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The LOCAL Go-To Guide for Busy Families • August 2012

TOP15 Things to do before the End of Summer pg. 25

What You Can Do To Help Prepare Your Preschooler for Kindergarten pg. 38


of Music pg. 30

Enter to Win

amazing products from Glory Haus! pg. 28

children’s services

Because you feel ill when your kids are sick. We know the feeling: stomach in knots, pulse racing. And you’re not the one who’s sick. At John Muir Health, we know that parents care about their kids’ health far more than their own. So we listen. We explain. And we work together to keep our littlest patients well. To find a pediatrician near you, visit

The LOCAL Go -To Guide for Busy Families Here we are in full-blown summer mode, but very soon we will all be switching gears for back-to-school. Making every last summer minute count is our number one priority. Our Top 15 Things to do Before the End of SummerĘź is a must read. Also check out our “6 Tips for Getting the Kids Ready for Schoolâ€?. We are ecstatic to announce the addition of our new contributing writers. Robin OĘźBryant is the Author of “Ketchup is a Vegetable and other Lies Moms Tell Themselvesâ€?. She is a syndicated humor columnist, mother to three young daughters and is absolutely hilarious. I couldnĘźt put her book down and boy could I relate to every story she told! Victoria Kindle Hodson, co- author of “Respectful Parents, Respectful Kidsâ€? will provide us with invaluable parenting advice and tools to apply to our everyday lives. We are so excited to have Victoria contribute to our magazine. Last, but certainly not least, Julie King, Parent Educator for the past 17 years who leads workshops entitled “How to Talk so Kids Will Listenâ€?  (based on the best-selling book), will be addressing our readers parenting-related questions. You can email Julie and if lucky, she will provide you with a phone consultation to help assist with your child-rearing issues! We are dedicated to providing you with more parenting information than ever before. Please remember to email us and tell us what you would like to see. We love hearing from you! Wishing everyone a great end of summer and back-to-school month!

Publisher | Editor Tracie Vollgraf Marketing Manager Emily Stockman Advertising Sales Manager Karen Ruskowski Denise Coane Graphic Designer Teresa Craft Marketing Interns Felicia Stiles Crystal Wigton Nina Newhouse Contributing Authors Sarah Tolson Tracie Vollgraf Tom Limbert Victoria Hodson Robin OʟBryant Tamriko Siprashvili Julie King Kendall King & Alison Mackey

Tracie Vollgraf & the Active Kids Tea m >J==

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DonĘźt forget to check out our amazing website for updated, resourceful information that makes any parentĘźs life easier!

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ACTIVE KIDS is published By TAG Marketing Group

P.O Box 5158 Pleasanton, CA  94566  Advertising Inquiries (925) 789 -0709

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p. 6 Meet Robinʼs Chicks p. 12   Camping Guide p. 18 Why, How, and When     

Should My Child Learn a Second Language

p. 22   Gaining Control Over 

Your Familyʼs Finances

p. 25

Top 15 Things You Should Do Before The End of Summer

p. 27   p. 30 p. 34 p. 37   

Introducing Julie King 

p. 38

Benefits of Music Beach Guide 6 Tips To Ensure That You and Your Child Are Ready For Back To School! What You Can Do To Help   Prepare Your Preschooler For Kindergarten

p. 46   Camp Concord

p. 8 Calendar p. 28   Products We Love p. 42 Kids Meal Deals

Meet Robin's Chicks by Robin OʼBryant I used to be the girl on the homecoming  float. I wasnʼt riding at the very top with a  crown on my head, and I was wearing a  borrowed dress, but I was there, sequins  sparkling in the sun as I waved to all my  friends and family as the parade wove  through the small downtown of Jasper,  Alabama. I didnʼt drive a new car to school, but my Dadʼs old maroon Oldsmobile, “The  Hot Tamale,” which was a hit with all of my friends because it could  comfortably seat eight teenagers on its two bench seats. Even though the  rearview mirror fell off in my hand every time I tried to adjust it. In college I was the married student who didnʼt have time for fun and  socializing because I had to get to work to pay my bills and to pay for school. For the last seven years, Iʼve been “Mom,” but not just any mom. I am “That  Mom,” the one you cringe to be behind in line at Wal-Mart.  Iʼm the mom who has a toddler teetering precariously in my shopping cart  while my five-year-old yells, “You never let me have anything!” when I refuse  to let her buy a king-size Snickers bar at seven oʼclock in the morning and my  three-year-old is attempting to shoplift a pack of gum while simultaneously  emptying my diaper bag of tampons on the floor. Iʼm the mom, who after this circus side show, realizes she has no idea where  her debit card is and she is out of checks. I am now the mother who prays some sort of vermin doesnʼt crawl out of my  backseat when the teacher opens the back door to get my kindergartener out  of the car at school. For the last seven years Iʼve been the mom raising three daughters, Aubrey,  Emma and Sadie as a stay-at-home-mom and following my husband from  construction site to construction site, all over the Southeastern United States.  My Saturdays havenʼt been spent touring the old plantation homes of  Savannah, Georgia. and Charleston, South Carolina but in the bed trying  desperately to catch up on sleep while my husband was home from work.  I didnʼt spend my weeks frolicking on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, unless  I was carrying a baby, chasing a toddler into the surf and channeling  Baywatch: The Postpartum Years. My nights have been spent wandering  zombie-like from my bedroom to whichever child happened to wake up crying  in the night, nursing babies, rocking babies, and writing a book when  everyone else in my house finally slept. 


I always thought I would be a “Boy Momma,” I had visions of myself carting  three  or four little boys around to soccer, football and karate practice. Boys  seemed so much easier to me as a young babysitter, working for gas money.  Boys would play outside with my supervision, requiring very little interaction  or entertainment. The girls I babysat were much different. They wanted to play Barbieʼs, dress-up and have full blown Extreme Make-Overs. I would do all the work  while the little angels were entertained and pampered. I thought I would be  a “Boy Momma” but I was wrong. I have three daughters: ages seven, five and three-years-old. While they do  enjoy a good mani/pedi, they spit, fight, wrestle and use the bathroom  outside like a bunch of boys (you go ahead and think about that one for a  little while.) Iʼm not sure what Iʼve done to deserve a seven-year-old who has cleaned her ears out with tampons while I was trying to check out at the  grocery store. Or a five-year-old who has McGyver's motor skills and is so  efficient with a screw driver you need to do a quick inspection before sitting  on anything in my house, lest you end up on your back on the floor. But they are mine. Motherhood is a series of bloopers and blunders. Many  women try to maintain a cool facade and make this job appear much easier  than it actually is.  Not me. I am not That Mother.   

Robin O'Bryant is a syndicated humor columnist and stay-at-home-mom to three  daughters born within four years. She finally figured out where babies come from and  got herself under control. Her first book, "Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms  Tell Themselves,” is rated #1 by reader reviews on Amazon in two genres:  Humor Essays and Parenting & Families.  Visit her at Robin's Chicks to learn helpful tips such as:  how to breastfeed behind your back*, how to talk to your daughters about man parts,  and how to write a proper gold fish obituary. *Only applies to lactating women with a DD cup or larger.

AUGUST calendar Alameda County August 1 1st Wednesday Street Party Main Street, Downtown Pleasanton 6pm-9pm 

Pooch Parade

Lions Wayside Park Corner of 1st and Neal Pleasanton 5:30pm-8pm

2 for 1 Studio Fee

Café Art Livermore and Dublin Locations (925) 373-0222

August 2 First Family Night at  Livermore Certified Farmersʼ Market Carnegie Park Fourth St. between J St & K St Livermore 5pm-8pm

First Thursdays at Dublin  Farmersʼ Market Emerald Glen Park Dublin 4pm-8pm


August 2-3 Olympic Summer Days Pleasanton Library Pleasanton (925) 931-3400 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm

August 3 Oklahoma

Bankhead Theater Livermore 8pm

August 4 Free Kidsʻ Workshops Home Depot Stores Various locations 9am – 12pm (800)466-3337

August 4 & 5 Taste of Downtown 1st St Livermore 12pm-5pm


Bankhead Theater Livermore (925) 373-6800 8pm

August 6-10 Summer Olympics Summer  Camp Super Franks Pleasanton  (additional camps listed on  website) 9:00am – 12:00pm $150 per week

August 8 Oakland Zoo Conservation  Zoomobile Livermore Library Livermore (925) 373-5504 10:30am-11:30am

2 for 1 Studio Fee

Café Art Livermore and Dublin Locations (925) 373-0222

August 10 Concert in the Park Ruckatan Latin Tribe Lions Wayside Park Corner of 1st and Neal Pleasanton 7pm-8:30pm

Family Movie Night MoneyBall PG-13 Emerald Glen Park Dublin 7pm

August 15 2 for 1 Studio Fee

Café Art Livermore and Dublin Locations (925) 373-0222

August 16 Thirsty Thursday at Livermore  Certified Farmersʼ Market Carnegie Park Fourth St. between J St & K St Livermore 5pm-8pm

August 17 Concert in the Park Tommy & The Four Speeds Lions Wayside Park Corner of 1st and Neal Pleasanton 7pm-8:30pm

August 20 Dodgeball Day Rockinʼ Jump

5875 Arnold Road Dublin Ages 8-12 6pm-8pm

August 22 2 for 1 Studio Fee

Café Art Livermore and Dublin Locations (925) 373-0222

August 24-26 Goodguys 26th West  Coast Nationals 

Pleasanton Fair Grounds 4501 Pleasanton Ave Pleasanton 8am-5pm

August 2012

August 24 Concert in the Park Magic Moments

August 2-12 Disneyʼs Beauty and the Beast

August 25-26 The Mikado

August 3 Starry Nights in  Brentwood Summer  Concert

Lions Wayside Park Corner of 1st and Neal   Pleasanton 7pm-8:30pm

Bankhead Theater Livermore (925) 373-6800 8pm

August 29 2 for 1 Studio Fee

Café Art Livermore and Dublin Locations (925) 373-0222

Contra Costa County August 1, 8, 15,  22, 29 Baby Boot Camp Giggle Walnut Creek Registration Required (925) 746-0300 9:30am

Giggle Storytime Giggle Walnut Creek (925) 746-0300 11am

Sing! Move! Fun!

