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25th Annual Hospice of San Joaquin "Tree of Lights" Ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 26

25th Annual Hospice of San Joaquin "Tree of Lights" Ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 26

(Stockton)
The Hospice of San Joaquin and Delta College will illuminate the holiday sky at the 25th Annual Hospice of San Joaquin "Tree of Lights" Ceremony, Nov. 26, 6 p.m. at Delta’s main Pacific Avenue entrance. As is traditional, a local hospice services family will flip the giant PG&E switch, coloring the tree with 1600 multicolored lights. This year, the family of Ray Vigil will have the honor.

World Diabetes Day observed Nov. 14

World Diabetes Day observed Nov. 14

On Thursday, November 14, San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) will take part in the local observation of World Diabetes Day. According to the 2011- 2012 California Health Interview Survey, 10.9% (53,000) of the adult population in San Joaquin County has diabetes. In California, the rate is 8.4%. These high numbers illustrate the need to educate county residents about the risk for diabetes and how to prevent the crippling effects of this disease.

Diabetes is a challenging disease that affects the entire family in many ways. San Joaquin County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Furst advises, “It is important for people with diabetes and their families, to work together to manage diabetes and prevent serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage.” Usually, people with diabetes who have a strong family support system are better able to cope with the day-to-day demands associated with the disease.

Feed your belly and a good cause

Feed your belly and a good cause

Come join the Stockton Ballet School's Holiday Fair with food trucks that will help fundraise for the school and Company.

There will a variety of vendors and trucks to help you shop for the holiday early! Spicy Grill, Mamas and Tapas and The Butler's Pantry will be there as well as retail brands as Thirty-One, Krispy Kreme, See's Candies, Mixed Bags, EZ-Threadz Designer Turbans and more accessories.

Free flu vaccine clinics for San Joaquin county residents

Free flu vaccine clinics for San Joaquin county residents

San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) will provide seasonal influenza vaccinations free of charge on Monday, October 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (or until supplies run out), at two community sites in Stockton: Delta College in Upper Danner Hall and downtown, next to the Stockton WorkNet office on South Lincoln Street. These special flu vaccine clinics are open to everyone, 3 years of age and older. They are “walk-in” clinics and no appointment is required.

Those who do not have health insurance and those at highest risk of complications from the flu, including pregnant women and persons with long term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illness, are especially encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Flu vaccination is also important for people who live with or care for people at high risk for influenza-related complications, and for anyone caring for newborns.

Colleges work to convince local students to consider higher education

One of the biggest problems area educators have today is getting Central Valley students to believe higher education is a possibility for them. It's an attitude that both K-12 and post-high schools are battling with a host of tools and programs.

"We really have two areas of focus," said Nancy Shaw, who is the Beyond Our Gates: Tomorrow Project Administrator at the University of the Pacific.

"One is to increase the percentage of SUSD (Stockton Unified School District) students going to college. The second is to increase the overall high school graduation rates."

Pacific's strategy toward accomplishing that goal has focused on the Tomorrow Project for the last three years. The project gives students in sixth through ninth grades the chance to attend academies on campus.

New programs aim to increase graduation rates

New programs aim to increase graduation rates

While high school graduation rates appear to be up in the Central Valley, Stanislaus and San Joaquin schools are determined to increase them further by implementing valuable programs to help keep kids in school.

Slated to roll out this month, Come Back Kids — a new charter school run by the Stanislaus County Office of Education — was specifically designed to address the academic needs of students 16 through 23 who are at risk of not completing high school or who have already dropped out.

Early literacy seen as key to success

Early literacy seen as key to success

Several San Joaquin County service groups and nonprofit organizations partnered with the Family Literacy Project this summer to promote the importance of reading in a child’s early development.