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Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

Lauren Foreman covers education for The Californian. Reach her at, at or on Twitter@TBCTheGrade.

STUDENTS TO GIVE BIG: Kathryn Morales, a junior honor student at Frontier High School, sketched a picture of her left hand on paper before she began redrawing the penciled image on a 6-by-6-inch wooden block.

She drew the creases on her palms and three groups of thin lines on each finger like sideways tally marks. A half circle formed parenthesis around the hand that Morales said she would recreate with yellow acrylic paint that glows in the dark.

The words "Human Kindness is powerful..." were printed in the background.

It is the theme of a student service project to deliver artwork to patients at the Lauren Small Children's Medical Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, and part of a broader service effort that students in the National Honor Society (NHS) at Frontier High School organized.

Morales said NHS students will partner with their peers in robotics club, advanced art, wrestling and service clubs to hold about 20 community service events April 24-May 10. Organizers coined the festivities -- fundraising, educational and service events -- the Big Give.

Morales said the community supports Frontier so frequently that NHS students want to show their appreciation by giving back.

NHS student Taylor O'Connor said their aim is to partner with high schools throughout the Kern High School District and reach every Bakersfield community.

"We can only help so much," O'Connor said.

Events include a food drive for the Bakersfield Homeless Center, a robotics club science presentation, a book drive for Norris Elementary School and a letter-writing campaign to support veterans.

"Other schools will be able to reach what we can't," Morales added.

TEACHER OF THE WEEK: A parent recommended Marcos Heredia, a fifth-grade teacher at Sandrini Elementary School in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, as Teacher of the Week.

Heredia said the recommendation is proof of what characterizes him as an educator -- his strong relationships with students and parents.

The 10-year teacher has both taken students on educational field trips to the Kern County Museum and California Science Center to get them out of the classroom and opened doors to students and parents who want to spend more time inside room P-11.

He lets students visit during recess and hosts parent workshops.

"It's really important for me to connect with students and families," Heredia said.

For him, success is not a test score.

"Success is developing long relationships that will last a long time," Heredia said.

ROADRUNNER CLUB MOVES: A Bakersfield track club named in honor of the Cal State Bakersfield mascot, Rowdy the Roadrunner, was priced out of its CSUB home.

The Bakersfield Roadrunner Track Club -- which includes about 50 athletes from ages 6 to 15 -- began moving practices and preparatory meets known as mini-meets from CSUB track facilities to Bakersfield College's Memorial Stadium March 17.

Colleen Dillaway, a CSUB spokeswoman, explained that there was no blanket fee increase to use campus facilities but the Roadrunner club has yet to pay for its use of the CSUB track facilities.

Mark Handy, director of the youth track club, said the group has contracted with CSUB since 2010, but when the hourly cost to use the CSUB track facility doubled from about $50 to $100 an hour, the Roadrunner club had to find a new road.

"Breakups aren't easy, but I'm really glad to not be at CSUB," he added. "Our athletes love being at BC."

KCCD BOARD MEMBER TO RETIRE: A four-term trustee in the Kern Community College District announced last week that she will not seek re-election in November.

Pauline Larwood, who was first elected to the board in 1998, will end 16 years of service in December when her term ends.

She is one of seven KCCD board members and represents central Bakersfield. KCCD Chancellor Sandra Serrano wrote in a press release that Larwood has also been a longstanding member of the KCCD board's finance subcommittee.

"She will be sorely missed," Serrano wrote.

The KCCD is one of 49 Kern County districts that will have open board seats in this November's election, according to the Kern County Auditor-Controller-County Clerk.

Candidates for Larwood's seat must reside in central Bakersfield. For more info, call the KCCD at 336-5100.

NEW STUDENT JOB PROGRAM: Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced a summer program Wednesday that will provide more than 300 Kern County youth career classes.

The classes, according to a PG&E press release, will be based on nationally sponsored Boys & Girls Clubs programs that offer career exploration, financial literacy and service-learning opportunities. Students who complete the program, which is eight weeks long, will have the chance to interview for one of 55 summer jobs at local businesses. They will also receive clothing stipends and bus tokens for transportation.


* The California Living Museum, a zoo in part, will enda promotion allowing children ages 12 and younger free admission to the museum Saturday. The offer, Spring Fling, will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through April 19 at 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. For more information, call 872-2256 or visit

* CSUB will host "The Grapes of Charity: Excavating California's Debt to Frank Roosevelt's New Deal" at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Albertson Room inside the CSUB Dore Theater. Gray Brechin, a historical geographer and director of the Living New Deal project at UC Berkeley, will lead discussion Friday. The Living New Deal Project is a national effort to interpret the work of former president Franklin Roosevelt.

* Kern Green, a local nonprofit, invites schools and other agencies to nominate candidates for one of 14 environmental service awards given as part of the Kern Green Awards Banquet. The banquet will be held Sept. 10 at Aera Energy. The deadline to nominate candidates is April 28, and the nomination form is available at For more information, call 412-3780 or email

* Marinello Schools of Beauty will provide more than $100,000 in scholarships to high school students in the 6th Annual Raw Talent Scholarship Competition. The deadline for essay and photo submissions is midnight, April 28. Applications are available online at For more information, call the local school at 282-2308 or visit 3737 Ming Ave.


Here's how one Facebook user responded to a post on The Californian's Facebook page:

When a Kentucky teen posted a suicide note in the form of a YouTube video and later died by suicide, the school district shut down its access to social media sites. Was this the right move or a missed opportunity?

Chandra Beaty, Facebook: "Missed opportunity to educate. They should promote the suicide hotline and have counselors trained to help those affected by it and to offer support for students and others who may feel the need to commit suicide."