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The Whatsoevers
On the beams of the school I attended were the “whatsoevers.” Every school day in our morning assembly, they greeted us, quietly encouraging worthy thoughts and behaviors among high-spirited tweens and teens. I like the way they build, rhythmically, to the final profound admonition. They are part of me and come to mind whenever I need to examine my actions or take the measure of societal upheavals. They are comforting.

Whatsoever things are true,
Whatsoever things are noble,
Whatsoever things are just,
Whatsoever things are pure,
Whatsoever things are amiable,
Whatsoever things are of good report,
If there be any virtue and if any praise, think on these things.

Since the fall of 2020, local private and parochial schools have been successfully offering in-person classes and the option of distance learning for those needing that service. These next few months are good times to visit, in person or virtually. Check the schools you may want to visit. You and they are looking for a good fit! Private Schools ~ Parochial Schools
We are advised to take vitamins C, D3 and zinc. We all know the "15 minutes of sunlight gives us our daily D" routine and now it seems there's a correlation between the time of day we are outside and sleeping well. Shall we try the "sunlight before noon challenge?"

Have a good weekend and sleep well, Parmalee
Sunlight Profoundly Affects
Mood, Health, and Nighttime Sleep

"I didn’t pay attention much when my midwife first suggested to try and get our kids outside before noon in order to help them sleep at night. I’d never heard anything like that before - and it also seemed counterintuitive.

When March rolled around this year, we were looking for simple strategies to help improve the health of our family and that search took me back down the road toward this concept of morning sunlight exposure. Since first being introduced to the idea I’d read a little bit more about it but we had never committed to it before. Most often, our outside time was in the afternoon - after lunch, schoolwork and chores.

With life flipped upside down, we gave morning sunlight exposure a go and the results were immediate and they were remarkable. So much so that we put out a month long “Sunlight Before Noon” challenge that many of you participated in."

Ginny Yurich, married and mom of four, blogs at 1000 Hours Outside. Read the details of Ginny's experiences, especially during these short winter days. > > > > >
Community Science Projects at Elkhorn Slough Reserve
A Bird Project

You can take part in a bird project at the Elkhorn Slough. This can be done independently by anyone in our community who loves nature!

Project Overview: eBird is a community science network from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Goal: Gather information on the quantity and diversity of birds in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
You’ll need: A journal, pen, and access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Binoculars, birding checklist, and camera recommended but optional.

  1. Visit https://ebird.org/ home and select “get started” to make a free account.
  2. Head out to the Reserve and document birds! Write down the species you see and the quantities of each.
  3. a. You can bird while travelling a set distance, like along the South Marsh Loop trail, or you can pick on place to stand and watch for a set time. Either way, make sure to document your start and stop time!
  4. Open the eBird home page, and select “Submit” from the upper left-hand menu.
  5. Follow the prompts to enter your data, using the “Elkhorn Slough NERR” as a hotspot location!

The Reserve trails are accessible 9am-5pm, Wednesday-Sunday. Please check in with a Naturalist before your walk and do not access the trails outside open hours! Do not go off-trail and be respectful of the wildlife while documenting.
SPCA Programs for Youth
Our recently launched Girl Scout program allows Scouts to complete their badge requirements remotely! To learn more, or sign up here or contact our Humane Education Department, maria@spcasc.org or brenna@spcasc.org
Family Events
Check websites before you go!
Santa Cruz Parent Calendar
Reserve space for your favorite holiday events!
January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month! Join us for an 8-week virtual Triple P Group for families with children 2-12 years old, held Thursdays, January 7 – February 25, 5p.m. – 6:30pm. Individuals, couples and any friends or family members who are helping raise children are welcome to attend. Details

Are you prepared for storms? Winter storm season is here. Are you prepared for wind, rain and ...
PG&E advice > > > Details
Talking Heads Roundtable - Every head of school since Gateway’s inception 50 years ago will talk about their experiences as head of Gateway School. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about Gateway, K-8. Details
Fungus Fair Webinar, January 16, 10am - 3pm, Virtual workshop with fungus experts discussing fungi in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Details
Parenting in Uncertain Times #1 (special needs) - January 20, 5 - 6:30pm - Get tips for: Providing reassurance to children with special needs during COVID-19; Adapting and maintaining daily family routines; Keeping children engaged with interesting activities at home. Free Details
JavaScript Coding Free Class, January 13, 3 - 4pm,This program will follow the curriculum from Khan Academy called “Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation”. The instructor: Saashin is a local high school student. Details
Boardwalk Winter Drivein Movies - January - Spaceballs Sat. Jan 16 - If you have not yet done the "drivein movies" evening, now is the time! Details
Triple P Workshop: Teaching Teens Healthy Eating Habits - January 14, 5-6:30 pm, How to identify and handle concerns about teenagers’ eating habits. Free virtual parenting workshop. Details
NAMI Family-to-Family Class, January 5 - February 23, 6 - 8:30 pm - This is a free, 8-session education program for loved ones of those with mental health challenges. Family members, friends, and caretakers who are supporting someone who is diagnosed with, or experiencing warning signs of, a mental health condition are encouraged to join. Details

All County Farmers Markets! Details
Covid - 19 Update
Santa Cruz County Office of Education - December 28th Letter from Superintendent

Public Health Department of Santa Cruz County