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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

June 6, 2019
Thank a librarian!

"...kids who read more great books turn into great people."

A Spectacular Production

Thinking About Art for the Fair?

Ask Nicole: Screen Time in Summertime

Fun Events!
Click to view our Business Directory
  Thank a librarian!

(0 A June 2019) TreehouseReading.jpgSome fortunate children have a childhood in which they can retreat to the treehouse, read all summer long, take a swim in the river on the way to the library for more books, and make friends with a small town librarian who helps them find books she thinks they might like. That was then.

Times have changed. It's a faster pace. Libraries are still a repository of a wonderful supply of books, yet they too have changed. Libraries have added family entertainment to draw us into their wonderful world. Be sure to visit and leave with a pile of books. It's free! Well...paid for by our tax dollars, so let's get our money's worth! And remember to ask for help and thank a librarian!

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 wonderful weekend with family and friends!  Parmalee

 

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  "...kids who read more great books turn into great people."

(0 A June 2019) LitWits-Kit-for-BLUE-WILLOW.jpgInfluence is Everything

Becky and Jenny, Founders of LitWits

Let's face it:  today's kids are surrounded by influences that aren't always good, and aren't always avoidable.  As parents and teachers we try to counter the trend toward small screens, small minds, small viewpoints, and small solutions.  At LitWits, we do that by introducing kids to powerful, positive influences:  great characters in great books.

Great characters teach kids to be great people.  Resilient, courageous, and kind. Best of all, they show kids how it's done.

Great characters model ways to learn and grow. Though they fail, they keep on trying. They display creativity, can-do, resourcefulness and clever problem-solving. They figure things out, and also learn when to ask for help. Sometimes they have to swallow their pride and apologize. Sometimes they have to summon up courage and take a stand. They gain fortitude. Compassion. Grit. Coping skills. All those Ted-talk attributes we want our children to have.

(0 A June 2019) LitWits-Kit-for-THE-GOOD-MASTER.jpgFictional mentors can be influential for life.

So we're pretty choosy about which books we'll "LitWit," and most of them (just like our wisest friends) are pretty darn old. We know from experience that antique protagonists like Johnny Tremain, Wilbur, Sara Crew, and the Cowardly Lion make excellent modern mentors. There's something in the stuck-up silversmith, anxious runt pig, bullied rich orphan, and big scaredy cat that kids recognize in themselves. 

Of course we admire the fine writing in old books, and welcome its powerful influence on academic skills. And we love an adventurous and/or heartwarming plot. But our main focus is on the adventure in the heart of the protagonist-his or her personal growth. We want kids to see themselves.

Great characters help kids see who they are, and what they're capable of.   

Great characters are people and creatures in process, who grow until they can give. Who overcome flaws and obstacles to be of service to others.  Who offer an antidote to me-firstness, a counter to the win-at-all-costs mentality. Who show kids, without teaching or preaching, how to honor their values and reach their potential.

(0 A June 2019) LitWitsJourney.jpgThat's why we LitWit.

We want to encourage kids to spend more time in great books with great characters, and much less time on small screens. So once we've carefully chosen our classic and vintage influencers, we pull out all the stops to make them a joy for young readers.  We create "what they did in the book" projects, scramble through barns and attics for props, and write worksheets that help lessons stick. We come up with activities to engage kids' hands, hearts, and minds.  Our goal is to inspire kids to read more great books!

Because kids who read more great books turn into great people.

We're Becky and Jenny, founders of LitWits Workshops. We're blessed to be sisters and best friends who grew up on great books.  Many of you have asked  "How'd you come up with the idea for LitWits?"  Well, here's the whole saga!  If you were just looking for plain old bios and creds, click here.

 

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  A Spectacular Production

(0 A June 2019) RamayanaDragon3.jpgRamayana! by Mount Madonna students -the entire student body! 41st annual musical theater extravaganza! Monkeys, demons, heroes and a fire-breathing dragon!

Bollywood meets rock and roll in this sword and sorcery epic - the longest running production of Ramayana in the western hemisphere! Live music, original score, comedy and plenty of action!

Thursday, June 6, 7:00pm - Dress Preview show

Friday, June 7, 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, 2pm - Performances

Dress Circle seats available and include special reception, backstage tour, VIP parking and intermission treats. All seats reserved.

 

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  Thinking About Art for the Fair?

Some of us plan ahead and Yvette Contois, owner of the wonderful Art Factory for children and parents, does just that. "If you're thinking about Art for the County Fair or Cats, Cats, Cats, call us today as those are filling up fast! 831-688-8862 or register online here."

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  Ask Nicole: Screen Time in Summertime

(0 A June 2019) Screentime.jpgScreen Time in Summertime

Nicole M. Young, MSW

When I was a young child, the only TV shows my parents let us watch were Sesame Street, Mister Rogers, or anything else on PBS. Occasionally, we watched The Brady Bunch, until my mom declared the show off limits. She was convinced that the more my siblings and I watched The Brady Bunch, the more we fought with each other. I remember being upset at her decision - how could life, and my mom, be so unfair?!? Now that I'm a parent, I can understand she was doing her best to keep four kids busy, healthy, and alive. That was "back in the day" when TVs were the main form of screen time. These days, screens are everywhere, which can create bigger parenting challenges than four bickering children.

