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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

October 29, 2015
Enjoy a safe and a "spooky-light" weekend

Annie: Apps that actually help kids learn

Money, Poverty, Talking and Success

Suki: The [supposed] failure of online education

Día de los Muertos Community Festival
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  Enjoy a safe and a "spooky-light" weekend

(A Oct) DiaDeLosMuertos_Banner.jpg Not until I moved from Connecticut to California did I hear of Día De Los Muertos.  I like the way this tradition honors the dead with a dedicated day, yet it's those unexpected moments when poignant images arise from memories that I treasure.  So I pause to honor my mother, father, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend and recall a precious moment with them.  You too?  ¡Viva Dia de Los Muertos!

(A Oct) Luma_3rdBirthdayCake.jpgHappy 3rd Birthday to Luma Yoga, a vital, local resource supportive of all stages of parenting with yoga, wellness and community.  They're celebrating with free activities all week.  Stop in!

I make no judgment on what consensus social science might arrive at concerning the validity and meaning of all or any part of two articles we bring you on the effects of poverty on children and the effects of talking a lot to children, the impact of assorted variables, and all that sort of stuff. I think quite a few people from across the political spectrum have always suspected that more income, more stable income, in poor populations  and more reading and talking to children would produce positive outcomes. Whether such is possible and how are separate questions. Let us each draw our own conclusions and do the best we can for all our children.

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Thank you for sending many new families our way. Please, drop us a line anytime and recommend our newsletter to a friend

Have a fun, "spooky-light" weekend with your family, Parmalee


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  Annie: Apps that actually help kids learn

by Annie Murphy Paul

Last week, I moderated a panel discussion at Sesame Street Workshop (yes, there were Muppets everywhere!)-an event that was part of the launch of a wonderful new book called Tap, Click, Read. Written by Michael Levine of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center (Cooney is the person who created Sesame Street) and Lisa Guernsey of the think tank New America, Tap, Click, Read is full of fresh ideas and practical suggestions about how to make sure that our kids' technology use is supporting literacy and other kinds of learning.

One of the most interesting chapters in Tap, Click, Read examines the quality of apps that are marketed as "educational." Guernsey and Levine find that there's not much overlap between apps that are popular-those that are frequently downloaded by parents and educators-and apps that have been rated by experts as high-quality educational resources.

The authors did identify eleven apps that were both well-liked by parents and educators, and genuinely educational. Here's a list of these eleven apps: Guernsey and Levine also identify several objective and reliable sources of information about apps:

1. Agnitus Personal Learning Program
2. Busytown Mysteries
3. Elmo Loves ABCs
4. Endless Alphabet
5. Endless Reader
6. Letter School
7. Millie's Crazy Dinosaur Adventure
8. Monkey Word School Adventure
9. Reading Rainbow
10. Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer
11. Starfall Learn to Read

1. Common Sense Media
2. Digital Storytime
3. Graphite
4. Moms with Apps
5. Parents' Choice
6. Teachers with Apps




Brilliant readers, have you had any experiences-good or bad-with these apps and these resources? Please share your thoughts hereSend questions and comments to me at  I look forward to hearing from you!


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  Money, Poverty, Talking and Success

What Parents Can Gain From Learning the Science of Talking to Kids

by Holly Korby

The widening education gap between the rich and the poor is not news to those who work in education, many of whom have been struggling to close the gap beginning the day poor children enter kindergarten or preschool. But one unlikely soldier has joined the fight: a pediatric surgeon who wants to get started way before kindergarten. She wants to start closing the gap the day babies are born.

When Dr. Dana Suskind began doing cochlear implants on infants at the University of Chicago-a cutting-edge surgical technique that allows once-deaf babies to hear-in her follow-ups with families she noticed a stark difference in how the now-hearing children acquired language. Once they could hear, some children's language skills thrived and grew, while others languished. Why this was so began to nag at her. What was causing some children to leap ahead in their language skills? Read more... The stats are interesting!>>

The remarkable thing that happens to poor kids when you give their parents a little money

By Roberto A. Ferdman 

Twenty years ago, a group of researchers began tracking the personalities of 1,420 low income children in North Carolina. At the time, the goal was simple: to observe the mental conditions of kids living in rural America. But then a serendipitous thing happened.

Four years into The Great Smoky Mountains Study of Youth, the families of roughly a quarter of the children saw a dramatic and unexpected increase in annual income. They were members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and a casino had just been built on the reservation. From that point on... Read on>>>>>>


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  Suki: The [supposed] failure of online education

(A Oct) Suki_2015.jpgThe core of the problem-I'll just jump right into it here-is that anyone in this country thinks that education can be summed up in numbers.

It can't.

Education is about people, and people are all different. Each unique. We may make schools to function as assembly lines, but we human beings continue to refuse to perform like widgets.

I'd be the last person to tell you that it's healthy for kids to spend most of their day in front of a screen, but that doesn't condemn online education!

I'd be the last person to tell you that it's healthy for kids to spend most of their day in front of a screen, but that doesn't condemn online education! My students are creative, engaged, unusual thinkers.

