• July 2024

    Thanks to Everyone Who Came By and Said Hello During Kids Day

    We had a great time during the Kids Day Downtown event on June 22. Everyone had a fun time and we enjoyed seeing all the smiling faces. Thanks to everyone for coming by the Growing Up in Santa Cruz booth. In this issue, don’t miss our annual Best Of awards as voted by our readers. Thanks for reading,Brad Kava,Editor and Publisher

  • July 2024

    Creating Summer Routines

    Let’s face it, summer is the time of year where kids are out of school, vacation mode is turned on and we become notorious for losing track of routines and rituals. Part of this is great, especially if you’re sitting on a beach enjoying a vacation. However there are still things that every mom or dad will have to take care of – work, or planning the daily meals. It can end up feeling more stressful at times, because many of us are still juggling while our kids are off. Leading to, yep, you guessed it..summer feeling like MORE work! Not to mention, summer comes and goes quick — often…

  • July 2024

    Exploring Equity Grading

    As education evolves, so too does the way we assess student performance. One such evolution is equity grading, a concept sparking debate among educators and parents alike. What exactly is equity grading, and should it raise concerns? Over the past century, grading systems have morphed from the absence of grades to the conventional A-F scale. In today’s educational landscape, where grades wield considerable influence in high-stakes college admissions, the assessment of student learning methods holds paramount importanceEquity grading, the latest trend, shifts focus from traditional letter grades to assessing students’ mastery of specific skills or standards. This approach attempts to provide a more accurate depiction of students’ understanding by emphasizing…

  • July 2024

    Technology Helps Level the Playing Field for Those with Disabilities

    As Tom Wlodkowski walked through San Francisco Airport on his way to a conference, people frequently approached him, asking if he needed help. Blind since birth and using a cane, he continued navigating the complex maze of the airport, a challenge even for someone with sight, while declining offers of assistance. “No, thanks,” he told them. “I’ve got it.” His tool was an iPhone, on which other sighted people were looking at the maze and guiding him step by step. “Technology has been the great equalizer,” he said in an interview. “The iPhone has been a great invention for us.” Wlodkowski is a huge inspiration at Comcast. As the vice…

  • July 2024

    Breastfeeding Support for All

    August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, with the theme, Closing the Gap: Breastfeeding Support for All. Mark your calendars now, to participate in upcoming activities next month. Recognition for Employers – Just thinking about leaving a little one to go back to work can be hard for many nursing mothers. Employers can play a critical role in easing the transition by encouraging breastfeeding through appropriate lactation accommodations. Knowing there are resources, as well as support for pumping at the workplace can help lessen the stress around returning to work. All California workers are entitled to breaktime and a designated space to express their milk…

  • July 2024

    The Anger Wheel of Choice

    Another great Positive Discipline tool to keep in your parenting “toolbox” is the Anger Wheel of Choice. The book Sophia’s Anger Wheel is a wonderful story to help teach kids about appropriate ways of expressing anger. This book can be ordered here: positivediscipline.com/products/sophias-anger-wheel-choice All emotions are okay, not just pleasant/positive emotions. It’s very important to talk about ALL emotions with children so they can start to identify their own emotions as they come and go. I found it helpful to have a feelings/emotions chart up in the house when my kids were little with real pictures of childrens’ faces (not just cartoon images) so we could point to how we…

  • July 2024

    Kids and Allowance

    Learning a new skill takes practice. For instance, if you want to teach a child how to ride a bike, they will need a bike to practice on. The same is true of money skills. If you want your child to learn how to save money and spend it wisely, giving them an allowance will help them practice.Here are some ideas to help you and your child get the most out of their allowance. Timing is everythingWhen your child starts to understand the concept of money and its purchasing power (usually around age 5 or 6), it might be a good time to consider introducing an allowance. If they can’t…

  • July 2024

    Festival Brings People Together for Fun and Worship

    Simon Cassar was praying in the middle of the night four years ago when he had an inspiration.“What is true love?” he wondered. “Can we show that true love amongst ourselves? How do we show it?”The answer came as a joyful festival bringing together 16 churches in an Aptos park to spread love, culture, fun and caring. “The whole purpose is we see a world that’s kind of torn apart,” says Cassar, 66, a retired aviation engineer who has six kids. “We have different neighbors trying to destroy other people. We are just seeing a world that’s being torn apart because of Covid. Half the country is one way and…

  • July 2024

    Secrets to Building Relationships with Your Grandchildren

    Being a grandparent is a unique and precious role. It’s a chance to influence young lives, share wisdom, and create lasting memories. As grandparents, we have the opportunity to connect with our grandchildren on a deeper level and instill values that can guide them throughout their lives. Here are five secrets to building the best relationship with your grandchildren, drawn from personal experience and timeless principles. Cultivate a Love of LearningOne of the most impactful ways to bond with your grandchildren is by fostering their curiosity and love of learning. Instead of asking the usual “How was your day?” try something more engaging and thought-provoking. For instance, when I picked…

  • July 2024

    Making the Most of Summer Schedules

    Dear Yesenia,My four and seven year old are so excited that school is out for the summer. I’m also glad to have a break from the daily school schedule. However, I work full-time, so my kids have to go to day camps or child care. They usually have fun the first few weeks of summer “vacation,” but then they complain about having to go somewhere every day. It’s stressful, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving them home alone, and I don’t have time to arrange a summer full of play dates. What can I do to minimize their complaints and still make summer fun for them? –  Sofia   Dear…

  • July 2024

    Hiking at Arana Gulch

    Feeling stress in our Santa Cruz paradise? Is your apartment so small that when you bend over in your bedroom you turn on your kitchen stove with your ass? Philosopher Frederick Gros says, “…the body on a walk rests in contemplation of wide-open spaces”, and you can find wide open spaces right here in our ever more congested town. Arana Gulch seems to be serotonin to the Santa Cruzan soul; under a giant oak I met two artists who had set up their easels to paint the golden meadow that dominates the preserve. One of the women said, “We’re playing Dueling Watercolors,” and then they pretended to fence with their…