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April 2015

Know Your History

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:19 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 2:20 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

What would you do if you had the opportunity to meet with some of our country’s founders? Would you be interested in listening to Thomas Jefferson talk about drafting the Declaration of Independence? How about listening as Betsy Ross explained how and why she designed the first American flag? Each generation leaves its mark. Although, throughout the ages, landscapes and populations have been devastated by folly, there are monuments and institutions that stand to bear witness to the vision, dedication, and perseverance of their founders.  George Santayana’s famous declaration, “Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it,” urges us to learn from history so that we do not repeat our mistakes. However, knowing one’s history can also inspire and encourage us to follow our dreams and build a better world.

We encourage one and all to join us in the Oak Tree Lodge on the evening of April 11 to learn the unique history of our Oak Tree Campus. The history of the creation of Oak Tree School is not only the history of a handful of buildings. It is the history of the San Juan Ridge Community directly communicated by those who were there, a generation of founders whose mark remains indelible and legacy lives on.

Please see “Oak Tree School Remembered” by Jeff Adams for more details.

Oak Tree School Remembered

Saturday, April 11th

Doors 7 pm

Program 7:30 pm

An evening of interesting,  informative and heart warming stories by the builders and former students of  Oak Tree School.

Child care provided

265.2826 or 292.3174 for info




Oak Tree School Remembered

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:16 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 2:24 PM ]

by Jeff Adams, Executive Director—North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center

In 1975, a group of recently minted contractors on the San Juan Ridge — assisted by, at times, more than 100 local residents — took on an audacious project to build the original Oak Tree School campus. The community faced a host of challenges throughout the process: opposition by union leaders for hiring local rather than union employees; independently sourcing all of the materials and equipment to construct the school; having to quickly learn a host of state and local laws to ensure the project’s regulatory compliance; and internal debates over the structure and content of the school curriculum.

Despite all of that, our community still managed to build the school. Then, on April 16, 1977 — only four months after opening — almost all of the buildings comprising the Oak Tree School campus burned to the ground.

In 2014 the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center received a grant from Cal Humanities to document the story of Oak Tree School. In the telling of this story, the project is also exploring the current state of education on the San Juan Ridge. Following a series of special events, the project will culminate with an exhibition at the 30th annual Sierra Storytelling Festival on July 17 to 19, 2015.

The story of Oak Tree School emerged as a significant event in many of the interviews we conducted in our initial Cal Humanities-funded project, A Landscape Full of Stories (still on view at our website). Interviewees referred to the event as a pivotal moment in Ridge history and community building, and, for the younger generation, as a critical aspect of their unique experience growing up on the Ridge.

Yet, despite the significance of the Oak Tree School project and the commitment to public education revealed in these interviews, some current residents have been choosing to leave the public school system to send their children to Charter Schools in town, or choosing to home study. Such changes lead us to ask: what were the enduring legacies of the back-to-the-land movement on Ridge education? Why, after such tremendous effort, investment and successes are some current residents seeking different alternatives for educating their children, and how does that affect our sense of community in this rural area?

The construction of Oak Tree School was nothing short of a radical experiment in community building, local politics and grass roots education. While the impetus behind the building of the School grew out of the back-to-the-land ethos, its construction and operation brought about unprecedented cross-cultural collaborations—and at times conflicts— that have had a lasting influence on the Ridge community. The story of Oak Tree School invites us to explore what education means to different people and how education can be a site for community and social transformation.

On April 11, we will host an open and free event — "Oak Tree School Remembered" — at the Oak Tree Lodge. Representatives of the original construction crew will be on hand to share some stories. We are also inviting others in the community to come prepared to share a five- to ten-minute anecdote about that experience. We will be recording the evening and sharing some of the stories as part of the comprehensive exhibition to be unveiled in July. Residents may also submit a story or photographs at northcolumbiaschoolhouse.org/oaktreeschool. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Child care will be provided courtesy of the FRC.

If you have any artifacts, journal entries, or photographs from the construction of Oak Tree School, would like to share your story about the construction of the school and the subsequent events, or are interested in how you can contribute to this project, please contact project director, Jeff Adams, at (530) 265-2826.

This project is made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.

