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Living on One Knee: Learning to Manage While Waiting for Managed Health Care

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150It was the week before Christmas, a time of rushing around too fast and not paying enough attention. The last person who had driven my car had moved the seat back and lowered it; I planted my foot and, when the seat wasn’t where I expected it to be, I twisted my knee.

The minute it happened, I knew something went wrong. But I thought it was just a stretch, a strain, something that would go away. Besides, I had too much to do at that time of year to deal with it: a birthday celebration for my daughter, a drive to Orange County for a shopping trip with my sister, holiday gifts to select, food to prepare, friends and family to entertain.

Through it all, I tried to ignore my throbbing, swollen knee. Well, not exactly ignore: I did the whole RICE thing, rest (as much as possible), ice, compress, and elevate. Every morning I hoped it had magically healed overnight; every morning that first step confirmed it had not.

A couple days after the holiday, my husband finally convinced me to go to urgent care to get medical assistance. But when we walked in, the place was filled with people in obvious distress with bad colds and flu, and the waiting time was three to four hours. Not possible.

So I called Sansum Clinic, the local medical clinic approved by my new Platinum insurance plan with Anthem Blue Cross, and got the first available appointment, for the second week in January. When that blessed day finally arrived, I soon learned that my co-pay had been increased from $40 to $50. Fine. I paid the money, looking forward to relief.

I finally saw the physician’s assistant, who examined my knee and said it was a classic injury. He suspected a torn meniscus. That part of the knee doesn’t heal on its own, he explained, an MRI was needed so they could figure out exactly what is going on, and what to do about it. We’d get the OK from the insurance company—which takes just a couple of days, and schedule it. I could just manage pain with over-the-counter medications, he noted.

That’s when the new reality of “health care” kicked in. The injury occurred on December 17; the appointment was on January 8; I am writing this on January 20, and still no word. Actually, there was word: I called a couple of times and was told it was still too soon to be concerned.

Funny, I was pretty concerned about my increasingly painful knee, and the restrictions it was putting on my life. All this waiting was doing no good at all.

Last week I called to talk with the insurance liaison at the clinic. She told me that it’s her job to process and prioritize, that there were a number of cases waiting because one person was out of the office. She noted that I was lucky I wasn’t one of the ones who is dying or bleeding out. Those “emergent” cases take precedence. She told me that they have 14 business days to make a determination about whether or not to authorize the procedure (the one recommended by the medical professional who had examined my knee). She said I could appeal if they denied the MRI, suggesting maybe cortisone or physical therapy could work. She reminded me that no matter what the doctor had recommended, everything has criteria that need to be met—and that imaging procedures receive a great deal of scrutiny. She told me this is managed care.

And here’s the problem: my blasted knee hurts. Walking more than a block or two is a painful proposition, something quite humbling for an active person who wrote the book on walking Santa Barbara, for whom a sedentary life is unthinkable. Going up stairs is difficult, going down them is even worse—just at the time that the elevator is broken at the place where I work. I’ve learned to live with the pain, but it’s taking a toll by limiting my activities and affecting my mood.

I try to ignore it; sometimes I take ibuprofen, other times I take naproxen, hoping to take the edge off. The idea of taking anything stronger scares me, messes with my head, and makes me realize how easy it would be to get hooked on some painkillers while waiting for the medical procedure that would take care of the cause of the pain.

This is not health “care.” This is health business. Health bureaucracy. With people evaluated, shelved and inventoried like so many troublesome widgets.

I guess if I was paying cash for an MRI I could get it scheduled in no time. And if I could afford a fancy concierge doctor on demand, my knee would be fine by now. Apparently those hundreds of dollars we shell out every month aren’t enough to get basic medical care in a timely manner.

Somehow I don’t think this is what Universal Health Care is supposed to be, with the local health clinic serving as a way station and the insurance companies calling the shots about whether or not people get care—and how long they suffer before they get it. Or not.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of managing life on one knee in Santa Barbara. And waiting for health care to deal with it.


Stirring Up the Melting Pot

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150Not so many branches away in my family tree, several Sicilian relatives made their way to America on a treacherous overseas journey. One was so desperate to leave the poverty-stricken conditions of his village in the Old Country, he stowed away in an empty wine barrel. They arrived poor, unskilled, without papers, and unable to speak the language.

