A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
Crazy Days!
Crazy days! This week Tuesday felt like a Saturday... and so on. I cannot explain it! This SIP may be the closest we shall ever get to experiencing a "wrinkle in time."

So how can we make Mother's Day, May 10, feel special when it will sort of feel like every other day? Ahhhh... I know. Help the children do something nice for another mother or aunt, neighbor or grandmother -a home-made card with a special note, a lavendar sachet with leftover material, flowers from the garden, a phone call, a view of the beach if you dare not venture forth.

No matter where you are on the spectrum of age, vulnerability owing to a health condition, accepting or questioning of SIP, there is no doubt our lives have been turned topsy-turvy. Suki shares with us some wisdom she has gained from working with teens.
Bobbie Ward of Performance-Vocal produced a virtual choir video with her students singing "Tomorrow," together, each from home. Talent and joy! Follow this link to see and listen to the children.

How did you do it Bobbie?

It’s a one song music video, featuring 24 of my students. They were all recorded, by their parents in their homes, after I trained them via Private Zoom voice lessons. They were then sent to my arranger to edit them. A raw vocal coming from a phone camera, lacks the warmth and sound needed for a music video. Tom then combined all the separate vocals into one “comp” vocal, to streamline the sound, and to make it easier for the video editing portion. All of this was then sent on to Tam Communications. They created a music video, using all of the videos from each of the 24 young people in it."

Take a deep breath and sing with your family! Parmalee
Suki shares: 3 things you can do to help your child with Covid-19 anxiety
Something I notice is that advice articles for mental health often speak to adults about adult problems. But our kids often face the same challenges—especially these days and especially when it comes to anxiety.
So this isn’t my advice, per se, but rather distilled from a bunch of articles I’ve read. But it is mine in that as a teacher of a pack of highly sensitive, perfectionistic, creative kids…I know a little about dealing with kids and anxiety!

So here’s the advice, from parent/teacher to parents/teachers:
Give them accurate information
Kids know when we’re lying. And when we don’t give them full information, they go try to find it online or from their friends or siblings.

Yet parents are tempted, over and over, to withhold information from their children. Whether it’s how babies are made or the effects of illegal drugs, parents can be tempted to hope that by sticking their heads in the sand, they’ll save their kids some heartache.

But accurate information is the key to figuring out the root of anxiety. And kids of any age can handle accurate information that is offered in an age-appropriate manner. Telling your kids “don’t worry about it” isn’t really going to fly, whether the issue at hand is making babies, taking drugs, or a worldwide coronavirus epidemic.

If you haven’t done so, make a regular habit of having conversations (formal or informal, whichever works best in your family). Update your kids on what is happening and what’s being done. Make sure they trust you enough to go to you first for answers.
Let them know that they can’t think their way out of this
This is a classic situation for runaway anxiety: Fear in humans starts in our “lizard brain,” the deeper brain that we have little conscious control over. But the part of our brain that we think about as our “thinking” brain, the prefrontal cortex, is pretty darn egotistical. It thinks it can think us out of any problems we face.

But we can’t think ourselves out of fear of something that really is fearful and really is menacing us. We have to accept that this coronavirus is scary. For your kids, it’s the realest, scariest thing they’ve probably ever faced.
Help your kids accept that fear is part of this situation, but that trying to think ourselves out just sends us into a brain spin. If your kids were already prone to anxiety, you know what it’s like. They think and think and with each think get deeper into the spin of anxiety.

The only way out of this is forward, and the only way out of this without fear taking over our lives is to accept that this situation is fearful, but to focus on what is being done to fix it.
Give them a positive role to play
For a long time, American parents have operated on the premise that kids are better off not knowing about or taking part in the problems around them. We want to protect our kids, and modern day American life has given us the tools to do so.

But even in normal times, protecting our kids from everything does them a huge disservice. Remember a lifetime ago when we were preoccupied with helicopter parents? Well, we’re still helicoptering. We need to land that copter and find a way to include our kids.

Use whatever resources you have to give them a role to play, however small. Can they make videos for other kids? Can they sew masks? Can they help you choose a food kitchen to donate to?

It’s not pollyannaish to put a positive spin on this situation—it’s a survival mechanism.