Photo caption: Concrete Pour at Oak Tree School. Photo credit: Hank Meals



Integrated Arts for Preschoolers with Mariana Worden

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:15 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Born and raised in the same Celestial Valley home where she now lives with her partner and daughter, Mariana Worden is a mother, early childhood development teacher, and artist. “I have been creating art since I was a young child and have a BA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland Oregon. It has been my life-long goal to teach Art to young children and help them follow their passions once they have discovered them. I also encourage the children to find their places and voices within a group. In this eight week session I plan to use many media including painting, drawing, simple drama games, and creative movement. My main objective is to watch the group become excited and enriched by many different projects. I will be choosing my projects by exploring what the children’s main interests are and helping them to learn more about the topics. This is going to be a lot of fun and a great learning experience for everyone!”

Mariana’s Integrated Arts Class for preschoolers will consist of eight one-hour sessions, beginning on April 9 and ending on May 28. Classes will meet from 1:30-2:15 on Thursday afternoons. This is a FREE class. Class size will be limited, so please register early to insure that your child can take advantage of this special opportunity. Register by calling 292-3174 or dropping by the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center on the Oak Tree Campus during regular business hours.

FRC Offers Two New Dance Classes with Tara McArthur

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:13 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Tara McArthur started dancing when she was a girl of seven. She continued dancing throughout her childhood and teens, studying with renowned dance instructor, Yelena Holt, when she was a student at Nevada Union High School. After earning a BA in dance from California State University in Long Beach, Tara performed and taught with the Ririe-Woodbury modern dance company in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to touring throughout Europe and the United States, Tara taught creative movement to public school children throughout the state of Utah. She has led many modern dance master classes at major universities throughout the United States, and now teaches contemporary dance at the Sierra Dance Institute in Grass Valley.

When asked why she has chosen to teach dance at the FRC Tara responded, “Dance has always been my passion and I love to have the opportunity to share with other people, especially children. Children are at the most creative time of their lives. They’re really open and uninhibited. I learn from them.”

CREATIVE DANCE for 2nd-4th grade boys and girls will guide the children through different ways of moving their bodies. The class will include problem solving and the basic elements of dance, including space, shape, time, and energy.

THURSDAYS 3:45-4:30- April 9, 16, 23 & 30 ~ May 7 & 14


MODERN MOVEMENT for YOUNG DANCERS for boys and girls 5th grade and up will teach some basic modern dance principles, focusing on basic technique, with an emphasis on rhythm and full body movement.

MONDAYS 3:45-4:45 – April 6, 13, 20 & 27 ~ May 4 & 11

To take advantage of this very special opportunity, call or drop by the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center, 292-3174. All young dancers must be pre-enrolled and committed to attending all six weeks of classes. 


KIDS OFF the STREET & Creating ART at the FRC

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:12 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 2:22 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

The Phoenix Building’s Art Room has been buzzing with activity throughout the month of March. Led by veteran teacher and artist, Jenny Travers, kids from 8-12 created mobiles, masks, birdhouses, and cards to share with loved ones. Younger children, aged 5-7, met with Diana Pasquini and used a variety of media to create a colorful garden of daffodils and fruit trees that now adorn the walls of the historic Oak Tree Lodge. Jenny’s 3-D ART Class will take a hiatus, but may return later this spring. The FUN with COLOR Class will continue until mid-May. Our Family Resource Center is happy to be able to provide visual and performing arts classes to our community’s children and plans to continue to so. We are grateful to the teaching artists, young artists, and their families for making this program so successful!


I like weaving. My favorite color is turquoise. I don’t know if it’s hard or easy to do. I just like it.”

 Henry Krautkramer

Kindergarten- Ananda Living Wisdom School


“I like drawing and painting a lot. I really liked hot gluing and wood burning the birdhouses, putting them together, then decorating them. I’m going to hang my birdhouse up inside to decorate my house.”

Paisley Makonen

2nd Grade—Grizzly Hill School


“3-D ART was really creative and we had a very nice teacher. We learned really cool things. Working together to make the masks, then painting them, was cool. It was really fun!"


Sophie Bivin

4th Grade-Grizzly Hill School


“I LOVE ART! I like doing art with my friends; and I love making people happy with my art. I like building things a lot. I really liked building the birdhouses because I like challenging my brain. I like puzzles and putting the birdhouse together was like a puzzle that challenged my brain.”

             Ariel Sky

     5th Grade-Grizzly Hill School


Library Update

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:09 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 2:09 PM ]

by Julie Childs, Board President—San Juan Ridge Community Library

April is here, we have been open for 10 months now, and so much has happened since the dream of Roo and Mary’s first occurred!  If you haven’t been by recently, you will see new shelves lining almost every available space.  They are already filled with books of the highest caliber, and still grow!  We are averaging 27 visitors per day and have over 360 members.  We have three computers and wi-fi available, the book and video checkout is brisk, the work stations are in use, and the children’s room is jolly!

