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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

September 20, 2012

A few words of kindness could make a big difference to a child struggling in school.
First 5
Suki: Enchanted Glass
Springhill School
Science Fun with Christine: Did a Meteorite Strike Wipe out the Mammoths?
Viva: The Power of a Ritual Treat
Etiquette
Texting While Driving ~ Highlights of an AT&T Teen Driver Survey:

This Week
Monterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Graphics) Etiquette-victorian.jpgEtiquette!  Does it make a difference in this world?  Of course it does! It's a big part of bringing up children so they can function well within the family, the neighborhood, school and business.

I enjoy various BBC drama series such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma and The Palisers.  I marvel at their clever use of words and the genteel way in which the characters speak to each other. With seeming ease words are chosen thoughtfully and expressed elegantly.  Etiquette was rigidly proscribed in those times. Of course it's fiction and the setting was upper crust with wealthy individuals running huge estates with many servants etc.  Times have changed.  The pace is faster (as it is with every generation).  There are more of us in this world.  We humans have always been challenged to find ways to get along.  Electronic gadgets introduce a new level of etiquette.  Can and do we want to bring some of that old fashioned etiquette into our lives?  Are there some over-arching principles that apply no matter what the era?  Are there specific manners we can model for and require of our children?  We bring you a few ideas on this topic.

Family free time involves balancing home projects and getting out.  With children in our lives -babies to teens- it's great to get out and about: going to free park walks/hikes and programs, age appropriate festivals & food events, getting to know every beach and park in town, finding family entertainment, going to the library, etc.  Stay at home moms and dads can find or start playgroups.  When we need help we can take a parenting class or join a support group.  There is something for everyone!

An email from Easter Seals just arrived covering a topic I've been wanting to write about and it fits right in with etiquette and its underlying foundation -kindness.  I would only add to the act of being kind to a child with a disability a suggestion to be supportive and kind toward a parent of a child with a disability.  When we're dropping kids off at school and chatting with friends, a welcoming smile and "Come join us!" is a good start!

Have a great weekend, Parmalee

  A few words of kindness could make a big difference to a child struggling in school.

Dear Parmalee,

The first few weeks of school can be daunting for children - especially children who have a disability. Some children will grow frustrated and fall behind, while others face loneliness as they struggle to make friends with children who might not understand their disability.

Thankfully, the Easter Seals community is full of people like you - people who understand how tough it can be for a child who feels left out and different. This week, we're collecting notes of encouragement for the thousands of school-age children who receive support at Easter Seals centers to let them know just how many people believe in them.

Will you help brighten a child's day by sending a few words of kindness their way? Send your message by September 26 and help us reach our goal of 7,500 notes for kids - enough to send 100 messages to each of the 75 Easter Seals Child Development Centers across the nation!

In classrooms all around the country, children with and without disabilities are learning and playing side by side. Some of them are getting the help they need to thrive in school. Some aren't. But as a member of the Easter Seals family, your support helps us make sure that as many kids with disabilities as possible are given the chance to reach their dreams.

At its heart, the Easter Seals mission is all about one thing: making life better for children, adults and families living with disabilities. That could mean screening children for disabilities at a young age with tools like our Ages & Stages Questionnaire to ensure they get the care and support they need during the most critical years of their development. For others it means providing job training for an adult with disabilities so they can find employment and live a full, independent life. And sometimes it's as simple as reaching out to a child who's sad and discouraged to say: You are not alone.

Parmalee, you know better than anyone that all children have hopes and dreams - sometimes they just need a little extra help to achieve them. As a committed Easter Seals supporter, you can make a powerful difference for a child - all it takes is a few kind words to let them know you truly believe in them.

We're collecting 7,500 notes of encouragement by September 26 - will you join us? Send your thoughts and well-wishes to our Easter Seals children today.

I'm truly touched by the number of caring, thoughtful people who call themselves a part of the Easter Seals family - thank you for being one of them.