I hope you are all weathering this as best you can, staying healthy, and enjoying more time with your children.

Suki is a local mom who writes, teaches and is a musician. She teaches online at  Athena’s Advanced Academy  and in-person in Santa Cruz. She is currently singing and performing popular vocal music with Persephone . Learn more about Suki here .
Welcome to our Directory!
Each week we are hosting two 1.5 hour coding class sessions via Youtube Live, a class for beginners on Thursdays and a class for Advanced students on Tuesdays.

CYT is an after-school theater arts training program for students ages 4-18
5 Steps to Success

is a unique club on campus that provides a free, week-long summer camp for children who have or have had a parent with cancer.

We are a nonprofit organization that serves Santa Cruz County children at risk of abuse or neglect.
Spanish, French, English and German online classes for  adults and teenagers

We believe that motor skill development is enhanced by Tchaikovsky and Bach, that young imaginations benefit immensely from exploring the enchanted worlds of swans and sugar plums, and that twirling should be a fundamental part of any childhood.

We are accredited by the American Camp Association and serve campers ages 8 to 65. Each session is designed for a specific age group and for individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities.
Trade arable land for vegetables!
Have underutilized arable land?

An urban yard or fallow rural broadacre?

We, Santa Cruz Community Orchard, are piloting a program to connect capable landless Santa Cruz growers with landowners, for mutual benefit and to boost local food security and food sovereignty. Email info@santacruzorchard.org with a short note about your situation and we'll start the conversation, no commitment necessary.
4 Virtual Parenting Workshops

We've scheduled 4 additional virtual parenting workshops led by experts from Parents Place, designed to help families cope during the Coronavirus crisis. The virtual workshops are free, but registration is required in advance for each session.

Setting Up Your Home: Balancing the Responsibilities of Parenting and Teaching Your Kids During a Global Crisis. This event is geared toward parents of Preschool and Elementary School aged kids. Many parents suddenly find themselves working from home, parenting, and “crisis-schooling.” Learn strategies for creating routines and environments that engage children in learning and promote independence, while also preserving some time for you. Sunday, May 3, 7-8pm. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/103189885726

Managing Your Own Expectations: Letting Go and Staying Calm and Centered during Uncertain Times. This event is appropriate for all ages. Experience a workshop immersion in compassion cultivation based on the latest research on mindfulness and altruism. Explore strategies for strengthening self-compassion, connecting with others, and finding peace in difficult circumstances. This session will include meditation, self-reflection, and discussion about the relevance of these practical tools for self-care and parenting. Sunday, May 3, 8-9pm. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/103191316004

Managing Your Own Expectations: Letting Go and Staying Calm and Centered during Uncertain Times. For parents of preschool and elementary school aged kids. Experience a workshop immersion in compassion cultivation based on the latest research on mindfulness and altruism. Explore strategies for strengthening self-compassion, connecting with others, and finding peace in difficult circumstances. This session will include meditation, self-reflection, and discussion about the relevance of these practical tools for self-care and parenting. Sunday, May 17, 7-8pm. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/103191965948

Managing Frustration: Supporting Teens in a Shelter-in-Place World. For parents of Middle and High School kids. Children may be experiencing higher levels of stress and frustration that stem from a disruption in daily routines. Challenging behaviors are increasing and parents may feel overwhelmed and anxious. Learn effective, nurturing strategies to build resiliency and coping skills in your children. Sunday, My 17, 8-9pm. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/103295293002

As part of Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS), one of the oldest and largest family services institutions in the United States, Parents Place is able to connect our clients with comprehensive help for many issues that go well beyond parenting. JFCS is a non-sectarian and works to strengthen individuals, families, and our entire community. For more info visit https://parentsplace.jfcs.org/.
The Elephant in the Room!

Summer camp months are mid-June, July and August. Will they be able to open? Yes. No. Maybe. This is a stressful time for our wonderful, local summer camp directors.

We are hopeful, but goodness, camp directors need some advance time for hiring counselors, committing to space, to promoting their camps.

Stay in touch with your favorites. Go to SantaCruzParent.com and click on CAMP 2020 , a downloadable pdf of all 200+ camps we found in Santa Cruz County plus a few overnight camps in the mountains.

Please, please share the pdf with your friends. They will thank you. We thank you!
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