Next Thursday, June 17, will bring one event to celebrate the lifting of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s restrictions and another to enlighten parents about the challenges boys face in today’s educational system.
First the celebration: Christian Youth Theater of the Tri-Valley will present the first of five performances of Tony Award winning “Peter and the Starcatcher” at Sunset Community Church’s field. The outdoor performances are free and food is welcome (no alcohol). You must bring your own chair and blanket and tickets must be reserved.
The two-hour play tells the story of how an orphan becomes Peter Pan. Kristin Baer-Werder, who took over as artistic director of the theater group just as the pandemic broke out last March, sees the free performances as way to say thank you for all the support the company has received as it pivoted to digital. She describes the play as hilarious.
The other June 17 event will be serious. It’s a webinar presented by Sean Kullman and Mark Sutton of the Global Initiative for Boys and Men. They will drill down on the major achievement gap between boys and girls in the Pleasanton Unified School District. The initiative leaders have done an excellent job of examining the data to clearly show the gap between boys and girls in the high performing Pleasanton district. The webinar will take place from 11 to 11:45 a.m. and include a presentation as well as time for questions and answers. Interested people can register at gibm.live/pusdsonsSons or check out GIBM Kullman is a Pleasanton resident with two sons.
The presentation, as does an article on the website, will break down the percentages compiled by district staff when the district hired a consultant to lead it through a process examining factors behind poor performance for some ethnic groups. The contact is for almost $250k. Kullman breaks out college readiness, suspension rates, reading levels and other factors in detailed charts. For instance, Black students make up only 1.38% of the students, yet they made up more than 10% of the suspensions. When you get to hard numbers, the male suspensions totaled 12, including three by the same person. There were only 2 female suspensions.
Kullman has done a real service to students, parents and the district staff. They should take his message and his numbers seriously.
Now to fun. Baer-Werder wrote in an email,” We decided to bring this show to the Tri-Valley in gratitude for all the donations, prayers, and support we've received during this difficult year. A few CYT branches closed or shuttered for months, but we were able to keep going without a stoppage in programming. We want to bring families and our community together for a few hours of imagination and fun; Lord knows we can all use a good laugh.” Incidentally, she grew up in Pleasanton and is raising her family here.
The website describes the plot, “A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training, who realizes that the trunk’s precious cargo is Starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands. When the ship is taken over by pirates – led by the fearsome Black Stache, a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own – the journey quickly becomes a thrilling adventure.”
Baer-Werder wrote that it’s an unofficial prequel to Peter Pan in the same way “Wicked” is to the Wizard of Oz.” More than 100 characters appear in the ensemble cast.
Tickets can be reserved at tickets