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New Leaf Community Markets - Everything for Healthful Living!
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

March 29, 2012

The Joys of Kids' Cooking Camp

Science Fun with Christine: Going to the Bottom of the Ocean

Suki: The Best Website for Your School
Viva: Finds for You!
Irvin Lindsey Comments on Science Article
Sixth Grader Wins Bid to California State Science Fair
This Week
The Far Side - Biology Hike
Click to view our Business Directory

(Graphics) Science_Debate_Propaganda.jpg

On the subject of science, there are some good folks out there making it easier for those of us who are stronger on the other side of the brain (does that still hold?!).

I'm seeing, hearing and learning so much about a variety of areas of science (neurology, medicine, physics, climate, space and at the same time observing how some persons or groups take science and "adjust" it to suit an agenda and even -gasp- make money based on false premises. That is just one more reason for parents to question and do their own research, to be information detectives and to demonstrate that quality for their children. After all in this information age there is no excuse for blind acceptance.

Our friend Irvin Lindsey, master science teacher and head of OSE Fun, sent us an article with his comments.  We share it with you.  Think about it!

Suki reminisces about her 20 years of experiences creating educational websites and sets standards for what makes a good site and effective high tech communication.  Communication has become remarkedly easy for schools because of technology. Her advice is applicable to any local business, so pay attention!

We all experience those days when we don't want to cook, wash dishes, empty the dishwasher or mop the floor one more time. We wish someone else would take charge and simply call us to dinner! We CAN have those occasional treats. With careful planning, we can introduce our children to kitchen arts.  An easy way is to send them to cooking camp where they will be quite willing to take advice from an expert other than Mom or Dad.

Save April 28 for the Summit for the Planet!  It's a fun event with a fundraising walkathon among beautiful redwoods and activity booths for your enjoyment. We shall be there and hope to meet some of you.

Bon appetite, Parmalee


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  The Joys of Kids' Cooking Camp

(Photos General) LaurenHoover.jpgBy Chef/Author Lauren Hoover-West

As a professional chef with food allergies, I know how important it is to cook and eat healthy. I changed my health and life through food. After being diagnosed with allergies to dairy, gluten, and sugar I had to go back to the drawing board. I learned to find healthy alternatives to traditional ingredients that I would have never sought out otherwise. I still have a gourmet palate, and that is why it took me 10 years to create a revolutionary way to cook and bake that is much healthier than what I was familiar with from childhood. I decided to share this with the world in my cookbook and on my blog site, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem. Then, I started teaching cooking classes.

 find so much joy in teaching cooking to children and teens. I love teaching adults, but there is something about the high level of curiosity and excitement in kids that is such fun. In teaching kids' cooking classes we discuss a myriad of subjects that reaches far beyond cooking. We chat about math, science, the environment, pesticides and neuro-endocrine disrupters, blood sugar and health, nutrition, meal planning, food and kitchen safety and sanitation, composting, gardening, and more.

(Photos General) NewLeaf_GirlCookingClass.jpgKids' Cooking Camps expand kids' knowledge and minds as well as build their self-esteem. The sheer joy and elation that they walk away with each day and by the end of the week is priceless. They will have the confidence and enthusiasm to cook an entire meal for themselves, their family, and friends. They will have learned new skills that can be applied for immediate gratification and satisfaction.

The Kids' Cooking Camp teaches them at an early age, hopefully before the teen junk food stage, that they are empowered to make healthy choices. They can be more independent and make food for themselves when they need or desire. Rather than just ordering fast food and going for the packaged convenience food, if you can call it food, they can cook healthy, nutritious, and delicious food.

I introduce the students to healthier alternative ingredients to white flour, white sugar, and dairy, and they love it. On the last day of the weeklong Kids' Cooking Camp, when I ask the kids to share with the class what their favorite things were about the week, I am pleasantly surprised at their answers. They all talk about the new ingredients and skills they learned! I thought they would name the desserts and yummy food, yes they did love that too, but they took away the more important concepts.

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Getting kids off on the right foot and onto a path of thriving is what is so important to me. Building their self-esteem is more important than even cooking. I think they look an inch taller by the end of the week due to feeling more confident and proud! That touches my heart the most, to know that I am reaching them at a deep level and giving them life skills they will always have to take wherever life may lead them.