Giggle Walnut Creek Registration Required (925) 746-0300 $10 5pm

Lesher Theater Walnut Creek Dates and Times vary (925) 943-7469

The All-American Boys Chorus City Park Brentwood 7pm

Preschool Performance Village Theater 233 Front St. Danville (925) 314-3470 10am-11am

Moonlight Movies on The Town Green

“Honey I Shrunk the Kids” The Town Green Danville 6:30pm

Rock the Plaza Super Diamond Blackhawk Plaza Danville 7pm-8:30pm

August 4 Isty Bitsy Yoga Bloom Retreat 1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 11am-11:45am

Free Kidsʼ Workshops Home Depot Stores Various locations 9am – 12pm (800) 466-3337


August 5 Concert by the Lake The Fundamentals Pleasant Hill City Hall 100 Gregory Lane Pleasant Hill 6pm

August 6 Plaza Concert

Downtown Pleasant Hill 6:30pm-8:30pm

August 7 Family Art Night – Pizza,  Painting and Sculptures

Color Bundles Alamo (925) 727-3137 – Reservation  Required $15/Kids $25/Adults 6pm-8pm

August 9 Danville Thursday Night  Street Festival Downtown Danville (925) 339-8330 5:30pm-8:30pm

August 10 Starry Nights in Brentwood  Summer Concert Brentwood Concert Band City Park Brentwood 7pm

Rock the Plaza The Floorshakers Plaza Park Lafayette 6pm-8pm

Couples Yoga and Wine  Date Night Bloom Retreat  1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 7pm-9pm

Plaza Park Lafayette 6pm-8pm

Family Fun Night

Monte Vista Community Pool 3131 Stone Valley Road Danville 6:30pm-8:30pm

Rock the Plaza The Cheeseballs

August 19 Concert by the Lake Cover2Cover

Bloom Retreat 1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 11am-11:45am

Journey into Self – A  Womanʼs Mini Yoga Retreat

Forest Home Farms Historic Park & Glass House Museum (925) 973-3284 10am-2pm 

August 11-12 Family Camp Out

Blackhawk Plaza Danville 7pm-8:30pm

Bloom Retreat 1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 11am-11:45am

August 11 Isty Bitsy Yoga

Fun on the Farm Ice Cream Social

Rock the Plaza Unauthorized Rolling  Stones

August 18 Isty Bitsy Yoga

Blackhawk Plaza Danville  7pm-8:30pm

Bloom Retreat 1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 1pm-3:30pm

August 17 Rock the Plaza Mixed Nuts

Pleasant Hill City Hall 100 Gregory Lane Pleasant Hill 6pm

Family Yoga

Bloom Retreat 1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 11am-11:45am

August 23 Guiding Children  with Confidence Bloom Retreat 1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 11am-11:45am

Mt. Diablo State Park (925) 314-3400 12pm-1pm 10 ACTIVE KIDS

Art & Wine Stroll Downtown Danville (925) 339-8330 $25 per person 6pm-9pm

August 24 Rock the Plaza Night Fever Plaza Park Lafayette 6pm-8pm

Rock the Plaza Evolution Blackhawk Plaza Danville  7pm-8:30pm

August 25 Brentwood Art,  Wine & Jazz Festival 2565 Sand Creek Rd Brentwood (925) 634-6444 Sat: 11am-9pm Sun: 11am-5pm

August 2012

Juice Box Heros Rheem Theater Moraga (925) 388-0751 10am

Isty Bitsy Yoga Bloom Retreat 1444 S. Main St Walnut Creek (925) 939-6262 11am-11:45am

Music in the Park

Oak Hill Park 3005 Stone Valley Road Danville 6pm-8pm

August 30 California Symphony  Pops in the Plaza Concert Todos Santos Plaza Concord (925) 671-3464 6:30pm

Out of Area August 8-12 Ringling Brother Barnum &  Bailey  Dragons Oracle Arena, Oakland Multiple show times

August 15-19 Ringling Brother  Barnum & Bailey  Dragons HP Pavilion, San Jose Multiple show time

August 11 & 25 Summer Sleep Over! Fairyland Oakland 5:45pm Pre-Registration required (510) 238-6876


Alameda County

Redwood Regional Park

7867 Redwood Rd, Oakland, CA 94618 Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM Cost: $5/ vehicle; $4/trailered; campsites vary Phone: 888.327.2757 Website: A hidden redwood forest whose peaceful groves give little  evidence of its bustling past lies on Redwood Road just a few  miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland.

Anthony Chabot Family Campground 

9999 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94546 Hours:8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Cost: $2/dogs; Campsites vary Phone: 888.327.2757, option 3, ext. 4502 Website: Overlooking Lake Chabot is Chabot Family Campground,  year-round getaway only minutes from the city (camping fee).  The camp has 75 trailer, tent, or walk-in campsites, hot  showers, Naturalist-led campfire programs, an amphitheater,  and hiking/fishing access to Lake Chabot.

Del Valle Regional Park

7000 Del Valle Rd, Livermore, CA 94550 Hours: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Cost: $6/ vehicle; $4/trailered; $2/dogs; Campsites vary Phone: 888.327.2757, option 3, ext. 4524 Website: Deep in a valley framed by oak-covered hills, with sailboats  and sailboards skimming over its waters, Del Valle is like a  lakeside resort only 10 miles south of Livermore.

Butte County

Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

400 Glen Drive, Oroville, CA 95966 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $45.00/night  Phone: 530.538.2200 Website: Near the City of Oroville this man-made lake was formed by  the tallest earth-filled dam (770 feet above the stream bed of  the Feather River) in the country. The lake offers a wide  variety of outdoor activities including camping, picnicking,  horseback riding, hiking, sail and power boating, water-skiing,  fishing, swimming, boat-in camping, floating campsites and  horse camping. Lake Oroville Visitor Center has a museum,  exhibits, videos and a store. The view from the 47-foot tower,  with two high-powered telescopes, is a spectacular panoramic  view of the lake, Sierra Nevadaʼs, valley, foothills, and the Sutter Buttes mountain range (smallest in the world).


Calaveras County

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

1170 E Hwy 4, Arnold, CA 95223 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset  Cost: $20.00-$35.00/night Phone: 209.795.2335 Website: Calaveras became a State Park in 1931 to preserve the  North Grove of giant sequoias. This grove includes the  "Discovery Tree", also known as the "Big Stump", the  first Sierra redwood noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852.  This area has been a major tourist attraction ever since,  and is considered the longest continuously operated  tourist facility in California.

Colusa County

Colusa-Sacramento River State  Recreation Area

Levee Street & 10th Street, Colusa, CA Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $15.00-$25.00/night  Phone: 530.458.4927 Website: This area offers visitors campsites, picnic sites, and a  launch ramp for small boats. Riverbank cottonwoods and  willows shelter one of the finest fishing stretches in  California, with king salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout  and striped bass some of the catches. The river is on a  major migratory route for birds of the Pacific flyway and  provides home to an amazing number of species. The  River Patwin Indian tribe once lived nearby the area and  in 1872 John Muir camped near what is now the park.

Contra Costa County

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve 

9401 Morgan Territory Rd, Antioch, CA 94509 Hours: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Cost: Campsites vary Phone: 510.544.3060 Website: Sandstone hills within the park's 4,708 acres are adorned  in spring with more than 90 species of wildflowers,  including the Diablo sunflower which grows only in the  foothills of Mount Diablo.

Mount Diablo State Park

North Gate Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Hours: 8:00 AM to Sunset Cost: $30.00-$165.00/night; $6 parking fee. Phone: 925. 837.2525 Website:

Mount Diablo offers hiking, biking, and horseback riding.   With this beautiful ʻecological treasureʼ of the San Francisco Bay Area, your family is sure to have wonderful time. 

Del Norte County

Del Norte Coast Redwood State Park

1111 2nd Street, Crescent City, CA 95531  Hours: Sunrise to Sunset  Cost: $35.00/night  Phone: 707.465.2146 Website: The park, established in 1927, has approximately 50% old  growth coast redwood and eight miles of wild coastline.  The topography is fairly steep with elevations from sea  level to 1277ʼ. The predominant mountain range is oriented in a north-south direction with steep cliffs  adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, making the bulk of the  rocky sea coast generally inaccessible except by  Damnation Trail and Footsteps Rock Trail.

El Dorado County

Ed Zʼberg Sugar Pine Point State Park

Sugar Pine Point State Park, El Dorado, CA  Hours: Sunrise to Sunset  Cost: $35.00/night  Phone: 530.525.3345 Website: The beautiful grounds of the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion are  available for special events such as weddings, school or family  reunions, and corporate dinners.  The grounds have  spectacular views of Lake Tahoe with the 12,000 square foot  mansion serving as an elegant backdrop.  

