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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

June 14, 2012

A Dad's Perspective

Opinion: Education: Too Important for a Government Monopoly

Special Needs Resource Collection

Viva: Travel Checklists Part III for Kids
Science Fun with Christine: Blog for My Father
Suki Measures the Moral Value of Children's Fiction Series
Dream Big -Read!
This Week
Santa Cruz Scottish Games and Celtic Festival
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Holidays) FathersDay_kiss1.jpgHats off to all the Dads doing an awesome job of parenting!  I love seeing Dads interacting with their children.  Whenever I see them with their children riding bikes, running with sons, working in the garden, "fixing things", cooking, reading, honoring mom, cheering winners or consoling losers, hiking with daughters, carrying a baby, teaching a teen how to drive, frolicking at the beach, or shopping with the kids, the tenderness and caring I see brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. 

We have a short 18 years in which to profoundly influence our children.  Make every moment count and enjoy the accolades on Father's Day.

Father's Day is a good time to voice a pet peeve of mine: ads and tv shows that portray dads as bumbling idiots.  If this is collateral damage from the feminist movement, let's do our part within our families to not buy into that thread.

The local libraries began their summer reading programs this week.  I like "Chores first, then we (ALL of us!) get to read!"  If they are off at camp doing outdoor activities most of the day, some quiet downtime with a good book is nourishing.

Suki's blog on moral fiction is outstanding.  See if you agree with her ratings (I do!)  Why do you think classics endure?  Why do outstanding schools incorporate the classics in their curricula?  Are you reading what your children read or reading along with them and discussing values that are or are not present as a way to help them absorb valuable lessons that mesh with your family values?  Have you asked your child's school to provide you with their literature lists that are part of their curricula?  Ask me for my list!

Many summer camps began this week.  We have some wonderful choices.  Should you find that one program is not quite the right fit, remember to look at options here: A-Z Summer Camps, Summer Camp Guide or Camp/Class Calendar.

It's no secret that I believe parents are best at choosing how and where their children receive an education, that I believe in the freedom to choose the schools and teachers best suited to their child's needs and that philosophically I favor local control of quality and funding.  We have choices: public neighborhood, charter, homeschooling, parochial and private schools.  If you are not satisfied with your current situation, explore your options.  You will find some interesting articles that offer food for thought on the CCIS Facebook page.  Comments are welcome.

Enjoy the parenting journey, Parmalee

  A Dad's Perspective

(Holidays) FathersDay_PickingAppleswithDad.jpgA father's role is so much more than to provide financial stability and discipline for their family. Fathers bring something special to their relationship with their children and play an important role in children's' development. Involved fathers have a strong impact on peer and family relationships, IQ, language development, emotional wellbeing and academic accomplishments.  However, fathers may not always know how to be a consistent presence in their children's lives.

Triple P offers some tips that you can try right away to increase your involvement as a father.

Leave work at work.  Being distracted with tasks still left at work or incidents that may have occurred at the office will take away from your time with your family. Before you get home, take a few moments to mentally make the transition from work to family. Don't let the stress of work impinge on your time with your children. You will be more productive if you are able to relax and enjoy your children when you are with them.

(Holidays) FathersDay_BikingwithDad.jpgUnderstand that there are many ways to support your children. Many fathers are encountering the new experience of unemployment. While this might be a scary time for your family, consider how you can use the time to be more involved with your kids and support household routines in new ways.

Create a morning or evening routine. Depending on your schedule, be involved with a predictable morning or evening routine. These can include: helping the kids with getting dressed in the morning; making the kids breakfast; giving the kids a ride to daycare or school; reading bedtime books; telling stories; helping the kids brush their teeth; playing; going for an evening walk around the block; preparing the kids' evening snack; putting the kids to bed. It is important that your kids know that you want to be involved and they can count on your presence.

(Holidays) FathersDay_CheckerswithDad2Daughters.jpgDo a weekly activity together.  Talk to your kids about what they like to do and set time a side each week to do this activity together. These could be anything from riding bikes every Saturday morning to putting together puzzles on Friday nights. You can also be involved with activities that are already taking place; such as taking them to a class or their sports games. The important thing is that you are consistent and that you stay involved.