As they set about making a life in a new world, they took low-end factory jobs working for a pittance and lived in cramped tenement housing. They were marginalized and ridiculed for their unfamiliar food, language and close family ties. Stories like theirs have been endlessly romanticized in a series of Mafia movies that actually feel rather familiar to me.

It took time, but over the generations several Sicilian family members worked very hard and have distinguished themselves in business, the arts, finance, and real estate among other professions. And the earliest arrivals became naturalized American citizens who voted in every election afterward.

And my Dutch uncle—who arrived penniless, without papers and without a sponsor—loved to tell the story about how he got his driver’s license by handing over cash to a cop. It made all the difference in his ability to make a living in the United States. He died a millionaire, with many mourners at his funeral telling stories of his kindness, business acumen—and his pride in becoming an American citizen.

America might be called a melting pot, but for many successive groups of immigrants, it’s more like a stew of separate ingredients for a long, long time. It’s begun heating up and bubbling over with resentment with the passage of a new law that allows individuals to obtain a driver’s license before obtaining citizenship.

The ugly headline in the local paper of record announced the new in the most dehumanizing way: “Illegals line up for driver’s licenses.”

Sorry, they’re not “illegals.” They’re people. Individuals who have heeded the call to come to America for a better life, just as so many of our family members did—from so many different countries, not so many years ago. Waves of Greeks, Irish, Italians, Poles, Germans in the early 20th century; Vietnamese, Cambodians, those from south of the border.

AP BOOKWords matter. In all my years as an editor, if I haven’t learned anything else, at least I’ve learned to refer to my trusty Associated Press Stylebook, the industry standard, whenever there’s a question about usage of a word or phrase.

AP It has a lengthy section on illegal immigration that includes: “Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.

Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented.”

Yesterday, individuals seeking a better life gave up everything and traveled to America from Europe; today from Latin America; tomorrow from who knows. The sum total of these individuals has added much to our American culture, but still the “us” vs. “them” continues, as so many seem to forget just how they became Americans, too.

NOTE: The use of the dehumanizing language—of referring to people as “illegals”—is so offensive to so many in the community, that a protest has been scheduled for Thursday at 6 pm at De la Guerra Plaza. Click here for the Facebook Event page to stop biased and irresponsible journalism.
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About that Ugly Christmas Sweater…

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150I confess: way before it was hip and cool to raid thrift stores for the most garish Christmas clothing, I bought one. And wore it. For years and years and years.

It was a memorable purchase: I found it on vacation in Bermuda, of all places, where I had travelled with my husband-to-be, the hiking islophile. It was just before Christmas, 27 years ago, when we visited the pink beaches, hiked the entire length of the island on the Bermuda Railway Trail, and did the typical tourist shopping scene.

uglysweaterBermuda, a former British colony, still imports fine woolens from Mother England. I remember entering the quaint and classy shop and examining the goods. Since it was the holiday season, it seemed like just the thing to do: I found a woolen Christmas sweater vest complete with Santa, holly and bells; a Christmas tree, gifts and stocking motifs all knitted in—even with some metallic gold thread accents here and there.

I didn’t even wait to return home to wear it: I put it on to attend the local Christmas parade down the main street of downtown Hamilton. Since the parade was just a block long, once it passed by, everyone rushed to the next street over to watch it on its return trip.

I’ve worn it to family gatherings and packed it for out-of state holiday visits, I knew that one group of sleek and chi-chi relatives in LA snickered at my buying into such a hokey style—and actually wearing it—and I really didn’t care. My husband and I joked that they considered us “the bumpkins” for engaging in the silliness of the season.

When they were babes in arms, that crazy-busy Christmas sweater calmed my children and kept them warm and happy. They loved discovering the face of Santa, tracing the hearts and ribbons on the gift boxes as they snuggled close. It always made them happy to see that sweater pulled out of the storage box, knowing of the holiday fun that was sure to follow.