Lake County

Clear Lake State Park 

5300 Soda Bay Road, Kelseyville, California 95451 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $30.00-$75.00/night  Phone: 707.279.2267 Website: Clear Lake State Park is on the shores of Californiaʼs largest freshwater lake. The area is popular for all kinds of water  recreation, including swimming, fishing, boating and  water-skiing. Anglers can catch largemouth bass, crappie,  bluegill and channel catfish. The park is the nesting place for  waterfowl. Hikers enjoy the Indian Nature Trail, a self-guided  trail that shows how the Pomo people, who lived in the area  for centuries, utilized the areaʼs resources. The trail passes through the site of what was once a Pomo village.

Marin County

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

8889 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Lagunitas, CA 94938 Hours: 8:00 AM to Sunset Cost: $8/parking; $35.00/night Phone: 415.488.9897 Website: The park offers a network of hiking trails and fire roads,  making it easy to hike to the top of Mount Barnabe. Or,  for a less strenuous visit, many visitors consider Azalea  Picnic Area the best place in the park for a picnic or a  place to relax. A paved bike trail runs about three miles  through the park, beginning near the entrance of the  park. The trail is nearly level and follows the old Northern  Pacific Coast Railroad right-of-way.

Mount Tamalpais State Park – Steep Ravine Cabins & Campsites

801 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941 Hours: 7:00 AM to Sunset  Cost: Ranging from $75.00/night to $115.00/night Phone: 415.388.2070 Website: Just north of San Francisco's Golden Gate is Mount  Tamalpais.  It has redwood groves and oak woodlands  with a spectacular view from the 2,571-foot peak. On a  clear day, visitors can see the Farallon Islands 25 miles  out to sea, the Marin County hills, San Francisco and the  bay, hills and cities of the East Bay, and Mount Diablo. On  rare occasions, the Sierra Nevada's snow-covered  mountains can be seen 150 miles away.

Lawsonʼs Landing

137 Marine View Drive, Dillon Beach, CA 94929 Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Wed 8:00  AM to 9:00 PM; Friday 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM; Sat 6:00 AM  to 10:00 PM; Sun 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM  Cost: $30.00/night  Phone: 707.878.2443 Website: Lawsonʼs Landing is a fishing and boating resort and campground, situated at the mouth of Tomales Bay,  California— known for generations of families as a place  to escape the heat and to rest along the shores of the  Pacific Ocean. You can find Lawson's Landing located  about 50 miles North of San Francisco and 20 miles West  of Petaluma at Dillon Beach. The Landing was first  established in 1929, and the campground has been  running— family-owned and operated— since 1957.


August 2012


Olema Ranch 

Point Reyes Station, CA 94596 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $40.00-$63.00/night  Phone: 415.663.8106 Website: Olema RV Resort and Campground nestled in the stunningly  beautiful wilderness surrounded by Point Reyes National  Seashore just north of San Francisco, is the ideal place for a  respite from the chaos of daily living, or for outdoor  adventures along that world-renowned stretch of coastline.  Just one hour from San Francisco or the Napa Valley and  minutes from one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline  anywhere, Olema RV Resort and Campground provides access  to sixty-five thousand acres of unspoiled wilderness, from  grassy meadows to coastal forests, rife with wildlife and  heart-stopping vistas.

Windsong Cottage 

25 McDonald Lane, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $175/night on weekdays; $195/night on weekends Phone: 415.663.9695 Website: The wood burning fire place, the huge, fluffy king size bed,  and of course, the hot tub set in the private yard are all  wonderful reasons to visit Windsong Cottages. Yurts often  have a skylight where the beams meet so in the morning, it  was a gentle waking up. Though the space is really one big  circular room, the bedroom is structured so that there is  privacy and the bathroom is also walled off. It is an ingenious  design. The space feels so open and the view is great. Perfect  for a romantic get-away!

Mariposa County

Yosemite National Park 

Yosemite National Park Northside Drive, Yosemite National  Park, CA 95389 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Ranges between $5-20 depending upon the campsite.  Phone: 877.444.6777 Website: Yosemite National Park, one of the first wilderness parks in  the United States, is best known for its waterfalls, but within  its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys,  grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness  area, and much more.


Monterey County

Limekiln State Park

63025 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920 Hours: 8:00 AM to Sunset  Cost: $35.00/night  Phone: 831.667.2403 Website: The park features breathtaking views of the Big Sur Coast, the  beauty of the redwoods, the rugged coast and the cultural  history of limekilns and has 24 campsites.

Placer County

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area 

7806 Folsom—Auburn Road, Folsom, CA 95630  Hours: Sunrise to Sunset  Cost: $35.00/night  Phone: 916.988.0205 Website: Located at the base of the Sierra foothills, the lake and  recreation area offers opportunities for hiking, biking,  running, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, water-skiing  and boating. Fishing offers trout, catfish, big and small mouth  bass or perch. Visitors can also see the Folsom Powerhouse  (once called "the greatest operative electrical plant on the  American continent"), which from 1885 to 1952 produced  11,000 volts of electricity for Sacramento residents. For cyclists,  there is a 32-mile long bicycle path that connects Folsom Lake  with many Sacramento County parks before reaching Old  Sacramento. The park also includes Lake Natoma, downstream  from Folsom Lake, which is popular for crew races, sailing,  kayaking and other aquatic sports.

San Francicso County

Angel Island State Park 

Angel Island State Park, San Francisco, CA 94920 Hours: 8:00 AM to Sunset Cost: $30.00/night  Phone: 800.444.7275 Website: In the middle of San Francisco Bay sits Angel Island State  Park, offering spectacular views of the San Francisco  skyline, the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais.

San Joaquin County

Caswell Memorial State Park 

Caswell Memorial State Park, San Joaquin, CA  Hours: Sunrise to Sunset  Cost:$30.00/night  Phone: 209.599.3810 Website: The park is located along the Stanislaus River near the

town of Ripon, California. Caswell is home to several  endangered animal species, including the riparian brush  rabbit which is not known to occur anywhere else

San Mateo County Half Moon Bay State Park

95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $35.00-$50.00/night  Phone: 650.726.8819 Website: Miles of broad, sandy beaches stretch out to welcome visitors  to Half Moon Bay. This picturesque setting is ideal for  sunbathing, fishing and picnicking. A campground provides  accommodations for those who wish to visit longer.

Santa Cruz County

Big Basin Redwoods State Park 

21600 Big Basin Highway, Boulder Creek, CA 95006 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $75/night Cabin; $10/vehicle/night;  $8/reservation fee Phone: 800.444.7275 or 800.874.8368 (“Tent Cabin” sites) Website: Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California's oldest State  Park, established in 1902. Home to the largest continuous  stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco, the  park consists of over 18,000 acres of old growth and  recovering redwood forest, with mixed conifer, oaks,  chaparral, and riparian habitats. Elevations in the park vary  from sea level to over 2,000 feet. The park features family  and group camping, tent cabins, backpacking camps, hiking,  mountain biking, and equestrian trails. The park is open year  round and reservations are encouraged during the summer.

New Brighton State Beach 

1500 Park Avenue, Capitola, CA  Hours: 8:00 AM to Sunset Cost: $35.00/night Phone: 831.464.6330 Website: The beach features picnic areas, swimming, fishing and  a nearby forest of Monterey pine and Coastal Live Oak.  The camping area is on a bluff overlooking northern  Monterey Bay.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park 

2591 Graham Hill Road, Scotts Valley, CA 95060  Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $35.00/night Phone: 831.438.2396 Website: This park features 15 miles of hiking and riding trails through 

a variety of forested areas including redwoods, mixed  evergreens, riparian, ponderosa pine, as well as rare  ancient marine deposits called Santa Cruz sand hills.  Henry Cowell Redwoods is home to a centuries old  Redwood Grove that features a self-guided nature path. It  also boasts other old-growth woods such as Douglas fir,  mandrone, oak and a stunning stand of Ponderosa pines.

Seascape Beach Resort 

One Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 Hours: 24 hours a day Cost: $495.00-$620.00 Condos depending upon room,  how long you stay, and season  Phone: 831.688.6800 Website: For a spectacular Santa Cruz vacation, a visit to Seascape  Beach Resort in Aptos, California, is like having your own  beach home with all the amenities of a four-diamond  resort. Seascape Beach Resort offers 285 spacious suites  and beach villas with fully equipped kitchens or  kitchenettes, fireplaces, and private balconies facing the  majestic Monterey Bay.

Castle Rock State Park 

1500 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95032  Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $15.00/night  Phone: 408.867.2952 Website: Along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock  State Park embraces coast redwood, Douglas-fir, and  madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild,  natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual  rock formations that are popular with rock climbers. The  forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of  hiking and horseback riding trails. These trails are part of  an even more extensive trail system that links the Santa  Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock State  Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Pacific  Coast.   

Shasta County

Sugarloaf Resort Cottages

19667 Lakeshore Drive, Lakehead, CA 96051 Hours: 24 hours a day Cost: $1151.00-1587.00/per week Phone: 530.238.2448 Website: Sugarloaf Cottages is the perfect location for a romantic  weekend getaway, a fishing vacation or a family  gathering. Located on the Sacramento arm of Shasta  Lake, the resort is only 25 miles from Redding, California  and is a sanctuary from the pressures of everyday life.