Be a role model through play. Whenever there is time, play with your children. Join them in their imaginary play or pick up a ball and start passing it to them. Children learn a lot from active play with adults. Fathers can especially be a role model during play by showing their kids how to play cooperatively and how to play in teams. Using teachable moments during play will help kids remember the desired behavior.

(Holidays) FathersDay_ClimbingTreewithDad.jpgWork as a team with your partner. Set some time aside to talk to your partner about ground rules and discipline tactics to ensure you are on the same page when a situation arises. It is important not to contradict one another or argue in front of the children. Save these discussions for when the two of you can speak in private. Making sure that you are giving and receiving practical support from your partner will help things run more smoothly in the house.

Fatherhood is a lifelong commitment. Being present, consistent and attentive when you are with your children will tell them that you love them and care.  And don't forget to show lots of physical attention- a pat on the back or a hug can often do more than anything else! Remember, these small changes, can make big differences!

If you are interested in learning more about the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and services available, contact First 5 Santa Cruz County:  visit www.first5scc.org or contact Stephanie Bluford at sbluford@first5scc.org (831) 465-2217.

by Susan True, Executive Director First 5 Santa Cruz County

 

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  Opinion: Education: Too Important for a Government Monopoly

By John Stossel

"The government-school establishment has said the same thing for decades: Education is too important to leave to the competitive market. If we really want to help our kids, we must focus more resources on the government schools.

But despite this mantra, the focus is on something other than the kids. When The Washington Post asked George Parker, head of the Washington, D.C., teachers union, about the voucher program there, he said: Parents are voting with their feet. ... As kids continue leaving the system, we will lose teachers. Our very survival depends on having kids in D.C. schools so we'll have teachers to represent."

How revealing is that?

Since 1980, government spending on education, adjusted for inflation, has nearly doubled. But test scores have been flat for decades.

Today we spend a stunning $11,000 a year per student -- more than $200,000 per classroom. It's not working. So when will we permit competition and choice, which works great with everything else?... " read more>>>

 
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Springhill School
for highly motivated, talented and gifted children K - 8

Differentiated instruction ~ Small, ability-based groups, moving to next levels when ready ~ Experiential hands-on learning in an intimate, supportive and exciting learning atmosphere

Call to explore your options for 2012-13.

Admission as space allows

831.427.2641 | SpringhillSchool.org | 250 California St, Santa Cruz

  Special Needs Resource Collection

(Graphics) LibraryHogwarts.jpgThanks to a grant from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Scotts Valley Library will house a collection of books and materials for the special needs community.  Available starting June 2, the collection includes reference books, legal manuals, videos and DVDs either purchased as part of the grant or donated. Conditions addressed in the Special Needs Resource Center collection include Autism, ADD, ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome, Asperger's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairment, Pervasive Developmental Delays, Dyspraxia, Bipoloar disorder, sensory processing disorders, Down Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression and OCD.

Parents, educators and individuals with special needs throughout the Santa Cruz Public Library System will be able to access these resources, which will be housed at the Scotts Valley Library.

Internationally known therapist, author and lecturer Michelle Garcia Winner donated copies of all the publications produced by her company, Social Thinking Publishing. Available resources include addressing legal rights for those with disabilities, obtaining appropriate educational placement, dealing with siblings of a special needs child and much more.

For more information on the Special Needs Resource Center, please go the Scotts Valley Library web site.

 

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  Viva: Travel Checklists Part III for Kids

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Vacations run much smoother when you haven't forgotten to pack some of your kids' gear.  Here is a customizable, free packing checklist for kids and parents to use so that nothing is left behind when you go on vacation.  It includes often forgotten items like a thermometer and Children's Tylenol (which can potentially save you a trip to Urgent Care).

 I also added sections for summer items and winter items.  The packing checklist is a Microsoft Words document, so you can edit it pretty easily, but I included instructions nonetheless in case you're not familiar with that program. 

The key to success when using a checklist is to actually check off each item when, and only when, it has been placed in the suitcase.  So print off one checklist for each child, and let them start packing! Get the list from Daily Citron>>>

Visit Viva at the Daily Citron for more frugal tips and finds.