It was my go-to garment to dress up a turtleneck and a pair of jeans throughout many Decembers—worn to the annual State Street Christmas parade; the

hushed ceremonial walking of the evergreen spiral at the Waldorf School; the joyful Festival of Lights at Open Alternative School; the enchanting Santa Barbara High School Madrigal performances; evening drives to look at the lights in local neighborhoods, ending up at that jumbled-up, lit-up house of Santa on Anacapa Street.

With a long velvet skirt, I’ve worn it to Christmas pageants at church; sing-a-longs at the Mission; visiting the Living Nativity at the First Methodist Church; Christmas Eve services and the Nutcracker ballet. I even wore it once on television to present a check at the Unity Shoppe telethon (then called the Council of Christmas Cheer) on behalf of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. I handed the big check to Peter Noone, trying not to swoon by thinking too much about how much I loved Herman’s Hermits in my teen years—and here he was in person. Since I brought my then-little girl with me, he actually crooned, “…You’ve got a lovely daughter…”

That Christmas sweater vest has been a part of our family’s holiday tradition since before we were a family. And when my kids grew into their teen years, they cringed at most everything I did, throughout the year, no matter what I wore. Still, they good-naturedly indulged my wearing of the outfit. Now that they’re both taller than me, they just sort of roll their eyes at good ol’ mom.

Besides, I’m responsible for most of the shopping, the cooking and the baking, and they’re smart enough to realize that.

The only thing about that sweater that’s faded is the writing on the label: it reads “Designed by Deans of Scotland Expressly for Trimingham’s of Bermuda, reminding me always of its origins so far away, so long ago. I just learned that the shop, established in 1842, closed up in 2005; nothing lasts forever.

Now it’s been categorized as just another “ugly Christmas sweater,” an ironic, hip trend that’s the theme of parties, luncheons and other holiday get-togethers. I hesitate to wear it now as part of an in-joke. I don’t want anyone pointing and laughing, terming it hideous and awful. I know what it looks like. Call me crazy, but that boxy, loud, colorful, sometimes itchy Christmas sweater—with all its memories embedded over the years—is anything but ugly to me.


New Directions: Travel Opportunities for Everyone

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150Thirty years ago, when spirits were high, many members of the Adult Residential Program at Devereaux prepared to spend the holidays off-campus, where they would celebrate with family and friends.

But Dee Duncan, who worked at the facility at the time, looked around and saw something amiss. A small group of residents with mild to moderate developmental disabilities had no place to go—and would be alone at the very time of year when most people gather together.

That’s when she got into action with a bold plan that would take her life in a different direction—along with the lives of thousands of clients for decades. She decided to take that group to Disneyland.

“At the holidays, you can’t have people spending it alone,” she reflects in the calm and peaceful surroundings of the backyard garden of her lovingly restored Craftsman bungalow. That’s just the kind of person Duncan is—a kind, thoughtful and imaginative innovator who does things first-class, at home, in business and in her own enthusiasm for travel.

logo2When she first had that brainstorm—the very beginning of New Directions Travel for people with disabilities—the first group of participants hadn’t had much opportunity to experience the freedom of travel or to spend holidays in a joyful, loving environment with others who cared for them.

But Duncan was determined to change that and do something special for them. She called it the Holiday Happiness Program. Three decades, and 12,000 New Directions participants later, that initial foray to the happiest place on earth has expanded to all kinds of adventures around the world.

If Las Vegas, Hawaii, The Grand Canyon and New York City aren’t exciting enough, how about Australia, Israel, Japan and even Galapagos Islands? And these travelers aren’t content to stay on a tour bus—they enjoy adventurous activities like hot air ballooning, surfing, snorkeling and river rafting. Just like everyone else.

newdirectionsThey stay in upscale accommodations, dine in fine restaurants and enjoy shopping sprees, visiting local attractions, meeting new people and making new friendships while traveling. Just like everyone else.

Let’s face it: dealing with all the uncertainty that travel brings can be stressful for anyone. To ensure that New Directions trips go off without a hitch, Duncan relies on a well-trained, highly experienced team of tour guides that accompanies every group. They may range from a ratio of 1:1 to 1:4 participants to guide. Traveling in these small groups allows more personalized, attentive services and a low-key non-touristy experience.