August 2012


Castle Crags State Park 

20022 Castle Creek Rd, Castella, CA 96017 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $15.00-$30.00/night  Phone: 530.235.2684 Website: The park offers swimming and fishing in the Sacramento  River, hiking in the back country, and a view of Mount Shasta.  There are 76 developed campsites and six environmental  campsites. The park features 28 miles of hiking trails,  including a 2.7 mile access trail to Castle Crags Wilderness,  part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The Pacific Crest  Trail also passes through the park. The park is named for  6,000-feet tall glacier-polished crags.

Sonoma County Casini Ranch 

22855 Moscow Road, Duncans Mills, CA 95430 Hours: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM Daily Cost: $41.00-$48.00/night  Phone: 800.451.8400 Website: Casini Ranch campground is nestled among beautiful hills  resting on a gentle meander along the Russian River just  minutes from the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County, California.  One mile of river runs along this 110 acre part of the ranch  offering campers a memorable camping experience.

KOA Petaluma

20 Rainsville Road, Petaluma, CA 94952 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $49.50-$60.00/night  Phone: 707.763.1492 Website: This beautiful family camping resort is rated one of the top  RV campgrounds in California and the premier campground &  RV Park resort in the San Francisco Bay area. With 312  spacious sites on 70 Acres, this KOA offers the best in family,  group and big-rig RV camping in a rural atmosphere. Explore  San Francisco, then relax in the country, just 34 freeway  miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bodega Dunes Campground 

3095 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $35.00/night  Phone: 707.875.3483 Website: There are 98 campsites with hot showers, flush toilets, and a  trailer sanitation dump station. Maximum trailer length is  31', no hook-ups are available. Campfire and Junior Ranger 


programs are held in the summer months. The day use  area includes a disabled accessible boardwalk out to a  classic sandy beach. No dogs and no fires are allowed on  the beach as a measure to protect the snowy plovers

Reef Campground 

19005 Coast Highway One, Jenner, CA 95450  Hours: Open Sunrise to Sunset Fridays, Saturdays,  Sundays & Holidays Cost: $25.00/night (includes one vehicle);  $8.00/extra vehicle Phone: 707.847.3286 Website: Fort Ross was a thriving Russian-American Company  settlement from 1812 to 1841. This commercial company  chartered by Russia's tsarist government controlled all  Russian exploration, trade and settlement in the North  Pacific, and established permanent settlements in Alaska  and California. Fort Ross was the southernmost  settlement in the Russian colonization of the North  American continent, and was established as an  agricultural base to supply Alaska. It was the site of  California's first windmills and shipbuilding, and Russian  scientists were among the first to record Californiaʼs cultural and natural history. 

Doran Regional Park

201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $30.00-60.00/night  Phone: 707.875.3540 Website: Doran Park has a 2-mile stretch of sandy beach and is a  popular place for visitors to picnic, build sand castles, fly  kites, surf, fish and stroll. A rock jetty at the harbor  mouth provides access for fishing, crabbing and exploring  sea life. The boat launch can accommodate up to 20-foot  boats. A parking lot is located adjacent to the launch and  can handle 30 vehicles with trailers.

Westside Regional Park 

2400 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, CA 94923  Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: $30.00-$60.00/night  Phone: 707.875.3540 Website: The park is ideal for fishing, with its boat ramp and  fish-cleaning station. A large vehicle and boat parking  lot is located adjacent to the launch. Picnic tables and  restrooms are on-site. The park is near stores and tackle  shops. Marine fuel may be purchased at Spud Point  Marina. Visit the marina or go for a short drive to  Bodega Head.

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August 2012


Why, How, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language? by Kendall King & Allison Mackey Much attention has been focused on the  importance of early foreign language  learning. Some research reports that younger  children learn languages better than older  children and adults. Newsweek devoted a  special edition to the critical first three years  of a child's life and indicated that there is a "window of opportunity" for second  language learning starting at one year of age. A Time magazine article  suggested that foreign languages should be taught to children as early as  possible. But with so many demands already placed on children, parents ask, Is it  important that my child learn a second language at a young age? If so, why?  What can I do to help my child learn a language? What program options are  available?

What are the benefits of knowing a second language?

Knowing a second language provides a lifelong ability to communicate with  people from other countries and backgrounds. But studies indicate that the  benefits of early foreign language programs go beyond language acquisition.   These benefits include the development of students' creativity, memory, and  listening skills, improved overall school performance and superior  problem-solving skills. Students of foreign languages score statistically higher on standardized tests  conducted in English. In its 1992 report, College Bound Seniors: The 1992 Profile  of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, the College Entrance Examination Board  reported that students who averaged 4 or more years of foreign language study  scored higher on the verbal section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than  those who had studied 4 or more years in any other subject area. In addition, the  average mathematics score for individuals who had taken 4 or more years of  foreign language study was identical to the average score of those who had  studied 4 years of mathematics. These findings are consistent with College Board  profiles for previous years. Knowledge of a second language also seems to coincide with high academic  achievement. One study shows that students who were in “rigorous” programs in  high school, which included 3 years of foreign language study, were likely to  earn better grades in college and less likely to drop out. Knowing a second language opens up additional career opportunities. In a  survey of 581 alumni of The American Graduate School of International  Management in Glendale, AZ, most respondents said they had gained a  competitive advantage from their knowledge of foreign languages and other  cultures. They said that not only was language study often a critical factor in  hiring decisions and in enhancing their career paths, it also provided personal  fulfillment, mental discipline, and cultural enlightenment.


The benefits to society are many. Americans fluent in other languages improve  global communication, enhance our economic competitiveness abroad, and  maintain our political and security interests. In recent years, the U.S. government  has expressed a need for fluent speakers of languages other than English,  particularly in less commonly taught languages such as Arabic and Chinese.

Is younger really better?

Learning a language at any age is beneficial. Studies have shown – and  experience has supported – that the human brain is more open to linguistic  development during the years between birth and pre-adolescence and that  children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are more likely to  develop native-like pronunciation. A number of experts attribute this proficiency  to physiological changes that occur in the maturing brain as a child enters  puberty. Yet, for most students, foreign language is introduced and formally  studied when they are twelve years of age or older. The reality is that children  who have an early start to a long sequence of language instruction that continues  through high school and college, are able to achieve levels of fluency that are not  been possible with the late start of most language programs.

Will a second language interfere with my child’s English ability?

On the contrary, learning another language can enhance knowledge of English  structure and vocabulary. Common vocabulary also helps children learn the  meaning of new words in English. Experimental studies have shown that no  long-term delay in native English language development occurs in children  participating in second language classes, even in full immersion programs. In fact, children enrolled in foreign language programs score statistically higher  on standardized tests conducted in English. One study showed that by the fifth  year of an immersion program, students outperformed all comparison groups and  remained high academic achievers throughout their schooling.

What can I do to help?

Most importantly, encourage your child's interest in the language and in other  cultures. Show him or her that you value the ability to speak a second language.  Attend cultural events that feature music, dance, or food from the country or  countries where the language is spoken. If possible, provide some books, videos,  or other materials in the second language. If you are familiar with the language  yourself, read to your child. Summer programs offering international exchange  are suitable for older children and offer valuable opportunities to speak a second  language and explore a different culture firsthand. Children normally live with a  host family, which provides them with a safe and sheltered environment where  they can practice their language skills.

What options are available in our area?

The types of language programs available can be placed on a continuum. At one  end of the continuum are immersion programs, which offer the greatest amount of  time in language study and produce students with the highest levels of proficiency.  At the other end are programs that explore language and do not have language  proficiency as a goal.

Where can I learn more?

The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second  Language by Kendall King, Alison Mackey Viva el Español 925-962-9177 Article adapted and published with permission from the Center for Applied Linguistics.  For references and further reading please visit

August 2012


©2012 Feld Entertainment

“MAGICAL” “WONDROUS” “AMAZING” And that’s just the ticket price.

OPENING NIGHTS – TICKETS $15!* *Excludes VIP, Front Row and Circus CelebritySM seats. No double discounts. Additional fees may apply.

AUG. 8 - 12 AUG. 15 - 19

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Thu. AUG. 16

Fri. AUG. 17

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Buy tickets at, Retail Locations, Arena Box Offices or call 1-800-745-3000

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Come 90 minutes before showtime to see our Asian elephants at the Animal Open HouseSM. Then, come meet the stars an hour before the show at the All Access Pre-show – FREE to all ticket holders!







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August 2012

Lindsay-SpecialOffer-4.5x3.7-ActiveKids-FINAL.indd 1


6/10/12 3:23 PM

Gaining Control Over Your Family’s Finances by Sarah Tolson

What is the sign of a good decision?®

Itʼs gaining control over family finances. A recent study commissioned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and conducted by Forbes Consulting Group in 2009 titled, State of the American Family: Families, Financial Attitudes & Planning, explored how parents feel about finances, their families, and ways that they are adapting to meet new challenges.

Wishing for control, but running off course

Most American families want to control their finances. They want to know as much as possible about financial products and services before committing to them, and want to have control over all aspects of their finances. They often think about looking into various financial products and services that could help them achieve such major life goals as buying a house, saving for college, and preparing for retirement. However, many family decision makers feel they fall short – they wish they were more in control of their finances. Despite their intentions, many Americans often feel uncomfortable with how they are doing. Some feel as if they are living month to month as they try to pay off old students loans and save money to buy their own home and, while they acknowledge the need to save towards their retirement, their immediate needs take priority. Others worry about meeting their long-term financial goals, citing a lack of planning. Most feel overwhelmed and concerned about whether they can manage growing expenses, especially while incomes are stagnant. Finally, there are those who face the uncertainties of how theyʼll help care for aging parents or recoup the value of retirement savings diminished by the recession. No matter the stage of life or economic situation, American families struggle with similar concerns in this slow economic growth period: how to prepare and save to maximize financial resources, for now and into the future.

