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Tyrolean Inn - One Day Oktoberfest thisSaturday! | New Leaf Community Markets - 25th Birthday Party
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County
Festivities for October
October 21, 2010
"Life is a joy; so should be learning."
Race to Nowhere
Suki's Take on Waiting for Superman
This Week
Watsonville's Premier Mexican Folkloric Dance Group Performs
Click to view our Business Directory
  "Life is a joy; so should be learning."

(Ads) SchoolFair_Oct2010.jpg"Life is a joy; so should be learning." (Mae Carden, 20th century Educator)

Parent/Teacher conferences are in process or about to begin. Is all well? Are the children going to school eagerly? Is the quantity of homework appropriate? Is there time for a family gathering in the evening? Is the quality of homework assignments inspiring?

Do you observe a balance of academics, creative arts, sports and character development? Do you see consistent delight and excitement about learning? Are the children "engaged" in their studies?

If there is not a resounding "Yes" to these questions, or even if you are 80% pleased with the way school is going and simply want to stay on top of what parents, educators and experts are talking about, two thought-provoking events are upcoming for you!

Race to Nowhere is a must-see film about educational issues and quite possibly more provocative than Waiting for Superman because it covers a broader topic, "the dark side of America's achievement culture" that encompasses all cultures, ethnicities and financial circumstances. Read the passionate letter from the film's director and save the date, November 4, 7pm at the Rio!  Here's a flyer you can post at your school.

A Middle School & High School Fair with representatives from private, public and public-charter schools is being held for parents, teens and tweens next Wednesday, October 27, 6:30pm, at Holy Cross Parrish Hall, 170 High St, Santa Cruz. This is a great opportunity to visit, ask questions and compare the variety of educational options available to our children in or entering grades 6-12. If your children are in 4th or 5th grade, now is a good time to begin looking at middle and high school programs.  Please share the fair flyer with friends and your school.

It's good to see lively discussion on a local level, as I believe that when push comes to shove, it's up to us parents to arm ourselves with information and to make informed educational choices on behalf of our children.

We shall be at both events. Come see us at the School Fair's Registration table.

Parmalee

P.S. For your calendars, an Independent School Fair for grades Pre through 12 will be held January 19, 2011, 6:30pm.

  Race to Nowhere

Vicki H. Abeles, Parent and Director of Race to Nowhere

Three years ago my only knowledge of film came from buying tickets at the box office and going to see a movie with my kids.

(Ads) RacetoNowhere.jpgRace to Nowhere was inspired by a series of wake-up calls that made me look closely at the relentless pressure to perform that children face today.

I saw the strain in my children as they navigated days filled with school, homework, tutoring and extracurricular activities. But it wasn't until the crisis of my 12-year-old daughter being diagnosed with a stress induced illness that I was determined to do something.

After months of long evenings battling homework assignments, studying for tests and panic attacks in the middle of the night, we found her doubled over in pain, and rushed her to the emergency room. Her cheerful façade and determination to keep up had masked her symptoms to us, to her friends and to her teachers.

I started to make some changes in my home, but the pressures on my children and family felt more systemic and beyond my control. In thinking about my own childhood, it seemed that education hadn't changed much in the past 30 years, but today's system is driven by a high-stakes, high-pressure culture.

In trying to understand what was driving those pressures, I began speaking to experts. I was stunned to learn of the soaring rates of youth depression, suicide, cheating, and "dropping out" occurring in all types of communities.

I spoke with students and their families and teachers across the country, and realized how widespread the problems were, crossing economic and geographic lines -- and how powerless they felt to address these issues in the face of current education policies focused on high stakes tests and competitive college admissions.

This problem was affecting millions of kids and yet it wasn't being talked about.

I wanted to do something to raise awareness on a large scale, and to bring communities together to galvanize change. Films had always been a powerful force in my life, so I decided the best way to raise awareness on a large scale was to make a film that clearly captured these stories and issues. I was determined to give voice to those on the front lines of education - students and teachers.

So I picked up a camera and began to assemble a team of film professionals.

After interviewing students, parents and teachers, I met with top education and child development experts at Stanford University and other leading institutions. I interviewed my own daughter. And I went on camera myself to provide context.

One of the high school pupils I talked to, Natan, gave us the film's title when he said students "get caught up in a race to nowhere."

Several months into the film's development, without any warning signs, a 13-year-old girl in our community committed suicide after getting a poor grade on a math test, adding urgency to the need for change.

Childhood has become indentured to test scores, performance and competition. We face an epidemic of unhealthy, disengaged, unprepared kids trying to manage as best they can.

We cannot keep silent any longer. If I don't speak out and share these stories, who will? And if not now, when?

We cannot wait for large institutions or the government to make the changes our kids need today. Education should not be driven by political and corporate interests. There's too much evidence that it isn't working for any of our kids. Layers of change are needed, starting from the ground up.

Once you've seen the film, please take a look at the resources on our website as a starting place for you to make changes in your home, classroom and community.

Let's join forces to change the system and our culture. Together we must safeguard the health of our children and ensure that they all receive an education that allows them to reach their full potential.

Thank you for watching, and acting on what you see. Let's work together to improve the lives and education of our next generation.

