Growing Up Chico Fall 2023

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Cover Photography by: Wild Sage Portraits

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Diane Nicole Photography is home to two brands: Wild Sage Portraits is Diane Nicole's family brand and all about capturing the fleeting moments. Her commercial brand, Social Lifestyle Photography, focuses on visuals for branding your business and headshots.

On The Cover: The Bowen Family

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Growing Up Chico Magazine is published quarterly and available, free, at over 200 family-friendly locations throughout Butte County. We are also available online at

Shelly Brandon

Shelly is Mom to two daughters, one in college and the other in high school. She is an avid traveler, and a lover of animals and the outdoors. She has been a high school biology teacher, a zookeeper, and lately, a freelance writer.

Maddie Rodriguez

Maddie Rodriguez is a writer and editor living in Chico. She loves animals and nature and a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

For Advertising Information, Contact Jason Corona: Sales Director (530) 591-2634

Aveed Khaki


(530) 519-5683

Tim Milhorn

Born and raised in Chico, Tim graduated from Chico High and Chico State. He is an English teacher at Orland High School and soccer coach for Butte United, Orland High, and Butte College. He was also awarded California Interscholastic Federation Model Coach of the Year, 2020-2021.

Michaela Golightly-Gulbransen

Michaela is the regional administrator for High School Exchange Students through ICES ( She is passionate about foreign exchange and the impacts of raising culturally aware children. She is a proud mom to 3 kids ages 7, 5, and 4. Michaela is a life long learner and enjoys having great conversations over coffee.

Aimee Wright

Aimee Wright enjoys camping, hiking, and tending to her garden alongside her husband and their two daughters, aged 11 and 9. Aimee recently celebrated her twentieth year as an educator, and teaches kindergarten at Achieve Charter School in Chico.

Copyright © 2023 by Growing Up Chico Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproductions without permission are prohibited. Articles and advertisements found in Growing Up Chico Magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management or ownership. We reserve the right to edit. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings, and omissions. If an error is found, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us of the mistake.

To Be a Child's Voice: Helping ensure no child is alone, CASA provides advocacy and support to children in the foster care system.

Teacher Feature: Mr. Saechao! Get to know Nai Saechao—farmer, father of four, and teacher/coach extraordinaire at Ophir Elementary in Oroville.

PMG Pediatrics: Drs Logan and Mallory, the driving force behind Paradise Medical Group Pediatrics, strive for excellence and longevity in healthcare.

Havenscourt: The new center is promoting healthy families and a thriving community with higher learning childcare and a hub of family resources.


Screentime: Tim Milhorn explores the zombiemaker—how it affects us behaviorally and some thoughts on when enough is more than enough.

Back to School Parent Hack: Michaela GolightlyGulbransen shares some hacks to make parent life just a little easier this school year.

Thinking Outside the (Crayon) Box: Educator Aimee Wright provides back-to-school tips and a checklist you won't want to miss.

Investing For Their Future: Compound interest and a number of tax-advantaged plans are on your side when it comes to investing for your child's future. Check out our tips on getting started early!

Fall Fun

Butte County Pumpkin Patches! Pumpkin patch season is back in full swing! Join us as we discover the best in Butte County and explore ways to enjoy them for young and young-at-heart alike!

Recipe: Pumpkin Loaf: There are few recipes that say autumn quite like pumpkin loaf, and we have an easy one you can prepare with the kids!

Keeping Kids Engaged as They Return to School: The Clarks provide some ideas on raising healthier, stronger, and more confident kids.

Fall Calendar: Autumn is finally here with cooler temperatures and a whole list of must-visit events throughout August, September, and October.

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To Be a Child's Voice

The world of a foster child can be difficult, full of instability and uncertainty—different homes, different schools, and different families. The comfort and security of having one person remain a constant amidst all these changes is invaluable. CASA volunteers are those constants.

A CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate’s mission is to provide advocacy and support to children in the foster system and dependency court. Lisa Michels, NVCSS CASA Regional Training Coordinator shares, “We would love to have every kiddo have a CASA, but we do not have enough volunteers. In our area, we usually have around 1,400 kids that are in care, and we have about 140 CASAs.” So, unfortunately, not every child gets one. Volunteers come from all walks of life—teachers, ranchers, attorneys, retirees, and stay-at-home parents. Each person brings their individual life experiences and their own connections to the foster child they’re paired with. The most important quality is simply the ability to be with that child. Tina Wolfe is the CASA Supervisor for Butte County and encourages

volunteers by advising, “You’re not being tasked with solving all of the problems for this child. You are alongside them in their foster care experience—learning about them and being with them. You’re getting to know who they are so you can provide information to the court that they don’t get from anyone else.”

In the juvenile dependency court system, everyone has an attorney assigned to them, but those attorneys could have 200 to 400 other cases. There is also a social worker assigned to the case, but again, they have a caseload of 20-40 families. The idea behind the creation of CASA back in the 1970s was that it would foster a one-on-one connection between the volunteer and the youth. In this way, volunteers learn about the child's wants and needs and are then able to advocate for them in court. Lisa says the most important aspect of the CASA system is that they don’t have an agenda with the kids and are there to really look at the child as a whole. They aim to discover their needs, determine if they are being met, advocate for them, and then report back to the judge as an officer


of the court. These volunteers will be that child’s person throughout their time in the foster system, following them until they’ve been reunified with their family or placed in a permanent home. They may help organize appointments with therapists, social workers, and case managers. CASAs aid in coordinating meetings to get the child into sports they’re interested in or enroll in an art class they’d like to try. The special bond created from this pairing enables the volunteer to get a different perspective on what’s going on in the child’s life. They meet with them out in the community, sometimes at school, or the library, or even taking them out on normal everyday errands like the grocery store and car wash. One CASA child used to share, “That’s my bench there,” pointing to a seat in front of Shubert’s Ice Cream, because that was where he and his CASA volunteer would meet and spend their time together.

Volunteers must be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, attend orientation, and participate in continuing education throughout the year. The initial training includes discussions on what it’s like to be a CASA, mandated reporting duties, different types of child placements, and recommendations on how to be a good partner to their child. Training also includes the opportunity to attend court in order to experience firsthand how CASAs advocate for their child to the judge. Tina emphasizes, “CASA volunteers don’t do it alone. As CASA supervisors, we are with every volunteer throughout the whole process. If they need us for any reason, we’re there.” This year, they will hold a late summer training session beginning August 23rd with an application deadline of August 9th and will offer another training session in October. These training sessions are virtual and include Butte, Glenn, Tehama, and Shasta counties. The community can support CASA in other ways if they’re not able to serve as a volunteer. This summer, they’ll hold the CASA Soirée on August 26th at White Ranch in Chico in an effort to raise funds for their regional program. Additional details on fundraisers and volunteer opportunities can be found on their webpage at

Being a CASA volunteer can change a child’s story. Many continue to hear back from their child even into adulthood to celebrate and share in their achievements. Lisa has said, “We plant seeds, and they all germinate at different times.” That change in the child’s story may be apparent early in their time with CASA or may not manifest itself until the child is an adult, but the impact these volunteers have on the youth is undeniable.

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Butte County Pumpkin Patches: A Fall Delight for Locals and Visitors

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Northern California, Butte County boasts an abundance of natural beauty, diverse agricultural heritage, and charming rural experiences. As the leaves begin to turn, and the crisp air signals the arrival of fall, residents and visitors alike eagerly anticipate the seasonal delight of pumpkin patches in Butte County. These cherished destinations offer an enchanting escape, immersing visitors in the essence of autumn and providing an opportunity to create lasting memories.

Butte County's pumpkin patches are not just places to pick pumpkins; they are immersive experiences that cater to individuals of all ages. From families seeking traditional harvest festivities to couples seeking a romantic stroll through the vibrant pumpkin fields, there is something for everyone in these charming agrarian havens.

For families, pumpkin patches serve as prime destinations for cherished seasonal outings. Little ones revel in the joy of choosing their pumpkins, carefully inspecting each one for the perfect shape and size. Amidst the orange sea of pumpkins, activities like corn mazes, hayrides, petting zoos, and pony rides add an extra layer of excitement to the day. Parents and children bond over carving pumpkins and sipping hot apple cider, fostering a sense of togetherness and nostalgia.

