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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

December 29, 2016
Connecting with "Strangers"

First Day Hikes!

Preview A Hike

Get your hands wet!
Steve Let it shine, let it shine.
Places to Go!
Click to view our Business Directory
  Connecting with "Strangers"

(0 Dec 2016) HappyNewYearFlowers.jpgOn Christmas Eve afternoon I was standing in line at a grocery store behind an elderly gentleman when a grandmotherly-age, smiling lady in a head scarf and flowing dress with three microwavable popcorn boxes in her hand said "Excuse me..."

I realized she was with the gentleman ahead of me, stepped aside for her and asked her if she were going to watch a movie and eat popcorn.  Pointing to the popcorn, she answered, "My grandchildren..."  She said "Merry Christmas" to me.  I thanked her and asked her what she celebrates. "Ramadan" she replied. It was a pleasant encounter across different cultures.  I would have enjoyed more exploration of her story.

One of my favorite words is "explore." For me it evokes friendliness, openness, curiosity, adventure and new information. Best of all it's non-threatening. For example, by exploring (and visiting) I found schools that were a good match for each of my children. Now, when many schools offer open houses, is a great time to explore all your educational options.  Open houses are an opportunity to compare written missions with reality, to ask questions, to observe interactions, meet teachers, students and other parents. After an open house visit, if your child has particular needs or challenges, schedule a personal visit. 

Steve talks about whether, as parents, we are instilling in our children, love and hope rather than fear and anger. The latter can be devastating, the former uplifting. May I gently suggest great caution in exposing our children to not only our own fear or anger but also to fearful events and news that even we find horrific.

Happy New Year dear families in Santa Cruz County!  Keep up your good parenting.  The dividends are invaluable!

(2 Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease share our newsletter with new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events! We are still activating posts on our calendar so be sure to check the online calendar for more events over the weekend.

Have a happy, family New Year weekend!  Parmalee

 

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  First Day Hikes!

(0 Dec 2016) 1stdayhike_logo_135x250.jpg"Start the new year at a California state park! #FirstDayHikes are back and there are more than 50 state parks hosting more than 80 guided hikes. Take a walk on beach, explore redwood groves, hike through snow or check out a cultural site at a state park near you on January 1st!

California State Parks Invites the Public to Kick-Off the New Year with a First Day Hike 

California State Parks Invites the Public to Kick-Off the New Year with a First Day Hikegoldrushcam.com"

 

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  Preview A Hike

(0 Dec 2016) Big-Basin300.jpgGoogle Street View Treks!

Thanks to a partnership between California State Parks and Google Maps, you can now visit many of our beautiful parks right from your computer, tablet or smart phone. A total of 110 state park destinations have been filmed using Google Trekker, a backpack-mounted camera that provides 360 degree footage.

Parks and Trails with Treks

Año Nuevo State Park

Bean Hollow State Beach

Big Basin Redwoods SP

Redwood Loop Trail | Skyline to Sea Trail

Carmel River State Beach

Half Moon Bay State Beach

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP

Monterey State Beach

Moss Landing State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach

New Brighton State Beach

Pescadero State Beach

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pigeon Point State Historic Park

San Gregorio State Beach

Seacliff State Beach

Sunset State Park

Nisene Marks State Park

Twin Lakes State Beach

Wilder Ranch State Park

Zmudowski State Beach
 

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  Get your hands wet!

touch poolSanta Cruz Naturalist

Explore what it means to be a naturalist in Santa Cruz County and get your hands wet as you examine local marine life in our brand new intertidal touch pool.

 Learn about the Museum's beginnings with lighthouse keeper Laura Hecox more than 100 years ago, and see what it means to be a collector. Through hands-on explorations with real specimens in our nature lab, visitors of all ages will discover the wonder of our region's natural history and recognize the naturalist within themselves.

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This is the first permanent gallery renovation in over 20 years and is part of a larger project to update the Museum's exhibits.

Learn more, Sentinel article.

  Steve Let it shine, let it shine.

Fear and Anger, or Hope and Love, You Choose

I think about the needs of young children a lot. I try to inspire adults towards deeper connecting with young children. I make suggestions, I advise, I encourage and I offer guidance when asked. It is both my passion and what I think will make a brighter future for us all.

This year I have seen the needs of young children take a back seat to the fear created by the angry adults we see all too often in the news. Our world is indeed in a mess but I am sure that fear and anger are not leading us to a path to renewal.

At this time of year many cultures celebrate events from the past, stories of special people from long ago. There are common themes we can glean from those powerful stories dear to various traditions including the stories of the birth and life of Jesus, the stories of the Maccabees, and stories of the return from exile of Ram. These stories  point us toward hope, resilience and love as the key to change, to our own soulful renewal.

The annual experience of the Winter Solstice gives the same picture. The days have been growing shorter and shorter leading up to the day of the Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the longest night. And the very next day, the light begins to return. The days gradually lengthen and the nights grow shorter. The darkest night of the year is the gateway to the return of the light, the return of the Sun.