But Duncan stresses that the real secret to New Directions’ success is an approach that treats participants with “total respect.” And as great as the opportunity is for enhanced self esteem and expanded horizons that travel offers participants in the program, there’s another essential benefit: The general public learns so much when they see New Directions clients living full and active lives. Just like everyone else.

For more information about New Directions, Inc. call (805) 967-2841 or visit newdirectionstravel.org.
Originally published in the Winter 2014-15 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, www.sbseasons.com.


The Present of Being Present

By Cheri Rae

“Simplify, simplify,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in his classic meditation, “Walden.” Of course, he could have simplified the statement by reducing it to simply “Simplify.”

cherilogo-150x150The recent passing of my neighbor who lived in his van got me to thinking about the notion of simplifying the holiday season, of slowing down and becoming very conscious of the moment—of making a real practice of connecting with people and being conscious of places encountered during the holiday season.

Instead of rushing about and being preoccupied during every moment, I’ve tried to be deliberate about my interactions and simple blessings have come my way:

In the bank, the teller told me about how he used to play football for Dos Pueblos High School, and had hoped and planned to play at an elite level in college until he was injured, and he was glad that he had some grounding in business to fall back on.

During an appearance at the Shop Small Business Saturday at the Book Den, fellow author Chris Messner shared his interesting stories about his off-the-beaten-path travels in Cuba—as recorded in his book, “Cuba, Open from the Inside.” We found common ground in discussing Cuba—I had researched the social order in post-revolutionary Cuba as part of my Political Science studies in college. When I showed him my book, “DyslexiaLand,” he told me about his own challenges with dyslexia—something he even wrote about in the introduction of the book. The chance meeting seemed meant to be. We both expressed out gratitude to owner Eric Kelley for scheduling us at the same time.

In the post office, letting the gentleman with two canes get in line ahead of me had the effect of every other person in line letting him go ahead, and finish his transaction much more quickly, and much more comfortably. “I just can’t stand too long anymore,” he noted, expressing his thanks to the whole queue. We all felt good about that. And when the woman behind me needed a pen, I told her to keep it. Turned out the purple pen was her favorite color.

In the grocery store, the young woman ahead of me was buying a nice cake and candles to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday. The discussion continued with the boxboy who talked about his grandmothers—one who is fun and the one who isn’t, but who inherited “the longevity gene,” as he called it: good health and good teeth, even at 93. It reminded me of my own grandmother and how much I loved her, and still miss her to this day.

The city worker filling the “irricade” watering devices along Anapamu Street—which were purchased for the City by the Pearl Chase Society—who expressed his gratitude for the innovation and the generosity of members who love the trees as much as he does.

Slowing down, expressing gratitude and having the presence of mind to remain in the present has been a great gift—one that keeps on giving. You might want to give it to yourself—and the rest of the community! Happy holidays!


Book Review: Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1914 by Betsy J. Green

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150The subtitle of this delightful book is “Tale of everyday life in Santa Barbara 100 years ago.” I’m a sucker for this kind of collection: I live in a house built in 1912, and vintage, consignment and historic restoration are some of my favorite words. So this book is a natural for anyone interested in what Santa Barbara was like a century ago.

events-way-back-whenHistory buff Betsy J. Green has been writing a column for edhat for some time, and she finally decided to collect them into a lovely book designed to evoke the look and feel of old-timey Santa Barbara. The month-by-month account of 1914 is based on articles that appeared in the local newspapers Morning Press and Daily News & Independent.

Green’s lively writing style and the layout of short takes of local history make this a fun read, and make this an especially fun gift item for the holiday season. Her account of the community’s official Christmas tree, located near the intersection of Carrillo and Chapala is particularly timely, as is the story about Santa Barbara’s float entered in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena. However, that story is written without an ending, with the promise it will be continued next year—no doubt the first entry in the second in this series of books of history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time.

Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1914 is available at local bookshops and at www.elbarbareno.com


Speaking for the Trees: The Pearl Chase Society inspired by the past, works for the future

What would Pearl Chase do? It’s the question that is asked often by members of the Pearl Chase Society, founded in 1995 to continue the work of its namesake who made the protection and preservation of Santa Barbara her life’s work.

