VV students learn by giving
Mr. Granger’s class at Valley Vista Elementary donated close to 500 items to the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). These generous students are making an impact in the community they live in. Kudos, Valley Vista Vikings on leading by example.
McKinley Elementary School’s Mustangs have a lot to cheer about. Last week, they hosted a very successful Bike Rodeo on campus. Students learned about bike safety, helped each other learn the “Rules of the Road” and also had their bike and safety equipment checked to be sure they had everything they needed to be educated bikers when out and about traveling on the road. These amazing Mustangs also participated in the Sonoma County Office of Education’s Robotics Challenge, taking first place in the competition.
On Saturday at the SCOE Robotics Challenge, the McKinley teams joined students from Kenilworth Junior High, La Tercera Elementary, McNear Elementary, Corona Creek Elementary, Meadow Elementary and Wilson Elementary plus several other county elementary and middle school students at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa. A total of 32 fourth- through eighth-grade student teams competed in eight events that require skill in robot design and programming. Students prepare for the event between February and April, during which time they design, build, and program robots using Lego Mindstorm robotics kits and programming software. “Project work promotes skills needed for success in the modern world, including problem-solving, innovation, team collaboration and communication,” according to Rick Phelan, event director. This year, the day featured more than 400 student participants. SCOE partnered with local schools and the Sonoma County Economic Development Board to create this program, which is now in its 17th year. The goal of the partnership is to engage elementary and middle school students in applying mathematics, science, engineering, critical thinking, teamwork and oral presentation skills through robotics activities.
The Rotary Club of Petaluma Valley has been involved in a project at Loma Vista Immersion Academy since the school’s opening several years ago. At the end of each grading period, two students from each classroom are selected by their teachers for outstanding effort and achievement; they then join 30 other “Champions” for a pancake breakfast provided and served by the local Rotarians. During the Breakfast of Champions, each student introduces themselves and shares something they appreciate about school. Principal Jorge Arvizu congratulates each of the students for exemplary efforts in using their “Toolbox” which helps students positively relate to one another. Two students in the school are selected by the staff to receive “Service Above Self” awards, reflecting the credo of Rotary International. These students are recognized for their exceptional service to their school and classmates with award certificates presented by Petaluma Valley Rotary. Following the breakfast, Rotarians visit each of the classrooms and distribute new books purchased from our local Copperfield’s Bookstore. Each book is carefully selected by Petaluma Valley Rotarian Paulie Johns. Literacy is a hallmark of Rotary International and encouraging reading is a focus of the Petaluma Valley Rotary Club. This is not the only program where this club and the school partnered to support their community. Two years ago, Petaluma Valley Rotarians built an outdoor reading area in the school’s quad so the students could have a place to read when the weather was nice. It was a remodel of the original quad area of the Bernard Eledridge campus before re-opening as Loma Vista Immersion Academy several years ago. The new quad now hosts a variety of community-building events such as music performances, Día de los Muertos celebrations and more.