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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

August 13, 2015
Super Librarian
Dave Ramsey: Organize Your Home for the Back-To-School Season

Christine: Changing the Theory of Evolution

Brainfuse - Homework Help

Seymour: The Great Tidepool
Organize Your Home continued
Santa Cruz Public Libraries: Kids Learn
Click to view our Business Directory
  Super Librarian

(AAA Aug 2015) SuperLibrarian2.jpgRoughly 10 years ago libraries were experiencing a dire identity crisis as funds shrank and the rise of the internet challenged their relevance. What a change our librarians have made!  Their openness to innovation, fine leadership, practical attention to budgets, and determination to provide current services has led to a dramatic turnaround. 

Today's libraries have transformed into vibrant community hubs of varied, technologically savvy, and still classic book-oriented activities and services for all ages.  A few are downloadable audio and ebooks, magazines online, music streaming, Brown Bag business seminars, musical lunches, dramatic vignettes, art nights, entertainers for children, book clubs, geneology clubs, public access computers, author events, and tutoring services for children and teens.  With the start of school looming, we highlight a few of the free learning opportunities available at our libraries.

(AAA July 2015) Beach_Seabright.jpgI love summer so much that I stick my head in the sand when it comes to back-to-school time.  We're experiencing some of the best days of summer at the same time we're getting the kids and household ready for school. 

We families are enjoying as much daytime beach and woods time as we can while our children's teachers do the same and also are prepping for the next round!  Everyone has back to school suggestions.  Enjoy our friends' ideas.

Parenting SupportMuseums The Weekend

Thank you for sending many new families our way. Please, drop us a line anytime and recommend us to a friend

Enjoy the weekend with your family, Parmalee

  Dave Ramsey: Organize Your Home for the Back-To-School Season

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As any parent with kids in school knows, you spend a lot more time chasing down paperwork, backpacks, lunchboxes, sports equipment and musical instruments than you ever thought possible. At the end of the day, your home can look like a tornado tore through the middle of it, leaving your kids' belongings jumbled up in a pile or scattered from one end of your house to the other.

But Sheri Bertolini, professional home organizer, says by organizing a few key spots in your home, you can win the daily battle with clutter, and your kids can actually keep up with their important papers and school supplies. Here are her tips to help you get your home in shape for the new school year.

Get in the Zone

The best place to start retooling, Sheri says, is your after-school routine. What's the first thing your kids do as they walk through the door? Do they dump their backpacks in the floor, toss their lunchboxes aside, and head for the couch? Are they dashing through the house to get ready for football practice or music lessons?

Whatever your current routine is, you can streamline it by designating some space in your home for these three zones..Read more>>>>

Dave Ramsey is a popular radio talk show host famous for helping thousands of families become debt-free.  You can access more articles at and listen to him locally on 880 AM KKMC Fridays at 3:05pm.


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  Christine: Changing the Theory of Evolution

(AAA Aug 2015) EvolutionBlackboard.jpgThe theory of evolution is changing in some pretty dramatic ways. It is a wonderful example of science fixing theories as new data appears.

Evolution has always been about the ways populations change characteristics as a reaction to external mechanisms. Since the discovery of DNA and genes, evolution has become about gene inheritance. An interesting article discusses the new mechanisms added to genetics as part of evolutionary change. The scientists are calling it  "extended evolutionary synthesis." The collaborators come from the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, Austria, Sweden and the United States.

One of the proposed additions is looking at plasticity.  Read more>>>>>

Christine is a local mom and scientist who enjoys making science easy to understand! You can find more of her essays at


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  Brainfuse - Homework Help

Free Academic Help at All Levels.
Brainfuse: Free online homework help for students of all ages.
Every day

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Brainfuse offers live online tutoring in elementary, middle school, high school, college, and adult education.

Live Tutoring: Students draw or type their question in our online classroom and receive live homework assistance from a Brainfuse-certified tutor. Our tutors don't simply give answers but help students master underlying academic concepts.

SkillSurfer: SkillSurfer includes an extensive library of Brainfuse-created lessons, video tutorials, and practice tests in a wide range of academic subjects, and further integrates them with live tutoring.

Click HERE for more Kids Learn opportunities at our local libraries.


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in the Parks

A-Z Camps

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Guitar &

African Drumming

Small Group Lessons

with Ron Dunn

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Weekly July 6 - Aug. 12

Enter a contest at the Santa Cruz County Fair! 

Show off your best! 

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Online Entry Deadline August 22,  11:59pm, due on August 30 by 5pm

Entries and entry forms

Castro Adobe
Open House
Aug 14-15

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 Seymour: The Great Tidepool

Seymour Marine Discovery Center
The Story of Ed Ricketts' Scientific System
8/16/2015 at 1:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free with admission

The Story of Ed Ricketts' Scientific System
A film and discussion with Steven and Mary Albert, Filmmakers

The short film, The Great Tidepool, uncovers the innovative process renowned marine biologist Ed Ricketts developed as he worked to understand intertidal life and its interconnections.

