• November 2022

    Santa Cruz County Children Improve their Oral Health

    Life is better with teeth. You can eat, talk, make friends, and, as you get older, get a job. It’s not easy for everyone to have a healthy smile, especially for those struggling to get by. The good news is that things are better, especially for children, than they were six years ago as confirmed by Dientes Community Dental Care’s newly released study, the 2022 State of Oral Health in Santa Cruz County. Yet, there is a continued gap in dental care for low-income residents where 82,000 people had Medi-Cal, but only 38% could go to the dentist. There were some gains over the first study done in 2016 –…

  • November 2022

    Be a Part of the Giving Revolution

    Thanks to you — residents of Santa Cruz County — Santa Cruz Gives raised more than $1.1 million for a wide variety of local nonprofits during the winter holidays last year, and we’re gearing up to launch this year’s campaign. It runs from November 16-December 31. The projects that will be presented are the most diverse yet, and they cover every area of the County. Whatever you like to support, you’ll find it at SantaCruzGives.org: education and vocational training, the environment, homelessness, mental wellness, the disabled, the arts, youth, seniors, animals, local news, LGBTQ+, and more. Donations increased by 64.4% in 2021 over 2020 — and have increased just as dramatically…

  • October 2022

    Model UN

    Model UN Training Conference for Local Students Hosted by Mount Madonna School By Lisa Martin Model UN is found in a handful of schools in the region, but there is an opportunity to expand this offering by helping students learn the academic and debate skills needed for successful MUN participation. On October 8, 2022, Mount Madonna School (MMS) will host a one-day Model United Nations (Model UN or MUN) Training Conference, with a singular purpose: introducing Model UN to students, grades 6-12, and developing a network of schools interested in bringing this exceptional educational program to more schools and students in the region. Model UN is found in a handful…

  • September 2022

    Local Profile Juggler

    Life’s A Juggling Act So Why Not Buy the Right Equipment? By Kimberly Hickok As a quirky, eclectic beachside community, it should come as no surprise that Santa Cruz is home to Renegade Juggling, a small, family-operated business that is one of the biggest manufacturers and retailers of juggling and circling equipment in the country. Since 1982, owner, founder, and juggler extraordinaire Tom Renegade has been using his juggling and manufacturing expertise to craft and sell every kind of juggling device or circus prop you can imagine. If you need a rechargable LED lit juggling ball, he’s got them for $33 each. How about a Fire Devil Stick for twirling…

  • September 2022

    Got Shrimp?

    Santa Cruz Company Replaces Styrofoam with Shellfish By Jeanette Prather As a mother of children, every time I think about what we’ve done to this planet and the plastics in the ocean, I just wish we could’ve had Cruz Foam about 20 years ago Innovative IngredientsAn innovative Santa Cruz-based company–with backing from two big Hollywood stars– is replacing Styrofoam packing peanuts with the waste from shellfish to create an organic foam that’s durable, light and actually good for the environment. Realizing that Styrofoam doesn’t decompose for 500 years, Cruz Foam founders came up with a formula that decomposes in two months and still protects packages. The mix uses a biopolymer–DNA,…

  • August 2022

    Growing Healthy

    Generations: Nourished By Suki Wessling The stakes for teen foster youth are high. Once they reach eighteen, they leave the system. Unless they were lucky to be placed with families who taught them solid life skills like cooking, they enter adult life knowing little about food. “To your stations!”The children come into the room full of playground energy and loud voices. They chatter as they don their aprons and wash their hands. But as soon as they’re assigned to their stations they become as focused on their tasks as a chef in a restaurant. Because these kids are chefs Their Live Oak classroom has been turned into a kitchen where…

  • July 2022

    LGBTQ+ Booklist

    Task Force Releases LGBTQ+ Booklist for School Libraries by Santa cruz county BOARD OF EDUCATION A task force convened by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education has released a booklist called the “Top 40 LGBTQ+ Books that Every School Library Should Have,” a project undertaken as part of a commitment to safety and inclusiveness for LGBTQ+ students The final list of 40 books includes fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, anthologies and picture books. Ten titles were selected for each of the gradespans of PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. “When students see themselves reflected back in culture, curriculum, and media they are empowered to work harder and dream bigger,” said Santa…

  • June 2022

    YAN Pop-Ups

    Santa Cruz County Youth Action Network “Pop Ups” Bring Together Local Youth and Community The Santa Cruz County Youth Action Network and United Way of Santa Cruz County are “popping up” at various Santa Cruz County destinations to offer the community a new, fun, and meaningful way to bring youth, community members, and youth-serving organizations together. The Youth Action Network Pop-Up events are family-friendly and focus on offering games, activities, food, and fun for middle – high school youth while connecting them with local youth programs, resources, and community leaders. The Youth Action Network consists of organizations focusing on youth well-being and committed to amplifying youth voices from across the…

  • June 2022

    Summer Reading

    Avoid the Slide by diane cowen Summer Slide is the term used to describe learning loss that children experience over the summer when they are out of school and away from structured learning activities. Children and teens who do not read over the summer lose some of the achievement gains made during the previous school year. These summer setbacks are particularly problematic because early education serves as the foundation for the achievement, work habits, and perceptions about self-confidence and schooling that impact performance for years to come. The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) can help with that! The Library Summer Reading Program provides educational, fun enrichment activities, and they’re free!…

  • May 2022

    Cirque.Tumble.Cheer

    Capitola Mall is Flying High with Cirque.Tumble.Cheer By Jeanette Prather Once upon a time in the former Wrigley bubble gum factory on the Westside, four women came together over their love of aerial and movement arts. They assembled a collective of aerialists and dancers who would each contribute to a stipend that they would pay their landlord as he developed what is now the University Business Park. This collective offered classes and training time, then came to be known as the Santa Cruz Aerial Playground. “They scrimped, scavenged and labored almost endlessly to install rigging points, padded floor coverings, a wooden sprung dance floor, lighting, seating, crash mats,” said former…