School Year: 2017-2018
MENTORING & THE SOLAR ECLIPSE TRIP
This note is to report on schedule and logistics, and most important: to obtain responses to determine who is joining the caravan. Please read the following and let us know your plans by returning the response via e-mail at the bottom of this post.
Saturday, August 19th, 2017
• 9:00am: Meet at Mentoring Academy, organize, leave.
Travel North on 5 north, then at Weed take 97 north to Klamath Falls, Crater Lake area, stopping for lunch, gas, views of Mount Shasta, etc. Late afternoon arrive at Klamath Falls, Oregon. People can camp in National Forest or in one of the reserved rooms:
Address: 3060 S 6th St, Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Phone: (541) 882-4601
John would like to know how many folks want motel rooms so we can keep reservations, add more or cancel some. Several camping areas available.
Activities: Swim, Dinner, Sleep.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Motel Breakfast. Leave for campsite north of Madras, Oregon. Depending on traffic, you should be in camp early afternoon. Set up camp. Lunch. Try out photo systems on regular sun. Swim in lake about 10 miles west. Rest, play, explore. Dinner.
Monday, August 21st, 2017 - Eclipse Day
Breakfast. Start photographing partial eclipse 8:30-ish, full totality soon after 10am, then partial.
People can leave for home whenever they want. Roads will probably be totally crazy for awhile. Motels available in southern Oregon and northern California. Forest service camping available in much of the area.
• We have protective eyeware for all participants.
• Additional information on photography, packing list, food, etc will follow for those participating.
* PLEASE RESPOND BY E-MAIL & ANSWER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
_____ I will be driving to the eclipse with the following friends and family members (include yourself):
_____ I am not able to drive but the following family members would like to ride in a car, sharing expenses (again, include yourself):
You've probably heard about that big deal in the skies in August. And it IS a big deal as the first TOTAL Solar Eclipse in the USA in decades makes landfall Monday, August 21st. The Moon will pass in front of our Sun and the resulting shadow that is cast will cut a path through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, and across the southern states to South Carolina before leaving over the Atlantic Ocean.
There are many prime viewing areas and, even in the Bay Area, we will see a partial eclipse of the Sun, but Mentoring Academy has a spot for you in Oregon right in the path of totality. John has secured a camping place near Salem for those that wish to make the trek and camp in a national park.
This isn't an official Mentoring Academy trip so you'll have to supply your own food, transportation, and camping gear. This is open to students, staff, parents, friends, and family. The next Total Solar Eclipse in the USA will be in 20 years so now is a great opportunity.
The New school year is rapidly approaching! Where did the summer go to? Mentoring Academy has many exciting things planned for the new academic year which officially begins Tuesday, September 4th, the day after Labor Day. We say "officially" because, the week before, the students and staff will be be attending our Fall Retreat so that the students and faculty have a chance to get to know each other by the time that first day rolls around. Where is the Fall Retreat this year? Read below has we highlight some of the exciting things we have planned from the updated 2017-2018 calendar year, which you can see on this page.
FALL RETREAT: YOSEMITE & CAMP SAN JOSE
The rumors are true! Mentoring Academy will be trekking to one of the great Parks in the USA: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK. This is for our Fall Treat, which is a great opportunity for students, new and returning, to bond and get to know each other so that when the first day of classes begins after Labor Day, everyone will already know each other. And the teachers!
We will be leaving Monday, August 28th and returning Friday, September 1st. This won't be our usual camping trip as we have secured a location outside the valley at the Camp San Jose, which already has tent cabin, a working kitchen, and more.
Parents: be sure to come to the Parent Meeting on Sunday, August 27th at 3:30pm.
Here is a pdf of more information including a
packing list and forms to bring at the Sunday meeting:
MAPs 2017 - 2018
M.A.P.s (Mentoring Academy Parents) is poised to have their best year yet. Getting a start on the new academic year as early as summer and spring, MAPs has been planning and organizing events for the year including fundraisers as the Wine Wall or selling Mentoring Academy mugs and DVDs and photos of the schools Cuba trip from April (still available if interested).
This year, expect MAPs to be very active with BBQs, social Happy Hours, and other ways for the Mentoring Community's parents to connect and share ideas and resources. Coming soon is the MAPs portal, a page on this website just for the parents to share information.
If you are already a Mentoring Academy parent that hasn't been to a MAPs meeting or function, take a look at the school calendar for one of the monthly meetings or events and drop on in. If you are a parent new to Mentoring, chances are MAPs has reached out to you.
DO SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY
Every spring, Mentoring Academy takes the students on an adventure. It is a chance to learn about history, culture, language, and the world. In 2014, the school visited Washington DC. In 2015, Poland. In 2016, Costa Rica. And in 2017, Cuba. Where will the students go in 2018? We'll have to wait and see.
