A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
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The Power of Touch
We visited for several days, then said "Goodbye," two friends and I. He's 94 and she's 87. They were moving out of the beautiful log cabin they had built themselves in the pinon forests of Colorado's high desert where they had lived together for 15 years, each in their second marriage. Ray is gentle with a twinkle in his eyes and Louise is spicy and enjoys repartee. He rides his bike 6 miles daily and she raises blueberries and does tractor projects around their 300 acres of anasazi bean fields. They blend, bend and tease together well in the daily rhythm of life. Now they are headed for senior apartment living in the city and will be closer to family. As I watched them walk away, they reached for each other and continued walking, her arm around his waist, his over her shoulders. Touch...loving, natural, beautiful, and powerful!
Our children are social. We bring them up that way. They miss their friends, especially these two cousins! Check out the video to see their transformation and release of pent up emotions when they hug. We all need warm connections and friendly, loving hugs. It will be great when we can give and receive enthusiastically and freely!

Someone special welcomes your hugs! Parmalee
Schooling Choice
Is your choice working for your child?
Regarding choices you made for how to educate your children in 2020-21...
You, your children and your children's teachers are doing your best, given these extraordinary circumstances. If it's not going as well as you would like, communicate! Share what's working or not working for your family. Above all be daring and willing to do what's best for each child in your care. You are your child's first teacher. You know your child better than anyone else. Investigate options. Get facts. Doing what's best for your child is ultimately best for the community.

Education Choices

Talk with other parents: (Join FB: Santa Cruz Mamas, Homecruzers, Teaching at Home During School Closures in Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz County Office of Education provides a comprehensive list of resources and their contacts including school close/open information

Independent Study Programs In or Serving Santa Cruz County List

Local Parents Recommend a Great Variety of Online Resources.
These resources come from local homeschooling parents who recommend that you find what works best for your children's unique learning styles. We've categorized these resources under: GENERAL, ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE - HIGH SCHOOL AND PREK - 12.
Can't get enough books for the little ones?
Try these digital book websites.

Global Digital Library: https://digitallibrary.io/en
We've Been Here Before...
Volunteers Responding to Disaster
Santa Cruz Volunteer Center's Executive Director Karen Delaney has led the Volunteer Center for more than 35 years and is an internationally recognized leader, trainer, and speaker in the field of volunteerism, community building, and nonprofit management. Karen’s formula for success is “hope, fun, curiosity, gratitude, belief in people, and good data.”

Karen Delaney's Blog

The Lightning Fires that consumed our beautiful mountains with a relentless ferocity unleashed a torrent of bravery, kindness, spirit, and ingenuity from every part of our beloved community.

People are donating, volunteering, feeding people, and sharing housing with neighbors, coworkers, friends, and strangers in record numbers. While we are just one agency involved in this Disaster Response, we connected almost 3,000 volunteers to help as Counselors, Shelter Workers, at Donations sites, and in so many other critical tasks over the past two weeks.

I know that many more tried and could not get through the phone lines or were wait-listed for a volunteer shift and that we had to put out of area volunteers and offers from large groups on hold. We are profoundly grateful to everyone who reached out to us, and the thousands more volunteering through churches and other agencies.

While my message today is one of thanks, I also want to share what we know of the road that lies ahead for our community and our agency. We are nowhere near the end of our journey working together to clean up and rebuild our parks, public spaces, businesses, and homes. Our commitment is to keep reaching out and engaging the skills and talents of our community in service to helping every local business, school, family, and public agency that needs help to clean up, reopen, or rebuild. Read more > > >
Support People and Parks
In response to the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, and through its unique position as co-management partners with State Parks, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks has established the “Friends Fire Fund.” The fund will initially provide direct, short-term assistance to State Parks and Friends staff most affected by the fire, followed by investments to be made in long-term recovery work for parks that have been damaged. This includes Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the Rancho del Oso Unit and Butano State Park. Join the effort to support both people and parks during the recovery process. Donations can be made on the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks website. Details
Family Events
Owing to fires, check websites for open or closed!
Attend this FREE virtual Triple P workshop, September 16, 3-4:30pm. Learn: How “screen time” (TV, computers, tablets, phones, video games) can affect children’s health and behaviors; Tips for setting limits for screen time and engaging children in other activities; What to do if your child refuses to follow the rules about screen time. Details
All the Farmers Markets!
Just picked, fresh from the farms to you, and often musical entertainment and special, delectable eats for foodies! Details
Every Kid Outdoors - Hey fourth graders! See America’s natural wonders and historic sites for free. “The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.” (Nancy Newhall) Your child can take you amazing places! With the pass, fourth graders can bring family and friends on adventures free for a full year. Details
Art in MAH's Secret Garden, September 4, 12pm -6pm, Free, Celebrate the opening of the MAH’s first outdoor exhibition, ‘Community is Collective Care’ to imagine individual and collective pathways toward healing alongside new work by Irene Juarez O’Connell. Details
2020 Back to School Summit! September 1 -4, 8am - 5pm - Help your child or teen start the school year off on the right foot. A free virtual event where over 20 professional educators share their knowledge and resources to help parents, like YOU, guide their students to academic success from the start! Details
NAMI Support Group for Parents / Caregivers of Youth, 2nd Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8pm, Free, Join our free and drop-in friendly Zoom support groups every 2nd Wednesday of the month for parents and caregivers of youth struggling with mental health concerns. Details
Food Trucks & Pop-Up Kitchens at the Grange, Thursdays 4 - 7pm
Come out and support a sustainable food economy! Food truck and pop-up kitchens at the Live Oak Grange source ingredients from Monterey Bay Area organic farmers and ranchers. Details
Nature Journaling Workshop for Teachers and Parent-Teachers - Wednesdays 12-1:30pm beginning August 19 - Learn how to teach Nature Journaling! Join our weekly discussion and idea-sharing for teachers, home school parents, and other educators interested in teaching nature journaling skills. Details
We are launching The Museum At Your Side — a collection of hands-on activities, informative articles, and engaging videos to connect you with nature and science wherever you are! Details
Tales to Tails - Mondays 3:30-4pm, Register! Santa Cruz Public Libraries Details
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. Details
West Cliff Food Truck Summer, September 18 @ 3- 8pm. West Cliff Food Truck Summer The local food trucks combine with local bands to make it a great night out for the whole family. Details