Beyond the pumpkin-centric activities, many patches showcase local artisan goods and delicious seasonal treats. From freshly baked pumpkin pies to pumpkinspiced jams, visitors are treated to an array of palate-pleasing options. The scent of cinnamon and nutmeg fills the air, providing an unmistakable aroma of fall, while farm

stands offer fresh produce for those who wish to take home a piece of Butte County's agricultural bounty.

These pumpkin patches are not limited to family outings; they are also popular destinations for friends and parents seeking a fun day out. The enchanting ambiance and scenic surroundings set the perfect stage for a romantic date or a relaxing afternoon among friends. As the golden rays of autumn sunshine filter through the pumpkin vines, couples can wander handin-hand, capturing the beauty of the season and enjoying the simple pleasure of being together.

For those seeking a deeper connection to farm life, some pumpkin patches offer educational experiences. Visitors can gain insights into the agricultural practices that bring these pumpkins to fruition. They


can learn about sustainable farming, responsible land stewardship, and supporting local agriculture. Such experiences cultivate a greater appreciation for the hard work of farmers and the significance of sustainable practices in today's world. In our opinion, this is the perfect opportunity to turn a fun outing into something that will remain in the hearts and minds of children for years to come.

The popularity of pumpkin patches in Butte County also extends to school field trips. Teachers often organize outings to pumpkin patches, where students learn about the lifecycle of pumpkins, the history of agriculture in the region, and the importance of seasonal crops. These educational trips foster a sense of community and encourage environmental awareness among the younger generation.

Butte County's pumpkin patches offer a heartwarming celebration of the fall season, embracing the spirit of agriculture and family fun. From picking the perfect pumpkin to engaging in an array of festive activities, visitors are immersed in the timeless charm of autumn. Whether you're a local seeking tradition, or a traveler in search of a genuine rural experience, Butte County's pumpkin patches are sure to captivate your heart and leave you with cherished memories of a day well-spent amidst the beauty of the harvest season.

Some of our favorites

Book Family Farm

153 Heavy Horse Lane, Durham (530) 342-4375 |

Book Family Farm is a cherished agricultural gem in Northern California. This familyowned farm offers an authentic and immersive experience, providing visitors with a glimpse into the region's rich farming heritage. From their seasonal pumpkin patch to delightful farm tours and events, Book Family Farm captivates guests of all ages. With a commitment to sustainable practices and community engagement, the farm fosters a deeper understanding of agriculture while creating lasting memories for families, friends, and curious visitors alike. It's a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an enchanting rural experience in Butte County.

TJ Farms

3600 Chico Avenue, Chico (530) 343-2294 |

TJ Farms is a charming and historic destination that exemplifies Butte County's agricultural legacy. This picturesque venue offers a delightful blend of rustic beauty and modern amenities, making it a popular choice for weddings, special events, and celebrations. Each year, TJ Farms opens the farm to the public for seasonal festivals—the most popular being their fall pumpkin patch. Over the years it has become a tradition for families to gather together in search of the perfect pumpkin, and each year they strive to bring something new and fun to the farm to enchant the entire family. Groups are always welcome, but please call ahead to schedule.


Pumpkin Loaf

Fall is home to countless delicious recipes, but few check all the boxes quite like a warm slice of pumpkin loaf. Sweet and filling, it's something the entire family will love! Better yet, the recipe is quick and straightforward, making it the perfect way to engage kids in the kitchen and bake something together that they'll be just as happy creating as they will be devouring.


- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

- 3/4 teaspoon salt

- 2 large eggs, at room temperature

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar

- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

- 1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

- 1/2 cup vegetable oil

- 1/4 cup orange juice


Place rack towards bottom of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a metal 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until combined. Whisk in the orange juice, pumpkin, and oil. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together using a wooden spoon.