There is an upcoming Kids' Cooking Camp for ages 6-18 at the Westside New Leaf Community Markets (Monday, April 2 through Friday, April 6 from 10 am to noon.  Sign up here!


Spring Camps April 2-6


Catalyst Soccer

Boys and Girls
Super FUNdamentals Ages 6-14
Little Skillsbuilders Ages 4-6


Kennolyn Camp

tree-top ropes course
pool, arts & crafts,
archery & riflery

Camp Flip
Gymnastics Learning Center

gymnastics, games,
activities and MORE!

New Leaf Cooking Camp

  mac-n-cheese, crispy chicken
kale chips, ice cream sandwiches
mud pie, granola pancakes


Peaceful Valley Farm

farm animal care
planting, watering, eating,
tree climbing, creative play


Santa Cruz Mountain
Arts Center

pastel, watercolor,
and pen & ink

West Performing Arts

favorite stories and characters
games, skits, costumes, arts
cooking projects, creative play

 (Graphics) Camp_Activities.jpg
  Science Fun with Christine: Going to the Bottom of the Ocean

(Photos General) DeepSea_NationalGeographic.jpgWe've all been watching National Geographic and James Cameron going to the bottom of the ocean, the Challenger Deep. Lots of scientists are excited, but everyone should be excited. The reasons are much more important than scientific data.

It has been more than 50 years since humans went down to the bottom of the ocean, and we went down once. Since then, we have sent 2 unmanned probes. That's all.


Have we lost our drive, our energy? I have tried to explain to my 5-year-old why we went once, and never again. I had to explain why we haven't been to the moon in 30 years. And, you know what? I can't explain it.

Going to the bottom of the ocean is a start. Maybe we will find our exploring drive again. Our children need something to motivate them, something to get them to look beyond their current life. They need dreams.

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


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Free Apple Blueberry Crisp
with purchase of 2 dinners

Use code SCP312

Order online or call 479.1390
Pick up at 1601 41st St, Capitola!

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  Suki: The Best Website for Your School

(Photos General) SukiRedHead_138.jpg

For a number of years I had a specialization I didn't really seek out: designing websites for educational use. It started when I was consulting for the Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College and created a career-research website for Cabrillo. Then a Cabrillo teacher hired me to make an interactive website for his class. This was in the late-90′s and as far as I know, distance learning was hardly talked about yet.

From there, I started to help the various schools I was involved with create better websites and more efficient electronic communications. Then I started doing similar work for for-profit educational businesses. Until recently, I still had clients hanging on, but since my life has been going off in a different direction, I am now only keeping my pro-bono work for schools we're involved with.

Over the years, I noticed how really awful most schools' websites were, and how chaotic and complicated their communication systems were. Whenever I could, I'd help a school try to work this out, though there was almost always a lot of resistance. I won't tell you how long it took me to get my kids' current school to use an online calendar that could be jointly administered.

Since I am now officially free of my paying clients, I thought I'd try to reduce my experience to a few tips that educators can use to make their electronic communications better and more efficient....... continued>>>

  Viva: Finds for You!
 (Books/Products) Viva_PaperDoll.jpg  (Books/Products) Viva_LadiesHomeJournalMar2012.jpg
Here's an adorable free paper doll printable for Easter. The kit includes the clothes and various Easter items- print the actual dolls here, here, and here. Since I don't have a laminator or heavy card stock, I printed these out for my daughter to use as an art project- she figures out how she wants everything arranged on a piece of 8×10 plain paper and then uses a glue stick to glue all of the items on. Ladies Home Journal is offering free 11-month digital subscriptions- no strings attached. You can view your digital subscription on your iPhone, iPad, Android, or computer. The offer is sponsored by JudysHealthySnacks.

I found this deal at


Visit the Daily Citron for more frugal tips and finds.

  Irvin Lindsey Comments on Science Article

Here is a recent SJ Merc article about CA sci. ed. It seems to avoid placing responsibility anywhere. Here is my take on it.

California lags in middle-school science teaching By Sharon Noguchi,   Posted: 03/22/2012

Paraphrased Summary: Budget woes and a focus on English and math testing have contributed to California's sorely lagging in middle school science education, according to a 3/22 study.