Best of all, the grants that Roo and Deanna Puetz have been working so hard on are coming in!  We received a Libre Foundation matching grant that allows us to buy 60 new children’s books, with other grants in process.  Our book drop is now expected to arrive in April, For Sure.

The Tapestry Project continues, Tuesdays between 1 and 3 pm and Thursdays between 10-12.  It is truly wonderful to watch these tapestries come to life.  All are welcome to come and help stitch.  Our Library hours remain T & Th 11 am-7 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm, phone 292-3008.  Come on by and “check out” our books!


North Columbia Schoolhouse Work Party

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:07 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 2:23 PM ]

by Jeff Adams, Executive Director-North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center

Sunday, April 12 * 10 am to 3 pm

It is time for some spring cleaning at the lovely North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center and we need your help! Join us on the 12th of April, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a fun filled day of clean-up, touch-up and general sprucing. Bring your tools, your gloves and your friends. Lunch will be provided by the Schoolhouse. Some things we would love to accomplish are: painting the outdoor stage in the amphitheater, touching up old signs, making new signs for annual events, landscaping, window cleaning, planting flowers, dump run and general grounds clean-up. We are striving to get the Schoolhouse in tip top shape for the Sierra Storytelling Festival’s 30th anniversary and all the other wonderful upcoming summer programming.


We appreciate all and any help! Many hands make light work.


PARTNERS Family Resource Centers Named April’s Non Profit Partner of the Month by Center for the Arts

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:06 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 2, 2015, 2:06 PM ]

by Kristin Snell, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

PARTNERS Family Resource Centers, a network of FRCs to which the San Juan Ridge FRC belongs, is designated as Center for the Arts’ April non-profit partner of the month.  As Non-Profit Partner for April, PARTNERS will be featured on the Center for the Art’s website and email communications.  Representatives from PARTNERS will staff a table at the Center’s events where they will meet visitors and share information about the work that they do. 

As the Center for the Arts’ website explains, “We believe that collaboration is the key to greater strength and economic stability for all who serve our region through non-profit service.”  Likewise, PARTNERS believes in the power of collaboration and wishes to thank the Center for the Arts for their ongoing efforts to strengthen local non-profits.


Should you visit the Center for the Arts in April, be sure to stop by the PARTNERS   table to meet our staff and learn more about what our organizations offer.                  

Upcoming events include:

· 2015 Starz Show: Friday & Saturday, April 10 & 11, 7 pm with a 2 pm matinee on Saturday only

· Tribute to Linda Ronstadt—the Early Years: Friday & Saturday, April 17 & 18, 8 pm

· Delhi 2 Dublin: Sunday, April 19, 8 pm

· Janis Ian & Tom Paxton: Friday, April 24, 8 pm

· Happy Birthday Terry Riley (pictured at right, photo credit: Center for the Arts from their website): Sunday, April 26, 2pm

· Le Vent du Nord: Sunday, April 26, 8 pm

· Eric Bibb: Thursday, April 30, 7:30 pm


For more information about PARTNERS Family Resource Centers, visit partnersfamilyresourcecenters.org.  Information about Center for the Arts and a detailed, comprehensive list of their events can be found at thecenterforthearts.org or by calling 274-8384.


Family Fun & Run to Benefit PARTNERS Family Resource Centers

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:04 PM by Kristin Snell

From the web at: partnersfmilyresourcecenters.org

PARTNERS Family Resource Centers invites you to participate in the Family Fun & Run, scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd. 

All proceeds benefit PARTNERS Family Resource Centers and support the programs and services we provide.

When: Saturday, May 2nd

Time: 10am-1pm

Where: Nevada Union High School

For more information or to register, contact Karen Wallack-Eisen at 273-4059 or email kwallack-eisen@nevco.k12.ca.us


Family & Friends CPR Class FREE at Family Resource Center

posted Apr 2, 2015, 2:03 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center and Boyd Johnson, North San Juan Fire Department

The San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center and the North San Juan Fire Department will host a CPR CLASS on Wednesday, April 15, from 10:00am to 1:00pm. The AHA Family & Friends CPR Class is a no-pressure, non-tested class which will cover basic infant, child, and adult CPR, as well as the use of an automated external defibrillator. The status of emergency medical response on the Ridge will also be discussed. Space is limited to 8 participants, so be sure to sign up early. Light refreshments and child care will be provided. For more information or to enroll, please call 292-3174.


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