So when the Italian Stone Pines that line Anapamu Street began to suffer from the combined effects of the drought, a beetle infestation and the intrusion of modern life into their living space the Society decided to move into action.

canopyAfter all, Miss Chase is on record for standing up to Southern Pacific Railroad and Standard Oil to protect the Moreton Bay Fig Tree from being chopped down; for the designation of the Norfolk Island pine as the community Christmas tree at the corner of Carrillo and Chapala; and, in fact, these same Anapamu Street trees, according to accounts in the book, “Pearl Chase: First Lady of Santa Barbara.” If ever there was a time to honor Miss Chase’s legacy, this was it.

Alarmed that five of the City Historic Landmark trees on Anapamu died in the last year, and were recently removed for public safety, the Society turned concern into action. The Board voted to donate the sum of $14,560 to the City of Santa Barbara for the purchase of 56 slow-watering systems known as “irricades.”

Twenty-five of the light-green devices have already been put into service along Anapamu Street, and they’re already having an effect on the health and welfare of the trees: some of them are showing new growth high above the ground. An additional 31 will be delivered and installed in the next month.

“The Pearl Chase Society is pleased that we are able to assist the City in protecting the Italian Stone Pines along Anapamu Street,” said Board President Barbara Lowenthal. “These trees are important to our built environment as they are a visual testament to our City’s enduring history and beauty.”

irricadesAttached to each big water container is a slow-release soaker hose that brings much-needed water to each tree in a way that allows it to be most efficiently absorbed by the roots. Wood chips surrounding the area keep the moisture from evaporating.

Since the City will not plant any more new trees during this extended drought, it’s more important than ever that we save the ones we have, particularly these gentle giants that offer silent shelter on a busy street. Their presence brings a feeling of intimacy that slows traffic, muffles sound, and reminds passersby of life in a forest-just a few short blocks from downtown Santa Barbara’s bustling business district.

“The Italian Stone Pines provide a majestic presence in Santa Barbara and represent a key foundation of the city’s urban forest. The Parks and Recreation Department applauds the leadership and generosity of the Pearl Chase Society. Trees are a significant environmental, social and economic resource that takes many years to develop,” stated Jill Zachary, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director.

Thanks to the Pearl Chase Society, this urban oasis has been granted a reprieve. With any luck, our rains will continue and the irricades will be put into storage for the next time they’re needed.

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Established in 1995, the Pearl Chase Society is an all volunteer, not-for-profit conservancy dedicated to preserving Santa Barbara’s historic architecture, landscapes and cultural heritage. The mission of the Pearl Chase Society is to preserve and celebrate Santa Barbara’s historic sites and structures. Individual memberships start at $30 a year. http://www.pearlchasesociety.org/


What’s the Matter with Muir?

By Cheri Rae

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”—John Muir

cherilogo-150x150A couple of weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times ran a story about revisionist thinking about naturalist John Muir—known for his enthusiastic embrace of the wonders of nature, particularly California’s Sierra Nevada. The article gave a platform to Jon Christensen, a UCLA historian at the school’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability.

Christensen declared, “Muir’s legacy has to go.” He continued, and “it’s just not useful anymore.” The debate over Muir’s relevance has come about as we approach the centennial of his death on Christmas Eve, 1914. The Times found plenty of scholars willing to view the man of his time through a prism of today. The call him racist for his views on Native Americans and see him as elitist, relevant only to a population of economically secure, aging white people with plenty of leisure time to travel to far-off national parks.

They argue that urban parks are more important than wilderness settings for our changing demographics.

It was bad enough to read it in the L.A. Times, and all over Facebook—where, predictably, my environmentalist and academic friends were not impressed with Christensen’s assertion: “Muir’s a dead end. It’s time to bury his legacy and move on.”

The story had just about settled when it came to my attention that the Santa Barbara News-Press decided to reprint the article last week. On the front page.

lee.stetson.face-webBut unlike the Times, the local newspaper ran an absurd graphic with the story: they included what they credited a “Courtesy photo” with the caption that read “John Muir.” But anyone who has any familiarity at all with John Muir would know that modern-looking image was not a photo of the naturalist himself. Actually it was a photograph of Lee Stetson (pictured right), a veteran actor who frequently appears in his one-man show, “An Evening With John Muir,” and other productions that honor and promote the life and work of the famed naturalist.