(0 Dec 2016) Parenting_LovingSilhouette2.jpgLet it shine, let it shine...What we all need is to connect with our own light. The same light that shines from the Sun and the stars lives inside each one of us. When we feel that light inside, we can live with hope and send out love into the world and to those around us.

This might seem like a lofty idea. Maybe it is, but it is something we can do. We can! The children are depending on us to show them that hope lives and love is a force of protection and transformation. Not fear and anger, but surround the children with our hope and love. Young children learn about the world, and learn how to be in the world by imitation. Give them your hope and love to imitate. Hope and love are stronger than fear and anger. Always remember that!

Every year we are reminded of this by the many celebrations in mid-winter. There are so many symbols of light overcoming the darkness, of resistance and resilience powered by hope and love. Let them into your heart. For the children. For yourself. For the world.

It's time for change and it starts with each one of us. Each small candle casts light into the darkness. The light of many candles can illumine a darkened world. 

Let it shine, let it shine.

Explore the world of the young child with Stephen Spitalny, teacher, early childhood consultant and writer. Steve offers lectures, workshops and mentoring around the worldChamakanda Blogs

  Places to Go!

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Mount Madonna School PreK-12, Art & Play in Pre & K!

 

Mount Madonna School PreK-12, Campus Tour 1/11

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf School K-8, A Walk Through the Grades 1/19

 

Gateway School K-8, Annual Open House 1/21

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf School K-8, Morning in the Kindergarten 1/21

 

Kirby School 6-12, Open House 1/26

 

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Ice Skating by the Bay
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  Ice Skating by the Bay
Ice Skating by the Bay
Date: Every day (Nov 19-Jan 8)
Ages: All
Details: Spend the dayice skating in a winter wonderland right by the Bay.
City: Monterey Phone: 831-649-4511 view all details >>
     
Sunday Seaside Crafts
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  Sunday Seaside Crafts
Seymour Marine Discovery Center (at Long Marine Lab)
Date: Every Su from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: Kids and up
Details: Join us with your small fry every Sunday for hands-on fun!
Special Instructions: We are located at the end of Delaware Avenue.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-3800 view all details >>
     
Guided Elephant Seal Walks Start Dec 15
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  Guided Elephant Seal Walks Start Dec 15
State Park Ano Nuevo
Date: Every day (Oct 25-Mar 31)
Ages: All: (Lots of walking)
Details: 3 mile hike over sand and sloping terrain to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31
City: Pescadero Phone: 800.444.4445 view all details >>
     
Chanukkuh Train
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  Chanukkuh Train
Beach Boardwalk
Date: 12/29/2016
Details: Create a new holiday tradition with family and friends as we experience the lights, stories and traditions of Chanukah in a whol
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
STEAM in Nature
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  STEAM in Nature
Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery
Date: Every Wed from 3:00pm to 3:30pm
Ages: 0-12
Details: Fine Motor Skills, Art through various mediums, Natural Science Exploration
City: Capitola Phone: (888) 424-8035 view all details >>
     
2017 Open Houses Castro Adobe
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  2017 Open Houses Castro Adobe
State Park Castro Adobe
Date: Every day (Mar 18-Dec 30) from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Details:
Special Instructions: Old Adobe Road, off of Larkin Valley Road
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-335-6318 view all details >>
     
First Day Activities
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  First Day Activities
State Park Big Basin
Date: 01/01/2017
Ages: All
Details: Start your year off right, with a rejuvenating visit to California's oldest state park! Enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, a
Special Instructions: Note different start times
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 338-8861 view all details >>
     
Mission Cooking Demonstration
click to view website
  Mission Cooking Demonstration
State Park Mission
Date: 04/15/2017 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Details: Presentation of Ohlone and Spanish cuisine including hot rock cooking, tortilla frying on a Comal and baking in our Horno
Special Instructions: at the end of School Street off the Santa Cruz Mission Plaza
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 425-5849 view all details >>
     
Guided Elephant Seal Walks Start Dec 15
click to view website
  Guided Elephant Seal Walks Start Dec 15
State Park Ano Nuevo
Date: Every day (Oct 25-Mar 31)
Ages: All: (Lots of walking)
Details: 3 mile hike over sand and sloping terrain to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31
City: Pescadero Phone: 800.444.4445 view all details >>
     
FIRST NIGHT MONTEREY
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  FIRST NIGHT MONTEREY
First Night Monterey
Date: Every day (Dec 31-Jan 1) from 3:00pm to 12:01am
Details: Dance, play, act, perform, create and sing our way into 20167!
City: Monterey view all details >>
     
Chicken Fun
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  Chicken Fun
Glaum Egg Ranch
Date: Every Mon, Tues, Wed, Th, Fri and Sa from 6:00am to 8:00pm
Details: Buy eggs and get a bonus, an animated chicken show
City: Aptos view all details >>
     
     
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