Only 14 out of every 100 middle-school science teachers practice what researchers call high-quality science teaching. Other teachers are hampered by various factors, including lack of science training and science knowledge, low funding, class sizes that are too big for doing experiments, unprepared students and too few materials.

"California does not have a coherent system that enables teachers and schools to consistently provide middle school students with high-quality science learning experiences," read the study commissioned by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at West Ed in Sacramento. Researchers surveyed 451 school districts as well as hundreds of principals and teachers.

At elementary schools a study by the same researchers last fall found schools often didn't make time to teach science and lacked qualified instructors. At middle schools one out of 4 science teachers lack a background or credential in science.

But the study said a good science program includes teaching what scientists do, using the language of science and engaging in practices such as hands-on activities, designing experiments, participating in field work and presenting to the class.

Most middle-school students take science classes.

But the study found that many of their students enter with no background knowledge of science from elementary school, so middle-school science teachers must start from scratch. Teachers find it difficult to find a common ground or starting point for students.

While teachers said they would like to teach hands-on lessons -- 81 percent of them create their own materials -- many don't have science kits or other materials. And researchers found that with classes of 35 students, experiments designed for 25 students often can't be adapted, nor can any experiment requiring more than a simple setup.

Science teaching also has suffered because schools pay more attention to math and English, which are tested in annual state tests to determine school rankings. And because science is less important in these state tests, lagging students may be pulled out of science for remediation in math or English.

The study was conducted by the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley and SRI International in Menlo Park.

  Sixth Grader Wins Bid to California State Science Fair

Congratulations to inspired young scientists Lekha Duvvoori, Sara Bautista, and Addy Catterall-Pendleton, each of whom won awards in the recent Santa Cruz County Science Fair!

Sixth grader Lekha's project, "I See What Eye See, Low Light Color Vision" won kudos and multiple awards in the Junior Division (6th-8th grade), including a nomination to the upcoming Broadcom MASTERS middle school science competition; and an invitation to participate the 61st annual California State Science Fair.

(Photos General) MountMadonna_LekhaDuvvoori.jpg"I was making a dimmer in science class for electricity, and I'd heard my mother say she was having trouble with night time driving," Lekha explains. "I started to think I could combine those things, and study how people saw color in dim light. I read a lot about black and white or rod vision in low light, but I could not find too much on color vision. I had to make up a piece of equipment for very dim light, and figured out a way to test when people can first see colors by using plates that test for color blindness." From the testing she conducted, Lekha says she found that adults over 45 have more trouble seeing color in low light, although there was no difference by gender.

Lekha's in-depth research, experiments and analysis earned her: First Place in the Medicine & Health, Junior Division; Second Place, overall, Junior Division; Broadcom MASTERS award for Outstanding Performance; Plantronics special award for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Science and Technology, Junior Division; and a United States Air Force Certificate of Achievement for an Outstanding Science/Engineering Project.

"If we know about this then we can think about designing web links to have not just different colors, but also different fonts," she comments. "I made maps showing that colors with more contrast are better than close-contrast color choices. This is also important for street signs. This year I had fun presenting my project to all the judges and explaining it to them, and I liked my topic because it was really original."

Lekha and her mom will be heading to Los Angeles for the state science fair, to be held April 30-May 1. The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), is a program of the Society for Science and the Public designed for middle school students. The top 5% of middle school participants in science fair across the nation are nominated for this event - some 6,000 students - though only 300 are ultimately selected to participate in the competition itself.

(Photos General) MountMadonna_SaraBautista.jpgSara, a third grader, earned a Third Place in the Botany, Primary K-3 Division, for her project, "What's the Best Way to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh the Longest?" As part of her project research, Sara experimented with bleach, vinegar, sugar and lemon juice in different combinations. She tried cutting and not cutting stems, and had a plain water solution as a control. She discovered, to her surprise, that a penny in the water allowed the flowers to last the longest - even several days longer than flowers with flower food added to their water.

Judges at the fair commented favorably on Sara's enthusiasm after they interviewed her, along with her "correct data interpretation" and "the ability to clearly portray and explain the project and its results."

