Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UCCE Master Gardeners to Conduct 2015 New Volunteer Training - Oct 23 & 30

Informational Meetings Scheduled for October 23 and October 30, 2014

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) invites adults interested in helping others learn about gardening to apply to train as a Master Gardener volunteer. UCCE Master Gardener volunteers learn University-based scientific information and then share that knowledge with the gardening community. Master Gardener volunteers are people of all ages and from all walks of life with a common desire to help others learn about gardening.

The 2015 Central Sierra training is being hosted by the UCCE Master Gardeners in both Calaveras and Amador counties. Participation is open to anyone in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado and Tuolumne counties. A background check including fingerprinting is required to train to become a Master Gardener.

Two informational overview meetings are scheduled at 3:30 pm on the following Thursdays.

• October 23 at the GSA building at 12200-B Airport Road in Jackson
• October 30 at the Calaveras County Library at 1299 Gold Hunter Road, San Andreas

Anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener should attend one of these meetings to learn about the program, the training, and the subsequent volunteer requirements.

The training classes for new volunteers begin Thursday, January 22, 2015 and continue weekly through April 30, 2015, from 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm each Thursday. Classes will be held in both Calaveras and Amador counties. These classes will include over 50 hours of intensive training by University of California personnel and horticulture specialists in various fields. Topics include water management, soils, composting, native plants, fruit production, plant diseases, entomology, Integrated Pest Management, understanding pesticides, and more.

The training fee of $185 covers the cost of all class materials, which includes several reference texts. After successfully completing the training program, certified UCCE Master Gardener volunteers agree to fulfill annual volunteer service and continuing education requirements.

For more information, visit http://ucanr.edu/mg_training or contact Robin Cleveland at 530-621-5528 or rkcleveland@ucanr.edu

The University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) prohibits discrimination or harassment of any person in any of its programs or activities. (Complete nondiscrimination policy statement can be found at http://ucanr.org/sites/anrstaff/files/107734.doc. Should you need assistance or require special accommodations for any of our educational programs, please contact us at 530-621-5502.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ACCF recognizes Students and Volunteers of Amador Learning Center's distance education program

Greetings to all. Here is a message from Karen Dickerson regarding last night's Student and Volunteer Recognition night:

Congratulations to Shannon Harmon and Sheryl Barghorn who earned their Human Services Certificate through the distance education program at the Amador Learning Center. Both were recognized at the Student and Volunteer Recognition Night last evening at the learning center.

Volunteers recognized for their outstanding service this past year included:
  • Howie Webb:  math tutor
  • Maureen Angle: mentor and tutor
  • Jacque Fletcher: mentor
  • Amanda Brashear: mentor
  • Angelica Ervin: mentor
  • Mel Jagoda: mentor
  • Gretchen Kingsbury: mentor
  • Jennifer Putnam: mentor
  • Sue Flynn: mentor

We thank them for their service
Karen Dickerson, Secretary
Amador Community College Foundation

“Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela

Friday, September 5, 2014

First 5 celebrates National Literacy Month in September

September is National Literacy Month, and First 5 Amador is pleased to continue funding for “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” a program available to all children, from birth to age 5, who reside in Amador County. Originally created by Parton in 1996, the program mails a new, age-appropriate book every month to registered children from birth until their fifth birthday – at no cost to the family, regardless of income. It's the fifth anniversary of the launch of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in Amador County. This free program has provided over 5,700 books to over 750 local children in the past year.

Reading helps children develop four basic thinking skills, including the ability to pay attention, a good memory, the ability to solve problems, and good language skills. First 5 Amador further promotes this through their current “Talk, Read, Sing” Campaign. Each year, one third of America’s children arrive at their first day of school developmentally behind their peers and without the skills necessary to succeed at their grade level, according to Jumpstart, a nationwide leader in promoting early literacy. When children begin behind their peers, catching up, especially without additional assistance, is difficult and unlikely. 

The first book that each child receives is a customized version of the children’s classic, “The Little Engine That Could.” On a monthly basis, children will then receive a developmentally appropriate book to help build their early literacy library. When signed up at birth, a child will receive their 60th free book the month that they turn 5 years old. There are currently 724 Amador County children receiving these books in the mail.

