A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
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Best Clam Chowder
A soup so popular your can find it everywhere!
Cool day... clam chowder! Rainy day... clam chowder! Summer day by the sea... clam chowder! Far away from oceans... clam chowder!

New England style clam chowder is so loved that it's available all over our country - from Nantucket to Santa Cruz, North Dakota to Texas and mom-pop diners along Route 66.

We will have many opportunities to taste clam chowder February 15-21, either in local restaurants or by purchasing a clam chowder tasting flight to support parks. Scroll down for information!
February is our short month packed with well known celebrations, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln birthdays and Valentine's day. Check out some fun holidays to share with the children here.

February celebrates Black History.

If any educators/parents want to include local history in their Black History Month conversations MAH has a great free lesson plan on Louden Nelson, a former slave who left all his money to the Santa Cruz School District. It's a really wonderful story and can be found here: santacruzmah.org/educational-resources

Kids National Geographic has an excellent page, African-American Heroes, which tells the stories of some of the well known black heroes.

I look forward to the day when all the people in our country's history are connected so truthfully and naturally that we no longer feel a need to "separate" or emphasize by color, religion or ethnicity; that we look to the contributions of all heroes to our society without prejudice.

Locally things are opening up, again. This week we found lots more activities to place on the calendar. Yea! Getting out of the house is liberating and can be done safely.

Have a great weekend with your families, Parmalee

P.S. The last calendar entry is about Homegrown Careers for teens!!
CDC Officials Say Evidence Indicates Schools Can Reopen If Precautions Are Taken Read the article> > >

Schools Open in Santa Cruz County: Parochial ~ Private

Santa Cruz County Office of Education for information on public schools: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Information

Splash and Read!
Back east the kids are suiting up and sliding down snowy hills! Here it's rain, lots of rain, so put on the rain boots, head outside and splash in puddles!

Come back inside, dry off and settle in with a good read.

For a local source of quality classics guaranteed to engage imaginations and build character, visit LitWits. The LitWits ladies provide you with "Explorers Guides, A Field Trip through Great books, doing what the characters did, to learn what they learned."

For a list of the 2021 children's literature winners visit Bookshop Santa Cruz. I like to "pre-read" contemporary children's books, mostly for selecting age-appropriate themes and especially for chapter books. Often the précises on GoodReads or Amazon give an insight into the author's themes/topics.
Join the Great Backyard Bird Count!
Join us February 12–15, 2021
Each year people from around the world come together to watch, learn about, count, and celebrate birds.

This is great science project for kids. Count the birds and report on birdcount.org where you can track how and where birds migrate and how their populations change from year to year.

Connect to Birds, to Nature, and with Each Other
Birds are everywhere, all the time, doing fascinating things. Join us, when the world comes together for the love of birds. How to participate > > >
Be a Part of a Global Event
Watch observation lists roll in from around the world. Each submitted checklist becomes a glowing light on our bird sightings map.

Great Backyard Bird Count results from 2020:
  • 268,674 Estimated Participants
  • 27,270,156 Total Birds Counted
  • 6,942 Species of Birds Identified
  • 194 Countries

Make Valentines Day Special
Surprise friends. Send a valentine the old fashioned way... snail mail!

Make a charcuterie board with colorful treats!

Have a family game night.

Make butterfly valentines with MAH artists.
Santa Cruz Parent Calendar
Join us for an 8-week virtual Triple P Group for families with children 2-12 years old, held Thursdays, January 7 – February 25, 5 – 6:30pm. Details

The Power of Positive Parenting - Raising Resilient Children, TripleP, February 7, FREE and open to all families in Santa Cruz Count, Details

Valentine Gifts! Westside Marketplace Makers Faire, Feb 7, 11am-4pm, 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
Boardwalk Winter Drivein Movies - 6pm Sing, Sat. Feb 6; (Sat, Feb 13 Frozen) - If you have not yet done the "drivein movies" evening, now is the time! Details

Free to Be a Kid Clothing Exchange Sat, Feb 6, 9:30-11:30am - Bring what you can, take what you need. Live Oak Grange. $2 Details
Organic Seedling Production for Small and Medium Scale Growers, UCSC - Feb 8-10, 9:30am - 1:30pm - Expand your skills and improve outcomes. Free Details
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
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. Bring some books, a stuffed animal or your own pet, and come read with us! Children can read to a dog 1:1 in a Zoom breakout room with a certified therapy dog and their handler or they can read to the whole group of kids.  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
Technology Tools to Support Learning - Feb 6, English 10:30 - 11am, Spanish 1-2:30pm - The Pájaro Valley Conference for families and allies of children with special needs is very excited to invite you all to our second round of workshop sessions.  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