Dear Nicole, My kids are 3, 6, and 11 years old, and they love video games and streaming movies. I try to limit their screen time on weeknights during the school year, but now that it's summertime, my kids expect to have more screen time. I don't think it's realistic to completely cut out screen time, but I don't want them to spend the whole summer staring at screens either. What do you suggest?  Ron

Dear Ron, It's true that technology has become an everyday part of life for many people, including children. While not all screen time is bad, too much of it can affect children's well-being. A 2016 survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau found that "children and teenagers who spent more time on screens were lower in psychological well-being: They were less curious and more easily distracted, and had a more difficult time making friends, managing their anger and finishing tasks. Teenagers who spent an excessive amount of time on screens were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression." [1] It often feels unrealistic for many parents to eliminate - or even significantly reduce - children's screen time. And yet, it's important for children to learn social-emotional skills such as accepting limits, following rules, and being good "digital citizens."

Here are some tips to try:

(0 A June 2019) PhoneDrop.jpgCreate family rules about screen time. Involve your kids in creating a few simple rules about screen time limits and games, apps, and web sites they can use on electronic devices. Focus on what you want your kids to do ("Turn phones off at bedtime") instead of focusing on what not to do ("No phones at night."). If needed, adjust the rules for each child based on their age or maturity level. For example, the World Health Organization recommends zero screen time for infants under 1 year old and less than one hour of sedentary screen time each day (e.g. playing video games or watching TV) for children ages 2-4. So your 3-year old might get one hour of screen time each day, while your 11-year old might get two hours per day.

Have engaging activities available. Summertime boredom or loneliness can make video games, apps, and social media even more appealing to kids. Encourage your kids to read, play active games, explore outside, cook, do art activities - anything that keeps their brains and bodies busy, engaged, and interested in something other than sedentary screen time.

Give descriptive praise. When your kids follow the rules or choose an activity other than screen time, acknowledge their efforts and choices. Be specific and genuine as you praise them - "Thanks for turning off the computer when your time was up. Playing outside is a great idea."

Set a good example. Monitor your own screen time and describe the limits you're setting for yourself. For example, put your phone away during mealtimes. If it rings, ignore it and say, "I'll check it after dinner."  Modeling and describing your actions shows your children how to set and follow limits. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: We live in an era where screen time is nearly impossible to avoid, yet it's our job as parents and caregivers to set limits and help our kids learn to make healthy choices on their own. Kids may think screen time limits are unnecessary or unfair, but our guidance will help them be healthier in the long run.

This monthly column provides tips for anyone who is helping raise children, based on the world-renowned Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Santa Cruz County. If you have a question or idea for a future column, please email me at triplep@first5scc.org.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 15 and 19, 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 http://triplep.first5scc.org, or contact First 5 Santa Cruz County at 465-2217.

Twenge J. November 21, 2018. Commentary: New findings add twist to screen time limit debate.

 

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  Fun Events!

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All About Roses
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  All About Roses
Birdsong Orchards
Date: 06/07/2019 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: 14 and up
Details: Learn all about buying, planting & growing roses organically as well as arranging rose bouquets
City: Watsonville view all details >>
     
Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
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  Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
Date:
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Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
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  Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
Date:
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Japanese Cultural Fair
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  Japanese Cultural Fair
Japanese Cultural Fair
Date: 06/08/2019 from 11:00am to 6:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Explore traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, crafts and food!
Special Instructions: Japanese Theme
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 462-4589 view all details >>
     
Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
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  Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
Date:
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Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
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  Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
Date:
view all details >>
     
Lego: EV3 Robotics
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  Lego: EV3 Robotics
Library Live Oak
Date: Every Wed (Jun 5-Aug 7) from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Ages: Ages 10 -17
Details: Create advanced mechanical devices and program motors with Lego Mindstorms
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
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  Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
Date:
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Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
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  Engage Hands, Hearts and Minds
Date:
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Summer in the Libraries
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  Summer in the Libraries
Libraries Santa Cruz Public
Date: Every day (Jun 1-Aug 10)
Details: This year's theme, A UNIVERSE OF STORIES, was chosen to help inspire children of all ages to dream big, believe in themselves,
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
     
The Art of Nature
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  The Art of Nature
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Date: The 1st Fri of every month (Apr 5-Jun 2)
Details: Enjoy watching select artists perform their craft in-person during our April and May First Fridays
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-6115 view all details >>
     
Second Saturday on the Farm
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  Second Saturday on the Farm
Ag History Project
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Join us for demonstrations using antique farm equipment, crafts, farm animals, wooden cow milking, water pumps, learning to driv
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-728-5898 view all details >>
     
Triple P Seminar: Raising Competent Teens
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  Triple P Seminar: Raising Competent Teens
Triple P
Date: 06/13/2019 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Details: Seminar participants will learn ways to help teens: Develop self-discipline; Develop problem solving skills; Establish routines
Special Instructions: Phone number: (831) 335-6600, ext 6605.
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-6600 view all details >>
     
 Second Weekends @ Watsonville Airport
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  Second Weekends @ Watsonville Airport
Watsonville Municipal Airport
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Details: Like old planes? Come visit us!
Special Instructions: Saturday and Sunday
City: Watsonville view all details >>
     
Positive Discipline for Children of All Ages
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  Positive Discipline for Children of All Ages
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Date: Every Wed (Jun 19-Jul 3) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Ages: Adults
Details: Intensive 3-week Positive Discipline Parenting Class Series for Children of All Ages
Special Instructions: No Childcare Available
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 476-7284 view all details >>
     
Fish Tour: Seining in the San Lorenzo River
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  Fish Tour: Seining in the San Lorenzo River
Coastal Watershed
Date: 09/23/2019 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Details: Observe how seining is conducted while learning about steelhead biology and lagoon dynamics.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
     
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