy won best witness, while Anna Gumberg won best attorney.

Congratulations, gals and guys. Maybe you'll climb in state mock trial too? ;)

Gingerbread decorating and gift giving at Washington Union School District

Order your gingerbread house kit online to be ready for the Gingebread party organized by the Parents' Club of the Washington Union School District.

The proceeds of the yearly fundraiser are used to purchase classroom supplies, host special events, and offer financial support to students who otherwise couldn't afford extra-curricular educational activities.

This year party will combine  the gingerbread decorating party with the holiday gift fair. The party will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at San Benancio Middle School, 43 San Benancio Rd., Salinas,

Families can shop for handmade gifts at the Gift Fair. Holiday music performed by student musicians will be playing and refreshments will be served. Gift prices are kid friendly and range from $1 to $20 per item, with the majority of items priced under $5. Families will have the opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus.

Sounds like a great way to kick the holidays!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Saturday will be a girl empowerment day

More than 300 girls will take part in the sixth annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference and Career Fair for young women starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at Hartnell College.

In this event coordinated by the Lyceum Monterey, girls in grades 5-10 interested in math, technology, science, and engineering will participate in hands-on workshops that will give them an opportunity to interact with professionals and work closely with their peers. They'll have a chance to learn about careers in oceanography, dentistry, and more.What a great opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of science!

And just as these girls meet at Hartnell, another 100 students will gather at Asilomar for the fifth annual summit of the Girl's Health in Girl's Hands initiative. The summit promotes girl empowerment, healthy body image, relationships, and emotional well-being through interactive girl-led activities.

Girl leaders coordinate workshops and physical activities, discuss GHGH action led research, and rally participants to get involved in shaping their futures and creating an agenda for change. Another great opportunity for girls to become empowered!

In this day and age of education changes, emphasis is growing in making sure students are aware of careers in STEM fields. Also, experts want to make sure emotional health is address to shape  resilient children. These events explore both. Maybe next year they'll be combined! ;)

Consider donating to the Dream Academy for their busing needs

Touring college campuses may be a family activity for middle class families, but for many working class students it's not that easy.

That's why the Dream Academy has been driving students to some nearby colleges and universities so they can get an idea of how attainable they are. These academy students have great dreams for their lives and they understand that to achieve most of those dreams they're going to need a college education.

 But the buses are expensive and so is the food for the students. Each trip costs about $2,500 for meals and transportation of about 90 students, and organizer Ruben Pizarro just launched an online campaign to raise money.

These year, Pizarro is hoping to bring the students to UC Berkeley, Stanford, and UC Davis. Tax deductible donations can be made through this link. 

"Exposing our students to institutions of higher education, providing them the information regarding admissions criteria, and giving them an opportunity to meet and discuss college life with other students of color is an essential step in empowering our students to attend college," Pizarro said.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Give Monterey County foster children the gift of giving

It's that time of the year when everyone exchanges gifts. For children in foster care, the ritual is complicated by the fact that they have no money, so if they want to express their affection to loved ones, they may be in a pickle.

With that in mind, Voices for Children CASA will turn a room in its office into a "shop" in December so about 150 children in foster care can come and "buy" gifts for their loved ones.

Here's where the public (you!) comes in. Voices of Children needs items donated for the children to come and shop for. They need donations of new, unwrapped gifts. They especially need items that are appropriate for teens and adults.

Some of the items they would like to receive: 
• Home decor items such as photo frames, calendars, and candles
• Men and women’s clothing accessories, such as hats, scarves, gloves, socks
• Sports items, small tool kits, fun car accessories
• Toiletry items such as cologne, nail polish, lotion, makeup kits
• Gift cards for grocery stores, local movie theaters, eateries, or department stores. Suggested minimum gift card amount is $25
• Gift wrap, ribbons, bows, and cards - they set up a wrapping station for the children to wrap the gifts themselves!  Unwrapped, unused holiday wrapping paper accepted

Please drop gift items as soon as possible and no later than Friday, December 11 at any of the following locations:

Voices for Children, 945 S. Main Street, Suite 107, Salinas
Bank of America, 405 Main Street, Salinas
Dawn’s Dream Winery, San Carlos Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea
State Farm Insurance, 439 Tyler Street, Monterey (closed 12 – 1pm
Monterey Museum of Art, 720 Via Mirada, Monterey

• You can also donate cash for the Gift of Giving Campaign. Mail your contribution to the Voices for Children office at VFC-CASA, 945 S. Main Street, Suite 107, Salinas, CA. Mark you donation “GOG, 2015”

Without your donations, most of the children have no way to acquire gifts. Participating in Gift of Giving helps teach the children how to give and provides them an opportunity to express their affection for those around them.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Student hackathon coming to CSUMB

College students! Sign up for the annual Startup Hackathon Monterey Bay, which this year will be held on the campus of Cal State Monterey Bay Nov. 20-22.

The hackathon is an intense three-day mobile app development competition where students design, develop and demonstrate innovative mobile applications using Android technology.

With help from mentors, teams of students produce a real, working prototype application for a local nonprofit or small business. The event kicks off on Nov. 20 at 4 p.m., when Monterey Bay organizations propose ideas for apps. Teams come together to choose an idea and have the rest of the weekend to build a working prototype app before presenting their work to the public on Sunday afternoon.

The competition is open to students from all colleges in the region. Students may enter as individuals and join a team during the event, or enter as already-existing teams.

The event will be held in the university’s new Business and Information Technology building, located next to the Tanimura & Antle library. Cost is $20. Food will be provided during the weekend.

Organizers are also looking for app ideas from local nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Last year, apps were created for Sun Street Centers and Save Our Shores.

For more information, to register, or to pitch an app idea, click here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Most Likely to Succeed" screening to benefit FLAMCO

Here's a documentary no educator should miss -- Most Likely to Succeed. Here's its description from the filmmakers:

For most of the last century, entry-level jobs were plentiful, and college was an affordable path to a fulfilling career. That world no longer exists. The feature-length documentary Most Likely to Succeed examines the history of education, revealing the growing shortcomings of our school model in todayʼs innovative world.

 Directed by documentarian Greg Whiteley, the film has been named “among the best edu-documentaries ever produced” by Education Week. The Huffington Post stated that Most Likely to Succeed “delivers a message Americans need to hear, and desperately.” Film Threat said, “This film should be a required course for all parents and educators.”

A special screening Wednesday will benefit Foreign Language Association of Monterey County, FLAMCO. Proceeds will go to further fund various cultural and educational programs.

When: From 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, November 4th.
Where: Maya Cinemas Salinas, 153 Main St., Theater 14. 153 Main Street Salinas, CA 93901
Cost: $10. Students are FREE with official school ID. Educators will host a panel discussion after the movie.

You can purchase your tickets here.

See you at the movies!