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September 2018

Happy New Year!

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:53 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Although our calendars mark a new year commencing in January, for a student the New Year has just begun. New shoes, new clothes, new pencils, new teachers, new hopes and dreams are endemic as kids transform into students when they cross school thresholds. New friendships are made and old ones, renewed. New skills are learned. New ideas, shared. New experiences abound. Schedules return to a familiar pattern. No more sleeping in, then moseying on down to the Yuba to for a leisurely splash in its refreshingly cool waters. Families are back on track.

School families are not the only ones who are embarking upon the beginning of a new, yet familiar, cycle. True harbingers of autumn, the sandhill cranes are returning. Their trumpeting reminds us that Fall is surely on her way. Soon autumn rains will soften the earth, awaken seeds, and renew the greenness of fields and meadows. Squirrels are reveling in the abundance of pine nuts and acorns. Leaves are subtly turning shades of red and yellow as they prepare to freshly carpet the forest floor. The trees, the birds, the squirrels know that this is a time of great change, a time of ending and of beginning. The end of summer and the beginning of fall is pivotal for all that inhabit our beautiful foothill home. We’re off on a new cycle, preparing for shorter days and cooler nights as high overhead the cranes’ songs wish us a Happy New Year.

Preschool Music & Movement with Jessica Navarrete

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:52 AM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Sep 11, 2018, 9:55 AM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

The San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center is very happy to announce that preschool aged (3-5) children will soon have the opportunity to have fun while learning in a Music & Movement Class presented by Jessica Navarrete. Having spent a lifetime working with young children, Jessica explained her motivation for presenting this class at the FRC. “My mom (Mindy Morton) always did day care when I was a child and I loved helping. When I was old enough I opened my own home day care in North San Juan and always tried my hardest to keep the kids engaged and learning in a safe environment. I’ve always done a structured preschool time that included music. I feel that an early introduction to music is beneficial.”

PRESCHOOL MUSIC & MOVEMENT at the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Thursdays 10-11am…. Beginning October 4th

FREE!  Must be pre-registered. No drop-ins. Limited class size.

This excellent opportunity is available to all San Juan Ridge boys and girls, ages 3-5. For more info or to enroll, drop by the FRC or call us at 292.3174.



Grizzly Hill School Welcomes a New School Year

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:51 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Although Grizzly Hill Schools’ Back to School Night was two weeks into the beginning of a term, enthusiasm had not begun to wane; and the excitement of a new school year was palpable. Students, parents, teachers, and community members chomped on homemade pizza as Grizzly Hill’s Principal
James Berardi (pictured at right) presented the school’s staff and described new programs to a very appreciative crowd. Representatives from Dream a Difference, Sierra Streams Institute, Youth Bicyclists of Nevada County, Grizzly Hill’s Parent Teacher Club and the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center were also introduced as supporters of Grizzly Hill’s students, programs, and activities.

When talking about the new school year, Mr. Berardi’s enthusiastic optimism was contagious. “Twin Ridges is off on another school year and it’s exciting! We have so much to look forward to with new energy, passion, and ideas. Replacing Mrs. Smith as our new TK-K-1 teacher, Julie Kolofer brings over a decade of classroom and administration experience from working in small rural schools. Experienced in science education, our new 3rd-4th grade teacher, Gretchen Eisenhut, has roots in the Sierra foothills and is happy to be living and working close to her family. Mrs Blades, a classroom aide, is working with 4-8 grade students to create a cross country track team. So far, 12 boys & girls are practicing & prepping to participate in several meets with other middle schools throughout the county.

We are continuing our awesome food program, cooking locally sourced foods from scratch. Our food program is above and beyond the best school food program in the county! Our relationship with Sierra Harvest will continue providing unique food tasting opportunities, guest chefs and farm visits, and will assist in utilizing Grizzly Hill’s garden space and greenhouse. We’ve just completed the implementation of a grant in conjunction with Sierra Streams Institute that created rain gardens that will catch rain running off solid surfaces. These gardens were planted by our students with indigenous species of plants. This project enhances the campus, capturing unused runoff and creating a beautiful garden for all to enjoy.