~  ~  ~

"The Race to Nowhere is ... a wake-up call to all of us who care about children, the purpose of schools, and how we define success in American education. And, importantly, it provides viewers with excellent, actionable suggestions of how to begin to address change locally in our schools."  The George Lucas Educational Foundation


"Every once in a while, a film comes along that has the potential to change the culture. "Race to Nowhere" shines a light on the crisis of learning and meaning facing American education. The film is both a call to arms and a beacon of hope, a source of relief and outrage and a way forward for all of us." Rachel Simmons, co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute and author of "The Curse of the Good Girl."

  Suki's Take on Waiting for Superman

(Site Photos) SukiRedHead_138.jpgI went to a special showing of Waiting for Superman, the first of the two films about the sorry state of American education that are coming out this fall. It was sponsored by the Santa Cruz Education Foundation and had a panel discussion afterward by John Laird, Ellen Moir of the New Teacher Center, former teacher and union president George Martinez, and Mary Gaukel Forster, principal of Delta Charter School. They were introduced by Superintendent Michael Watkins.

When Watkins asked how many teachers were in the audience, a sea of hands went up. Though Forster and probably some number of the teachers represented charter schools, it was a panel and an audience heavily invested in "the system" that Waiting for Superman blames for all of our educational problems.

The film itself was moving - how could it not be? It followed a few months in the educational lives of five children who are at the mercy of the system. Four of them are urban, non-white kids. The fifth is a suburban white girl whose problems, the film argues, are not so different. She ended up being a bit of a distraction, but more on that later.

No one could argue that what the four inner-city kids are going through is in any way acceptable. One of them has a mother who will do anything to keep her daughter in the Catholic school across the street, but the limitations on the "anything" she can do are clear when she loses hours at work and can no longer pay tuition. The other children are in poor-performing schools, and their parents have found a charter school to place all their educational hopes on. Problem is, charter schools are few and far between, and the kids have to go through a lottery to get in.

The film makes some fine points, and I don't think there's any reason not to go see it if you care about the state of our public schools. But in my opinion and that of everyone else who had time to express an opinion at this showing, it suffers from a little too much Superman and not quite enough Clark Kent. Read more>>>>

 

  This Week

Event Calendar(Holidays) Halloween_AlligatorwithDad.jpgBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

Class Calendar  |  Halloween/Harvest Events

 

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School Corner

Santa Cruz Gardens Elem Fall Festival 10/22

 

Good Shepherd Fall Festival 10/23

 

Aptos Academy Harvest & Halloween Festival 10/23

 

Mar Vista Harvest Festival 10/23

 

Kirby Talented Youth Search 10/25

 

CCISF Central Coast Middle and High School Fair 10/27

 

Gault Parade & Carnival 10/30

 

Kirby & Gateway Schools: Internet Safety 11/2

 

SCPENS (Preschool) Open House 11/6

 

SPIN IEP Training 11/13

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Advanced K - 8 Education

(Site Photos) Springhill-Jackson.jpg

Spring Hill is a private school where the talents of bright, motivated and gifted children are recognized, nurtured and developed to their full potential.

SpringHill.org

250 California St, Santa Cruz

427.2641


Click on the Jack'OLantern for Halloween Events

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Tutors

Make a Difference!

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Dining together strengthens families and helps build confident children!

 

For stress-free prep always have a complete meal from Fresh Prep Kitchens in the freezer.

 

Burgundy Beef French Stew with Mashed Potatoes and Organic Spring Mix

 

$28.95
($7.24 per serving)

A savory beef stew satisfies with lots of carrots, green beans, peas and tomatoes. A Fresh Prep Kitchens favorite!
Crock Pot or Stove-Top. Ziploc. Serves 4.

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Talented Musicians

Available to

Inspire

and Teach

(Site Photos) HalloweenDogs.jpg

 Watsonville's Premier Mexican Folkloric Dance Group Performs

(Special Event Page Graphics) Folklorico.jpgMexican Folkloric Dance Company, is celebrating 30 years serving the Greater Santa Cruz County with a full weekend of performances at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts.

30 Años de Esperanza features over 20 beautifully choreographed dances of Mexico performed by our 25 member dance company accompanied by Los Xochisoneros of Los Angeles and Mariachi California de Javier Vargas.

Preview Show  Friday, Oct 22nd at 8pm  ~  Oct 23rd at 8pm ~ Oct 24th at 3pm Details here

Harvest Events
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Chile Cookoff - 7th!
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  Chile Cookoff - 7th!
Beach Boardwalk
Date: 10/27/2018 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All Ages
Details: Taste and vote for your favorite chile
Special Instructions: $10for a tasting kit
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-7433 view all details >>
     
Harvest Events
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Pumpkin Patches & Farms
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  Pumpkin Patches & Farms
Santa Cruz Pumpkin Patches
Date: Every day (Oct 1-Oct 31)
Details: Pumpkin patch fun for all ages
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Harvest Events
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Big Sur Camping Trip!
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  Big Sur Camping Trip!
Adventure Sports Unlimited Adventure Travel
Date: Every day (Oct 15-Oct 19)
Ages: Ages 3 and up
Details: Camp, hike the mountains of the south coast, repose in flowing streams, hunt for jade and jasper, surf, boogie board, and play .
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 458-3648 view all details >>
     
     
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