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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

April 18, 2013


Community Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration

Dyslexia Simulations Interactive Workshop

Suki Reviews Books on Creativity and High Functioning Autism

Christine: Eating Chocolate to Avoid Alzheimer's
This Week
Earth Day Santa Cruz 2013
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Photos General) FamilyDinner.jpgWhen it gets too crazy and dangerous out there, let us take sustenance from the knowledge that in this country we are safer than most countries, that children who grow up to become mass murderers are an aberration, not the norm. We have the freedom and responsibility to nurture and guide our children, to model and hold them to standards, to give them the security of a loving, supportive family life. That's what most of us are doing and quite well, although sometimes a little tweaking of our parenting skills is welcome.

Lorraine Pursell, a successful parent herself and who has made a career of helping parents adjust their parenting skills, is giving an interactive parenting seminar on tools for keeping children safe.

When you discover that your child is dyslexic, and you are not, it's challenging to understand what it's like.  Chartwell School, which specializes in helping children with dyslexia, recently sponsored a dyslexic simulation workshop.  We're fortunate to get a report on that from Kristin Atkens who ran the workshop.

You may have a hard time deciding what to do from all the offerings this weekend.  Nice problem! Have fun!  Parmalee

 

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  Community Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_Cassiaandgirlswalk-a-thon.jpgWhether you come to walk in support of your favorite nonprofit organization or for ensuing fun, the 7th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration offers something for all ages. The celebration will feature solar vehicle races, "eco-carnival' games, live animals, community networking, "green' businesses, live music, and delicious, organic foods!

Planned for Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm (walk-a-thon registration begins at 9:00 am and the walk, promptly at 10:00 am), Summit for the Planet is a free fundraising event to support local environmental and educational organizations.

"It's much better than selling cooking dough or wrapping paper," comments Pamela Blunden, MMS event coordinator and alumni parent. "Organizations are able to retain a higher percentage of the money raised, and it's good for the environment. This format allows people of all ages to spend time together outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, while also raising money for a cause that is important to them!"

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_Game.jpgFor nonprofit groups, determining how to successfully meet annual fundraising goals can be difficult and time-consuming- and frequently not a lot of fun. With the dual intent of putting the "fun" back in "fundraising" and bringing together other local nonprofit organizations, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is again hosting this  annual community event - intended to make fundraising as easy as a walk in the park!

All nonprofits are invited to join in the Walk-a-thon. MMS will coordinate the event logistics, while participating groups each organize a team of walkers to walk for their organization, and their walkers, in turn, are urged to gather pledges of support.

Depending on the number of walkers and amount pledged to each walker, organizations will have the opportunity to cover a hefty portion of their annual fundraising needs - without the hassle and expense of running their own fundraiser! There is no charge for organizations to sign up and participate; and organizations keep 70% of what they raise in pledges, while 30% is used to offset the costs of organizing and running the event.

In talking with other schools and groups about fundraising, Blunden says she is repeatedly hearing how more and more families are steering away from having to participate in door-to-door sales. "With Summit for the Planet, walkers don't have to go door to door! Instead they can utilize social media - or just make a phone call - to seek support from friends, family, or even grandma and grandpa on the East Coast. Pledging support is convenient and easy from any location via the Summit for the Planet website."

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_Walkinggirls.jpgCelebration participants will spotlight sustainable "eco-living' and education, and represent a broad range of environmentally-focused businesses and nonprofits, from the Friends of the Sea Otter to Ceiba Charter to Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Silicon Valley Flex Academy, and the Bat Conservancy of Central California, Attendance at this annual event has grown to some 500 people of all ages, from across south Silicon Valley and the Monterey Bay areas.

The support of key sponsors is essential to this event. Event organizers are honored that numerous local businesses have offered support, including presenting sponsors, the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation and SunRidge Farms.

Things to know when you go:
7th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration, April 27 from 9:00am-1:30pm*. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna. Free event. For more information or to sponsor a walker, visit: SummitforthePlanet.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/summitfortheplanet, or email Pamela Blunden, Pamela.blunden@mountmadonna.org.

*Walk-a-thon participants must pre-register; registration begins at 9:00am; the walk begins at 10:00am.

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.

 

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  Dyslexia Simulations Interactive Workshop

(Graphics) DyslexicSimulation.jpgIn the early 1980's, the California State Department of Education worked on a project that created a simulation that would help people understand what it felt like to be dyslexic. The Northern California Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (NCBIDA) updated this simulation and Chartwell School was fortunate to be able to share a simulation workshop with over 40 parents, teachers and professionals in March 2013. This simulation was designed to give a real world experience of the difficulties and frustrations that a student with a specific language disability faces every day in school. The goal of the workshop is to provide greater empathy for these individuals in academic settings and to help parents and teachers better understand what their children and students are experiencing. This should, in turn, help parents and teachers work more efficiently and compassionately with these individuals.

Participants moved through 6 stations throughout the workshop. These stations simulated what it felt like to have a beginning reading problem, trouble listening to directions, a writing difficulty, trouble identifying letters of the alphabet, and copying difficulties. At each station, a facilitator pretended to guide the "students' by reminding them to do their best work and commenting on how they should be trying harder. This is intentionally done to create a stressful environment and at the end of the presentation, everyone was able to share what he or she experienced.

