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Begin with the Arts!
If we simply begin our children’s days with music, art, a story, a walk in nature, watering the garden, play acting as a favorite character --any of the creative arts-- their minds become more open to engaging in the joy of learning, more focused, and more persistent in the face of a challenge.

In fact if I were a teacher (I was) and I was told, “You must begin the day with one of the arts, offer another in the middle of the day, and end the day with a third,” I would be thrilled, for at the end of the day the children and I would also have felt very successful with the core academics.

More arts result in easier, efficient and faster academic learning!
For now, sing, pretend, read, create, find solace and adventure in nature and enjoy the summer! Parmalee

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Photo: Ethan, who hangs out with his grandpapa and helps him with his music program.
Playing The Violin
Increases Academic Performance

As a violin teacher specializing in young beginners, I have seen first hand the difference music can make in a child’s life. It is not just a vehicle for expression. Learning to play a musical instrument increases attention span and academic performance.

Roy P. Martin, a researcher for the College Of Education at the University Of Georgia, recently found that there is a commonality of skills necessary to both play an instrument and succeed academically. Himself a Violinist, Martin points out that playing an instrument also increases self esteem and fosters social skills, providing a much-needed mentor relationship between teacher and student.

Special Needs children in particular benefit greatly from music lessons. Some are even pre-wired for it. 40% of kids on an autistic spectrum have perfect or relative pitch, twice the level of the general population. Over the years, I have had several Special Needs students, but there are two that provide a perfect example of how music can increase concentration and aid in the development of fine motor skills.

One of my students had a mild neurological disorder, which made gripping things with his right hand a challenge. Over the course of a few months, he was able to hold the bow steadily, and his new found strength translated into better penmanship and increased coordination.

At Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, one of my students had ADHD After four months of Violin lessons, her attention span increased exponentially, but her parents pulled her from the Violin program citing a scheduling conflict with soccer. Two weeks later, I got a call from my student’s Elementary School Principal, who lamented to me that her attention span and academic performance had gone down when our lessons stopped. At the Principal’s urging, her parents re-enrolled her as a private student, and her overall performance at school improved once again.
I learned something from this last experience. Organized sports are fun, but in the end your body can only play soccer for so long. Music, on the other hand, is a lifelong friend. If you master an instrument early in life, you can always return to it later on.

Intellectual patience and perseverance are skills that American schoolchildren will need for their entire academic career, ones that can help bridge the gap between cultures which are currently outperforming us.

In the U.S., when children were presented with an impossible math problem. they struggled for only five minutes before they gave up. In Japan, they lasted an hour.

Learning how to play the Violin requires a student to absorb something very complicated in incremental stages, breaking down a large task into smaller ones.

At its core, music teaches children how to delay gratification and struggle through difficulty. Kids who feel like they can do something as challenging as playing the Violin will be able to break down any large intellectual task into smaller increments, which will in turn build confidence for the future.

David Zimbalist , violinist, music educator, performer with The Speakeasy String Quartet and member of a very creative family, loves teaching and looks forward to bringing the joy of making music into your home, flexible days and hours. Connect with him at 347-495-6342, david@violin4kids.com and htttp://www.violin4kids.com.
Terrific Day Trips!
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) has great staycations for YOU!

Friends wants to connect you with exciting, safe, social-distanced, nourishing outdoor excursions close to home. This will be a great opportunity to visit parks and beaches new to your family.

Friends launched its Staycation2020 campaign, an effort to help locals in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties rediscover their local state parks and beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic that has curtailed summer travel for many.

“We want to help locals have a great summer, despite the current challenges,” said Bonny Hawley, executive director of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. “We also want to encourage safe, social-distanced activities in fresh air and great spaces, and close to home.”
The Staycation2020 campaign will highlight local parks and beaches, share insider tips, encourage healthy activities for park visitors of all ages and encourage sharing of experiences and photos on social media.

Follow Friends on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more details, and use #Staycation2020 and #ThatsMyPark on photos when you visit a local state park or beach.

Visitors also help support local state parks and beaches by paying parking and other fees, most of which stay local to help Friends fund local jobs, maintenance, educational programming and more.

About Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Established in 1976, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events.

Friends also operates six ParkStores , offering nature-and history-themed merchandise for sale to benefit local parks and beaches. ParkStore locations include Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Santa Cruz Mission, Seacliff, Wilder Ranch and Online.

Learn more at www.ThatsMyPark.org or via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
Family Events
Community Resilience Project: Gaining Ground Film Discussion July 30 @ 6-7pm Free - Join Micheal Watkins and Zach Friend for a discussion about the film “Gaining Ground: Building Community on Dudley Street (2012)” Details
Fun Tech July - Fun Tech Have you ever wanted to learn to code? This month we encourage you to explore coding using Scratch to create a game. If you share it with us, we will put it up on our website for the community to be able to play it.
Family Concert with Tour of the Orchestra, August 2 @ 11:00 am, Free, This family-friendly adventure includes a self-guided Tour of the Orchestra—with a welcome by Beni Măcelaru and his sister Maria—in which Festival musicians introduce their instruments to kids and their families—in charming and amusing ways. Details
All the Farmers Markets!
Just picked, fresh from the farms to you, and often musical entertainment and special, delectable eats for foodies! Details
Winchester Mystery House Reopens
July 31 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm - Winchester Mystery House launches the Walk with Spirits Tour, a new outdoor evening experience that explores the legendary estate’s supernatural lore. Details
Want to live from fear or values? July 30 @ 2:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Bi-weekly teaching on FB Live 2pm Tuesday and Thursday in July. 3rd monthly series after Thought Traps and Emotional Well-being. Details
Triple P 8-week Virtual Group: for families with children 2 – 12 years old - July 31 @ 3pm - 4:30 pm Details
Tom Noddy’s Bubble Magic - July 30 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - In his 20-plus-year career as America's Bubble Guy he has appeared on numerous prime time television shows as well as night clubs and universities. Details
Lego Building Challenge
July - Join our 8 week summer Lego Building Challenge. Details
Children love tiny --tiny critters, tiny fairy houses, tiny paintings, tiny rocks... Join us at The Art Factory for TINY WORLD or Scientific Illustration, with Yvette Contois! Details
Stuff the Bus July - August - Stuff the Bus It's time again for Stuff the Bus! The Santa Cruz COE is proud to partner with United Way of Santa Cruz County again this year for Stuff the Bus: School Supply Fundraiser to help supply students experiencing homelessness or financial hardship with the supplies they will need for the upcoming school year Details
Positive Discipline Community Resources (PDCR) Monday’s and Thursdays 3-4:30pm, Rotating topics for all ages and parents. Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties welcome to join FREE! Details
Tales to Tails goes virtual!
Wednesdays, 10-11am, How will this work? Join us!
Redwood Forest Steam Train, Roaring Camp, Daily 11 am, 12:30pm, 2pm, masks required. Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp , the railroad and the forest. Opening June 26 Details
Join SCPL for a weekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Fridays, 1-4pm, Details
Baby Basics for New Mothers - July 25 @ 12:30 - 5:30pm & monthly through December 18
This class is for those who have little or no experience with babies. New parents are encouraged to take this class. Sutter Health - Details
Independent Study programs In or Serving Santa Cruz County
Support for Parents
Independent Study programs In or Serving Santa Cruz County
Thank you Heddi Craft for compiling this information! See the list> > >

Meet the 3 Spacecraft Heading to Mars This Summer
by Eleanor Lutz July 26, 2020
This summer, three missions are setting out on a journey of millions of miles. Bound for Mars, the trio carry an array of state-of-the-art instruments to explore the red planet. Share with the children>>>