Sincerely,

Cameron Robbins
Easter Seals

  First 5

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  Suki: Enchanted Glass

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In the past, my kids and I had read a couple of random selections by the recently deceased British author Diana Wynne Jones, but we had never gone in depth into her large body of work until this summer. We were inspired by our book club, when another mom took a guest turn and announced we were going to be discussing Diana Wynne Jones's work... all of it! We weren't required to read all of it, but once we got started, we couldn't stop.

(Books/Products) Book_EnchantedGlass.jpgEnchanted Glass was a late novel for Diana Wynne Jones, offering a new world in which magic is woven into everyday life.

We started with The Enchanted Glass, a wonderful little novel that reads like the great beginning to a long series. Unfortunately, Jones died soon after this novel was released, so no more installments are forthcoming. The characters, however, live on in my mind, and while reading the rest of her books, I am getting a sense of where she might have gone with them.

Right now we're working through all the books in the Chronicles of Chrestomanci, a group of inter-related novels about storylines that take place in a series of related worlds. Most of the books feature the wonderful and slightly ironic figure of our "contemporary" Chrestomanci, Christopher Chant. (Chrestomanci is the title of a British government position in a world much like ours, so the series features different inhabitants of this job.) We love this Chrestomanci not only because he never fails to deliver as a dapper gentleman who is most focused and dangerous to his foes when he starts to look "vague." We also love him because we get to know him as a boy, and we sense over and over how his experiences stick with him as he deals with all the magic-wielding children who come his way.

Jones's most well-known series are probably the books related to Howl's Moving Castle, which was made into a well received animé film that has, if I remember correctly, very little similarity to the book itself! The books are enjoyable and fanciful, if not Jones' deepest work.

The interesting thing about Jones' career is... Read more >>>

Read more of Suki's writing... >>>

  Springhill School

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  Science Fun with Christine: Did a Meteorite Strike Wipe out the Mammoths?

(Photos General) Animal_WoolyMammoth1.jpgAbout 13,000 years ago, this world was a happenin' place. It was hopping with lots of animals and lots of people. Humans had spread all over the world, and were starting to change their surroundings to suit themselves. But something happened that we still don't understand. There was a very short ice age now called the Younger-Dryas. This ice age lasted about 1300 years. It happened extremely fast and was very short, as ice ages go. It was also most severe over the Northern Hemisphere. It reversed itself very quickly.


We are in an extended cooling period that has been going on for 3 million years or so. Now and again the temperatures drop a little and glaciers expand south. The Younger-Dryas doesn't fit the normal pattern, and researchers have wondered.


In 2007, a scientist pushed forward a controversial theory that a comet or meteor exploded over North America and pushed the Northern Hemisphere into a short ice age. He had data to back this up - small melted spheres from early human sites in North America (Clovis sites).


Well there was lots of noise, and someone set out to replicate his results, and couldn't replicate them.  This is the golden test in science - to be SCIENCE a result must be reproducible. If you can't reproduce it, it isn't science. Areas like economics and sociology tend to be denigrated by researchers in the hard sciences because many of their results are not reproducible.


Recently another scientist set out to reproduce the results..
.Read more>>>

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

  Viva: The Power of a Ritual Treat

(Photos General) Food_CupofTea.jpgMuch has changed in my life in recent years, as I've morphed from law-firm-lawyer to work-at-home-mom to stay-at-home-mom to aspiring writer, but some things have stayed the same, and one thing in particular has been a source of comfort to me as I navigated each of those very different situations: in the early afternoon I have a cup of tea.  It's a small treat, just a small break in my day.  Most of the time the only "break" is the actual brewing of the tea- once it's made, I often return immediately to whatever I was working on, mug of tea in hand.  "Whatever I was working on" varied widely in different times of my life- it could have been writing a law memorandum in an air-conditioned suite, or sitting in my home office (a.k.a. corner of my living room) shuffling through piles of work papers interspersed with (Photos General) VivaGravatar.jpgbaby magazines and a note from day care that my daughter might have been exposed to strep throat, or more recently, sitting with my daughter on the couch and wondering why I had bought her a sewing kit that came with hopelessly confusing instructions.