Pour batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 60–65 minutes and loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from browning too much. The bread is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. This could be before or after 60–65 minutes depending on your oven, so check every 5 minutes at the 50 minute mark. Allow to cool, slice, and serve! Bon apétit!

The Screen Generation

If your child was not enrolled in a public or private school during the “Covid Year” you might be luckier than you think. The millions of children who experienced “remote learning” that year became the participants of an unintended experiment: off-site learning. This meant learning by and large via Chrome Books at home. Add to that the TV time, electronic game time, and—especially for kids ages 12 to 18—the “added bonus” of phone time, and you have a recipe for disaster.

With the lockdown, limited access to outside trips for shopping, the playground, team sports, going to restaurants, or just plain going outside and interacting with friends and relatives became the norm. So, what did kids turn to? The screen. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and school counselors are learning about the aftereffects of the lockdown. So are teachers, many of whom describe phone usage in schools as a severe addiction. They are not alone.

National surveys indicate tweens, teens, and beyond are more anxious than ever before, with alarming spikes in anxiety, depression, and suicide. A newer condition called “texting anxiety” has arisen. It occurs after a person sends a text and doesn’t receive a timely response—usually just a few minutes.

The longer a sender waits for a response, the more anxiety builds. They begin to question themselves. “What did I do?” “How come they’re not texting back?” “Why are they ghosting me?”

It’s only going to get worse as younger and younger children clamor for mommy and daddy’s phones. The problem is more prevalent than ever, with parents using the phone or tablet as a babysitter. And after all, who are the role models for these kids? Older siblings, parents, and grandparents are on their phones for hours a day.

According to a recent Consumer Media report, 42% of ten-year-olds have phones; 71% of 12-year-olds; and 91% of 14-yearolds. Most smartphone studies have focused on older teenagers due to the fact they’ve had a large amount of phone use. Teenagers and college-aged students use their phones more than anyone, but those stats are moving upward to older adults and downward to children under five.

A study in Japan of 1,642 first graders determined there’s a link between smartphone technology and behavioral development. Researchers found that routine and frequent use of mobile devices appears to be associated with behavioral

problems in the age group. The World Health Organization identified the risks with young children using smartphone technology. Their findings state that children between two and four should spend no more than one hour a day in front of any type of screen. No doubt, children are excited about phones at an early age. They know how to play games, watch videos, take photographs, and Facetime with Grandma and Grandpa. When they can, they beg for Mom or Dad’s phone. But how old should a child be when they get their first phone?

An informal survey of 100 high school juniors selected the age a child should have a full-access smartphone: 14. Many of them had phones at 12, but even now at 16, they understand the pros and cons of smartphone ownership. The real question is not one of age but making the introduction of a phone at the developmentally appropriate age. It also depends on the type of smartphone. If you want your child to be able to call you, take pictures, text, and have a GPS locator app, there are plenty of choices, including GABB and BARK, which may be a great place to start.

Of course, it’s up to parents to make the choice for their kids and set limits for them. The call is yours to make. Choose wisely.


The Dream Achieved

When Nai Saechao immigrated from a refugee camp in Thailand to the US in 1988 with his parents and siblings, they had a dream of achieving success in their new homeland. 25 years later—with hard work, dedication, and motivation being mainstays in the family—The American Dream is a reality for the Saechaos. It began with three acres of blackberries in 1996 and has expanded to include blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. That small farmstead expanded over the years and provided enough income to send Nai and his siblings to earn college degrees: three nurses, a construction manager, and a teacher.

Nai became the teacher and has enjoyed much success teaching at various grade levels at Ophir Elementary in Oroville. He has taught for 11 years in a variety of grade levels, including a second-third grade combo, fourth grade, sixth, and currently fifth grade. It is an age group he really enjoys. “I get to know the kids, their backgrounds, family life, and build positive relationships,” said Nai. “I enjoy providing opportunities for my students and getting them to enjoy school so they want to be here every day,” he added.

One way Nai has achieved this is through sports. He has coached basketball and

soccer, and just this year was able to coach track. “Sports is all about forming relationships,” he said. “We create a positive environment for the athletes.” It’s also something Saechao does in his classroom, where he teaches math, P.E., and art in a co-teaching situation. Curriculum centers around high expectations but without a lot of pressure.

