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The headline, "Character Over Color," written by a southern black pastor, resonated with me.

The essence of his theme was a request to be known for his character, not his skin.
From researching educational literature and listening to parents, I find that in 2020-21, children attending private & parochial schools, those homeschooling privately or in a public homeschool program are very happy with their educational lifestyle.

Articles abound about children suffering from distance learning and too much time online. Parents, teachers and students are making the best of a difficult situation. Agonizing about catching them up is fruitless. Please read the uplifting letter from a savvy superintendent.
Have a great weekend with your families, Parmalee

P.S. Censoring is harmful to all of us. We are Americans. Let's respectfully listen, share perspectives and ideas.
When the Children Return
A Letter from a Superintendent of Schools,
a most thoughtful educator

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I am writing today about the children of this pandemic. After a lifetime of working among the young, I feel compelled to address the concerns that are being expressed by so many of my peers about the deficits the children will demonstrate when they finally return to school.

My goodness, what a disconcerting thing to be concerned about in the face of a pandemic which is affecting millions of people around the country and the world. It speaks to one of my biggest fears for the children when they return. continue > > >
What small pivots can you make today?
"I made a tiny decision that I would not sit down when I went inside the house. I would put on a bigger jacket, grab my earbuds, go outside and run. I made a tiny decision that changed my entire day.

I showed up for myself.

See, the crazy thing about changing your life or reaching your goals is that it’s really not that profound.

It’s simply a series of small choices that shape your day
and end up being the building blocks of your lifestyle.

Meal plan for 10 minutes, order groceries, set the alarm, lace up the shoes. The only thing separating you from what you want is a bunch of tiny decisions. It’s really uncomplicated.

What small pivots can you make today?"

Wise thoughts from Janie, stay-at-home mom of 4: She Just Glows
The Wonderfully Colorful House
of Impressionist Painter, Claude Monet
Have you observed the latest color fad for houses? Gray... Gray everywhere. IMHO not welcoming. In case you're bored being homebound, here's some inspiration.

by Rose Heichelbech

"The paintings of Claude Monet are some of the most-replicated in the world. Posters, umbrellas, postcards, and more bear his signature watery hues punctuated with spikes of red and pink. As one of the fathers of the Impressionist movement, Monet enjoyed modest success in life and massive success after his death. Such is the way with the value of art!

The Fondation Claude Monet (administered over by the famous Académie des Beaux Arts) care for Monet’s home. It is an impressively colorful and vibrant house in Giverny, in northern France, where the artist painted many of his most famous works." continue to see more photos > > >
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
SPCA Rescue Readers:
Sometimes the ideal audience for a new reader is a doting dog or cat who hangs on every word. The Santa Cruz SPCA offers Rescue Readers, a program designed to give young readers a chance to practice and enhance their literacy in the comfortable presence of shelter animals. 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

Are you prepared for storms? Winter storm season is here. Are you prepared for wind, rain and ...
PG&E advice > > > 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 - Fri. Jan 22, Dirty Dancing; Sat. Jan 23, Moana
- If you have not yet done the "drivein movies" evening, now is the time! Details
Sibshops, January 23 (4th Saturdays), 2 - 3:30 pm, Free, Peer support for school-age siblings of kids with special needs. Join us for our Sibshops events. Children will meet other sibs, usually for the first time, have fun, laugh, talk about the good, and not-so-good parts about having a sibling with special needs, play some great games, learn something about the services their brothers and sisters receive, and have some more fun. Details
Meet the Doulas, Jan. 23, 4pm - Birth and postpartum doulas support families, especially during COVID times. Join us to find out more the services offered. Details
The Power of Positive Parenting - January 24, 1 - 3pm - January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month! This seminar is the first in a series of three for families with children 2 - 12 years old. Details
Parent Power Summit, January 26, 2 - 4pm, Free - Centering Children & Families at the Heart of Recovery. Connect and learn with other parent leaders & advocates working to support thriving children & families in Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties. Details
Whalefest, January 27, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, We have great events planned and a team dedicated to making this an enriching new experience for all of us. 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
Provocative Ideas to Stir Thoughts
These articles raise questions. That is good. We may or may not like the authors' opinions. That's okay because it helps us clarify our own opinions.

Woke Elementary, by Christopher F. Rufo, January 13, 2021
A Cupertino elementary school forces third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.” continue > > >
Coronavirus for Dummies by Stephen Hill
We are now almost one year from the dark days when the coronavirus first hit these shores. Why are the politicians making the same policy mistakes today that they made nine months ago? continue > > >
Some California jobs lost to COVID will never be the same. Here’s what experts say, Jeong Park, The Sacramento Bee, January 14, 2021
The Sacramento Bee is exploring the future of work in California as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The series is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems. … 1.4 million Californians who have lost their jobs since the coronavirus pandemic reached the state in February. Hundreds of thousands remain out of work. continue > > >
Gov. Newsom, answer this: How can you reopen schools with teacher unions blocking the doorways?
By Marcos Bretón, The Sacramento Bee, January 14
Have you ever met John Borsos of the California Teachers Association? If you haven't, you should know that he is going to block your lofty goal of getting public school kids back in their classrooms before the end of this academic year. continue > > >
A study shows extremely low rate of coronavirus transmission in school, 0% from child to adult
by Andrew Mark Miller, January 16, 2021
A study of almost a dozen North Carolina school districts found an “extremely limited” rate of coronavirus transmission and no transmission from children to adults. The study, conducted over a nine-week period, tracked 100,000 people across 11 school districts. continue > > >
China's schoolkids beat American students in all academic categories
The academic performance of American schoolchildren hasn't budged in two decades, despite billions of dollars in increased funding. continue > >