Case in point, the latest in many articles about the failures of online education:

Cyber Charters Have "Overwhelming Negative Impact,' CREDO Study Finds

What more information do you need? I'm guessing that my longtime readers will know that I have a few bones to pick with this study. Continue>>>>>>


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  Día de los Muertos Community Festival

November 1, 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm


We remember our dead loved ones as larger than life. Let's celebrate that with a Día de los Muertos festival bigger than anything the MAH has done in the past. That means the festival is so big we split it into two halves AND have teamed up with Vive Oaxaca to make this happen: we'll start at the museum with face painting and dance, and move on to Evergreen Cemetery for music, delicious food, and an outdoor altar exhibition created by local community members.


2:00-3:30: Facepainting by Mariposa's Art,  food provided by Vive Oaxaca including tamales, pan dulce, & champorado + ongoing art activities including: tissue paper flower crafting, lantern making and banderitas
2:30-3:15: Dance performances by Vive Oaxaca and Sabrosura 
3:30: Gather in Abbott Square to proceed to Evergreen Cemetery

3:45: Procession Departs


  • Assembly Point: Abbott Square
  • Through Cooper Street to Pacific Avenue
  • Pacific Avenue to Mission Street
  • Left on Mission Street up hill to enter Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park via gate/staircase (a 5 minutes dance performance by Vive Oaxaca will take place here)
  • Through Mission Plaza to Highway 1 Pedestrian Overpass to Bike Path
  • Bike Path to Evergreen and Coral Street
  • Ending location: Evergreen Cemetery 

When procession arrives, Vive Oaxaca will electrify the Cemetery with a final dance.   

4:30-6:00: Explore an outdoor altar installation connecting those buried in Evergreen with current active community members.

6:00pm: Movie Screening of The Book of Life. We invite visitors to sit back, relax and enjoy this family friendly film in Evergreen Cemetery. Popcorn will be provided. Bringing your own blanket or lawn chairs is recommended.


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Chartwell 1-12, Open House 11/3


Mount Madonna PreK-12,  Art & Play in PreK 11/3


Kirby School 5-12, Open House 11/10


Gateway School K-8, School Day Tour 11/11


Gateway School K-8, Kindergarten Visit Day 11/14


Waldorf K-8, Waldorf Alive! A Walk Through the Grades 11/18


Tell A Friend about our newsletter. all the fun events we find for you, challenging or inspiring articles and businesses and organizations serving families!

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Tufted Coquette

Always ready for Halloween!

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Safe Under a Mushroom!


Are you Prepared?


City of Santa Cruz


County of Santa Cruz


City of Watsonville


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HIT Entertainment
Date: Every Su and Sa (Oct 10-Nov 1) from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Ages: 2 and up
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-4484 view all details >>
68th Annual Gault Elementary Halloween-Da de los Muertos
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Gault Elementary School
Date: 10/29/2016 from 9:00am to 2:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Join the parade and festivities
Special Instructions: Parade starts at corner of Soquel Ave and Branciforte St.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-429-3856 view all details >>
Davenport Jail Open for One Day!
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  Davenport Jail Open for One Day!
Date: 12/06/2015 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Hang out with some of the MAH's awesome historical docents in Santa Cruz County's smallest jail house with only two cells.
Special Instructions: Between Ocean and Davenport Streets on Cabrillo
City: Davenport Phone: 831.429.1964 view all details >>
Dia de Los Muertos Community Festival
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  Dia de Los Muertos Community Festival
Date: 11/05/2016 from 2:30pm to 5:00pm
Details: Celebrate the dead with an all-ages festival throughout Downtown Santa Cruz.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831 763 4047 view all details >>
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Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party
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  Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party
Roaring Camp Railroad
Date: Every Su and Sa (Oct 8-Oct 30)
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-4484 view all details >>
Japanese Cultural Fair Family Fun Day
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  Japanese Cultural Fair Family Fun Day
Japanese Cultural Fair
Date: 05/06/2017 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Learn traditional Japanese games
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
A Monthly Dad's Class with David Schulkin
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  A Monthly Dad's Class with David Schulkin
Luma Yoga and Family Center
Date: The 1st Mon of every month from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Details: Support for men in taking an active hand in parenting
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 325-2620 view all details >>
Marine Masquerade
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  Marine Masquerade
Seymour Marine Discovery Center (at Long Marine Lab)
Date: 10/27/2017 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Ages: All Ages
Details: Join us for Halloween fun!
Special Instructions: Members Free
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 8314593799 view all details >>
History, Nature and Scenic Views: A Tour of the Grey Whale Ran
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  History, Nature and Scenic Views: A Tour of the Grey Whale Ran
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: 09/09/2017 at 9:00am
Details: History, Nature, and Scenic Views: A Tour of the Grey Whale Ranch Area
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-0505 view all details >>
Bird Walk
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  Bird Walk
State Park Henry Cowell
Date: 03/26/2017 at 8:00am
Details: A Walk in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park with a Park Naturalist
City: Felton view all details >>
Fresh Food for Live Oak Families
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  Fresh Food for Live Oak Families
Santa Cruz Community Health Centers
Date: The 1st Wed of every month from 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Ages: Families
Details: Free Food Distribution Occurs the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 427-3500 view all details >>
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Two Bit Circus
Date: Every day (Nov 6-Nov 8) from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Details: High-tech games, interactive installations, dynamic build zones, round the clock stage shows, lab demos, aerialists, artists, fo
City: San Francisco Phone: 415-274-0400 view all details >>
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