A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
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Feeling the Giving Spirit
Close your eyes and travel back in time to moments when someone gave you an unexpected and exquisitely perfect present.

The present delighted you, but the warm feeling that someone special to you loved you, listened to you, watched you, shared good and rough times with you and knew you, was the real gift.

Now turn this feeling toward your loved ones, neighbors in need, the community, a cause you identify with. Find a quiet place. Take your time. Think generously. How good it feels to think of family, friends, neighbors, even strangers. What can you give? A physical gift, money, a kind deed, a letter, a promise, some of your time? Expand your generosity to an organization that supports a cause close to your heart.

When we give, our hearts expand, our kindness meter springs to satisfaction levels. It feels so good to give! Charitable organizations >

Enjoy your giving thoughts this weekend, Parmalee
Teaching and Learning in the time of COVID-19

by Patricia Lucas, Spanish teacher at Gateway School

As a teacher of over forty years, I felt I had “seen it all” — every educational trend, methodology, pedagogy, and innovation. This most recent challenge sent this “maestra”, a World Language middle school teacher, into a near free fall. The educational challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic have caught all educational constituents off guard scrambling for the best ways to move forward.

My students’ varying responses to Distance Learning have brought me new insights, unexpected innovation, flexibility and challenges. Read more by Patricia > > >
Ask Nicole
Dear Nicole,
I normally love the holidays but can’t get excited this year because so many of our usual traditions will be changed or impossible to do. My kids are only interested in how many presents they’ll get, which makes me even less interested in celebrating. I’m usually the “cheerleader” that gets everyone else into the holiday mood, but I’m just not feeling it this year. I’m worried that my sour attitude will rub off on the rest of my family and make the holidays unbearable for everyone. What can I do to get out of this slump? Caterina

Dear Caterina,
I’ll bet you’re not the only person who feels this way. Although many people understand the reason for the continued physical distancing and limitations on travel and other typical holiday activities, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept. Here are some tips to try > > >
Family Events
Check websites before you go!
Santa Cruz Parent Calendar
Reserve space for your favorite holiday events!
Free Book Giveaway, Grants Park December 3rd and Felton Covered Bridge Park December 9th, 3-5pm. Sponsored by Mary Lieby, Master Stylist, Owner, The Nook, Inclusive Styling Collective Details
Christmas Trees for Sale! Boulder Creek Fire Department! Open Nov. 27+ Proceeds go towards the purchase of new medical and rescue equipment. Click Details for times
Christmas Trees Farms for those who want to make the selection of a locally grown tree a family outing.
Facing Big Emotions During the Holidays - Good news, it isn't too late to sign up for the Webinar at noon Tuesday 12/8/20 on Facing Big Emotions During the Holidays. Five Steps to Connect Details
Comics for Kids; The Art Factory, Ages 8-12,
Fridays; 2-3pm, or Mondays; 3:45-4:45, $90/month

Free to Be a Kid Clothing Exchange, December 5, 9:30 - 11:30 am. $2 Entry - Bring what you can, take what you need. Details
Makers Market on Westside, December 5, 11am - 4pm. Come SHOP LOCAL with makers, artists & a little vintage + grab lunch from one of 5 food trucks + get a head start on that holiday shopping! Details
Capitola Library Opens in Capitola Mall, Saturdays & Sundays, 12pm - 4pm, Thousands of used items in the shop: books, CDs, DVDs, and more. Most items sell for $1 or $2 each. Details

Winter Magic Show with Mike the Magician, Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Dec 12, 11am-12pm. Register early! Details
Clara’s Dream A Nutcracker Film, December 12, SCBT Screening at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Drive-In Movie Theater, Saturday, Dec 12, two screenings, 6:30 pm and 8 pm.
Holiday Lights 2020, Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Reservations go on sale Nov. 2. Event is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 27-Dec. 27, 5:30-9:30pm. Details
Dungeons and Dragons, Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30pm, Attention tweens and teens — Adventure awaits! A friendly introduction to Dungeons & Dragons for players of all experience levels, led by an experienced player. Details

All the County Farmers Markets!
The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Heritage Holiday Craft and Gift Fair will be a VIRTUAL EVENT. Details
Tales to Tails - Mondays 3:30-4pm, Register! Santa Cruz Public Libraries Details

Covid - 19 Update
California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan - Vaccines may be only weeks away with three drug companies reporting promising results. It is expected that health workers and first responders who are likely to treat or be exposed to COVID-19 patients will be offered a vaccine first. Get more information from Cal Matters.

Santa Cruz County Health Dept - Latest Data

Santa Cruz County Office of Education - November 23 Letter from Superintendent