Campers thank firefighters

During the YMCA’s Winter Camp in late December, campers made a thank-you banner for firefighters who were working on the Thomas Fire. It hung facing Refugio Road until it was taken down due to sun fading. The campers used red, orange, yellow and blue handprints to show a fire hose putting out a fire.


Solvang School planning language immersion program

Solvang School’s Board of Trustees has approved the development of a dual language immersion (DLI) program that could begin as soon as the 2018-19 school year.

Further work on the proposal, which is still in the development stage, was approved Jan. 9. Implementation of such a program would require further board approval.

“These programs are so in demand,” Solvang School Superintendent Dr. Steve Seaford told the board.

According to the district’s DLI planning draft, the program would begin with one kindergarten classroom made up of both English learners and English speakers. The program would expand by one grade level each year until fifth grade is included. The goal of the program would be dual literacy in both English and Spanish, not just language exposure for students.

“It does require a commitment,” Seaford added while seeking the board’s approval to move forward with plans and development.

Seaford said that a committee of administrators, teachers and staff would be meeting weekly to work on the program, and a final DLI proposal will be brought back to the board for approval.



Chumash youth raise money for music foundation

Youth from the Chumash Learning Center held a gift-wrapping fundraiser in mid-December at the Santa Ynez Tribal Hall to benefit the Lompoc-based Certain Sparks Music Foundation.

The youth raised $500, and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians provided a dollar-for-dollar matching grant to create a $1,000 donation to the nonprofit group that has taught them how to play musical instruments over the past year.

Tribal Education Director Dr. Niki Sandoval said the Certain Sparks Music Foundation has provided “hands-on music and character education” to more than 35 Chumash students with continuing lessons.

Mic Singh, the director of youth music programs for Certain Sparks, has taught the Learning Center students the basics of guitar, drums and ukulele while promoting the values of acceptance, courtesy and respect.

“It’s been a pleasure to come to the Learning Center to help the kids learn music,” Singh said. “This donation will help pay for music lessons for kids who can’t afford them and will also help with developing other music programs to better serve the community.”

For more information on the Certain Sparks Music Foundation, visit

To find out more about the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation and its giving programs, visit


Local student named to Dean’s List at Biola

Tenley Force was one of about 1,500 students named to the Dean’s List at Biola University for spring term 2017.

The list honors students with a grade point average of 3.60 or higher while enrolled in 12 or more credit units and whose cumulative grade point average is at least a 3.20.

Biola University is a private Christian university in Los Angeles, founded in 1908.