Saturday, April 29, 2017

Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts

Every Wednesday is “Walk and Roll to School Day,” at the Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts in Sonoma County, Calif. I’ve accepted an offer of employment there, and look forward to starting work in May.

I’m intrigued, of course, by the emphasis on the arts at this charter school, having devoted much professional effort toward advocating for the arts.

The school’s mission, according to a statement of support by the School for the Arts Community Organization, is:

“To provide K-8 students from the Santa Rosa community and beyond with an innovative, high quality education that focuses on the arts through a challenging, integrated, standards-based academic program. The ultimate goal of the school is to give students a lifetime appreciation of learning through the lens of the visual and performing arts and to assist in the development of committed, confident individuals who are willing to make positive contributions to the community at large.”

But the emphasis on people-powered transportation resonates strongly with me too. An international Walk and Roll to School Day event occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 5, coordinated by Safe Routes to School Staff, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.

I’m grateful too that the charter school participates in the “Safe School Ambassadors” program. I was bullied in childhood and one of the worst aspects of the bullying was a feeling that I had no friends.

I regularly speak out about the importance of uniting to support the targets of bullying, especially bystanders’ ability to ensure that targets of bullying are not isolated and alone. “Safe School Ambassadors” mobilizes students who have social influence with their peers and empowers them to support students who are isolated and excluded.

Emphasis on the arts, people-powered transportation and support for the targets of bullying: I felt “right at home” during a recent visit to Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts, and am optimistic that this new setting will be a wonderful opportunity.

At the same time, I am deeply appreciative and grateful for my time in Ashland, Oregon, and for the opportunity to develop my library customer-service in Bellview Elementary School. I feel very welcome and appreciated by my Ashland employers, and have enjoyed strong ties of kinship in the Ashland community.

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