Place your bets on Nevada County schools |

Place your bets on Nevada County schools

Ever notice that our little corner of the state stands out in big ways? Among the claims are more artists per capita, more senior citizens per capita and more educational options per capita than most — if not all — of California’s 57 other counties.

There are many theories for what attracts people up here. Whether its the magnetism from still-rich veins of gold beneath our feet, the incredible natural beauty or the quaint small-town effect, we are fortunate for the quality of life that abounds. The choices available can make decisions at times overwhelming. Just ask any parent of a preschooler right now. With a long list of charter, magnet, private and traditional schools in the community, deciding where to send a kindergartner can be a daunting task.

W.B. Yeats wrote that “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

Every parent wants what’s best for her child and to choose the school that will best “light that fire.” In Nevada County, there are options to suit almost anyone. Since great educators can be found at all the campuses, the good news is that it’s difficult to make a wrong decision. The bad news is that no matter the type of school — except maybe private — they all feel the ongoing effects of state budget cuts, multiplied by declining enrollments. Regardless of whether you have school-aged children, our local educational system molds the next generation of Nevada County citizens — voters, artists, innovators, employees, farmers, business owners and more.

This weekend there is a host of entertainment events designed by parents and volunteers to benefit their respective schools.

Alta Sierra School’s parent club will host its first ever Casino Night beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Alta Sierra Country Club.

Deer Creek School in Nevada City will host its own Casino Night at 6 p.m. Friday at Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

On Saturday night, Yuba River Charter School in Nevada City will host its ninth annual Moondance at Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

Then Wednesday Lyman Gilmore School will host its annual Celebration of the Arts.

All these adult-only events feature music, silent auctions, food and festivities. For information on any of these events, check out today’s Learning section in The Union or contact the schools directly.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, consider mixing it up with a turn at the roulette table or dancing the night away to a Beatles cover band. You might just feel like a kid again.

At one time, Nevada County’s educators boasted our schools were second in the state for quality of education. That’s a claim worth staking.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be contacted at

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