Grizzly Hill and Washington Schools are THE ONLY SCHOOLS IN THE USA to be participating in an international poetry experience, Dream a Difference where kids can share their experiences across continents through poetry. Nevada County Arts Council Executive Director, Eliza Tudor and two local poets will work with kids on a regular basis to create poetry about themselves to be shared with kids from around the world. Twin Ridges’ kids will be sharing with kids from Palestine, Uganda, Bangladesh, Indonesia and other nations around the world.

With enough parental support and student participation we will be partnering with Youth Bicyclists of Nevada County to have a mountain bike club for physical activity and trail enhancement. Interested parents can contact James Berardi at 265-9052.

Last but certainly not least, “We now provide a 5 day a week program after school until 6 every evening. Including homework and tutoring, physical activities and games, structured play, dance, art, drama and other activities as they come available, the after school program is FREE to all Grizzly Hill families.”

Several Grizzly Hill students also took a moment to share their feelings, experiences, and hopes for the new school year.

“It’s exciting to be back in school! I like school. My favorite things are reading and doing math and I really like writing. I’m on the track team. Mrs. Blades is our coach and we practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Right now we’re raising money for our uniforms.”

Izabella Moulton

4th Grade-Grizzly Hill School


“I like seeing my friends a lot more often. I like Mr. Johnson. He’s a really cool teacher. He gives out a lot of candy. I really like the way he teaches and I’m learning a lot.”

Bryce Kersey

7th Grade- Grizzly Hill School


“It’s a really good feeling to be here because I chose to be back in school. I was home schooled before and it was really lonely. We didn’t get out of the house much. There were other schools to go to but I grew up with these kids. I’ve known them for years. So I figured that Grizzly Hill would be the best place to come to. My main teacher, Mr. Johnson, is great! He works really well with the kids. He’s calm and patient and calls the kids turkeys, which is really cute. I’m looking forward to learning more and getting prepared for high school and this is an excellent place to get prepared.”

     Sofia Jensen

                                                    8th Grade-Grizzly Hill School





Car Donations Keep Doors Open

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:47 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Many thanks to those who have donated vehicles to the San Juan Ridge Community Library and Family Resource Center! Your donations help us to serve our community. It’s easy to donate a vehicle.

Just call the Center for Car Donations at 877-411-3662 and tell them that you want to donate a vehicle(s) to the San Juan Ridge Community Library. They’ll take it from there. Thanks again for thinking of us and helping us keep our doors open.


Tip of the Month

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:46 AM by Kristin Snell

by Ned Russell, Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County

Tip – Asset #29  Honesty-Young person tells the truth even when it is not easy.

Always praise children when they are honest. If they own up to a misdeed, avoid overreacting with anger or embarrassment which can discourage future honesty, but do express your sadness and disappointment. If your child admits to breaking your favorite, valuable keepsake, keep in mind that encouraging honesty is more important than the item, regardless of price. Of course, although everyone hates to do it, set a good example for them by admitting to your own mistakes.

To learn more about the 40 Developmental Assets (Got40?), call 271.5617 or send email to  or



HoneyRoot: The Remaking of An Ancient Container

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:45 AM by Kristin Snell

by Lisa Chipkin, HoneyRoot Youth Program Co-Facilitator

HoneyRoot is committed to supporting youth on the journey to being embodied, integrated adults. At this year’s gathering we’ll be doing this through the youth program on Saturday, September 15th and Sunday the 16th (12-14 year olds), as well as weaving our 15+ year olds in as young adults with the larger community. 
I’m very excited to be co-facilitating the youth program with two dynamic young women, Quinna Watrr and Madeline Maddox. 
The program’s theme is "The Remaking of An Ancient Container” and over the course of the weekend, we will be calling on: our inner guides, allies found in our lineages, the bridge of generations, the plant and animal world.

By engaging our senses, honoring the self and reflection in another, exploring the gifts of nature, feeling at home in the body and in the presence of another, we begin to develop an embodied perspective that encourages body sovereignty, helps us define our values and leads us to understand and have healthy connections with our emotions, desires, relationships, inner voices, and creative selves.

We want to welcome as many youth as would love to be with us, and would greatly appreciate your help in sharing this in any way that resonates. Thank you! 

We also have a limited amount of financial aid available for those in need.

