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March 2015

Kindergarten Registration Dates for San Juan Ridge Schools

posted Mar 4, 2015, 1:23 PM by Kristin Snell

Grizzly Hill School

Parent meeting: Wednesday, March 25
Time: 6 pm
Registration dates: March 23-27
Call for paperwork and to schedule an appointment.  265-9052 x201
Kindergarten packets also available at the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Ananda Living Wisdom School

Parent meeting: Thursday, April 9th
Time: 7 pm
Registration dates: April 13-24
Hours: by appointment only
Phone: 478-7640

Living History

posted Mar 2, 2015, 11:07 AM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 11:13 AM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Since its creation decades ago, Oak Tree School has remained a hub of activity on the San Juan Ridge. “Of the people, by the people, for the people,” Oak Tree continues to be not only a monument to the ingenuity, perseverance, and cooperative spirit of the San Juan Ridge Community of the past. She continues to be a place where people of all ages gather to learn and play, as well as build, serve, and celebrate community. We encourage one and all to join us in our beautiful Oak Tree Lodge on the evening of April 11 to not only learn and celebrate our local history, but to be a part of it.

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


We will be CLOSED

Monday, March 16th for   a staff development day

March 30th-April 3rd for  Spring Break



3-D ART with Jenny Travers

posted Mar 2, 2015, 11:04 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Jenny Travers has dedicated most of her life to the education of our community’s children. She began her teaching career at the North Columbia Schoolhouse in 1974, touching the lives of San Juan Ridge children and their families for the next 30 years. With a BA in art from San Jose State University, a California teaching credential, and a Masters Degree in Education, Jenny moved on to become the administrator of a large network of home study sites across Northern California until she retired several years ago. She then became a member of Twin Ridges Elementary School District’s Board of Trustees, always basing crucial decisions on the welfare of children. Although she is officially retired, Jenny has retained her passion for teaching art to children.  “I still work with kids all the time and I want to feel more connected to the kids in my community.”

San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center is fortunate to be able to offer a month-long series of 3-D Art classes to children, 8 years and up. The Tuesday afternoon class will consist of four sessions: wire sculpture, mask making, balsa wood construction, and wood burning. To participate in this class, students MUST be registered in advance. Young artists will be expected to come to every class.  We expect this class to fill up quickly, so it is important to register as soon as possible.


3-D ART CLASS with Jenny Travers

TUESDAYS 4-5 pm - March 3, 10, 17 & 24


To register or get more info please call 292-3174



FUN with COLOR: A Class for Young Artists

posted Mar 2, 2015, 11:03 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

This afterschool art class is for children, aged 5-7 years old. Children who are now attending school (kindergarten-2nd grade) will be given first priority. Art activities will focus on color, using a variety of media, including watercolors, tempera, torn paper, and yarn. Diana’s three decades of working and playing with young artists has reinforced her understanding of the valuable impact the arts have on young lives. A powerful medium of connection and communication, children’s art can be a medium of service through which their works can have a profound impact upon the lives of others. Albert Einstein’s famous quote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” speaks to the value of encouraging creative minds.

If you would like to enroll your child in this class, please visit the Family Resource Center or call 292-3174. ALL YOUNG ARTISTS MUST BE PRE-REGISTERED TO ATTEND. Taught by Diana Pasquini, this FREE class will begin at 4 pm on Thursday afternoons throughout the month of March. Dates are: March 5, 12, 19 & 26.


SJRTA Annual Members Meeting Sunday, March 15

posted Mar 2, 2015, 11:01 AM by Kristin Snell

by the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association

The SJRTA Annual Members Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 15, at 2 p.m. at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. All members should attend if possible! At the meeting, you may join or renew your membership for 2015 ($5 per person), vote for the four seats up for election on the Board of Directors, and get all the news about what’s happening with the mine application and what SJRTA has been up to. We’ll show a short version of Tom and Debby Weistar’s movie, “Water for Gold,” discuss alternative land uses for the Diggings, the well monitoring program, stream monitoring, volunteer opportunities, and more. Please attend!

