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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

February 28, 2019
It begins in the family...

Whole neighborhood is learning sign language

Ask Nicole: Teaching Kids About Money
Fun Events!
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  It begins in the family...

"Don't be afraid. If we stick together we got this covered."* Mentor to Will Wilder, an earnest, adventurous 12 year old boy

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The three books in the fictional Will Wilder series offer us friendship, family, good manners, humor, good versus evil, serious things going on, and a tingly, slightly scary, edge-of-the-seat adventure. This book is great for kids to grandparents!

"Will Wilder didn't mean to unlock his otherworldly gift. But that is exactly what happens when Will "borrows" a sacred relic believed to protect the town of Perilous Falls for nearly a century. Even though his intentions are good, the impulsive twelve-year-old unwittingly awakens an ancient evil endangering all of Perilous Falls.
As boats sink and hideous creatures crawl from the rising waters, it is up to Will to confront a nightmarish enemy and set things right before it is too late. Along with his sweet-if lethal-great-aunt Lucille, the curator of a museum of supernatural artifacts, Will proves that the actions of one twelve-year-old boy can change the world."

"Don't be afraid. If we stick together we got this covered." That's exactly what a neighborhood did for a neighbor --a sweet, cheerful little deaf girl who was always eager to communicate with them. Is there someone in your neighborhood (next door, school, work, etc.) who could use some support? We are way too inundated by negativity.  Let's make some positivity!

Please 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!

Have a great weekend with family and friends!  Parmalee


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  Whole neighborhood is learning sign language

"This 2-year-old deaf girl loves people - so her whole neighborhood is learning sign languageCBS

(0 A February 2019) DeafGirl.jpgAt the far end of Islington Road in Newton, Massachusetts, lives a little girl near and dear to the neighborhood. Two-year-old Samantha Savitz is deaf, but she loves to talk to anyone who knows sign language.

"She's super engaging. She wants to chat-up with anybody." said her father, Raphael.

"Yea, her whole personality changes when it's someone who can communicate with her," said her mother, Glenda.

On the other hand, if someone can't, that makes Sam just a little sad.

Her desire for engagement has been painfully obvious to everyone in the neighborhood. Whenever they see her on a walk or in her yard - and Sam tries to be neighborly - they find themselves at a frustrating loss for words.

"I didn't know what to say back. Wouldn't you like to talk to her?" said one neighbor.

"Basic conversation that one would have with a child," said another.

"Asking her about her day," said a third.

"And make her feel that she is part of the neighborhood," said another neighbor.

"Just be her friend," another neighbor added.

Unfortunately, this isn't something you can solve with a casserole. You'd need the whole community to learn sign language - just for a little 2-year-old girl - can't expect neighbors to do that. You can only appreciate them when they do.

On their own, Sam's neighbors got together, hired an instructor, and are now fully immersed in an American Sign Language class. The teacher, Rhys McGovern, says this is remarkable because a lot of times even the parents of deaf children don't bother to learn sign language.

"But here Sam has a full community that's signing and communicating with her and her family, and it is a beautiful story," Rhys said.

And he says this level of inclusion will almost certainly guarantee a happier, more well-adjusted Sam.

Which is why her parents says there aren't words in any language to express their gratitude."Yea, it's really shocking and beautiful," Glenda said.

"We are so fortunate," Raphael said.

In fact, they said they're already seeing a difference in their daughter.

"You should see her when she comes in at the end of class," said one neighbor.

"The first thing she says to us is 'friend,'" said another neighbor.
0215-en-otr-neighbor-hartman-g3.jpg Samantha Savitz with her neighbors CBS News

"I think your heart would melt just as mine did," said another neighbor.

Sometimes it feels like America is losing its sense of community - but then you hear about a place like this - where the village it takes to raise a child is alive and well and here to remind us - that what makes a "good neighborhood" is nothing more than good neighbors."


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  Ask Nicole: Teaching Kids About Money

Nicole M. Young, MSW

(0 A February 2019) FamilyBudget1.jpgWhen I was young, my dad supported a family of six on a teacher's salary. It was hard in the 1970's, and I can't imagine trying to do it now. I remember grocery shopping with my mom and watching her keep a running total of every item in the cart to make sure she stayed within her budget. In high school, after I bought a record album on impulse, my mom made me create a budget and show her my income, expenses, and bank statement each month. I hated it, but it taught me to live frugally and save money, which was an essential skill once I left home. I still love a good bargain and try to teach my kids the value of working hard and saving money. Sometimes I think they get it, and other times it seems like "job, budget, and saving" are foreign words to them.

Dear Nicole, I want my kids to learn the value of money. My partner and I both work two jobs to make ends meet, and we live on a tight budget. Meanwhile, our kids (7, 10, 15) constantly ask for money and complain if we say no. My oldest earns some money from babysitting but spends it as soon as she gets it. We don't mind giving them money occasionally, but we don't want them to expect it all the time. Got any suggestions? Troy

Dear Troy, Good question! Learning to manage money is an important life skill that's necessary for independence in adulthood. Here are some tips to try:

Create a family budget. If you haven't done this already, create a simple budget that shows how much you earn and spend each month on essential items like food, housing, transportation, utilities, child care, and other bills. This can help children see how much (or little) money is left for other things like clothing, entertainment, and school or social activities.