He’s not John Muir; he impersonates John Muir—in a positive way, popularizing the work of the man who fell in love with Yosemite, founded the Sierra Club and influenced Theodore Roosevelt to preserve vast amounts of American wilderness.

That’s about how things go these days: reasonable facsimiles are good enough. Academics make pronouncements about demographically driven environmental sustainability from their ivory towers far removed from the natural world. But in the real world, equating the splendor of the Range of Light with a local pocket park just does not compute. And it might have made headlines—and publicity for the UCLA professor and his like-minded friends—but throwing out the work of a 19th century man because he’s not a progressive 21st-century thinker makes no sense at all.

For the record, I love the powerful words of John Muir, who described an earthquake in Yosemite:  “The shocks were so violent and varied, and succeeded one another so closely, one had to balance in walking as if on the deck of a ship among the waves, and it seemed impossible the high cliffs should escape being shattered.”

He advised, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

And he seems quite contemporary with the observation: “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”

John.Muir.Young-webWhat’s the matter with Muir? Nothing. Nothing at all—except maybe that not enough Californians are familiar with his writing and his work. Maybe all this controversy about his relevance, at the centennial of his death, will—instead of burying him—give him the respect he’s due by sending more people in search of his books and following in his footsteps.


State of the Schools: Dr. Cash Leads the Way

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150Superintendent David Cash gave his annual State of the Schools address at a well-attended breakfast meeting at the Hyatt on Thursday. He saved the best for last, concluding his remarks with the declaration, “The state of the school in Santa Barbara; they’re good. And thank you for that.”

Union Bank and the Santa Barbara Education Foundation sponsored the event, and foundation president Craig Price introduced Dr. Cash, noting his “…boundless energy and considerable skills,” which have had such an effect on the district’s tone, buzz and positive attitude. “Good things are happening in the Santa Barbara Unified School District,” he noted.

In his three years on the job, the majordomo of the District has shown that he subscribes to the old maxim of “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Since he’s been on the job, he has undeniably been the leader as the District has been reinvigorated, perhaps even reimagined with a strategic plan that emphasizes three main goals. In his address, Cash detailed the consistent progress made on them:
1) Implementing Common Core State Standards
2) Creating technology learning environments across the district
3) Developing a strong foundation of culturally proficient classrooms.

He emphasized that this has been a time of “Change, change, change,” and acknowledged, “Change is tough.” That change has included several aims, including a focus on student, family and community engagement; organizational transformation extending to budget documents; restorative approaches to discipline issues; a facilities master plan, and almost 100 percent green practices.

“No student is anonymous, every one is recognized by someone who actually connects with them,” he declared.

Cash continued with explanations about several issues, including the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) reform measure in how schools are funded; he spoke about academic data that indicates that trends are up in the areas of students taking the SAT and ACT (as well as their scores); in those who complete the A-G requirements to prepare for college admission; and those English Language learners who are reclassified to fluent and proficient.

He addressed other trend lines that are on their way down, including use of alcohol and binge drinking, use of marijuana, as well as suspensions and expulsions.

And he noted many examples of enrichment programs that are providing our students with opportunities in the visual and performing arts; in music and afterschool sports programs. He singled out several innovations that are working, including the Core Knowledge and project-based learning at the Community Academy; dual immersion at Adelante; Montessori classrooms at Adams; the GATE magnet school at Washington; the Open Alternative School partnership with Antioch; the International Baccalaureate program at Harding; and several partnerships with colleges, nonprofits, the City and the County.

Before concluding his remarks, he observed that 2016 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and invited all to participate in the observation of 150 great years—and launch into the next 150 years. The most important way for individuals to support the schools, he suggested, is to become part of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation—the nonprofit that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

The Foundation distributed “Seeds of Hope,” actual flower packets, with an insert that read in part, “Seeds represent hope. They are the start of something wonderful…For 30 years, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation has quietly sowed the seeds of hope by supporting all students K-12 in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. With the help of the community the Education Foundation provides support for music, science, art and early childhood development programs.”

For more information about the Santa Barbara Education Foundation:
www.santabarbaraeducation.org

For more information about the Santa Barbara Unified School District:
www.sbunified.org

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