Setting a course

Although the economic downturn since 2008 has taken its toll in a variety of ways – in income, investment value, and home prices – a commitment to sound financial preparation can help minimize and offset exposure to such losses.


Whether caught between providing financial support for children and  saving funds for retirement or frustrated by declining availability and access to pension plans or 401(k) employer matches, families at all stages face the challenge of balancing the immediate needs of their complex lives and financial demands with their long-range plans for the future. Combine these demands with the vast amount of financial data available at  the touch of a button, and the result can overwhelm Americans who strive  to feel confident that their financial decisions are the best ones for their  families. Guidance from qualified financial professionals can help overcome  hesitancy and bring balance to the most challenging of financial circumstances. Working with a financial professional who understands your unique, specific financial needs, can help you to establish key financial goals, make financial decisions a priority, and manage debt. Gaining control Itʼs never too late to gain control and begin preparing for the future. To learn more or access helpful materials, speak with a local financial professional and visit Sarah Tolson, Certified Financial Planner™ and Founder of Girls Just Gotta Have Funds,  is passionate about helping women and families create customized wealth-building plans tailored to their goals and life circumstances. As a second generation financial  planner, Sarahʼs vision is to inspire women to make their dreams a reality! Sarah is offering the readers of Active Kids Directory a complimentary one-hour financial consultation and would like to extend an invitation to her monthly Wine, Women & Wealth workshop. Please call her at (925) 736-3024 or email her at for more information. © 2010 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA


Family Optometry

Located in historic downtown Livermore, Bloomingcamp Optometry offers comprehensive vision care with a personal touch.

Welcoming Dr. Katie Boe to the practice. www.bloomingcampOptometr (925) 454 -1598 Mention Active Kids and receive $25.00 off any professional fees.

August 2012



Licensed by the state of CA, CPR, First Aid and Nutrition certified! Background check, TB tested and fingerprinted!

Summer fun for everyone! College Nannies are educated, active role models. There is simply no substitute for someone who can really engage and have fun with your children. When the kids are well cared for and having fun, parents are relaxed and happy. Fun, for everyone! Full-time | Part-time | Occasional Help

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Top 15 things you

MUST do before the End of Summer:

Attend a Chabot Space “After Dark” adventure – Chabot Space center is  full of educational and entertaining events.  Why not let your kids stay up  past their bed time to learn something new and have fun!  Visit their website  for more information: Go Camping – Choose your favorite spot for the kids to hike, ride their  bikes, swim, get dirty, and eat sʼmores. Nothing prepares them for going back to school like a nice weekend camping with their family.  Visit the Jelly Belly Factory – Make a day trip out to an area you would  never expect to venture too.  The Jelly Belly Factory is full of yummy treats  for your kiddies!  Did you know it takes 7 to 21 days to make a single Jelly  Belly jelly bean?  Visit their website for more information: Go to Africa – Okay, so we know that Africa is a little unrealistic when you  have young children, so instead, how about a safari adventure in Santa  Rosa?  Safari West is home to over eighty species of animals, including  zebras, cheetahs, and giraffes!  Visit their website for more information: S.F Fire Engine Tour – You may have visited San Francisco as a family  before; however, have you been over the Golden Gate Bridge on the Big  Red Shiny Mack Fire Engine? You start in Fishermanʼs Wharf, then venture over to Presidio, Crissy Field, Sausalito, Fort Baker, and then back over the  bridge to Union Street.  Finally, your journey ends at the Cannery.  Visit  their website for more information: Explore Pixieland Amusement Park – This amusement park is geared 

towards family fun.  Come here to enjoy Tea Cup rides, the Dragon  Rollercoaster, or the Pixieland Express Train.  They also have a “Kids Café”  so your little ones can fill up after a long, hard day of riding rides.  Visit  their website for more information:

Create a Family Movie Night – Choose a night of the week where one 

member of the family selects a movie to watch and rotate every week so  everyone gets a chance to pick their favorite movie.  You can also have  rotating snack pickers.  When one child gets to pick the movie, the other  child picks what snack to eat. 

Roaring Camp Railroads – Choose between the Santa Cruz Beach Train or  the Redwood Forest Steam Train, either way your family is sure to have a  fun journey.  Visit their website for more information:

Explore Shorebird Park Nature Center & Adventure Park  – Alright, I  know we are all guilty of sitting on the bench at the park as you watch your  children playing on the playground, thinking “I wish I could play like a kid  again”. Well, thereʼs good news! You can! This park is a playground in Berkeley is not only for children but also adults.  Visit their website for  more Visit the Lindsay Wildlife Museum – School may be out but there are  plenty of resources in the East Bay to continue educating your kids.  The  Lindsay Wildlife Museum hosts various classes during the summer that are  geared towards several age groups to help your kids learn on summer  vacation.  Visit their website for more information: Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex – This is a perfect place for families to  cool off from the summer heat. If you donʼt feel like traveling down to the beach or going to Raging Waters, Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex is  the best alternative for you and your family.  Visit their website for more ?FacilityId=67

Create a BIG scavenger hunt – A fun way to prepare your children for  back to school is creating a big scavenger hunt in the backyard for them to  find their back to school items. First, they are going to find their brand new  “cool” backpacks.  Second, they are going to find their new pack of  crayons, etc. You can hide their school supplies all around the yard and by the time they are done, their backpacks will be packed and ready to go for  the first day of school! Childrenʼs Fairyland – This is a great place to go to enjoy the story time  sets, kid rides, animals, and acres of luscious gardens. Your family is sure to have a blast! Visit their website for more information: Create your own Family Garden – Have everyone in your family choose 

their favorite vegetable.  Then find spots in the backyard to plant them and  give your children the responsibility of caring for them and watching them  grow.  When you are finally able to eat them for dinner, your kids will feel  a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

Host a Family Picnic – As summer is winding down and you want to spend  precious moments with your family, before the hectic school year begins,  go on a nice family picnic. Whether itʼs in your backyard, Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek, or your local park down the street, nothing says  family time like a nice picnic where you eat sandwiches, play in the sun,  and relax in the shade. 

Introducing Julie King

If youʼre like me, you knew being a parent would have its challenges as well as its joys, but youʼre still sometimes surprised by what can push you over the edge. We parents -no matter the ages of our children – can find ourselves stymied, frustrated, or pulling our hair out over the little moments when:

•    our toddler refuses to put on his socks. •     our kindergartener lets loose with “potty language” – in public! •     our grade schooler calls us “stupid.” •     our preteen refuses to help clean up from dinner, and tells us to “do it yourself!”

If youʼre like a lot of parents, youʼve heard some great advice about the importance of setting firm limits, modeling respect, being consistent, or providing unconditional love at all times… and yet, in the heat of the moment, itʼs not clear how this advice translates into action. What about those socks??? For the past 17 years, I have been providing parents with concrete skills to survive those little moments, maintain good-will in the family, and raise children to become adults who are caring, connected, creative and cooperative (to name just a few). My focus is on the specific – the actual struggles of the moment that you often canʼt find in advice columns on parenting – with a look at the actual words that can help – as well as the language that can undermine or worsen the situation. The good folks at Active Kids want to bring this service to you! Once a month, one lucky parent will consult with me about a challenging situation. Your job will be to take notes on what happened, who said what, what led up to the situation, what you tried and what reaction you got. Iʼll offer you some new strategies you can try in similar circumstances. Try them out, and report back!   Iʼll write up your story (with names changed), and share it with the readers of Active Kids.

Interested? Drop me an email at with your name,

phone number and best time to reach you, along with the age of your child and a brief description of the challenge you want to address. Iʼll let you know if you are this month's lucky winner! Julie King, Parent Educator and “How To Talk” trainer, has been educating and supporting parents and professionals since 1995.  Her most popular workshop, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, is based on the bestselling books by Faber and Mazlish. She offers dynamic lecture/presentations for schools and other parent organizations, and has led workshops for numerous schools, non-profits, and self-organized parent groups. She also maintains a private practice providing telephone consultations to individual parents and couples.  She is the mother of three. Visit, or contact her directly: or 415-939-3553.

Products we Love! We love Glory Haus frames, tiles, decorative boards, and Christmas decorations! They are family-inspired, inspirational, whimsical and reasonably priced! Below are just a few of our favorites!

