Stockton theater joins #SelmaForStudents movement with free tickets for 7th-9th graders

STOCKTON – Local seventh- through ninth-grade students will be able to see the Oscar-nominated film “Selma” free of charge, part of an unprecedented nationwide effort by black leaders to raise funds so teens can learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic efforts to secure equal voting rights for blacks in 1965.

Admission to the movie will be free to those showing student ID at Stockton’s City Centre Stadium 16 & IMAX, 222 N. El Dorado St. while tickets last. Stockton’s participation in #SelmaForStudents was made possible by Robert Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment, organizers said.

Dozens of cities nationwide have joined the massive national campaign after 27 black business leaders in New York City created a fund for 27,000 of that city’s seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students to see the film for free. That effort sold out in the very first weekend. Across the U.S., donors have underwritten the cost of admission for more than 300,000 middle and high schoolers.

“Selma” chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when King led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.

The PG-13 film, which stars David Oyelowo as King and includes Cuba Gooding and Oprah Winfrey among the cast, runs a little over two hours.

Students are invited to share their images and response to the film using the #SelmaForStudents hashtag.

Teachers interested in reserving 25 or more tickets for their classrooms can contact Group Sales Specialists at  for assistance. Visit for more information.

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Cash for College workshops offer help navigating CalGrant, FAFSA forms

Free Cash for College workshops are planned over the next several weeks at schools throughout the county; check the list above for the nearest upcoming session. Participating high school seniors could quality for an incentive scholarship if they attend, complete an exit survey and apply for a Cal Grant – which offers up to $12,192 a year for college expenses - by the March 2 deadline. Students eligible for in-state tuition assistance may also qualify for the incentive scholarship.

The workshops offer help in filling out the FAFSA and CalGrant forms. Students are not required to stay the entire time; it takes only about an hour or less to go through the information. For more information and for a list of what to bring, visit

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Kings tickets discounted to help Stockton teen recovering from cancer

Special discount tickets are still available for Friday night’s Sacramento Kings game against the Miami Heat, one of the  hottest matchups of the season. That night, Stockton teen Shaylee Murphy will be named Queen of the Night during the special Night at the Kings fete, and a portion of the ticket prices will go toward her medical expenses after her cancer surgery late last year.

The specially priced tickets for the 7 p.m. game, a critical one for both the Kings and the Heat, are available for up to 40 percent off regular prices. They can be purchased online at Promotional prices range from $34-$42 for upper-level seats and $89 for the lower level; the discount passcode is KINGS. For more information, email or call (916) 928-8152.









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Outpouring of support means Christmas for needy family

After handing out more than 100 free trees to kids and their families earlier this month, Nathan Voyer, assistant principal at Maxine Hong Kingston Elementary, sounded the call for an especially needy family who had next to nothing; the prospect of Christmas seemed bleak.

An outpouring of generosity followed, and members of the community “adopted” all four of the family’s children to make sure that didn’t happen. Tuesday, after cramming his truck to the brim, Voyer was able to deliver more than 50 gifts to the family with the help of his father-in-law, retired Pastor Jim Dunn.

Kaiser Permanente’s Pediatric Department donated many of the gifts and grocery gift cards. Don Nelson – son of Bob Nelson, who was a sixth-grade teacher at Maxine Hong-Kingston in the late 1940s and early ’50s and also was principal of Lafayette Elementary – and his wife, Ellie, were among those who adopted the family, as well as Liv Garret, a retired Lodi Unified music teacher; Doris Cody, a San Joaquin County Mental Health employee; Kimberly Hagerty, a Kingston parent; Donna Gum, librarian at Kingston; Valerie Islas, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente; Marce Rosado, a Kingston parent; and Julian Winbush, a Kingston student.

They also made sure the family had a tree, Christmas decorations, “clothes for each child from head to toe,” family presents, household items, gift cards for Food-4-Less, and a little extra cash, said Voyer, who called the response nothing less than awesome.


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Manteca school wins $5K Bright Ideas grant

Manteca Unified’s George McParland School was among 39 across the state awarded a Bright Ideas Grant from Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the utility has announced.

McParland School was awarded $5,000 to help fund innovative classroom projects about energy and the environment and develop projects and curriculum that educate students about renewable energy, conservation and environmental stewardship.

The grant program aims to help support the understanding of renewable energy in public schools throughout Northern and Central California. Grants of up to $10,000 – PG&E awarded $250,000 this year and more than $2.5 million since 2005 – are awarded to educators for educational solar projects; youth energy and environmental programs; renewable energy or science-related field trips; Green Your School projects; and professional development/service learning or work force development programs.

Past projects have included installing solar panels, designing and implementing energy-saving ideas in classrooms, hosting solar car derbies, and other solar-powered inventions, according to PG&E.

