A resource for families in Santa Cruz County

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Happy Valentine's Day!
Valentine's Day is one of our favorite days! Who remembers making "mailboxes" in grade school, walking around to deliver our own valentines, the cupcakes decorated with valentine messages, the anonymous card with a sweet message!? Have a lovely Valentine's Day with your families! Fortunate are the children who will be celebrating in school with friends.

Celebrate Presidents Day: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln! Our nation is grateful for your sacrifices to make us a strong union.
Are you ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count Friday the 12th through Monday the 15th? My bird feeders often have 20-50 birds, all sizes and colors, hopping, fluttering, squabbling, cleverly dashing for a sunflower seed when a bully's back is turned. They are delightfully distracting. It's just as much fun to walk quietly in the redwoods, listening to the birds sounding the warnings "Humans approaching!"

Suki writes about motivation for children and it's helpful for us adults too!

If you've ever had a panic attack, you know it's no fun, in fact it can be frightening. I always thought these attacks were related to adults and the buildup of life stresses, but it seems that children can get them too, especially in these stressful times. Read Moms Talk About Panic Attacks.

Have a Valentine weekend with your families, Parmalee
The Magic Meadow
A meadow of activities, inspirations, and community building.
"Want to cozy up with your children and listen to some stories from Zanzibar, East Africa, India, Japan, Australia?

Santa Cruz Waldorf teachers have been recording stories from around the world for you to listen to at home or in the car with your family.

To listen, visit Santa Cruz Waldorf School's Magic Meadow blog."

School News
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children should return to classrooms because it’s safe for them to do so. Read the article> > >

Schools Open in Santa Cruz County: Parochial ~ Private

Santa Cruz County Office of Education for information on public schools: Vaccine Plan for ALL Educators, Public & Private, in Santa Cruz County> > >
Suki Helps Our Kids, and Us, with Motivation
Where does motivation come from?
I learned to swim the first time I jumped in a pool.
I didn’t learn to ride a bike till I was ten.
I love math and could do it all day.
I freeze up every time I try to write for school.

Click here to listen along!

Every task we approach is accompanied by this feeling inside of us that we call motivation. That’s the feeling of energy and excitement that comes with doing something fun or challenging, something that we anticipate, something we look forward to for whatever reason.
What are you motivated to do?
Stop reading right now and think about the tasks that you regularly do that you are very motivated to do. They can include fun activities like playing soccer or activities that some kids find boring like learning math.
Each one of us is motivated differently.

What are you not motivated to do?
Stop reading right now and think about the tasks that you regularly do that you are really unmotivated to do. They can include activities that some kids think are fun like playing soccer or really cool activities like learning math.

Each one of us is motivated differently. Did you notice that the last two sections were almost completely the same? What motivates you will often not be what motivates someone else, even your best friend. Read more > > >

Suki Wessling, local mom, author, teacher and musician, also writes a blog for children. Begin with https://sukiwessling.com/.
Support for Children
through and beyond a parent or guardian's cancer
Camp Kesem at UC Santa Cruz is a student-run, national, non-profit organization that aims to support a child through and beyond a parent or guardian's cancer.

We do this mostly through year-round support to our families and we also host two free weeks of summer camp in Santa Cruz, traditionally at the end of July and beginning of August. Despite the challenges that COVID presented, we were still able to host two weeks of virtual camp this past summer!

We're very excited to continue to engage with our local Santa Cruz community and support the families we serve. We have camper applications opening on February 23rd for our weeks of camp for summer 2021! Camp Kesem at UCSC
Santa Cruz Parent Calendar
Valentine Art Family Day with the MAH, February 11, 3 - 4 pm, Get ready for Valentine’s Day and make foldable butterfly cards with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). Details
Cut-Paper Art Workshop - April Zilber of the Felton Library Friends leads us in a hands-on art project. April is a professional glass artist and has taught glass art and paper marbling classes. Please have colored paper, pencil, scissors, and glue stick or tape. This is a chance to be creative. Adults & Older Teens. Feb 13, 4-5pm. Details
Parent Workshops - for parents of toddlers through teens. Find inspiration from local professionals who care! Virtual. Details
The Latest on nearby California State Parks - Campgrounds are reopening! Make your reservations at nearby local state parks. Details
SPCA Rescue Readers: These cute, cuddly, judgment-free listeners enjoy the extra TLC while they wait for their forever homes. While we aren’t able to offer in-person Rescue Readers at this time, we are now offering it VIRTUALLY! Sign up: Details
Redwood Forest Steam Train Opens, 75 mins Daily, 12:30pm, 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. Details
Monarch Community School Open House, Feb 16.6:30 - 8 pm
Welcome to Mamas and Babies, Feb 17, 12pm, A safe, supportive community of mothers who come together to discuss the joys and struggles of motherhood - Details
Boardwalk Winter Drivein Movies - 6pm, Sat, Feb 13 Frozen - If you have not yet done the "drive-in movies" evening, now is the time! Details
Interactive Preschool Storytime, Fridays, 10-10:30am We’ll read books and sing songs in a safe environment. Designed for 3-5 year olds. Details
Tales to Tails Early Childhood Literacy Program - Fridays, 10:30 – 11:30am, Tales to Tails brings a fun, neutral, and accessible way for children of all ages to build literacy and confidence.  Details
Dungeons and Dragons - Tuesdays, 3:30 - 6:30pm, Attention 12-16yr olds - Adventure awaits! A friendly introduction to Dungeons & Dragons for players of all experience levels, led by an experienced player. Details
JavaScript Coding Free Class, Wednesdays, 3 - 4pm,This program follows the curriculum from Khan Academy called “Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation”. The instructor: Saashin is a local high school student. Details
Baby Laptime, Fridays, English 10:30 - 11am, Spanish 1-2:30pm - Help your child (newborn – 2yrs) build early literacy skills as we have fun with songs and stories. Details
Stories for Bedtime, Wednesdays, 7-7:45pm, Join us on Facebook or Youtube for Bedtime Stories presented by SCPL Librarian Jackie. On alternating weeks, Jackie will read bedtime stories, sing songs, and chant rhymes for families. Details
Clam Chowder Cookoff and Clam Chowder Restaurant Week! Feb 12-21: Visit restaurants serving clam chowder. Feb 20: Drive by to pick up your tasting flight. Details
Teen Expo II Homegrown Careers - March 6 - Our first Teen Expo was such a hit, we’re back with the next installment. Meet successful Santa Cruz County creators, makers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Come hear their stories and learn how they turned their interests, skills, and talents into careers! There will be time for your questions, too! Limited spots. Sign up NOW! Details
Opinions to Prompt Thinking
Loneliness and Negative Self-Talk: Avery Kidpower Shorts, New Episode In Avery's warm, compassionate, and dynamic style, he describes emotional safety strategies that can help to reduce isolation and increase happiness. Details > > >

Our family’s difficult choice: Erica L. Green, who covers education policy and equity for The Times, wrote about her decision to send her daughter back to first grade in person Details > > >

CDC Says Double-Masking Offers More Protection Against The Coronavirus Details > > >