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Slick Rock Student Film Festival awards program set to air on ABC30 Sunday evening

Slick Rock Student Film Festival logo

The public is invited to watch the Slick Rock Student Film Festival awards special airing on ABC30 Sunday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. Traditionally, the awards program for Central California’s largest student film festival has been held at the Visalia Fox Theater, complete with limo rides, paparazzi, a red carpet walk, and an Academy Awards-style ceremony. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Tulare County Office of Education to cancel the awards ceremony, winners in the festival’s 18 film categories will be recognized during the half-hour special. At the end of the program, one middle school and one high school film will be given “best of show” honors.

Slick Rock Student Film Festival

This year, the festival accepted 569 film entries from 60 Central Valley middle schools and high schools. These films represent the work of over 1,000 students from schools in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, and Tulare counties. In addition to the “best of show” and category award winners, over 200 of the submitted films received “Premiere Cut” honors. Links to the winners and “Premiere Cut” films will be available after the special at

“We appreciate the support of school advisors and our judges in making this year a success, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire. “Congratulations to the talented student filmmakers. The experience and skills you’ve gained through this competition will serve you well as you select careers in California’s creative economy.”

The Slick Rock Student Film Festival is generously sponsored by the following organizations:
Tulare County Suicide Prevention Task Force
Kaweah Delta District Hospital
Educational Employees Credit Union
Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, Public Health and Mental Health Programs
Tulare County Film Commission
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office
Community Media Access Collaborative

For more information, visit or email Kathleen Green-Martins at

Photo above:
Hearts Like Drums is an original music video created by Jonathan Monroy Sosa, a student at Exeter Union High School. The film is a finalist in the annual Slick Rock Student Festival. A half-hour Slick Rock awards special is scheduled to air on ABC30 Sunday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m.

Bright Start children supported at home through a variety of technologies

Bright Start Parent/Infant Programs

Eliza is a happy toddler who enjoys blowing bubbles, running in the park, watering plants, and dancing. Eliza’s father captured the girl on video doing these everyday activities to share with her teachers from the Bright Start program. Teachers Jessica Nieto and Sally Coronado appreciate the videos as they are interested in assessing the development of Eliza’s various motor skills. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these assessments would have been done in the child’s home on a regular basis. Today, Bright Start staff rely on parents and a variety of technologies to monitor the progress of their little clients.

Bright Start Parent/Infant Programs

Bright Start staff and parents work together as a team to support their children’s development. Based on each child’s unique needs, staff provides parent coaching to integrate instruction into daily activities related to a variety of therapies, including physical, occupational, speech, feeding, and behavioral. Across the county, families of nearly 1,000 children, ages 0-3, are served by the Bright Start Program, including 160 children at risk for autism served by the FACES Program. Seventy-five children and adolescents with autism are provided therapeutic behavioral services through the Bright Future Program.

Bright Start Parent/Infant Programs

For the past two months, staff have been creative in using technology to connect with parents to offer support and suggestions and to assess children’s progress. Zoom meetings, texts, FaceTime and video exchanges are being used to effectively maintain support to families. “All of our families have reported great appreciation for our continued remote service,” said Ron Pekarek, Bright Start program manager. “The trust and teamwork established prior to our isolation has paid off in being able to continue our services without much interruption. We appreciate each parent who has pitched in to aid us in supporting their children.”

Photos above:
~ Parents of Bright Start students Leila (left) and Eliza (right) engage their children in hands-on activities, such as making pizza and blowing bubbles, as part of their strategies developed by Bright Start staff.
~ Krystal Haubenchild, a behavior consultant with the Bright Future program, utilizes Zoom to conduct a social skills group with kindergarten-age children with autism.
~ The Bright Start staff is working closely with parents utilizing a variety of technologies, such as FaceTime and video conferencing, to ensure children are successful in the activities they have developed.

College Night Scholarship winner announced

College Night Scholarship winner Last week, the College Night Scholarship Committee interviewed nine outstanding finalists who applied for the annual, four-year scholarship. The committee selected Kylea Moshier, a senior at Redwood High School, as the recipient of the 2020 College Night Scholarship Award.

Kylea has been accepted to Azusa Pacific University and is majoring in both business administration and humanities as part of the university’s Honors College. She also intends to pursue a minor in Spanish. Kylea aspires to work for a nonprofit organization or in healthcare administration as a chief financial officer. While at Redwood, Kylea was an outstanding scholar with many distinctions awarded to her not only for academics, but for her character, school spirit, accomplishments as a scholar-athlete, and involvement in numerous activities, including the California Scholarship Federation, World Languages, ASB, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Link Crew, choir, track and field, and volleyball. She credits her volunteer work with Hands in the Community, a local nonprofit service organization, as a truly impactful experience.

As the winner of the College Night Scholarship, Kylea will receive $1,000 per year for up to four years while she attends a college or university. The College Night Scholarship committee is commposed of Myron Sheklian, retired VUSD area administrator; Kelley Petty, CHARACTER COUNTS! coordinator; Jason Haley, Foster Youth Services coordinator; and Lori Narahara, College and Career engagement specialist.

Behavioral Health Services supports Mental Health Awareness Month

Behavioral Health Services Program

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. To promote the significance of good mental health, the Behavioral Health Services (BHS) program has developed a number of helpful resources to support students, staff, and the community, particularly during prolonged social isolation mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic. One resource is the BHS Newsletter, which is available in English and Spanish at The newsletter contains tips for supporting children’s emotional well-being.

For the remainder of the month, the program has created a series of social media posts on topics that include suicide prevention, the relationship between good nutrition and mental health, exercise, and family activities and routines. To see these daily posts, follow the Tulare County Office of Education on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Photo above:
~ Behavioral Health Services commemorated national Mental Health Awareness Month by creating a newsletter and helpful tips which will be shared on TCOE’s social media. In the newsletter, parents and educators can access a variety of resources, including suggestions for supporting children’s well-being during this period of social isolation.

Distance Learning Resources

Coming Up!

  • Many upcoming student events have been cancelled or postponed. Check the current list of all student events (cancelled, postponed, and tentatively scheduled) on the Student Events webpage.

View more events at

Editor: Robert Herman, Public Information Officer
Contributors: Marlene Moreno, Jennifer Fisher, Lorena White, Kathleen Green-Martins, Ron Pekarek, Jessica Nieto, Sally Coronado, Lori Narahara, and Jennifer Newell.

To receive News Gallery Week, visit, or contact Jennifer Fisher at or (559) 733-6172.