“PG&E is pleased to support innovative educational programs that teach local students in our communities about renewable energy,” said PG&E President Chris Johns. “The Bright Ideas Grant program is dedicated to teachers throughout Northern and Central California who are inspiring young people to dream up the next big ideas in sustainable energy.”

K-12 public schools located in Northern and Central California are eligible to apply for the grants through Nov. 1, 2015. To apply, visit

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Teen gets 52 years to life for elderly couple’s slaying

The 17-year-old killer of a Stockton woman’s father and stepmother was sentenced Friday to 52 years in prison for stabbing to death an elderly couple in their Davis home, the Associated Press reported.

Daniel Marsh was 15 when he broke into the Davis home of Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin in 2013 and murdered them with a hunting knife. Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed sentenced Marsh to the maximum of 25 years to life, plus an extra year for use of the knife, for each victim.

“He’s the most evil person I’ve ever encountered,” said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral, who prosecuted the case.

Kathy Schick, one of Northup’s daughters and president of the San Joaquin County League of Women Voters as well as an adjunct instructor of microbiology at San Joaquin Delta College’s Mountain House campus, shared the impact the brutal slayings had on her and her family in October in hopes that her story would lead to better detection and treatment for those with mental illness. Stockton Unified was awarded two federal grants totaling more than $5 million that will enable the district to expand its approach to mental health and discipline and other types of critical needs.

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Parenting with Positive Behavior Reinforcement workshop Dec. 17

The Stockton Unified School District’s Community Advisory Committee will meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at 1503 St. Mark’s Plaza, Suite A-2, Stockton.


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SUSD police unveil new newsletter

With a debut issue introducing the “face behind the phone,” a new captain and the agency’s new K-9 officer, the Stockton Unified Police Department recently unveiled its first newsletter.

The publication will come out three to four times a year, Police Chief Bryon Gustafson said, and features news, tips and other information about the department – including a chance to take part in an upcoming Chief’s Luncheon with Gustafson (Those interested should contact Alice Nunez

“We’re looking to create to a basic outreach tool that we can give not only to students or parents but to other school site staff,” Gustafson said. “We’re a big district with 4,000 staff … so just to be able to pass out information to employees is a positive thing.”

The newsletter will be available in the department lobby, 640 N. San Joaquin St., and officers will also be handing them out in the community.

Gustafson, who has been working to make the department more transparent since his February hire and on Tuesday presented the department’s first Three-Year Strategic Plan to trustees, said in a recent interview that he’s been heartened by the support both he and the department are receiving in the community.

“I am privileged to be working with this community and I feel really great support,” he said, “and I hope that we can build on that.”

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State board moves to boost parent, community involvement in school budget process

The State Board of Education has approved final spending regulations for the Local Control Funding Formula and a revised template for Local Control and Accountability Plans, strengthening parent and community involvement in budget decisions and expanding local accountability measures to improve student achievement.

The file vote marks a major milestone in the formal rulemaking process required of the board and finalizes revisions and improvements suggested by educators, parents, students, lawmakers, education groups and advocacy organizations since the LCFF became law in 2013. Thousands of public comments about the regulations and hours of public testimony before the Board went into to the development of the final regulations and revised template.

LCFF links transparency and accountability directly to the local goal setting and budgeting process by requiring each school district, county office of education and charter school to adopt LCAPs. The Board approved a revised LCAP template that includes requested changes from county offices of education, local districts and education stakeholders.

Most area districts have LCFF/LCAP pages; you can find them here:

Stockton Unified

Lodi Unified

Lincoln Unified

Manteca Unified


Calaveras Unified




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Zumba fundraiser for teen cancer patient

Shaylee Murphy, 14, and her mother, Trina Murphy. CALIXTRO ROMIAS/The Record

STOCKTON – A Zumba fundraiser will be held Saturday to raise money for the medical expenses of 14-year-old Shaylee Murphy, a Christa McAuliffe Middle School eighth-grader who recently underwent surgery to remove a malignant carcinoid tumor growing on the outside of her colon.

The Zumba classes will be $5 and will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. in the multipurpose room at the school, 3880 Iron Canyon Circle. Lumpia and raffle tickets for donated will also be on sale to help raise funds, said Zumba instructor Mel Romasanta of Combined Fitness Personal Training Studio.

“I’ve never met this kid, but she is a classmate of my daughter,” Romasanta said. “It just touched me. That could easily have been my kid.”

Shaylee shared her story with The Record earlier this month. Shaylee’s Nov. 4 surgery went well, and doctors were able to completely remove the cancerous tumor, according to eighth-grade teacher David Yinger.

Shaylee’s fellow students at McAuliffe came up with the hashtag #shayleethecancerfighter and staffers at the Lodi Unified campus are also trying to raise funds to pay mounting medical expenses. Donations can be made online by visiting 

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