  Science Fun with Christine: Blog for My Father

(Photos General) billcockey-costarica-1998.jpgWho has inspired you? Do you have a passion for something? My passion is science (surprise!) but it could be anything. How about gardening, or music, or hiking, or teaching, or . . . ??

My father is an engineer. Whenever my siblings & I would ask questions, he would patiently explain what was happening. I especially remember one moment.  We did a lot of camping and backpacking as a family. At this time we were driving through northern Nevada, probably on our way to Idaho. It was early evening. I remember the desert surrounding us, and the flash of lighting out in the distance from a thunderstorm. Wolfman Jack was on the radio....read more>>>

More posts at Science Fun with Christine Cockey, local scientist and mom.

  Suki Measures the Moral Value of Children's Fiction Series

(Photos General) SukiRedHead_138.jpgI have a book, pages yellowed and stiff as if I'd been born much earlier than I was actually born, that my brother gave me when I graduated from college. He inscribed the front page, which is why I know when he gave it to me. Otherwise, I'd have to depend on my memory, which is a bit stiff and yellow about the edges, too.

The book is John Gardner's On Moral Fiction. I don't know if anyone reads Gardner much anymore. I know that men of a certain age, who were already stiff and yellow about the edges when they were my writing professors, loved John Gardner. I never had much use for his fiction, which seemed to be speaking to an audience much older and male than I was, but I did like this book. And I was touched that my brother would give it to me as I finished school and was about to embark on my life of art.

Fast-forward a few years, and my brother is in advertising, and I'm a homeschooling mom, but the book hasn't lost its relevance. I skimmed it and found that my young self had helpfully underlined all sorts of important bits. Amazingly, they sound just as important to me now as they did then.

Gardner wrote, "Nothing could be more obvious, it seems to me, than that art should be moral and that the first business of criticism, at least some of the time, should be to judge works of literature (or painting or even music) on grounds of the production's moral worth." Read more to find out Suki's opinion on current children's fiction series. >>>>

  Dream Big -Read!

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Library202_DreamBigRead.jpgSignups began this week for Summer Reading 2012! Summer is a great time to read. Keep track of all your books and join us for tons of fun events here at the library. A list of events can be found on the Summer Reading Calendar and on our library events calendar.

Teens and kids can sign up to earn Summer Reading Dollars by tracking each hour they spend reading on their reading log. Summer Reading Dollars can be spent at any of our participating merchants before September 30th. Adults are encouraged to visit the library website to write reviews of the books they've read or listened to.

Everyone is invited to join us at the Festival of the Book at Harvey West Park from 1pm - 4pm on July 29th. We'll have a picnic lunch, musical entertainment, and more -- plus the Kids Only Booksale!

Dream Big -- Read!

About Summer Reading...

Here's how to participate:

1. Read

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Library2012_DreamBigReadKidsinBook.jpgBegin reading as soon as school is out. All kids can participate by reading on their own or by listening to someone else. Earn a Summer Reading Dollar by reading for 1 hour - you can earn up to 20. Fill in the circles to keep track of the time you spend reading. After you have signed up for Summer Reading, you can print out a temporary reading log and start recording your information. Pick up your official Summer Reading Log at any branch Library. As always, readers and non-readers may participate. Participants may complete the program only once.

2. Programs & Book Reviews

There are programs for all ages at all Library branches. For the latest updates and details about all of our programs, visit the Summer Reading Calendar of Events. Programs will be added throughout the summer, so check regularly. If a program requires preregistration, you must register online at any Library branch or from home.

You can also submit BOOK REVIEWS online!

3. Earn 'Dollars'

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Library2012_DreamBigRead2GirlsFlashlight.jpgLibrary Programs staff will give you one Summer Reading Dollar for each circle that is completely filled. To collect your Dollars, bring your completed reading log to:

  • any library immediately after a scheduled program (for a list of program dates and times see the calendar)
  • any library and give it to branch staff, then pick it and your Dollars up the following week
  • the Festival of the Book at Harvey West Park

The last day to collect your Dollars is Sunday, July 29, 2012.

See the Participating Merchants page (or the list in the back pages of your Summer Reading Log) for the SC County Merchants who will honor your Summer Reading Dollars (worth $1 each in merchandise). You must bring your Summer Reading booklet and your Dollars to the store when you shop, so the merchant can record the amount you spend.