My tea time ritual is a little oasis during my day- I stop whatever work/family thing I'm doing, listen to the kettle pop and gurgle as the water heats, and ponder which tea to drink.  I'm no tea aficionado- I just get regular bagged tea, in herbal and decaf black varieties, but nonetheless it's a treat to pick the flavor and anticipate the comforting warmth of the mug in my handsSpeaking of warmth, I used to reserve my afternoon tea for colder days, but then I read The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.... Read more>>>>

  Etiquette

"There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it." ~ Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) American Educator

The Old Fashioned Way:

Do we need to write thank you notes?

It is never too early to start teaching your children good etiquette. If they are too young to write, they can draw pictures and you can add a thank you note at the bottom.

If they can write help them follow a simple three sentence pattern:  "Dear Grandma, Thank you for the ball.  I like the red color and the way it bounces high.  I miss you.  Love, Sam"

Talk to your child about why it is important to acknowledge others when they take the time to give a gift or a kind deed.  Notes don't have to be long, just sincere.

Making Thank You Notes Fun

  • Have a kit filled with fun paper, colored pencils, pens, stamps & stamp pads, stickers, etc. that are only used for thank you notes and letter writing so they look forward to creating their notes.
  • Get creative with making cards:  Scan their art work and have them write a note on it.  Take a picture of your child with their new item and then kids can write a message on the back.  Create a photo collage of pictures from the party, make copies and write a message.  Buy pre-made white puzzles and kids can decorate and write a message and then mail the puzzle pieces for the recipient to put together.
  • Have everyone in the family work on their notes together so it is more fun.
  • Encourage kids to get descriptive about what they liked about their gift to help them connect with what they are writing about.

The Modern Way

If you email, text, twitter, facebook, talk on your cell phone, etc., are there specific "rules" in addition to the Golden Rule?

Kim Komando offers these Komando 10 Commandments for daily digital manners:

"1) You shall give top priority to those who are with you.  Listen intently when you are with friends, family members and coworkers. When you constantly check messages, you send the message that other people and things are more important to you.


2) Thou shalt not be distracted.  For safety's sake, don't text or engage in voice calls while driving. For the same reason, don't let texting or voice calls distract you while walking in busy public spaces. Texting-while-walking mishaps have become such a serious problem that cities are starting to issue tickets.


3) Do not shout on the sidewalk.  It's OK to take a call when you're on the street. But try to keep your voice down. If you have to shout to be heard above the background noise, you should call back later.


4) Thou shalt not make private matters public.  Don't discuss private matters in public. Remember never to text anything that is private, confidential or potentially embarrassing. Messages can be forwarded and shared with hundreds of others in seconds - and often are.


5) Do unto others as briefly as possible.  Remember that you have a captive, unsympathetic audience when you're in a carpool or using public transportation. Only make or take a call if it's essential. And when you absolutely must talk, keep the call short.


6) Learn how to turn that thing completely off as soon as you get it out of the box.  Then please do turn it off whenever you are in a church, a restaurant, a library, at a movie, concert, at a play - and even in a meeting.


7) Use headphones correctly.  Use headphones whenever playing games or watching videos. Get a pair of snug-fitting headphones - and wear them. There's nothing worse than hearing sound spilling from loose-fitting earbuds. And it's basic good manners to remove your headphones when someone is trying to speak to you.


8) Thou shalt not cause light pollution.  Lighting up a darkened environment, such as a train at night, with your jumbo tablet screen is inconsiderate. Others usually don't really care if you ask nicely first. When in public, turn screen brightness down as a courtesy.


9) Share only with permission.  Sharing pictures of current locations is a great way to update friends and family members. Don't take photos of strangers, however, without permission - and never post pictures of strangers on social media sites.


10) Exercise good taste.  Keep the content on your screen at a General Audiences level. Don't call up risqué videos, photos and websites in public areas."

  Texting While Driving ~ Highlights of an AT&T Teen Driver Survey:

(Photos General) NoTextingNoDialingWhileDriving.jpgSlightly related to etiquette is the safety issue of texting while driving.  We parents must set the example!