 Teach your kids about the family budget. Kids are often unaware of the family budget because they're not involved in day-to-day spending decisions. Although we don't want children to worry about the family's financial health, it's still good for them to learn the importance of budgeting and saving for the future. This can be hard to teach, especially since kids might not see people use physical money very often. With more options to buy things online, by credit or debit card, or with apps connected to bank accounts, kids might truly believe that money magically appears. To make the concept of money and budgeting more concrete, try using play money from a board game to demonstrate how much money comes into the household each month, how much gets spent on essential items, and how much is left over.

Help them set goals for earning and saving money. If your kids want certain items, have them research the costs then prioritize one thing they want to buy. Help them identify all the ways they can earn and save money - small jobs at home or in the neighborhood, a job in the community, an allowance, or any money they receive as gifts - even if it's a few cents at a time. Teach them to create a budget and keep track of how close they are to reaching their goal. They can create budgets using paper, a spreadsheet, or envelopes or containers marked "Saving" (money they won't spend) and "Spending" (money for buying items they want). This can help kids make a concrete connection between working, earning, and saving money.

Encourage them to find contentment from things that don't cost money. While it can feel good to buy things with hard-earned money, it's also valuable for children to learn to experience happiness and contentment in other ways. One of the simplest ways to do this is to set a good example - talk with your kids about things that make you feel happy, content, grateful, and loved - including your family and other non-material things.

FINAL THOUGHTS: People often say, "Money doesn't grow on trees," and "Money can't buy you happiness." These sayings may seem old-fashioned, but they're as true as ever. Teaching kids about valuing and managing money without relying on material things for happiness is essential for their future independence and lifelong well-being.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 15 and 18, who also manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, the world's leading positive parenting program. Scientifically proven, Triple P is made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (Mental Health Services Act) and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department. To find a Triple P parenting class or practitioner, visit, or contact First 5 Santa Cruz County at 465-2217 or

  Fun Events!
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Kirby School 6-12, Shadow Days are Mondays


Gateway School K-8, Kindergarten Visit Day 3/2 and School Day Tour 3/5


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Art & Play in the Pre and K 3/13

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It could be a great wildflower year!

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Glorietta Canyon

Anza Borrego

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Arboretum Garden Free Day
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  Arboretum Garden Free Day
Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz
Date: The 1st Tues of every month from 9:00am to 5:00pm
Details: A tranquil place to see plants from around the world plus quail, bunnies...
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-502-2998 view all details >>
SLVNew Parents Support Group
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  SLVNew Parents Support Group
Birth Network
Date: Every Tues from 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Details: Parents and their newborns are welcome! Led by postpartum doulas,
City: Felton view all details >>
Children's Planetarium Show
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  Children's Planetarium Show
Hartnell Planetarium
Date: Every Fri (Aug 30-Dec 13) at 5:15pm
Details: Star programs for children
Special Instructions: No late admittance. Be sure to show up 5-10 minutes early. Doors are locked shut at start times.
City: Salinas Phone: (831) 755-6979 view all details >>
Kid's Tool Workshop
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  Kid's Tool Workshop
Home Depot
Date: The 1st Sa of every month from 9:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: 5-12
Details: Free kids workshops teach do-it-yourself skills and tool safety
City: Capitola or Watsonville view all details >>
Citizen Science
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  Citizen Science
Library Central
Date: The 1st Th of every month from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Ages: All
Details: A presentation and Q&A with local experts and researchers in the field discussing life science, ecology, geology, genetics, clim
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 427-7717 view all details >>
Do you want to see more bike facilities in Watsonville?
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  Do you want to see more bike facilities in Watsonville?
Date: 03/02/2019 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Details: Learn about the future of cycle based recreation and transportation in Watsonville
City: Watsonville view all details >>
Salamander Saturday
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  Salamander Saturday
State Park Rancho del Oso
Date: 03/02/2019 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Celebrate our amphibian friends that make their way from beneath rocks and under logs to the creeks, wetlands and puddles
Special Instructions: 18 miles north of SC on Hwy 1
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 427-2288 view all details >>
Be a Good Neighbor
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  Be a Good Neighbor
view all details >>
Helping Your Child Deal With Bullying
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  Helping Your Child Deal With Bullying
Date: 03/07/2019 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Details: What you can do if your child is being bullied...
Special Instructions: Phone number: (831) 335-6600, ext 6605
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-6600 view all details >>
Bilingual Learn & Play
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  Bilingual Learn & Play
Watsonville PAL
Date: Every Th from 10:30am to 11:30am
Details: WPAL brings to you our new TODDLER PROGRAM.
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-763-4147 view all details >>
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