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Our mission is to provide high quality, comprehensive dental care to our young patients in a gentle, fun and loving environment. We are proud to announce that we have been voted “Best Pediatric Dentist in Contra Costa County” Dr. Ozzie Jafarnia, DDS Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry Call for an appointment today! 925-837-7745 • 4145 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, #203, Danville, CA

August 2012


Benefits of Music by Tamriko Siprashvili 

It is hard for me to see music education going  by the wayside. Once an important part of a  child's education, music is now considered a  frill to be sandwiched in between soccer and  gymnastics. There seems to be a steady  decline in children's exposure to music  lessons, yet music education in children has  such unlimited and surprising benefits. Music is one of the few activities that require both sides of the brain. It requires  logic, it makes sense, it is analytical and is closely related to math. It is also  spiritual and emotional. It allows the expression of feelings and passion. It  inspires creativity and provides kids with an avenue for expression.   As one of my students commented, "Music is a like my best friend". It is a place  to go when you are happy or sad, when you need company or want to be  alone. "It can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the  other things people often use for this purpose such as TV or web browsing, it  makes people more alive and connected with one another." says Michael  Jolkovski, a psychologist who specializes in musicians.  It is constant learning and teaches discipline. Exposing children to a musical  instrument provides an opportunity to learn something new every day. There is  an endless supply of genres and styles of music to explore. The avenue to  learning this music is through practicing regularly. The devotion to weekly  lessons and the discipline to practice every day teaches and hones qualities  that children are not required to use in our fast paced, instant gratification,  modern world. Music gives them the opportunity to master something that  looks impossible. One of my teachers relates a current incident in which her  three ensemble students groaned at the new assignment of a difficult piece.   "You wouldn't believe the pleasure, pride and joy on their faces once they had  mastered and perfected the piece."   Music builds confidence and fosters team building  When playing in an  ensemble class, students are working as a team. They learn to relate to each  other, to listen to each other, they learn leadership skills and gain confidence.   A shy child suddenly finds a place to lead her peers through a difficult piece, a  child will assist a classmate through a music theory assignment, or a group of  children will find a way to blend their talents and create a beautiful product. It improves memory and increases brainpower. Participation in music can help  memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development. This improves  the capability of not only memorizing a new musical piece, but also memorizing algebra and dates important in American history class. The College-Bound 


Seniors National Report concluded that "Students taking courses in music  performance and music appreciation scored higher in the SAT than students  with no arts participation." and Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennies  and Newcomb studied long term enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning  and concluded that "Research made between music and intelligence  concluded that music training is far greater than computer instruction in  improving children's abstract reasoning skills." But, most importantly, it is a life skill. There will come a time when you won't  be able to run up and down the length of a soccer field or basketball court,  but you will always be able to sit down at the piano, pick up your violin or  guitar or sing a beautiful song.

As a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory of Music, Tamriko Siprashvili  has outstanding credentials with nearly 30 years teaching experience including  advanced conservatory education in music pedagogy.  In 1985 she took first place  in the prestigious Robert Schumann International Piano Competition and has  performed extensively throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union as an  internationally acclaimed pianist.   Siprashvili and the Inspire Academy of Music and Arts faculty have a passionate desire  to share their talent in the community.  Classes include Piano, Violin, Viola, Guitar, Voice,  AP Music Theory, "Little Mozart" piano program, Tots & Tykes, Audition instruction and  the Royal Conservatory Performance Program .  Private and Ensemble classes are both  available.  All music styles including classical, popular and jazz are incorporated into  lessons or can be emphasized.  To learn more about Inspire Academy of Music and Arts,  3240 Santa Rita Rd, Suite 7, Pleasanton, visit their website at,  or call 925-461-3266.  All of the teachers are happy to meet with you to give you a tour  of the academy and answer any questions about the curriculum.

August 2012


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Celebrating 75 Years In The Spirit of Giving

2012 Events Sun - 9/9

10k/5k Run/Walk For Education

Sat - 9/15

Twilight Parade

1201 Main St. - Downtown Walnut Creek Help Raise Money For Our Local Schools ! To Register:

Main Street - Downtown Walnut Creek Free Event Parade starts at 6pm Parade Route is Mt. Diablo to Civic Award Ceremony directly following at Civic Park.

Art & Crafts Thurs - 9/20 Thru Sun 9/23

75th Annual Walnut Festival Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek Carnival, Fishing 3 Stages of Live Entertainment, Arts & Crafts, Vendors, Kids Zone, Food & Drinks,

For info:

August 2012


BEACH GUIDE A lameda Cou nty Robert Crown Memorial State Beach Eighth Street & Otis Drive, Alameda, CA 94501 Hours: Sunrise-Sunset Cost: $5/vehicle, $4/trailer; $2/dog Phone: 510.521.6887 Website:

Del Valle East & West Beach

7000 Del Valle Road, Livermore, CA 94550 Hours: Vary by Month.  Check website for specific information. Cost: $6/vehicle, $4/trailered vehicle, $3/vehicle at Arroyo  staging; $2/dog. Phone: 888.327.2757 opt. 3, ext. 4524 Website:

Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area 2100 Isherwood Way, Fremont, CA 94536 Hours: 11:00am to  6:00pm Cost: $5/vehicle; $2/dog Phone: 888.327.2757 opt. 3, ext 4552 Website:

Shadow Cliffs Regional  Recreation Area - Beach

2500 Stanley Blvd, Pleasanton, CA 94566 Hours: May - Labor Day: 6am - 9pm September: 6am - 8pm Cost: $6/vehicle; $5/trailered vehicle; $2/dog Phone: 925.846.3000 Website:

Contra Costa Cou nty Contra Loma Regional Park - Lake

1200 Frederickson Lane, Antioch, CA 94509 Hours: Open daily Sunrise to Sunset from June 2- Aug 26 Cost: $5/vehicle; $2/dog Phone: 888.327.2757, ext. 4518 Website:

Lake Temescal

6500 Broadway Terrace, Oakland, CA 94618 Hours: 8:00am to 10:00pm Cost: $5/vehicle; $2/dog  Phone:  510.652.1155 Website:

Lake Anza

2501 Grizzly Peak Blvd, Berkeley, CA 94708 Hours: 11:00am to 6:00pm Cost: 1 yr. & under – free; 1-15 yrs. - $2.50; 16-61 years -  $3.50;62 & older - $2.50 Phone: 510.843.2137 Website:

Don Castro Regional  Recreation Area - Lake

22400 Woodroe Ave, Hayward, CA 94541 Hours for swimming: 11:00am to 6:00pm Cost: $5/vehicle; $2/dog Phone: 510.544.3073 Website:


Marin Cou nty

Muir Beach

Highway 1, Mill Valley, CA 94965 Hours: 8am to dusk  Cost: Admission for adults $2 Phone: 415.388.2595 Website:

Stinson Beach

1 Calle Del Sierra, Stinson Beach, CA 949701 Hours: 9:00am to Depends (closing different depending  on the season) Cost: Free Phone: 415.868.0734  Website:

BEACH GUIDE Point Reyes National  Seashore - Ocean

Fort Ord Dunes State Park – Beach

1208 Pierce Point Road, Inverness, CA 94937 Hours: 8:00am to Sunset Cost: $8/parking; $3/dogs Phone: 415.669.1140 Website:

Beach Range Road Marina, CA 93933 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Free Phone: 831.649.2836 Website:   Monterey State Beach  Del Monte Ave at Park Ave,  Monterey, CA 93940 Hours: Call the park Cost: Free Phone: 831.649.2836 Website: 

Drakes Beach

Salinas River State Beach

1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Free Phone: 415.464.5100 Website:

Heartʼs Desire Beach

1 Drake Beach Rd, Inverness, CA 94937 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Free Phone: 415.669.1140 Website:

Monterey Cou nty Andrew Molera – Beach

Big Sur Station #1 Big Sur, CA 93920 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Free Phone: 831.667.2315 Website:  

Asilomar State Beach

Moss Landing, CA 95039 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Free  Phone: 831.649.2836 Website:

San Francic so Cou nty Baker Beach

1504 Perishing Drive, San Francisco, CA 94129 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: None Phone: 415.561.4323 Website:

China Beach

1950 Sunset Dr Pacific Grove, CA 93950 Hours: None Cost: Free Phone: 831.646.6440 Website:

490 Sea Cliff Ave (at El Camino Del Mar) San Francisco, CA 94121 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Free  Phone: 415.561.4323 Website:

Carmel River State Beach

Crissy Field – Ocean 

Carmelo Street, Carmel, CA  93921 Hours: Call the park Cost: Free Phone: 831.649.2836 Website:

1199 E Beach Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129 Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Cost: Free Phone: 415.561.7690 Website: Continued

August 2012


BEACH GUIDE Santa Cru z Cou nty

San Mateo Cou nty

Natural Bridges State Beach

Half Moon Bay

95 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Hours: None Cost: Free Phone: .650.726.8819 Website:

2531 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 94060 Hours: 8:00am to Sunset Cost: Free Phone: 831.425.4609 Website:

Seacliff State Beach  State Park Dr. Aptos, CA 95001 Hours: 8:00am to Sunset Cost: Free Phone: 831.685.6442  Website:

Seascape Beach Resort 

1 Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 Hours: Varies Cost: Varies Phone: 831.688.6800 Website:

William Schlicher, DMD, MS Dr. Will is dedicated to providing your family with exceptional treatment in a modern, professional & comfortable office. • Specialized orthodontics for children & adults • Complimentary initial consultation • In- office digital xray imaging reducing radiation by 50% • Esthetic options include Invisalign, ceramic “clear” braces, & braces behind the teeth • Trained at Harvard & UC San Francisco

(925) 846-3248

1472 Cedarwood Ln., Pleasanton

Spanish Immersion Classes & Camps Engaging curriculum uses music, art & games Experienced, dynamic teachers Ages toddlers to teens Small class sizes Mention ACTIVE KIDS and receive a FREE First time trial class! • 925-962-9177 Alameda • Lafayette • Pleasanton • San Francisco 36 ACTIVE KIDS

6 Tips To Ensure That You and Your Child Are Ready For Back To School! by Tracie Vollgraf

1. Re-Establish School Routines

Use the last few weeks of summer to get back into a daily routine. Of course the kids have been sleeping in and  staying up late.  Time to get them back on track!  Have your child start getting up earlier and doing all of the things  they would normally do on a school day. Plan activities first thing in the morning. If it is something fun, itʼs added incentive and easier to get them out of bed early.  

