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Attention, Budding Young Moviemakers: This Workshop Will Teach About Sound FX



Fresno kids can learn how to make special sound effects at an upcoming workshop. (Shutterstock)
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The Fresno Parks Department is scheduling a free science workshop to teach about foley and sound engineering. (Foley artists are folks who produce sound effects for movies and other media that augment that actual sound of, say, footsteps or wind or other hard-to-record sounds.)


Check out earlier School Zone columns and other education news stories at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

At the workshop, students will learn about the characteristics of sound, understand the differences between instrumental groups, and record their own sound effects. They will have the opportunity to create their own short film with created sounds effects and also create a few do-it-yourself instruments.

The workshop will be held Jan. 2 through Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Highway City Community Science Center, 5140 N. State St., in Fresno. It’s open to students ages 7 through 17.

The deadline to register is Thursday, and applicants can register at, on the phone at (559) 621-PLAY, or at the Dickey Youth Center, 151 E. Divisadero St.

Students who sign up for the workshop must wear closed-toe shoes and should bring a water bottle. A snack will be provided.

Also in School Zone: 

  • Fresno State student wins big scholarship.
  • Arambula takes a new job with the Carnegie Institute.
  • First Responders Campus graduates first class of Fire Academy cadets.
  • Meet some other noteworthy folks in the world of education.

Scholarship Winner Thanks Snack Cake Company

It might seem a little ironic that a Fresno State pre-health major undergrad who wants to become a public nurse would enter a scholarship contest sponsored by a snack cake company.

But Jennifer Venegas Ramirez, like most college students, was on the lookout for any and all scholarships that might boost her finances when she entered the “Marinela Feed Your Dreams” competition. While she was studying in the Fresno State Library, Ramirez was startled to learn in an email recently that she was one of four grand prize winners. Marinela USA presented her an oversized check for $25,000 last week.

Ramirez, who is from Fresno, said the scholarship will take some of the worry about financing her college education, and also “gives me so much motivation to further my education.”

The Marinela Sweepstakes, which opened in September and closed in October, was open to all full-time college students age 18 and older.

Kent Willis, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Fresno State, urged other Fresno State students to take the initiative like Ramirez and seek out scholarship help to make their higher education more affordable.

Arambula Takes Carnegie Foundation Job

Diego Arambula

Diego Arambula, a member of the well-known Valley political family, has a new job as vice president for educational transformation for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Arambula is already serving an eight-year term as a California State University System trustee, where he is chair of the Education Policy Committee. He’s also chair of Summit Public Schools, co-chair of the Central Valley Community Foundation, and was the founder and executive director of GO Public Schools Fresno, an education advocacy nonprofit.

He most recently served as managing partner for the national education nonprofit Transcend, working with educators across the country to reimagine learning environments.

As Carnegie’s vice president for educational transformation, Arambula will “plan and execute ambitious, actionable strategies that advance Carnegie’s mission of catalyzing transformational change in education,” the nonprofit said in a news release.

Arambula, in the news release, said he would be continuing his work for “improving equitable outcomes for young people by radically rethinking systems that have been resistant to change. Joining with the entire team at Carnegie to develop a ‘post-Carnegie Unit’ ecosystem and engage in meaningful postsecondary innovation is an awesome responsibility and opportunity.”

First Fire Cadets Graduate from New Academy

Graduation day is always special, but for 22 cadets from Fresno City College’s Fire Academy, their graduation last Friday marked the first one for budding firefighters at the new First Responders Campus, which opened in August.

Three of the 22 graduating cadets already have jobs lined up with the city of Tulare and Tulare County fire departments, and the remaining 19 will move on to internships with the North Central, Selma, Sanger, Kingsburg, and Hanford fire units.

The Fire Academy, Police Academy, and Emergency Medical Training programs were previously scattered across the Fresno City College campus in cramped, outdated quarters but now share the 40-acre First Responders Campus at 3300 E. North Ave. in Fresno.

Awards, Fellowships

  • State Center Community College District honored its 2023 Muro de Honor (Wall of Honor) inductees, recognizing the contributions of outstanding Hispanics/Latinos. The wall was established by Arte Americas in downtown Fresno in 2011. This year’s honorees are Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias, Dr. Sandra Fuentes, dean of Early College at Reedley College, and Lucy Ruiz, who retired as the district’s executive director of public and legislative relations in 2022.
  • The American Friends Service Committee Pan Valley Institute selected four young people from the Central Valley for the 2024 ArteVision Fellowship Program. The program gives artist/activist youth of color the opportunity to be advocates and increase their participation in community-oriented issues. The four are Joshua Slack, who majored in theater arts and Africana studies at Fresno State; Natalie Moreno-Aguilar, a native of Merced who advocates for affordable housing and youth wellness centers; Shane Lara Jr., a member of the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana who uses his talent in poetry and other mediums in writing to raise awareness on issues that affect indigenous people; and Tsim Nuj Vang, a native of Merced who majored in ethnic studies and minored in dance at UC San Diego.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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