THE SOLAR ECLIPSE TRIP IN PICTURES
Mentoring Academy's unofficial Solar Eclipse trip was a success! A small caravan of students, parents, staff, and family and friends made the trek on up to Oregon to see the Eclipse in totality. Here are some photos from their adventure:
THE SOLAR ECLIPSE IN VIDEO
Mentoring Academy's trip to Oregon in August yielded some great photos and videos but it is the audio of this video that is also priceless. Thank you to the Max family for the footage.
CAMP SAN JOSE & COLUMBIA
While Mentoring Academy was not able to visit Yosemite Valley during our Fall Retreat due to the fires and air quality, we had a wonderful time at CAMP SAN JOSE and a half day trip to the Gold Rush town of COLUMBIA. Students had fun with swimming, playing Quidditch, and shooting pool, work was also being done with Math and English assessments, cooking and cleaning chores, and workshops. One of the main reasons for a retreat at the beginning of the school year is to allow new and returning students, along with staff, to get to know each other so that, when the first day of school begins, friendships and bonds are already established. And, judging from our first week of school, it is a success.
COMMUNITY DINNER: THANKS!
A BIG Thank you to the parents, students, and staff for all their hard work for our first Community Dinner of the year. It was a successful event with dinner, getting to know new faces, a slideshow and video presentation of the last month featuring the Fall Retreat, and a violin performance by new student Saul. Speaking of which.....
HALLOWEEN AT MENTORING
Halloween at Mentoring was filled with costumes, fun, and candy. Lots and lots of candy. A big thanks to parents Maria Saliba and Lisa Twomey for bringing by snacks.
UPDATED: THE BERKELEY REP x FOUR
WATCH ON THE RHINE
On December 6th, Mentoring Academy enjoyed its second visit to the Berkeley Rep Theater to see WATCH ON THE RHINE, Lillian Hellman's WWII drama. Following the play was a Talk Back session where the students could ask questions to the actors. And when we returned to the school, a lively discussion was had on the play, the characters, and a 1940 America and Europe.
Unfortunately, our showing of IMAGINARY COMFORTS was cancelled but we have a replacement show in place with updated information below:
One of the real treats of the school year is our Mentoring Academy visits to the Berkeley Rep Theater. This coming school year, we've got FOUR SHOWS planned. Here are the shows and dates:
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
11am show"Ain't too Proud: The Temptations Musical"
Courtyard lunch weather permitting bring bag lunch.
Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
"Watch on the Rhine"
Courtyard lunch weather permitting Bring bag lunch.
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
11 am. show
Courtyard lunch weather permitting Bring bag lunch.
Thursday, May 9th, 2017
"Angels in America"
Courtyard lunch weather permitting 10am. Bring Bag lunch .
About the shows:
AIN'T TOO PROUD: A TEMPTATIONS MUSICAL
An electrifying new musical about the life and times of The Temptations, the greatest R&B group of all time (Billboard Magazine2017). They were five young guys on the streets of Detroit when they were discovered by Berry Gordy, who signed them to his legendary new label. After 24 attempts, they finally had a hit and the rest is history—how they met, how they rose, the groundbreaking heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the nation fell into civil unrest. Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, Olivier Award-winning choreographer Sergio Trujillo, and two-time Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff bring you this thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal. Iconic hits like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and the signature dance moves that made the “Classic Five” Temptations part of our cultural history forever.
WATCH ON THE RHINE
It’s 1940—and Fanny Farrelly, a wealthy matriarch living in Washington, DC, is about to learn it’s no longer the world she once knew. After spending 20 years abroad, Fanny’s daughter arrives home with her German husband, Kurt, an anti-fascist activist. When a houseguest and Nazi sympathizer threatens to turn Kurt in, the family discovers how far they’ll go to fight for what they believe—and for each other. Written in 1941 by activist playwright Lillian Hellman, Watch on the Rhine is a timely examination of moral obligation, sacrifice, and what it means to be American.
After enthralling audiences with Aubergine, Julia Cho returns to Berkeley Rep with a searing and touching play that tunes into the plight of “the other” in a country steeped in mistrust and intolerance. Hiding in the back of the classroom, Dennis’ sullen presence has his fellow students and professors on edge. But during an office visit, his writing instructor seeks to break through Dennis’ silence and earn his trust—with shocking results. A deeply personal story of empathy and redemption, Office Hour explores otherness and paranoia while revealing our essential human need for connection.
ANGELS IN AMERICA
Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning masterpiece finally arrives at Berkeley Rep in its entirety—directed by artistic director Tony Taccone in his 20th anniversary season! First staged 26 years ago, and originally commissioned by the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco while Taccone was serving as artistic director, this fierce and astounding two-part drama is at once an epic exploration of American politics, gay identity, and mythology, and a personal story of love and loyalty. In today’s sociopolitical climate, Kushner’s universal message of compassion and inclusion makes Angels in America as timely as ever.
BAMPFA BEFORE THE BREAK
On our last day before winter break, the school was treated to a visit to BAMPFA, The Berkeley Art Museum and Film Archives. On display were the exhibits Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument and Repentant Monk: Illusion and Disillusion in the Art of Chen Honshu.