(AAA Aug 2015) TidepoolswithRanger.jpgAlthough common descriptions of Ricketts in his lifetime, show him as an eccentric amateur (Steinbeck's Cannery Row), his pioneering seashore guidebook Between Pacific Tides has stood the test of time.

The movie was filmed in the tidepools of Pacific Grove where Ricketts himself worked in the 1930s. Using detailed handwritten collecting notes and an extensive card catalog, Ricketts revealed a scientific system that foreshadowed current ecological research.

Join filmmakers Steven and Mary Albert as they discuss and present their film The Great Tidepool.

Free ADMISSION for Seymour Center Members and UC Santa Cruz undergraduates with valid student ID.

Location: 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz Map

Gardens of Time
click to view website
  Gardens of Time
State Park Mission
Date: 09/04/2017 at 1:00pm
Details: Tour the native plant beds, neophyte kitchen garden, and memories of Victorian Nearyland. Take home history in a seed
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-429-1840 x102 view all details >>
Amazing Librarians!
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  Amazing Librarians!
view all details >>
A Year in the Life of the Quiroste
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  A Year in the Life of the Quiroste
State Park Ano Nuevo
Date: 10/17/2015 at 1:00pm
Details: Walk into centuries past, when the sea and shore provided sustenance and shelter for a thriving Quiroste society
City: Pescadero Phone: 800.444.4445 view all details >>
Amazing Librarians!
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  Amazing Librarians!
view all details >>
Town Hall Meetings
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  Town Hall Meetings
Santa Cruz Police
Date: Every Mon, Tues, Wed and Th (Oct 9-Oct 25) from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Details: SCPD seeks community input into public safety priorities. ALL are welcome!
Special Instructions: See varying dates, times, places
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Grizzly Bear Festival
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  Grizzly Bear Festival
State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: 09/02/2017 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Come to Rancho del Oso for a day of commemorating the once-abundant predator that roamed this "Ranch of the Bear."
Special Instructions: 17 mo north of Santa Cruz
City: Davenport Phone: (831) 427-2288 view all details >>
Scotts Valley Art, Wine & BeerFestival
click to view website
  Scotts Valley Art, Wine & BeerFestival
Chamber of Commerce Scotts Valley
Date: Every day (Aug 19-Aug 20) from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Details: Come enjoy fine art, wine & beer tasting, great food, and live entertainment in an open park setting
City: Scotts Valley view all details >>
"It's More Than A Backpack"
click to view website
  "It's More Than A Backpack"
United Way Stuff the Bus
Date: Every day (Aug 1-Aug 28)
Details: Stuff the Bus is a community impact program of United Way to collect
Special Instructions: Go to any New Leaf Market
Phone: 831-465-2200 view all details >>
Back to School Basics Tour
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  Back to School Basics Tour
Whole Foods Market
Date: 08/22/2015 from 11:00am to 12:00pm
Details: Back to School Basics Store Tour
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-9901 view all details >>
Storytellers' Showcase Campfire!
click to view website
  Storytellers' Showcase Campfire!
State Park Big Basin
Date: 07/29/2017 at 7:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Join us in our historic campfire center for a special storytelling evening
City: Boulder Creek Phone: 831-338-8018 view all details >>
Amazing Librarians!
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  Amazing Librarians!
view all details >>
Amazing Librarians!
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  Amazing Librarians!
view all details >>
Date Nite
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  Date Nite
Ohana Gymnastics
Date: The 3rd Sa of every month (Dec 20-Nov 20) from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Ages: 4-12
Details: Drop the kids at the gym and enjoy a 3 hour break...ages 4-12. 5:30-8:30
Special Instructions: Register online early for $5 discount
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 713-5945 view all details >>
Amazing Librarians!
click to view website
  Amazing Librarians!
view all details >>
2015 Physics Shows
click to view website
  2015 Physics Shows
Foothill College
Date: Every day (Sep 12-Sep 13)
Details: If you can't have fun with physics ... you aren't a very fun person! A Tribute to Galileo & Temperature
Special Instructions: El Monte exit off Hw 280
City: Los Altos Phone: 650.949.7777 view all details >>
  Organize Your Home continued

(AAA Aug 2015) HomeworkStation.jpg1. The Homework Zone. "Homework zones vary because they need to be based on your kids' learning style," Sheri says. The kitchen table works well for kids who thrive on hustle and bustle, while others need a desk in their room or in a dedicated office space where distractions are kept to a minimum.

The best homework zones, however, don't have to be torn down and reassembled every day. "That can be tough in a smaller home, but I encourage parents to carve out a corner in the kid's room or the family room with a table space and somewhere for all the child's supplies to live," Sheri advises.

Kids need some say-so in their homework zone set-up. "Ask the child what they think will work for them. What kind of lighting? Do they like music playing while they work?" The more input the kids have, the more likely they will be to use the space as you intended, she says.