2. Speaking of Internal Clocks

Time to change their bed time!  Most likely due to summer and the fact that it stays light so late, your kids have been  up way past their normal bed times.  Beginning approximately two weeks before school starts, move their bedtime up  about 15-20 minutes every three days. From the very first day you start adjusting their bedtime, start waking them at  the time theyʼll need to get up for school so they will tire earlier at night.

3. Get caught up on immunizations

Make sure to call your pediatrician and schedule your childʼs yearly check-up and immunizations that are required from your school!  Be sure to get the list of vaccinations your child will need.  

4. Attend Orientations and Teacher Meet and Greet

Meeting your childʼs teacher is a great opportunity to chat with them prior to the chaotic first day of school. Let them know of any special circumstances they should be aware of beforehand. Be sure to attend any information meetings to  keep abreast of the school year ahead.

5. Homework

Whether it is a desk in the study or at the kitchen table, be sure to designate a specific homework area. Also be sure  that the area is stocked with everything your child will need; pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, calculators, etc.  This will  leave less room for excuses.  Establish a homework routine, same time and place each day. Be sure there is an adult  available to help in case they have questions and to check for accuracy when they are done.

6. Be Prepared

Designate a spot where your child can put their backpack and lunchbox each day so they know to grab it before they  go out the door. Let your child know what to do with their dirty lunchbox when they walk in from school each day. Talk to your child about what they can expect from a typical day at school.  If you know of any friends that will be in  their class, let them know.  The more familiar they are with what lies ahead, the less anxious they will be for their first  day! Talk to your kids, answer any questions they might have. Tell them about all the great things they like about school. Tell them about all of their friends they will see and all the new friends they will make.  Talk it up!  Your child  will then be excited about the first day!

August 2012


What You Can Do to Help Prepare Your Preschooler for Kindergarten by Tom Limbert Most parents immediately think of numbers,  letters and colors when they think of early  childhood education and kindergarten  preparedness. But any preschool or  kindergarten teacher will tell you, thereʼs much more to it. There are social and emotional elements that are much-less  quantifiable than the cognitive aspects of development, but just as integral to  a childʼs performance in school. The good news is there are many ways you can help prepare your child for kindergarten in your home on a daily basis.  Just be a bit more alert to learning opportunities. Keep in mind that in order  for the machine that we prefer to call our schooling system to operate  effectively, children will mostly have to be able to focus, follow directions and  respect others.  

That’s where you come in:

• Help young children learn to listen to others and value other peopleʼs perspectives, ideas, and wishes. Simply narrating or pointing your childʼs attention toward another childʼs ideas or actions can help him learn to decenter and broaden his awareness. Help them learn to practice taking turns  talking at home.  • Help children build emotional resiliency by showing them how everyday  problems and frustrations can be solved through language and persistence.  Break problems down into steps for young children so they learn to do it  themselves. Tell them plainly you know they can do it.  • Similarly, help children learn to respect another childʼs perspective and find solutions during social conflicts. Help them learn to express themselves in  clear but appropriate manners. Many children at this age need particular help  learning to listen to other children. Draw their attention to other childrenʼs facial expressions, body movement, and language.   • Help children learn to politely ask adults for help when necessary. Thatʼs a solution!   • Children will have to exhibit patience when they are sharing a classroom  and a teacher with their peers. Be aware of the many natural moments  throughout the day that you can help children practice patience. Acknowledge  when they have done so and note that they eventually got what it was they  wanted. 


• As young children grow, ask and encourage them to be more independent. Putting on clothes and taking care on a household chore are just two daily activities that parents can ask young children to help with. Children actually enjoy helping out and will gain self-esteem when they are able to do things by themselves. The key is your encouraging and supportive tone. You can get them started learning to follow directions by asking them to do two-step tasks: “Can you help me first fold the napkins and then place a fork on each?” Tasks like putting on shoes and peeling an orange build the same fine motor control that will help them hold a pencil. • Speaking of pencils, the more a preschool age child is working with crayons, markers and paper the better. Reward them with new kinds every so often. Better yet, reward them with your attention and interest in their work. You will find it rewarding as well.   • Be aware of over-stimulation. Help young children learn to focus and entertain themselves by designating specific times for quieter, thoughtful play. When children are constantly fixated on television, video games, or frenzied activity, they donʼt learn to concentrate or think for themselves. Open-ended materials like Legos and play-do encourage children to be expressive and creative.   • Formally tell your children that you want them to listen to their teachers and help make their school better for everyone. Every time your child is talking to you, imagine she is talking to another adult or her teacher. If she is not speaking in a respectful tone or manner, ask her to try again. Model respectful tones and language in her presence with others.   • If playing with children doesnʼt come naturally to you, then read to them. When youʼre out of creative ideas, read again. Get more books from the library in subjects your child is interested in. Listen for cues that your child is ready to learn about letters and numbers. Then point out words, signs and numbers wherever you go. Keep it light and playful. Try to refrain from quizzing him and just notice things together. When they are ready to write, help them write the names of their friends or family members. You can also build literacy skills simply by reviewing the course of their day chronologically at night and asking them to tell you the story of their time spent without you. If you demonstrate to them that you respect their interests and abilities, they will be more eager to share them with you. Of course they are all different and all develop different skills at different rates and times.

   Tom Limbert has Masterʼs degrees in both English Literature and Education. He taught in University-based laboratory preschools in the San Francisco Bay Area for fifteen years. Ten of those years were spent at Stanford Universityʼs, Bing Nursery School. Tom is a co-founder and co-owner of Studio Grow, a childrenʼs playspace with two locations in the East Bay Area. Tom is currently working with Chronicle Books on an inspirational parenting book for fathers titled “Coach ʼEm Up”. The book, to be released in the Spring of 2012, will collect together 100 of the best quotes from greatest coaches of all time including John Wooden, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda, Phil Jackson, and many more.




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Next to East Bay Fellowship Church

(925) 648-0500

Applications are still being accepted for the 2012 - 2013 school year, so it’s not too late to take a tour and learn first-hand all about the Stratford difference.

Danville Blackhawk

3201 Camino Tassajara Road Corner of Old Blackhawk Road

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(925) 648-4900

Pleasanton Newpus!4576 Willow Road m a C (925) 737-0001

(408) 973-7365

to speak with our Admissions Services team.

Learn more, visit Preschool State License Number: 073402482, 073406680, 013420939.





Middle School

Kids’ Meal Deals!

Find kidsʼ meal deals & kids eat free restaurants in your area.

Alameda County Alameda:

Bower's Pizza: 1330 Park St., 510.523.7500

Tuesday: Order one large specialty pizza, get one small pizza free.


Armadillo Willy's: 4480 Tassajara Rd,

925.833.0400, Sunday: 1/2 price kids meals all day. Baja Fresh: 4550 Tassajara Rd #1, 925.556.9199 Sundays: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée and drink.


Strings Italian Café: 2205 Las Positas Rd 925.373.1044, Sunday & Monday: Kids eat free with adult meal purchase after 4:00 PM. Denny's: 2259 Las Positas Rd, 925.454.0750, Tuesdays & Saturdays: Kids eat free 4:00 PM -10:00 PM (2 kids/adult). Alberto's Cantina: 435 Main St., 925.462.2316 Monday & Tuesday: Kids eat free with adult meal purchase (all day).

El Torito: 1961 Diamond Blvd, 925.798.7660 Saturday: Kids eat free until 3:00 PM. Johnny Rockets: 301 Sunvalley Mall, 925.798.8335, Wednesday & Thursday: Kids eat free, 5:00 PM to close.


El Nido Mexican Restaurant:

107 Town & Country Dr, 925.820.5330, Monday: Kids eat free with adult meal purchase (5:00 PM - 9:00 PM). Pasta Gondola: 664 San Ramon Valley Blvd, 925.820.1144, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday: Kids eat free with the purchase of adult entrée, 5:00 PM-9:00PM. Basil Leaf Café: 501 Hartz Ave, 925.831.2828 Sunday: Kids eat free. Denny's: 807 Camino Ramon, 925.820.8240, Tuesday & Saturday: Kids eat free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM, (2kids/adult). Mountain Mikes Pizza: 3614 Diablo Blvd, 925.283.6363, Wednesday: Free kids all you can eat buffet (12 & under) with the purchase of an adult buffet. Offer valid from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM.



925.426.6800, Sunday & Monday: Kids eat free with adult meal purchase, all day. Denny's: 6455 Owens Dr., 925.463.0720, Tuesday & Saturday: Kids eat free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM, (2 kids/adult). Fontina Ristorante: 349 Main St., Suite 150 925.462.9299, Monday & Tuesday - Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée (for kids 12 & under) after 4:00 PM.  

Sunday Kids eat free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM; limited to one child per adult.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit: 6654 Koll Center Parkway

Contra Costa County


Fudruckers: 1975 Diamond Blvd, 925.825.1443 Sunday - Saturday: Kids eat for$0.99 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Denny's: 1313 Willow Pass Rd, 925.798.4040 Tuesday & Saturday: Kids eat free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM (2 kids/adult). IHOP: 4619 Clayton Rd, 925.687.1124, Sunday Saturday: Kids eat for free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM; limited to one child per adult. Coco's Bakery Restaurant: 4391 Treat Blvd 925.676.2262, Tuesday & Wednesday: Kids 10 and under eat free after 4:00 PM.