For general information on the annual gathering

For more information about the youth program at the annual gathering:



San Juan Ridge Community Library Update

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:41 AM by Kristin Snell

by Mary Moore, Librarian




TUES & THURS 11-7   SAT 10-4

Pre-School Story Time on occasional Mondays, 11:00am-11-30am Call for details

Phone: 292-3008 Location: Next to Head Start, Behind the Ball Field on Oak Tree in North San Juan

So, you probably think that all there is in the library is books.

It is with regret that I admit to you that 90% of our circulation is videos.  Of our 11,485 items, only 1,830 are DVD’s.  There is a problem with these statistics.  Laura Savage is our wonderful volunteer who processes, cleans, and weeds the DVD Collection.  I work like a fiend trying to constantly upgrade our book collection to fill the needs of the Ridge.

I confess, I watch 5 plus movies a week.  Most are not inspiring, but relaxing.  Watching a documentary makes me feel less guilty. Our section of documentaries DVD’s is getting more interesting every month.  Examples: Manners of Downton Abbey, An Original DUCKumentary, WasteLand-Art work done in the world’s largest garbage dump, U-Carmen-The opera revised to work believably in South Africa, Food, Inc- a glimpse into our food industry, Finding the Gold Within- amazing insight into racism, PLUS : Music Concerts by old and newer groups, standup comedy, self-help, spiritual guidance and more!

But really, how can we fit in time to read those wonderful books?!  First you have to put your phone away, then you can read all kinds of places: bathtub, doctor’s office, traffic stops, car repair shops, waiting for a theatre production to start, waiting for a tow truck, on the beach, on a bus, train, or plane, going to sleep, when you are sick, when you are sick of movies…  If you have children, a book is a lifesaver: in the car, stranded anywhere, illness, bed or nap times, or hot days.  Be sure to stop reading at cliff-hanger spots.  Sneak your child into reading by letting them read to you.

Please come get books!! They save lives!







posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:38 AM by Kristin Snell

by Hank Weston, District IV Supervisor—Nevada County Board of Supervisors

It was 30 years ago next month that the 49er Fire tore through District IV burning 33,000 acres and surrounding structures - we are not out of danger until we have substantial rain wetting our area. Remember, the fires that ripped through Nevada County last year were in October, so the worst of fire season is yet to come. If you haven’t done so already, please get a copy of your 2018-19 Fire Season Guide from the Nevada County Fire Safe Council’s website at  Be sure to get a fire Go-Bag together using the guide’s evacuation checklists. Taking the time now to prepare could save you a lot of time and some heartache down the road.

We have also all noticed the ever-increasing smoke in the air that hangs above our heads. Please be mindful of the impacts of smoke in the air and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. An advisory put out by the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District outlines that high levels of air toxins can cause or worsen asthma and other cardiovascular diseases. As of the day I am writing this, air quality advisories indicate that air pollutants that most affect how we breathe are at orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) and red (unhealthy for all groups) alert levels. This means that sensitive children and adults should avoid or limit prolonged outdoor exposure and activity. Therefore, please take the necessary steps to take care of yourself and those around you. You can find more information about our air quality and preventive measures at 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate our County Executive Officer (CEO) Rick Haffey on his many achievements and wish him a wonderful retirement, as he steps down from his position with the County this September. Without a doubt, Rick has been instrumental in his leadership of the County and should be credited with ensuring the financial stability of our County. Over the years Rick has provided invaluable input and important recommendations to the Board of Supervisors that have served the County and ultimately the public well. But with his departure, I am also pleased to report that Alison Lehman, our Assistant CEO will be taking over as Nevada County’s new CEO. Alison has the full support of our Board and I have no doubt that she will serve the County just as well as her predecessor. As Alison noted, “I'm looking forward to stepping into the role of County Executive Officer in September and appreciate the Board's confidence in appointing me to this position. Nevada County is a great community that I've been able to call home for over eighteen years. I am excited to continue serving our local community with a commitment to outstanding public service, while working hand-in-hand with Nevada County's skilled staff, our elected officials, local businesses, and the non-profit sector.”


Second Annual PTC Chili Cookoff!

posted Sep 11, 2018, 9:34 AM by Kristin Snell

by Grizzly Hill PTC



Donate a pot of your best chili for a chance to win a chili champion trophy!

Judges meal—$8/Adult meal—$7/Child meal—$5  All meals

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