(AAA Aug 2015) BackpackStorage1.jpg2. The Drop Zone. This is the designated parking place for all the kids' stuff-backpacks, jackets, sports equipment and so on. The best locations for a drop zone are either in the child's room or near the exit everyone uses when they head to school in the morning. 

Make use of vertical space so your drop zone doesn't take up too much room. "Use hooks and hang bins on the wall," Sheri recommends. "If your kids are into sports, have a hamper handy so the really stinky stuff doesn't make it into their rooms."

No one wants to deal with an organizational eyesore in their home, even for the sake of efficiency. But with a little creativity, your system can fit right in with your home's décor, Sheri says.

"One family hung a large, personalized picture frame on the wall for each kid. Inside the frames, attached to the wall, were hooks for their backpacks and jackets, organizers and clips for papers, and a corkboard for other reminders," she says. "The kids participated in the design, so it wasn't just the parents laying down the law about where to put their stuff."

3. Mom and Dad's Zone. This is simply a container of some kind for all the paperwork that will need your attention each day. "I recommend you set up a file folder for each child," Sheri says. "Put them in a vertical file holder, color code-whatever you have to do to quickly identify which papers belong to which child."

Put Your Zones to Work

With your zones established, everyone can work together to make sure all those important items end up in their proper places instead of leaving it all up to mom and dad to keep them in order. The key is establishing a routine everyone follows as soon as they come home.

"One of the best routines I've seen started with a kitchen table or island that had been cleared so that as soon as the kids walked in the door, they flopped their backpacks on the table, took their lunch things to the kitchen, and then dug out papers for mom and dad to tend to," Sheri says. "Mom or dad sorted the papers into their file folders and everything was processed right there, right away."

Then the kids can head to their homework zones or have a snack, take care of chores-whatever's next on the schedule. When homework is done, they pack up and stow their backpacks in the drop zone so everything's ready for the next morning.

It can take a while to get everyone on board with the routine, but don't give up. "When the pattern is repeated consistently each day, the children develop self-discipline," Sheri says.

Remember Your Goal

In the end, these zones and routines are about the kids-not about being organized. Your goal is to focus less on keeping order at home and more on enjoying your time at home as a family. "Pay attention to the kids," Sheri says. "Pay attention to what's working for them and what's frustrating them, and that will be a good barometer of whether or not your system needs adjusting."

Dave Ramsey is a popular radio talk show host famous for helping thousands of families become debt-free.  You can access more articles at and listen to him locally on 880 AM KKMC Fridays at 3:05pm.

  Santa Cruz Public Libraries: Kids Learn

Kids Learn at the Library

Encyclopedia Britannica

Contains full text of encyclopedia articles, including illustrations such as photographs, drawings, maps, and flags. Also includes an atlas, dictionary, thesaurus, selected video clips, and links to over 200,000 related websites reviewed by Britannica editors. Encyclopedia Britannica

World Book Kids

World Book Kids is the premier online resource developed especially for young users. The site has been optimized for tablets and features image-based navigation, easy-to-read articles, thousands of images and videos as well as a wealth of engaging games, science projects, and activities. World Book Kids

Discover & Go: Visit Museums for Free

Get free and discounted passes to museums, science centers, and more! You just need your library card and PIN. Go to and discover the more than 30 places you can go!

Learn a New Language with Little Pim Little Pim

Want to learn a new language? Use this fun multimedia program to start learning Spanish, French, German--or a variety of other languages! Try out Little Pim today!

Need Help with a Homework Assignment?

Online Research for kids

ScienceFlix ScienceFlix

Interactive videos, books, science experiments and more for students grades 4-9 at ScienceFlix.

TrueFlix TrueFlix

Kids in grades 3-5 can explore science and social studies topics through introductory videos and texts at TrueFlix.

After School Homework Help

From October 6th through May 28, 2015, the Library will be offering homework help for students in the 12th grade and under. After School Homework Help is available in the following locations:

Scotts Valley: Mondays and Tuesdays from 3 - 5pm

La Selva Beach: Tuesdays from 3 - 5pm

Boulder Creek: Wednesdays from 3 - 5pm

Garfield Park: Wednesdays from 3 - 5pm

Downtown: Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:30pm

Bilingual assistance is available at all sites. Thank you to our Homework Help sponsors: The Friends of the La Selva Beach Library and The Wedeen Hammer Group at Morgan Stanley.

For live online help - Try Brainfuse HelpNow!Brainfuse logo

Brainfuse HelpNow offers live online tutoring for elementary, middle school and high school students. Writing a paper? Send your paper to a tutor and receive a response within 24 hours. Maestros en español disponible.

Social Studies Fact Cards: California Edition

Fact Cards are quick reference resources for students grades 4 through 8. For the past ten years, printed Fact Cards have been used extensively in California elementary and middle schools. Now this information is available online!

Or browse some guides that we have created

We've got books and ideas that will get you started with many Frequently Assigned School Topics! Take a look at the list below and learn about...

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