The last day to spend your dollars is Sunday, September 30, 2012.

4. Visit the Kids' Book Sale!

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Library2012_DreamBigReadTeen.jpgThe Summer Friends of the Library sale for children, teens and their parents will be happening on Sunday, July 29 from 1-4pm at the Festival of the Book. Teachers and child care providers are also welcome! Great selection of fiction, non-fiction, Young Adult, picture books, easy readers, vintage, arts & crafts, videos and CD/DVDs, and reference books! Most books are $1.50/lb (except specially priced sets, toys, audiovisual, and heavier items). In addition, children and teens who have completed this year's Summer Reading by earning at least one dollar can show their reading log to receive a free book at the sale.

Visit Watsonville Public Library Events Page!

  This Week

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of upcoming events and activities.

Click on our EVENT CALENDAR.

Submit your event!

 

 

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New Leaf Capitola

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Date Nite at Gymnastics Learning Center

June 16, 6p-10p
Ages 3-12

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More details...

Save $5 - call or email to pre-register
713-5954
info@scsportscentral.com

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 Santa Cruz Scottish Games and Celtic Festival

(Special Event Images / Graphics) ScottishDancerBoy.jpgHighland Games and Celtic Gathering, Over 40 Clans and Societies Welcome Visitors
Sat & Sun, Jun 16 - 17, 10am - 6-pm
Adults $15, Students (11 - 17 & Seniors (65+) $10, under 10 FREE

Santa Cruz Fairgrounds, Watsonville

Don't miss the Heavy Athletics, great food, a Celtic Marketplace, musical entertainment by The Wicked Tinkers, The Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers, and lots more! They are seeking volunteers, clans and societies, vendors and Living History groups.  For all the details, please visit their website.

Featuring Children's Activities
Scottish Heavy Athletics Pony Rides
Gathering of the Clans Mother Goose
Highland Dance Exhibition Hair Braiding
Traditional Celtic Food and Ale Coloring Contest
Celtic Craft Marketplace Facepainting
Living History and Children's Glen Bubble Fairy
Live performances by Tip Hat, fire eating Giant
The Wicked Tinkers Kingsford, the Tubby Black Dragon
Santa Cruz Pipe and Drum Band Battling Tops
The Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers Black Sheep Games
The Piping Circle Fortune's Folly Gaming Guild
Papa Doo Run Run
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  Papa Doo Run Run
Beach Boardwalk
Date: 09/01/2017
Details: Last free Friday night concert of the summer
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-5590 view all details >>
     
Coast Nature Walks
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  Coast Nature Walks
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: Every Sa (Sep 2-Sep 30) at 11:00am
Ages: All
Details: Explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs
Special Instructions: 7/1, 7/22, 7/29
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.426-0505 view all details >>
     
Hats Off to Dads!
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  Hats Off to Dads!
Date:
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Contra Dancing
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  Contra Dancing
Santa Cruz Dance
Date: The 3rd Fri of every month from 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Ages: 7+
Details: Contra couples dancing for beginners and experienced dancers
Special Instructions: Usually Third Friday, Check website.
City: Felton view all details >>
     
Hats Off to Dads!
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  Hats Off to Dads!
Date:
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Hats Off to Dads!
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  Hats Off to Dads!
Date:
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Hats Off to Dads!
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  Hats Off to Dads!
Date:
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Pirate Party
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  Pirate Party
Northern California Pirate Festival
Date: Every day (Jun 17-Jun 18)
Details: Avast Mates! Come join us pirates for non-stop entertainment, hearty food and drink, unique shopping and lively games and activi
City: Vallejo view all details >>
     
Hats Off to Dads!
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  Hats Off to Dads!
Date:
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Hats Off to Dads!
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  Hats Off to Dads!
Date:
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Hats Off to Dads!
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  Hats Off to Dads!
Date:
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Japanese Cultural Fair
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  Japanese Cultural Fair
Japanese Cultural Fair
Date: 06/10/2017 from 11:00am to 6:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Explore traditional and contemporary Japanese culture
Special Instructions: Japanese Theme
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 462-4589 view all details >>
     
     
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