First 5 Amador provides funding for the project, but the program’s continued success and sustainability is contingent upon support from community members throughout Amador County. Please call First 5 Amador for information on making a donation, at 257-1092.

Several other First 5 Amador funded programs are helping to promote National Literacy Month, in many ways. The Toddler Playgroup, Dad & Me, and Camanche School Readiness programs are making this their focus for the month of September. In addition, First 5 Amador has launched a special contest on their Facebook page, for one family to win a set of Imagination Library wooden book-ends from First 5. To enter this contest, families simply need to post a picture of their child reading a book, or being read to by an adult, on First 5 Amador’s Facebook page. 

First 5 Amador would also like to remind everyone about the four “Little Libraries” that are located throughout the county in Camanche, Volcano, River Pines, and Buckhorn. Following a nation-wide trend, these local Little Libraries were originally created by the Amador County Library. They provide a “take a book, return a book” location where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. These Little Free Libraries are small house-shaped structures full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. For anyone interested in making their own Little Library for their neighborhood, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org 

First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for children ages 0 to 5. For more information, please visit our website at www.first5amador.com. To stay up to date on events and activities and to enter the book-end contest, visit our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/first5amador. Also visit www.Twitter.com/first5amador,or call us at 257-1092.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sutter Creek Lions Club offers Scholarships for Upper Division college students - Deadline to apply is Nov 1

California Connections Academy Ripon Expands Opportunities for Online Students

More Career Technical Education and UC A-G Approved Courses Help Set Up Students for Success
RIPON, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2014) – This fall, a growing number of students heading back to school will log into class from the comfort of their own home, including more than 450 students at California Connections Academy @ Ripon, a tuition-free online public school. The school, which serves students in grades K-12 residing in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties, has added 12 additional Career Technical Education (CTE) courses. Additionally, California students enrolled in Connections Academy have access to more than 40University of California (UC) A-G approved courses.

California Connections Academy’s CTE courses enable high school students to explore fields of study ranging from crime scene investigation to business communications. Through engaging multimedia content, personalized study guides, interactive exercises and more, students get an in-depth look at potential careers and now have a wider selection, with new courses added such as Introduction to the Paralegal Profession, Java Programming and Public Speaking. The school also offers a variety of NCAA-approved courses for college-bound student athletes.

For students in California, Connections Academy offers approximately 40 University of California (UC)-approved courses that will help students satisfy entrance requirements for public universities in the UC and the California State University (CSU) systems. New additions this year include Statistics, Latin I and higher levels of World Language for French and Spanish. For a full list of UC A-G approved courses, visit the A-G Course Lists page on the UC Doorways website and search online course provider “Connections Academy.”

“We are very excited to offer more ways for our students to explore areas they are passionate in, while giving them equal opportunities to compete successfully for college admissions,” said Amy Hunt, site administrator at California Connections Academy. “The flexibility of our online platform allows us to continually grow our offerings, while working one-on-one with students, allowing us to focus on helping each student achieve their personal best.”

Connections Academy, one of the first online schools to receive UC “program status” in 2008, is a tuition-free online public school where students receive a high-quality, personalized, public education outside the traditional classroom. Students and teachers work together to develop a personalized learning plan and adjust it as needed throughout the course of the year. California-credentialed teachers deliver Connections Academy’s high-quality and innovative curriculum through LiveLesson® sessions—live instruction conducted online—and work with students one-on-one to provide additional instruction, answer questions and offer any other support the student needs to succeed. The highly accountable online program engages a student’s parent or another adult as their Learning Coach, who works to monitor academic progress in the home.

California Connections Academy is authorized under state law by the Ripon Unified School District and is currently enrolling students for the 2014-2015 school year. Families interested in learning more can visit the school’s website.
About California Connections Academy @ Ripon

California Connections Academy @ Ripon is a tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable virtual public school serving students in grades K-12 in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties. California Connections Academy is fully accredited (grades K-12) by the Schools Commission of theWestern Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The school opened in 2012 and is authorized under state law by the Ripon Unified School District. California Connections Academy provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere with an innovative curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of state-credentialed teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives such as the Juilliard eLearning program, technology tools and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, visit the school’s website or call 800-382-6010.