"Peer Pressure: Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less.
Knowledge but Little Action: 75 percent of teens say texting while driving is very dangerous - but 43 percent admit to doing so.


"Gateway" Dangers:
70 percent of teens believe texting while stopped at a red light is dangerous.  Still, 60 percent of teens admit to texting at a red light and 73 percent admit to glancing at their phone at a red light.  61 percent of teens say they glance at their phone while driving, and 61 percent have seen their friends read or send an email, or text, while driving.


Learning by Example:
According to 77 percent of teens, adults tell kids not to text while driving - yet adults do it themselves "all the time."  41 percent of teens report seeing their parents read or send an email, or text, while driving.  Still, 89 percent of teenagers say their own parents are good role models in terms of not texting while driving.  And, 62 percent of teens feel that getting reminders from their own parents not to text and drive would be effective in getting them or their friends to stop texting and driving.


(Photos General) TextingKillsRings.jpgMinority Disparities: Hispanic teens (54 percent) are more likely to admit to the practice of texting while driving than Caucasian (41 percent) and African-American (42 percent) teens.  Hispanic teens (52 percent) also are more likely to report seeing their parents text while driving, compared to 38 percent of Caucasian teens and 44 percent of African-American teens who reported seeing their parents text while driving.


What Helps Lessen the Urge:
89 percent of teens said a phone app to prevent texting & driving would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop texting and driving.  Most apps provide a customizable auto-reply message notifying friends that the user is driving and will respond when it is safe."

 
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  This Week

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Check the Events Calendar for More Fun!

 

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School Corner

 

Seymour Marine Discovery Center School Field Trips 9/5-30

 

Los Gatos High School, Magical Glass Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser, 10/5-7

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TEEN COOKING CLASS

Chef Lauren Hoover-West will give a hands-on cooking class geared to teenagers 13 to 18 years of age.

 

The focus will be warm comfort foods, from soup to deserts, utilizing the abundant fruits and vegetables from the fall harvest season.

 

Preregistration required.

 

To register, visit www.newleaf.com

or call 831-466-9060

ext 126.

 

 

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Tune up your parenting skills in local Parenting Workshops!

New Leaf

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Enrichment Classes Galore!

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 Monterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day

(Special Event Images / Graphics) MBYOD_StandupPaddling.jpgMonterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day

Let's get our kids outside and active!!

Saturday, 9/22, 10am - 4pm,  Free

MBYOD 2012 will showcase over 40 local organizations with the goal of getting youth interested in the many outdoor activities that are available in our area. The event will feature rock climbing, archery, surfing, gardening, fly fishing and much, much more! We will have something for every child!

(Special Event Images / Graphics) MBYOD_FlyFishing.jpgThe event also includes a free raffle that will include many prizes so that the youth in attendance might be able to foster their new interests. Prizes include summer camps, backpacking excursions, bicycles, fishing pools, surfing lessons, archery lessons and again, much, much more!


MBYOD 2012 will showcase dozens of raffle prizes that are totally free! Children in attendance can acquire raffle tickets by visiting the various exhibitors at the event. They can then place the tickets in the drawing for the prize of their choosing and hope that their name gets drawn!

MBYOD 2012 Free Raffle Prizes

Is Etiquette Old Fashioned?
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15th Annual Master Gardener Tour
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  15th Annual Master Gardener Tour
Monterey Bay Master Gardeners
Date: 09/22/2012 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Details: Tour of 7 magical gardens raises money for school garden projects
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831-763-8007 view all details >>
     
Parents of Children of Special Needs Support Group
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  Parents of Children of Special Needs Support Group
San Andreas Regional Center
Date: The 2nd Th of every month from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Details: Support group for families with special needs
City: Fort Ord view all details >>
     
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 >>
     
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SPIN Family Support Meeting
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  SPIN Family Support Meeting
SPIN
Date: The 3rd Su of every month from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: All Disabilities Parent Support Group
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.423-7713 view all details >>
     
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