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Principal Darin Willett
1325 Sonoma Avenue
Modesto, CA 95355
Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Love Modesto Helps at Sonoma

The One Church Bethel location has adopted our school and provided more than a dozen members to Love Modesto at Sonoma. They provided assistance in resurrecting the bark in the play areas, leveling and cleaning debris.They cleaned out the former Latchkey garden area, preparing it for next school year garden projects.They cleaned, leveled, and removed debris from the sand play area under the PTA donated play structure.

Additionally, North Modesto Kiwanis and D.L. Cathcart came and volunteered by painting a new Peace Builders Ladder on the playground where all students can use it for conflict resolution. Soon the yard duties and students will be trained in conflict resolution, using the Peace Builders processes.

The weather was not a challenge for these faithful volunteers, as they managed through early sunshine, light sprinkles, and heavier rain, doing all they could to show their support of Sonoma Elementary School. 

Love Modesto
Mr. Nipper was out helping too
Love Modesto
Leveling out the playground bark
Love Modesto
Volunteers with our Peace Builders Ladder
Love Modesto
Our new Peace Builders conflict ladder looks great!

Modesto Firefighters Visit Sonoma

Check out these pictures for our recent assembly with local firefighters!

Fire Assembly

Fire Safety

Fire Safety
Recognize that fire fighter...Mrs. Vizzusi!


Sonoma Students Win First Place at MCS Spelling Bee

At the Modesto City Schools district spelling bee on Friday, September 23rd, both Sonoma particpants spelled their way into the top ten spellers of the district. The boys completed against the top spellers from 22 other elementary schools. They will go to the Stanislaus County spelling bee held later this year. Great job Derick (6th grade), Colby (5th grade), and the alternate John (6th grade.)

Spelling Bee

Sonoma Wins Garden Design Contest


A school garden sprouted overnight at Sonoma Elementary School, the gift of a company and a baseball team impressed by third-graders’ wish to save monarch butterflies.

“I think it’s pretty cool, because a lot of butterflies are getting extinct,” said third-grader Madison Smith, a member of this year’s class taught by Deborah Basey.

Basey applied for the Earth Day contest last school year and her students, now fourth-graders, joined in cheering and planting six-packs of sunny annuals at Friday’s ribbon cutting.

“We wanted to save the monarchs. That’s what we’re hoping to do,” said Basey as she helped students dig little indents to place their flowers and gently press in dirt around them.

“I do the butterfly life cycle in class. We tie it in with biology,” she said. Putting in for the statewide contest was something her students got excited about, but she did not expect to win.

“We were kind of shocked. We send off for all kinds of things and never hear back,” said Principal Darin Willett before the ceremony.

The garden arrived Thursday, built in a matter of hours by a Kellogg Garden crew and filled with the company’s organic planting soil. Company representatives were around to help students dig into their new assignment, caring for the four beds in the primary grades play area.

“This is the first garden in three years (of having the contest) that was butterfly based. All the others are vegetable gardens,” said Adam Hall, Kellogg Garden area manager.

The Sonoma school garden plan was one of three selected out of about 2,000 applications in California, he said. The other two were in Stockton and Southern California.

“It’s the most unique design, that’s the thing,” Hall said. “What’s great about this is it’s a butterfly garden, to save the monarchs. We all want that.”

The contest was co-sponsored by the Modesto Nuts and their California League. Basey’s butterfly garden designers got tickets to a Nuts game in August, complete with on-field presentation and complimentary hot dog meals.

“One of our students threw the first pitch,” Willett said.

The students will help care for the garden, with the help of a hose, nozzle extension and four trowels donated by Kellogg along with the beds, bark, plants and soil.

Perennial lantanas and other butterfly favorites were among the greenery flourishing in the beds Friday. They can look forward to a long and happy life among the monarchs. But the bright little annuals popping up in the dark dirt should enjoy the sun while it shines.

“When all the annuals die, we’ll replace them with milkweed,” Basey said, referring to the monarchs diet staple while catepillars. “Now I’m looking for milkweed seeds.”

Nan Austin: 209-578-2339, @NanAustin

Read the Modesto bee article, see more pics and a video by clicking here

Mrs. Basey and the Kellogg Garden Crew


Sonoma students help plant the garden



Mrs. Basey’s 3rd Graders Win Kellogg Garden Grant 9/28/2015

Mrs. Basey’s 2014-2015 3rd grade class was officially recognized at a Modesto Nuts game for winning the Kellogg School Garden Grant. They sumbitted plans for a butterfly garden at Sonoma. Zarriannah Parada was honored to throw the first pitch at the game. Mrs. Basey’s class proposal was chosen out of thousands of submissions state-wide. The new garden will be installed at Sonoma soon. We’re so proud of our Sonoma Dolphins!

Award Presentation
Presentation to Mrs. Basey and class members
Mrs. Basey and Zarriannah
Mrs. Basey and Zarriannah
First Pitch
First Pitch