 All voting members in good standing (dues paid up) are eligible to vote for the four directors’ seats. Voting memberships are open to a) persons who own land on the San Juan Ridge and b) persons who reside on the San Juan Ridge. We welcome others to attend and/or join in the Friends of SJRTA membership category. Anyone can become a (non-voting) Friend of SJRTA.

 The four positions that are up for election are those of current Board members Kurt Lorenz, Alexa Wondergem, Lars Ortegren and Gary Parsons. (The other three board seats will be up for election in 2016.) Kurt, Alexa and Lars intend to run for another term, but Gary will not. Any voting member may run for the board. If you wish to do so, please submit a letter of intent to SJRTA by February 28, so that you can appear on the ballot. Include a brief statement of your experience/what you feel you would bring to the board. You will also be asked to make a statement at the membership meeting. A letter of intent may be sent by email to, or mailed to SJRTA, P.O. Box 421, North San Juan, CA 95960.


posted Mar 2, 2015, 10:56 AM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 11:17 AM ]

Kids share their enthusiasm about GAMES DAY

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Every Wednesday at one o’clock Grizzly Hill’s big yellow school bus delivers an ever-growing group of smiling kids to the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center’s Games Day. Throughout the afternoon more kids arrive to join their friends at the ping-pong or foosball tables, compete in ongoing checker or chess tournaments, shoot some pool, sink a battleship, or just grab a snack and hang out with friends. When asked why they choose to be here, Games Day kids were happy to share their enthusiasm:


“I like that we get to go outside and play for about an hour or so. Today we played kickball. I like playing zombie tag too. I like foosball the best. I’m getting pretty good at it. I’m going to keep coming to Games Day as much as I can.”

Elyjah Drake

  3rd Grade – Grizzly Hill School


“I like Games Day because everybody has fun, is nice, and is funny. Ping-pong is really fun. Everybody likes to play it. It’s an active game that everybody loves. There are a lot of good snacks, too. We get to go outside and have fun so we don’t have to stay inside all the time. I like that we had a meeting today. We got together to say what’s good and what we should do.”

                                         Sienna Goodman

                                                3rd Grade – Grizzly Hill School


“I like having fun playing outside and playing pool. I like the foosball table, ping-pong, and Chinese checkers too. As long as I live here I’m going to keep coming to Games Day.”

Skye Pfalmer

4th Grade- Grizzly Hill School


“I like not being at home, riding the bus here, hanging out with my friends, and playing pool. I like the pool table and ping-pong best.”

                                                                                       Bram Rihn

                                                           4th Grade – Grizzly Hill School



“I like Games Day because I get to get away from my baby sister. It’s just fun to hang out with my friends. I like playing pool and checkers. I am the Checkers Champion of Games Day!”

 Ireland Brown

 5th Grade- Grizzly Hill School



 “I really like Games Day because I get to see all my friends. There are a lot of things to do, like learning how to play pool or ping-pong. The FRC is a really cool place!”

                                       Starlight Makonen

                                                                    5th Grade – Grizzly Hill School





“Games Day is fun because you get to make friends with other people who don’t go to your school. It’s a good way to interact with others. Another reason that I really like Games Day is that I get to practice ping-pong.”

 Lacey Johnson

  8th Grade- Grizzly Hill School



After School Games Day Happening Wednesday Afternoons at the Resource Center

 by Kristin Snell, Community School Liaison—San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

The San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center welcomes kids ages 8-15 to join the fun at our weekly Games Day on Wednesday afternoons 1-4 pm.  We have a great space set up with a ping pong table, mini pool table, board games, art supplies and snacks.  Participants are welcome to bring games from home, but no electronics.  FREE.  Must have signed permission slip and completed emergency form to participate.  Please call 292.3174 for info.


