Crane Hosts Chess Tournament

Crane School second-grader Mason MacKall came away a champion a couple of weekends ago during the Santa Barbara Chess Tournament, a citywide competition hosted by the school. As a school, Crane came in third place. Fourth-grader Gray MacKall took home third place in the kindergarten through sixth grade category and Kian O'Connor took fourth place.

A total of 47 students participated in the chess workshop over the weekend and 42 participated in the tournament. The students came from St. John's Dasmascus Academy, Washington School, Vieja Valley and Crane.

Crane second grade teacher Karen Ohrn started Crane’s chess club two years ago when two of her students, O’Connor and Gray MacKall, told her they were interested in chess. Ohrn says she taught herself how to play and sent out letters to private schools in the Santa Barbara area to find out whether they had chess club. Today, the club has 40 members.

Crane will host a fall ’07 and spring ’08 all-city chess tournaments and is inviting all elementary schools in Santa Barbara to participate.

For more information contact Karen Ohrn at Crane School at 805-969-7732.

The Unity Shoppe Food Drive

Cold Spring School held a special collection for the Unity Shoppe last week and collected more than 500 boxes of cereal in just two days. The collection was part of a special match grant program for the Unity Shoppe. Each of the 531 boxes were matched with an additional cash gift from the Feinstein Foundation. And, one Cold Spring family offered to match every box of cereal contributed.

“We have a monthly Unity Shoppe food collection, which is always very successful,” says Karen Cail, Cold Spring’s Unity Shoppe collection co-chair and a school parent. “But this month we wanted to do something special to help the Unity Shoppe take full advantage of the matching grant.”

Added Cail’s fellow co-chair, Stephen Dougherty: “Cold Spring School students and their parents have always been enthusiastic supporters of the Unity Shoppe. They found it especially gratifying when their efforts were literally being redoubled.”

Dougherty says the drive focused on cereal because it is an important part of a child’s diet and because “there is a huge price disparity between what cereal sells for when it's on sale at the grocery store, and what a struggling family might have to pay for it at the local corner market.”

Pumping the drive were Cold Spring students Mary Cusimano, Olivia Caesar, Blake Weyrick, Mattie Pierce, Lucas Pierce, Drew Janssen and Jonah Iwanaga.

For more info on the Unity Shoppe call Kati Buehler, Unity Shoppe volunteer coordinator, at 805-965-4122, ext. 320.