AMAZON SMILE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
DECEMBER COMMUNITY DINNER
Before the winter break, Mentoring Academy had its second Community Dinner. Presentations by Zacary, Tucker, Mickey, and Ben plus lasagna by Robin and the cooking crew made for an awesome evening. Thank you to all the Students, Parents, and Staff for making this happen.
Support us when you shop for the holidays.
Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/46-1465759 and Amazon donates to Mentoring Academy.
One of the elements of the Extraordinary Guatemala trip is a volunteering component. This involves the staff and students helping with minor construction projects to art murals to teaching English during mornings at local schools. Some of these things involve raising money for the school. Students and staff are currently working on a carnival event to raise the funds for our goal. Look to this space soon for details on the fundraiser and how you can help.
Can't make our Carnival but would like to help?
Please consider donating to our
Go Fund Me page.
We and the students of
Guatemala would greatly
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR
Recently, parent John Kuo talked at one of our Tea Times about Chinese New Year and how to make Potstickers. Happy Chinese New Year, Gung hay fat choy, and Gong xi fa cai.
In January and February, three of our students performed and participated in the productions of "Les Miserables", "Fig and Wasp", and "Lucky" for the Berkeley Playhouse and the Berkeley Rep (Teen). Great job, Alex, Jude, and Milo!
Mentoring Academy just announced its destination for its EXTRAORDINARY PROGRAM 2018.....GUATEMALA. Students and Staff will journey to the land of the Mayans for 12 days in March. We've partnered with Cross-Cultural Solutions to bring an exciting program of exploring, learning, cultural exchange, and volunteering.
We fly in to Guatemala City and then travel 1.5 hours away up in to the cool mountains to Tecpán where we will stay in a lodge. After a two day orientation, we will begin a five day program with Panemacoc school. Mornings will be spent helping their school with anything from painting murals to building small construction projects to tutoring and teaching English or working with them in their computer lab.
The cultural experience continues in the afternoons with visits to local homes, roasting of cacao, preparing hot chocolate, pottery making, and weaving of fabrics. A visit to the Mayan archeological site of Iximche with a Shaman ceremony is also included.
Finally, we finish up the program with trips to Lake Atitlan and Antigua. Lake Atitlan contains many villages around its shore and we hope to visit Panajachel and the Mayan village of San Juan de la Laguna. Besides the boat tour across the lake, there will be artisan workshops, swimming, and perhaps even a zip-line to the lake.
UNESCO World Heritage site Antigua is our final stop before heading home. Antigua Guatemala means "Old Guatemala". Founded in 1542, it was the capital of the Spanish Empire in America. Earthquakes eventually led to the Spanish abandoning the site for about a century until locals began to resettle there. Classic Spanish Colonial structures do still exist there along with some tasty cuisine ranging from stews to candy.
More information will be released to families and students in the near future but GUATEMALA 2018 promises to be an exciting adventure.
Our fundraising Carnival on Saturday, February 24th was a success. Thank you to all whom came out and supported the event. If you missed it and still want to support the event, we still have the Go Fund Me page open (see above).
NEW BERKELEY REP SHOW ADDED
Mentoring Academy missed out on the Berkeley Rep's performance of OFFICE HOURS but we do have a make up show with Heidi Schreck's WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME. This is the West Coast Premiere for Tuesday, May 15th, 2018.
Here is what the Rep's website has to say about the show:
By Heidi Schreck
Directed by Oliver Butler
Directed by the Debate Society’s Obie Award-winning Oliver Butler, What the Constitution Means to Me is a moving and entertaining show that New York Magazine called one of the 10 best shows of 2017: “It finds the political, and the powerful, in the personal.”
About What the Constitution Means To Me:
When Heidi Schreck was in high school she delivered speeches about the Constitution in American Legion Halls all over the country in order to earn money to pay for college. Today, the witty Obie Award-winning performer radically reinvents the speech she gave at 15 and discovers the profound effect this document has had on four generations of women in her family. The piece culminates in a fierce impromptu debate between Heidi and a local high-school debater over the future of our inalienable rights.
Besides watching the performance, which includes a post-show Q&A sessions with the cast, students can participate in a workshop with professional teaching artists before or after the performance. These workshops can be designed to further enrich your experience, connect the performance to your classroom, or build on performance skills.
Also, on Wednesday, May 9th is the performance of ANGELS IN AMERICA.
TEA TIME: VIKINGS & WOOL
Susan Richards and parent Leslie Ishfin recently stopped by for a Tea Time on Vikings, Wool, and Twisty Sticks.
Mentoring Academy 2017-2018 finished up the school year with a 4 day camping trip to the Portola Redwoods State Park, located near La Honda at the bottom of the peninsula. On the list of things to do were hiking, exploring the creek, cooking, student presentations, a brief movie night, and a trip out to a strawberry farm.
Here are some photos from the trip:
And so closed the end of another school year with Mentoring Academy's largest graduating class yet. Seven Seniors took to the podium along with two 8th graders moving on up to High School. Plus, students matriculated up to the next grade. This year's speeches were funny and emotional.