Participating in the fair was "exciting and a little scary," Sara says, adding that her dad sometimes brings her flowers. "I loved finding out that a penny in the water helps, so now I can keep my flowers their freshest."

Second grader Addy was recognized with a Second Place award in the Microbiology, Primary K-3 Division, for his project, "Microbiology of the Second Grade."

"I picked the project about microorganisms so we could find out how to stop giving each other our germs in my class," explains Addy. For his project research, Addy sampled locations in his classroom and on the playground to test for microorganisms. He was interested in finding out how his class passes diseases from person to person. When he began, Addy thought the classroom toilet would have the greatest number of bacteria, but in fact the bathroom door handle did! Addy shared his results with his class and they strategized about cleaning and hand washing.  

Six other Mount Madonna School students also entered the Santa Cruz County Science Fair. In Fourth Grade: Alessio Bernardi,"Owl Pellet Discovery," Zoology; Braeden Will, "Electro-Magnet Superheroes," Electronics and Electromagnets; Sixth Grade: Indigo Kelly and Sienna Clifton, "Does Gum Improve Your Memory?," Cognitive Science; and Seventh Grade: Amalia Bernardi and Nicole Vince, "Lakeology - A Study of the Health of Two Lakes," Environmental Science. 

  This Week

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of upcoming events and activities.

Click on our EVENT CALENDAR for more!

Submit your event!


Art Activities Library Ongoing
Guided Hikes & Park Activities


Parenting Workshops Free Activities

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School Corner



Mount Madonna Pre-12, Cultural Awareness Performance 3/30

Santa Cruz Waldorf K-8, Kindergarten Open House 3/31


Santa Cruz Children's School K-6, Open House  4/3


All School Events

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Crazy about bluegrass music?!

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Learn bluegrass songs from a 3rd generation Nashville musician?


Johnny Campbell, lively fiddler of the award winning Windy Hill Bluegrass Band is available for private lessons on the fiddle, guitar, or mandolin.


Rates are negotiable. Must have own instrument!


Spring Break


Camp Flip

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Gymnastics Learning Center


2608 Chanticleer Av

Santa Cruz

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Hot Deals

for March


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 The Far Side - Biology Hike

Santa Cruz County Parks - Quail Hollow Ranch
Come explore the darker side of nature!
Saturday, 3/31,
Ages: 10 & up  Free

(Books/Products) TheresHairinMyDirt.jpgCome explore the darker side of nature as we visit many of the habitats described in the Gary Larson, best-selling book, There's a Hair in my Dirt - A Worm's Story. Learn the biological facts of the natural world with Park Interpreter, Lee Summers, in a way only Gary Larson, from the famed Far Side comic strip, could describe. Ages 10 and up are welcome. Free.

When a worm family sits down to their dinner of dirt, the little worm discovers a hair in his dirt. Father Worm decides to tell him a story to restore his interest in dinner, and in being a worm at all. The story that Father Worm tells sums up more than the adventures of the fair maiden Harriet-it points out complex ecological facts and describes life from a worm's point of view.

Quail Hollow Ranch, 800 Quail Hollow Rd., Felton Map
(831) 335-9348 •website

Join us at our Hiring Fair!
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  Join us at our Hiring Fair!
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every day (May 6-May 7) from 8:00am to 1:00pm
Details: Hiring for ages 16+ for summer
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Science Everywhere!
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Girls Night Out
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  Girls Night Out
Art Factory
Date: Every Fri (Oct 14-Dec 16) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Details: Treat yourself to some time with the girls, wine and cheese and a create evening
City: Aptos Phone: 831-688-8862 view all details >>
4th Annual Scrabble Tournament
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  4th Annual Scrabble Tournament
Santa Cruz County Law Library
Date: 03/23/2013 from 8:30am to 12:00pm
Ages: all
Details: We're looking for your words!
Special Instructions: $25 donation for adults
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-420-2205 view all details >>
31st Annual Crab & Pasta Feed
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  31st Annual Crab & Pasta Feed
Surf City Santa Cruz Kiwanis
Date: 03/31/2012 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Ages: all
Details: Surf City Santa Cruz Kiwanis 31st annual all you can eat Crab &
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 431-0887 view all details >>
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