One parent said, "It was bad - bad enough that I am glad it is over". Another commented, "I felt a sense of despair and hopelessness."

(Graphics) DyslexiaCanAffect.jpgKristen Atkins, the lead presenter, reminded everyone that people with learning challenges often see things from a different perspective and that those minds cannot be wasted. She said, "These students might be the ones who develop a new green battery or find the cure for cancer and if school is so horrible, they will not make it to college." One participant stated, "This made me wonder why these kids even get up in the morning and go to school. It must be torture."

Many more comments such as these were shared and the participants left the workshop understanding how challenging the school environment can be for students who have learning challenges... and they gained a new sense of compassion and empathy for students with dyslexia.

 

Kristen Atkins, M.S., Chartwell School Outreach Director, has been involved in both the private and public sector education since 1985. Specializing in working with children with learning differences, she is the Head of School for The New High School Project at Chartwell.  Her past positions have included Dean of Students, Math Educator, Upper Division Head and training teachers how to teach mathematics at the college level.

 

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  Suki Reviews Books on Creativity and High Functioning Autism

(Books/Products) Book_Raising-Creatiive-Kids.jpgRaising Creative Kids, by Susan Daniels and Daniel Peters

Susan Daniels and Dan Peters of Summit Center are well-known in the world of gifted psychology. Daniels is co-editor of the wonderful compilation of essays, Living With Intensity, which tackled the joys and pitfalls of raising, educating, and being intense, gifted people.

In this new book, Daniels and Peters move over slightly to feature thoughts on parenting, educating, and nurturing creative kids, a group with a large overlap into the world of intensity. The authors show that understanding and raising highly creative children can be just as much a challenge as raising intense children.

Raising Creative Kids opens by making sure the readers are "on the same page" regarding what creativity is...   Read more!>>>>

 

Children with High-Functioning Autism, Claire E. Hayes-Lynch

(Books/Products) Book_ChildrenwithHighFunctioningAutism.jpgIn general, I don't expect that books on autism will give me much insight into my parenting challenges. I regularly speak to parents with kids who have profound disabilities and feel like I'm whining about the comparatively small problems we face. I'm in awe of parents who face all the difficulties of raising children who may never be able to live independently.

I was intrigued by the title of this book, however, because I often have conversations with parents who have chosen not to pursue diagnosis for one reason or another. These conversations drift into the subject of how various of our kids, spouses, and even ourselves could probably be placed on the high end of the autism spectrum. Lots of the kids who fit into the scope of this book aren't diagnosed, for a variety of reasons. But the parents of those kids will find interesting and thought-provoking information in its pages.  Read more>>>

Next up: I will review The Explosive Child, which I'm still digesting! If the topics of these books speak at all to your child's quirkiness, I highly recommend them.

 

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  Christine: Eating Chocolate to Avoid Alzheimer's

(Photos General) Food_Chocolate.jpgSometimes when I see research results I get a big grin, and go eat some chocolate. Chocolate makes me happy, and it seems to be giving more and more positive research results. It sounds like it is making other scientists happy.  Here is the latest good news for those of us who like chocolate.

Certain polyphenols in cocoa seem to give protection against a bunch of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The most interesting item in this experiment is that the scientists seem to be showing .... Read more!>>>

Click here for more science with scientist and mom, Christine Cockey.

  This Week

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Calendar.jpg(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_Camp_Directory.jpgBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

FAMILY EVENTS SUPPORT GROUPS PARENTING WORKSHOPS

 

 

School Corner

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Orchard School K-6, Circo Orchard Performance 4/19 & 20

 

Lorraine Pursell, Bully Proof Your Child, 4/20


Chartwell School K-8, Open House 4/23


Spring Hill School K-8, Kindergarten Tour 4/24

 

Soquel Parent Education Nursery School, Open House 4/25


Seymour Center, Home School Day 4/25

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This land IS your land!

Camping Festival

April 27

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Earth Day Crafts

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15 Earth Day Crafts and Activities for Kids

 

Pinterest Earth Day Crafts & Ideas

 

No time for Flash Cards

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Good Sit!

 Earth Day Santa Cruz 2013

(Logos Event Calendar) EarthDaySantaCruz.jpg Fun environmental celebration for the whole family

The City of Santa Cruz, the County of Santa Cruz, Ecology Action, Save Our Shores, the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz
Fun environmental celebration for the whole family
Saturday, 4/20 from 11am - 4pm
FREE

Earth Day Santa Cruz 2013 is an exciting community event offering educational information, activities for kids including an arts and crafts tent, live music and a focus on green businesses. Come and enjoy this fun environmental celebration for the whole family!

Electric Vehicle Showcase
Recycled Fashion show
Arts and Crafts Booth
Kid Zone with Tons of Activities
Tumbling Gymnastics for Kids
Free Valet Bike Parking Provided by People Power
Live Music
Green Vendor and Environmental Information Booths
Performances by Coffee Zombie Collective and SambaDa


Location: San Lorenzo Park, 134 Dakota Avenue, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 515-1347 •website

Earth Day!
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Ages: All
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