A pair of local sports franchises scored some big points with local students and families this week.
As the Orange County Register reported, the nonprofit group Team Smile teamed up with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to stage a free dental clinic for about 300 kids at Angel Stadium.
The event, which was supported by Pacific Dental Services and The Smile Generation, featured an exam area and an x-ray station in the ballpark’s interior exhibit center, along with a bullpen of volunteer dentists and hygienists ready to fill cavities and extract teeth if necessary.
The Register reported that kindergartners, first- and second-graders received about $100,000 in free dental services.
On the same day, another 300 students from six elementary schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District were picking out new shoes courtesy of the Los Angeles Chargers and members of the team’s cheerleading squad.
In addition to helping kids try on and lace up their sneakers at the WSS store in Santa Ana, Charger players signed autographs and posed for pictures.
Here are some other school-related stories that caught our attention:
- A principal in OCDE’s Alternative Education division believes his program can be instrumental in transforming communities and is looking to build relationships with local families.
- A Troy High graduate who’s now a senior at the University of Oklahoma was recently named a Rhodes Scholar, which is one of the most prestigious honors in higher education.
- The Fullerton School District will join the Fullerton Joint Union High School District in asking voters to approve a bond to raise money for campus construction and facilities upgrades.
- For his Eagle Scout project, a Trabuco Canyon teen developed a game that educates young people about marine mammals in the wild — and the dangers those animals face from humans.
- Years after suffering a debilitating early-childhood stroke, a junior varsity basketball coach at Orange’s El Modena High is living out his hoop dreams.
- Orange County businesses learned how they can help equip students for careers transformed by automation, artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies at the fifth annual OC Pathways Showcase. The OCDE Newsroom produced a short video recap.
- A well-known membership association that supports school-based IT professionals has inducted OCDE Chief Technology Officer Carl Fong into its Hall of Fame.
- Educators across the country are increasingly using esports to teach a variety of skills and core subjects. A story that ran in District Administration magazine features the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, which started in Orange County and is supported by OCDE.
- Foster youth miss more schools days than any other group in California. School officials are trying to change that by removing transportation barriers for foster students and preventing frequent transfers, EdSource reports.
- In response to declining enrollment, officials in the Buena Park School District say Gordon H. Beatty Elementary School will be converted to serve middle schoolers by the 2020-21 school year.
- Two people were arrested after a threat was made to Estancia High School through social media. Authorities said they plan to maintain a strong police presence but affirmed there was no longer a credible threat to the campus.
- An Irvine couple believed learning Chinese should be more fun for kids and accessible to non-Chinese families, so they started a preschool, wrote original songs and created their own series of books.
- A Vox report says that even in California, which tends to embrace more liberal policies, some families are pushing back against sex ed and lessons related to gender identity. The outlet says battles in Orange County and throughout the state could play out across the country.
- About one-third of households in the state’s rural areas have internet service, compared with 78 percent in urban areas, according to an analysis by EdSource. That gap makes it more difficult for rural students to do some school assignments at home.
- A new audit suggests homeless students in California were undercounted by at least 37 percent in 2017-18. Experts say students without permanent homes can miss out on transportation, counseling, social services and other benefits if they’re not properly identified.
- Lockdown procedures were temporarily implemented at a campus in Anaheim after a student was spotted with what turned out to be a replica handgun.
This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.