IHOP: 1190 Arnold Dr, 925.228.3322, Saturday-

Pleasant Hill:

Pasta Pomodoro: 45 Crecent Dr, 925.363.9541,

Tuesday: 1 free kids meal per adult entrée purchase. All day. Smokin Okie's BBQ Joint: 1941 Oak Park Blvd, 925.942.0149, Wednesday: 1 free kids meal per adult meal purchases (all day for kids 12 and under). Denny's: 612 Contra Costa Blvd, 925.687.8276, Tuesday & Saturday: Kids eat free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM, (2 kids/adult). Sweet Tomatoes: 40-A Crescent Dr, 925.676.8493, Sunday - Saturday: Kids 2 & under eat free all day.

San Ramon:

Chevy's Fresh Mex: 8080 San Ramon Valley

Blvd, 925.327.1910, Tuesday: Kids eat free all day. Limit one child per adult. Ages 12 & under. Applebee's:17900 San Ramon Valley Blvd, 925.327.1400 Wednesday: Kids eat for $1.99 with the purchase of an adult entrée from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM; limited to one child per adult.

Kids’ Meal Deals!

cont. Find kidsʼ meal deals & kids eat free restaurants in your area. Pasta Pomodoro:146 Sunset Dr. , 925.867.1407,  Tuesday: 1 free kids meal per adult meal purchase, all day.

Walnut Creek:

Fudruckers: 1940 North Main St., 925.943.1450,  Sunday - Saturday: Kids eat for $0.99 from 4:00 PM  to 9:00 PM.      IHOP: 2910 North Main St.,925.938.3111,  Sunday - Saturday: Kids eat for free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM;  limited to one child per adult.

East County Antioch:


Shirasoni Japanese Restaurant: 6367  Lone Tree Way, 925.240.7808, Tuesday Specials: 1 free  kids meal per adult meal purchased 4:30-Close. Strings Italian Café: 2500 San Creek Rd,  925.513.6513, Sunday & Monday: Kids eat free with  adult meal purchase after 4:00 PM.


Black Bear Diner: 3201 Main St., 

925.625.3555, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday: Kids eat free with the purchase of adult entrée,  4:00 PM - 7:00 PM.

Denny's: 2006 Somersville Rd, 925.754.1360 

Tuesday & Saturday: Kids eat free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM,  (2 kids/adult). Denny's: 4823 Lone Tree Way, 925.757.5105  Tuesdays & Saturdays: Kids eat free 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM  (2 kids/adult).

August 2012

*Special offers may expire or change at restaurant  discretion. Call to confirm current specials.


Bright Horizons at Dublin Art Creations Festival Join Us Saturday, August 18, 2012 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Join us for a fun-filled event for the whole family! Bright Horizons at Dublin 7035 Dublin Blvd Dublin, CA 94538 925.479.9573

Save the Date for an Afternoon of Art Festivities • Performance by Cotton Candy Express • Bracelet and Clay Sculpture Making • Face and Canvas Painting

Daily offers for moms, by moms up to

80% off 44 ACTIVE KIDS

Bulldog Soccer 4 Day Camp

with Coach Quang Superior Technical training, Player Development & Fun, Positive Environment • Age appropriate camps    (Lunch included) • July -  August 2012 • Ages 5 - 12

Mention Active Kids & receive an exclusive $50 special discount! Register today! • 925.212.2682

Fit N Fast Kids

Promoting a Healthy & Active Lifestyle for Future Athletes

• Become quicker, faster, more agile, improve balance      & coordination, hand/eye coordination & more! • Exposure to all types of sports; baseball,      basketball, football, soccer & volleyball • Build confidence & a love for sports! • Ages 18 Mos. - 6 years Fit N Fast Kids trains at Velocity Sports in Dublin

Mention Active Kids for the FIRST CLASS FREE ! (exp. 12/21/12) Register at or 925.212.2682

Camp Concord Family Vacation Building Lifelong Memories by Tracie Vollgraf

Most of us are aware of the fact that Lake Tahoe offers a plethora of family  entertainment. However, we discovered a hidden gem by the name of Camp  Concord. Acquired by the City of Concord in 1967, Camp Concord sits on 29  acres in South Lake Tahoe just a hop, skip and a jump from Camp Richardson.   Surrounded by beautiful forest, and across the street from picturesque Baldwin  Beach, Camp Concord encompasses 18 family cabins, a dining hall (where  breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily) and an activity schedule that offers  hours upon hours of family fun and adventure. Providing families with affordable  family vacations for over 45 years, Camp Concord is truly a treasure that you  donʼt often find. My family of six recently visited Camp Concord with a large group of camp  veterans who were on their fourth consecutive year.  On any given week you will  run into families who have been coming to Family Camp for years. When I asked  Stacy Pollicino, a mother of six year old twins, Tori and Tessa, what her favorite  thing about Camp Concord was she stated that “it is family time and the fact that  my children have the ability to run free and be kids”. She also said “the minute  the kids leave Camp Concord they immediately start asking how many days until  they can go back”.  Thus the countdown begins. Steve Voorhies, the Parks Program Manager for the City of Concord shares an  interesting history with Camp Concord. He has been frequenting Camp Concord  for more than 30 years, beginning at age 12. His first visit to Camp Concord was  the result of a scholarship offered to underprivileged kids to attend the now  defunct Youth Program. He mentioned that the camp literally changed his outlook  on life. During a time when a teenage boy could have gotten into trouble and  strayed in the wrong direction, Camp Concord offered him stability, solace and a  place to belong. He made lifelong friends, communed with nature and  experienced things that he would not have otherwise had the opportunity to do,  all while building everlasting memories. Steve came back each summer. At 15 he volunteered to in the work in the  kitchen; at 18 he worked as camp counselor and after graduating college,  worked as the Assistant Director and thereafter Camp Director. Here he had the  good fortune to meet his wife, Claire, who was then working as a counselor on a  cultural exchange visa from Australia. He majored in Recreation, choosing that  field because of all of his positive experiences at Camp Concord. Now visiting  Family Camp yearly with his wife and three small children, Camp Concord is a  “home away from home” and a tradition he will pass down to his own kids.   


Steve stated that “Camp Concord is my favorite place”. To say Camp Concord changed his life and altered his path would be an understatement. Steveʼs story is one of many and it is amazing to hear how countless people share a  long-standing relationship with this very special place. To state that my four children six and under had a good time at Camp Concord  would be putting it mildly. In a time when children are connected to every digital  device known to man, they were able to unplug and enjoy nature, experience the  simplicity of play, imagination, creativity and good olʼ basic fun! We were able to engage and bond as a family, to partake in the many planned activities that  Camp Concord has to offer and supply them with everlasting childhood  memories. Camp Concord isnʼt just a family vacation, but an amazing family experience that builds lifelong traditions.  

Camp Concord Day One

Arrived in camp; checked into our cabin; unloaded and headed over to the  dining hall for dinner; turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls and  salad...yum! (The very best part was Mom didnʼt have to cook…or clean!) Headed over to the Green Room where we played a few board games with the  kids, then set out for a walk in the forest before dark.  Headed to the campfire  and enjoyed some conversation and stories before bed time.  

Day Two

Awakened to fresh air and birds chirping, ventured to breakfast then kids went  to first of two ʻKids Hoursʼ. We then had the choice to partake in a hike to Fallen Leaf Lake for some mid-day canoeing or venture off on our own.  Opted  for a few hours at Baldwin Beach. Kids then enjoyed their second ʻKids Hourʼ in the afternoon with their counselors, while Moms and Dads enjoyed social  hour.  After dinner we headed to the campfire again where the children  provided us with songs, skits and entertainment they had rehearsed early in the  day with their counselors.  

Day Three

Wake up and head to breakfast at Pope Beach! A large spread of eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit, coffee, mimosas (parents only!) and more welcomed us as we arrived at the beach.  Enjoyed the activities, games and amazing 82°  beach weather. Rented a kayak, paddle board and paddle boat right on the  beach from Kayak Tahoe: Sack lunches were delivered to all families at noon!  Back to camp for dinner and optional volleyball and  campfire.  

Day Four

Choice of rafting or Meeks Bay, we headed to the beach!  Catered BBQ lunch  by the staff on the beach (what a view). Counselors took the kids crawdad fishing which was deemed their “favorite” activity of the weekend.  Time to  pack up and head home! Thank you Camp Concord!  Until next year.

Camp Concord (925)671-3449

August 2012


Life Begins at ValleyCare G

iving birth is one of life’s most joyous experiences. That’s why our physicians make your health and comfort, and the health of your baby their top priority. Along with our advanced treatment capabilities, our physicians, nurses, and specialists provide you and your baby with the support and encouragement needed to make your birth experience a memory you’ll always treasure.

ValleyCare Medical Foundation OB/GYNs Scott D. Eaton, MD John Nunes, MD William Phillips, MD Jennifer Salata, MD* Sonia Santana, DO Gabrielle Schaefer, MD Laura Silverstein, MD* Nicole Jeffrey-Starr, MD Rebecca Stone, MD* *Coming in September

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Active Kids August 2012  
Active Kids August 2012  

Active Kids Magazine