Oak Tree School Remembered

posted Mar 2, 2015, 10:48 AM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 10:49 AM ]

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

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 March 20, we will be hosting a special program for local school children in collaboration with the current stewards of the Oak Tree School site, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center. Students will have the opportunity to hear stories from some of the original participants in the construction of the school, former students that attended the school, and a special presentation of the recently completed tapestry documenting the story.

Then 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 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

Photo caption: Concrete pour at Oak Tree School  Photo credit: Hank Meals



Family Resource Center’s Woodshed Full!

posted Mar 2, 2015, 10:44 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Thanks to a very generous donation from an anonymous benefactor, our Family Resource Center’s Woodshed is now back in business. A dump truck load of cut, split, seasoned firewood has arrived, delivered, unloaded, and neatly stacked by two smiling volunteers. Families who need a few wheelbarrow loads of wood for cooking or heating their homes are welcome to come by the FRC during regular business hours. We are grateful to our very special volunteers who, upon learning that there was a need in our community, took it upon themselves to fill it. THANK YOU!

Those who need help accessing larger amounts of firewood,  as well as propane or  electricity, are urged to call  PROJECT GO at 1-888-524-5705  for LIHEAP energy assistance.


San Juan Ridge Home Study School

posted Mar 2, 2015, 10:41 AM by Kristin Snell

by Rachel Umphress, Educator

Please come join us, a group of dedicated parents, who want to provide our kids with a first rate education and strengthen our community.  Many parents are interested in a homeschool format that allows them to tailor their child’s education to their priorities.  Popular programs can offer a blended program where students spend time at school, and at home.  Multiple successful programs are offered in town.  Let’s make our own!  Come join us for a preliminary planning meeting on Friday, March 27, from 10:00 -12:00 AM at Oak Tree School.



Yoga for Trauma Recovery

posted Mar 2, 2015, 10:41 AM by Kristin Snell

by Skyler Myers, CMT, RYT and CAS

We are all faced with challenges through this life.  Trauma is by definition an experience that we lack tools or resources to handle, process, assimilate, or integrate a lesson from.  There is a magnetic loop, called re-enactment, that draws us back into familiar patterns, where we have to learn lessons again and again through similar situations over time.  It is a relentless loop, unless one learns to develop internal resources.

Two factors influence the resilience one develops to challenges: How early in life the first trauma arose, and whether betrayal was involved.  While impossible to turn back time, it is never too late to develop better resilience skills.  When the body is ready to release long held patterns, many feel a massive weight has been lifted from their psyche and spirit.

Introspective practices, such as breathing techniques and meditation, have long been touted as effective treatment for addiction and anger management, both of which are known to stem from unresolved trauma.   But anyone who has ever sat down to meditate their first time knows how maddening it is to just be still and observe your thoughts.  Meditation is meant to be practiced after a physical practice.

Skill- appropriate yoga has physical benefits and is the basis of nearly all physical therapy.  It is now recognized as cutting edge psycho-physiological treatment for PTSD and many other maladies.  The Department of Defense & US Army Surgeon General’s Pain Management Task Force lists yoga, along with acupuncture and yoga nidra (a practice of relaxation) as a primary approach in military, private, university and clinical facilities around North America.

The Yoga of Trauma Recovery is a unique, and much less expensive, complement to therapy. There will be a free introduction to the Yoga of Trauma Recovery on Friday, March 6 in Nevada City and Saturday, March 7 in Downieville.  These talks will introduce the 8 Steps to Integration, some of the most effective tools for trauma recovery, and the upcoming Yoga for Trauma Recovery 70 hour Immersion and full 200 hour Teacher Training.  Please visit, or call Skyler at 530-615-7268 for more information.

Skyler Myers, CMT, RYT, CAS sees clients in Nevada City, North San Juan, and Downieville.  She has taught yoga for fourteen years, from gyms and studios to addiction and anger management classes, as well to the homeless and new releases.  Her classes at DVSAC in Grass Valley were just awarded a grant.



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