SoHum, Beginnings Needs Your Help

Beginnings octagon

Beginning’s octagon [Photo from Beginnings website]

Can you pitch in? Beginnings Campus in Briceland needs a little assistance.

I moved to Southern Humboldt 37 years ago in the summer of 1980 for the career opportunity of a lifetime; to teach at Skyfish School at Beginnings. My parents and even some of my graduate school teachers thought I was crazy to be so excited about moving to a back woods tiny community for a relatively low paying job with no real benefits (at least from their point of view.)

What they didn’t understand was that I was smitten! It was love at first sight….and I’m not talking about with Jan Iris, although that certainly happened as well, once I was here! My first love affair however, was with Beginnings itself. Could I really join forces with the group of visionary people who had created this amazing space for their community and their precious children? Wow! I would have paid them for the opportunity!

I was hired to be a constant; a credentialed teacher who would show up every school day with a smile on my face, love in my heart, and innovative, creative teaching ideas which honored each individual child with curriculum that started at the interface of their lives with the outside world. It was my honor to teach those wonderful kids at Skyfish, many of whom are now grown adults whose CHILDREN now attend our programs!

Our Montessori inspired preschool; Children’s House and Skyfish School have continued to thrive and grown. The Beginnings Campus has undergone various additions, changes and adaptations to accommodate the needs of students and faculty through the years, which brings us to this current project.

We are excited to be adding an actual kindergarten program to Skyfish, which will be in session this fall for the 2017-18 school year. We are in the process of turning the rarely used dojo pavilion into a self-contained classroom which will house the 5th-6th grade program, allowing for the kindergarten to move into their old classroom which is part of the Skyfish building. This is a pretty big building project which has entailed installing a new roof, insulating the walls, new electricity and plumbing, sheet rocked walls, etc…

The current fundraising campaign is looking for donations from alumni and community members who have benefited from and want to support Beginnings and Skyfish School. To me, Beginnings continues to be a beacon and a model, teaching love and respect to our children.

Won’t you help us manifest this current transformation to our campus for the wonderful kids who are in attendance these days and future Skyfish students as well?

You can make donations directly to Beginnings by stopping by the office, slug mailing to: P.O. Box 1090 Redway, Ca. 95560, or on the web at

Thanks so much!

With much love,

Ganasini for the Beginnings Board of Directors



  • This would be more credible if it was written by a long standing board member who could explain why maintenance and expansion wasn’t included in the budget. They have monies received from the tuition each student’s parents pay.

  • It’s very expensive to run a school. Schools rarely have enough based on tuition, whether from parents or from the state (when state funded.) This is why we often are asked to vote on measures to help fix this or that on public schools. Of course Beginnings needs help from our community, and people who have made more than enough money in past years can “tithe” or “tax” themselves by donating to local places/organizations in need, like Beginnings. That said, it is always nice to hear from board members, so hopefully one such member will comment.

  • Ganasini has been involved for decades…and they (beginnings) tries not to make
    parents pay for all the expenses of the corp . The money is for development of an
    unused building specifically so they can better serve the students and the community.Did you know Beginnings was the first corp in the US to be granted a permit to spend money in Vietnam as part of their program to help vets groups.
    I know ,I logged the trees for the main building and was president for years,long ago.

  • Why would anyone shell out money to a school that charges such a crazy annual tuition fee and has such an elite vetting program and waiting list?? I’m sure the kids that do get a chance to go there get a great education, but where does the rest of that money go????? Perhaps if the money was managed better, you could afford to hire more teachers, and you could have more student tuition ??!!

    • It has definitely turned into an elitist school where you must have something to offer the school, beyond tuition, in order for your child to attend. And here’s a funny: when most students move on to public schools after 6th grade, they are academically behind. Better call on the parents of those enrolled beginnings, you’re not getting my money.

      • Alumina says your wrong about their education .I don’t know anyone named local in southern Humboldt .You must be that local troll under the bridge

      • Local and people person do you know what the tuition is? Can you tell me where you came up with the information that the kid’s are academically behind? I have a child that attend’s the school her tuition is under 50 dollars a month,she is well past most kids her age academically and I’m nothing special in this community so please keep your money you will probably need it for bail or rehab later down the road!!! As for me I will keep working my ass off to make sure my children have a chance to become better than myself!!

  • Sohum has tons of money from illegal grows. Get the money from there.

    • As a fundraiser for many years for a small school, I find this repeated response to any request for money in SoHum frustrating. There is a large percentage of growers in our community. AND WE, THE FUNDRAISERS KNOW THEY WILL DONATE. (Hello, where else does someone buy a cupcake at a bake sale and stick $60 in the donation jar?) We, the fundraisers, are asking for money if someone feels like they want to give it. You don’t want to give? Don’t, no hard feelings. We don’t donate to everything either but don’t try to act like some other group of people must donate just to justify not pitching in. Why are the fundraisers somehow responsible because people in their community grow marijuana? If the cause is good and it touches your heart and you have the money be it $5 or $500, donate. Don’t insist to us that some other group has to give.

      • Lefthanded Lunatics

        Sent MY kids to private schools 25 years ago. Guess what? They are now well paid and successful!

        If you want your children educated and want better things for them, pay the cost! You will get it back in pride and satisfaction. The best thing you can do for your kids is obtain the best education you can get! If you have to pay, then do it!

        Public schools are not about shit! Buy an upgrade. It WILL be worth it!

        • Arnoul Electric

          A great amount of Ignorance and lack of facts above . The greater community knows better. Beginnings The Real Southern Humboldt Community Center .Supported Buy the locals along with the students and parents . I donate electrical work often and would jump to help them if called . Trolls will troll but they wont put there real name .

          • Lefthanded Lunatics

            Your post shows how important education should be! Hopefully your kids will be able to write, spell, think, and be sober.

      • Absolutely Kym! Plus the people who are so willing to say ignorant comments about what Beginnings does with its money are just ignorant. I know for a fact that Beginnings does not waste a dime and are constantly deciding on where to cut costs or where they can allocate funds so as to keep their school moving forward. If anybody would like to actually inform themselves about where the money goes they should ask the Beginnings board or visit the school and ask instead of making incredibly ignorant comments. Go to Beginnings and see if you can find any waste of money. And like you said, if people do not want to donate then don’t donate. Don’t try to justify your (Not you Kym) not donating by saying something that is just not true. It is ok not to donate. No problem. Nobody at Beginnings will disparage you. I am sure this is trie with every fundraiser in the community.

  • Didn't come here to read your memoir

    Because an effective solicitation for donations always makes it entirely about the author.

  • Wow, these ignorant comments are absolutely disgusting people! A fundraiser is just like any other place that you would go to spend money or buy something. It’s simple, Don’t Go If You Don’t Want Anything!
    My husband is a teacher at a charter school and the parents are required to put in so many hours of work, in addition to tuition each month. Yes, these fundraising functions are very important! And they are usually done by the kids themselves; bake sales, selling candy bars.
    But, they too have a long wait list, so it’s not just them.

    These children are Our Future too! Don’t you want to see it?

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