Nai is proud to be a positive role model in school and in his family’s Mien culture. “My parents were very supportive of all of us and promoted going to college. They also instilled in us a strong work ethic,” he said. This is evidenced by the time Nai puts in on the berry farm in the summer, where he can often be found working from dawn till dusk. Then, he travels around the valley to farmers’ markets selling their produce. Yoon Chao Farms has been a member of the Chico Farmers Market for twenty years. Nai and his wife, Meui, are instilling the same values and work ethic Nai’s parents instilled in their own children: Landon, 14; Channing, 11; Jordyn, 8; and Klay, 5.

If you want to sample some of Nai Saechao's famous Yoon Chao Berries, come on out to the local farmer’s market where you’ll perhaps find him putting in some of those countless summer hours.

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Keeping Kids Engaged as They Return to School

Back to school marks an exciting time of renewal and new beginnings for students, teachers, and parents alike. As summer draws to a close, backpacks are filled with fresh supplies, and classrooms come alive with anticipation. It's a moment to reunite with friends, meet new teachers, and embark on another year of learning and growth. From the nervous excitement of the first day, to the familiarity that settles in over time, back to school represents an invaluable opportunity for students to expand their knowledge, explore new interests, and create lasting memories in the pursuit of education.

Preparing children for this change is no easy task, but keeping them engaged with fun confidence-building activities can go a long way in making the transition easier. The

following are a few easy ideas to keep kids engaged, entertained, and ready to head back to school.

Get creative with sidewalk chalk!

Sidewalk chalk is a magical tool that unlocks boundless creativity in kids. With a simple box of colorful chalk, children can transform dull pavements into vibrant canvases for their imaginations to run wild. The act of drawing, doodling, and creating with sidewalk chalk encourages self-expression, unleashes artistic talents, and nurtures a sense of accomplishment in young minds.

Sidewalk chalk provides a unique sensory experience as kids feel the texture of the chalk against the pavement and watch their ideas come to life. This tactile engagement fosters fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, benefiting their overall development.

Beyond individual expression, sidewalk chalk also nurtures social interaction and collaboration. Kids can collaborate on massive murals, play interactive games like hopscotch, or engage in friendly artistic competitions, fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

Moreover, as children's drawings are temporary, they learn that art can be impermanent and that mistakes are part of the creative process. This encourages them to experiment fearlessly, reinforcing a growth mindset.

Overall, sidewalk chalk is more than just a playful pastime; it's a gateway to unbridled creativity, self-discovery, and joyful learning that leaves behind a trail of colorful memories for kids to cherish.


Engage them with yoga!

Yoga is a wonderful practice for kids and adults alike, promoting physical, emotional, and mental well-being. By combining playful movements, interactive poses, and breathing exercises to encourage relaxation and self-awareness, yoga can be an experience the whole family can enjoy together, creating a valuable bonding experience. Practicing yoga also helps children develop flexibility, balance, and coordination while enhancing body awareness and mindfulness.

Beyond the physical benefits, yoga fosters emotional regulation, reduces stress, and enhances concentration and focus. It provides a safe space for kids to explore their feelings, express themselves, and develop resilience. Through fun and imaginative activities, children learn essential life skills, such as patience, empathy, and self-compassion.

You’ll likely find that yoga with your kids is an experience filled with joy, laughter, and creativity. Allow them the space for trial and error and remember they’re still perfecting advanced motor functions; there’s a good chance they won’t be able to master most poses quickly. Making the practice enjoyable and accessible can plant the seeds for a lifetime of well-being and holistic self-care.

Remember to reward! The things that may seem commonplace for you and I can be taxing on little ones. Remember, they're always looking to earn our approval, even in fun activities, so they'll likely give it their all, physically and emotionally. Don't forget to reward them for their commitment, determination, and bravery, especially when trying something new. Create a fun experience you all can enjoy, like an ice cream sundae party, where you can reward them and encourage their creativity at the same time. Let them have fun, get messy, and expand their horizons with various colors, shapes, and textures to create something as unique as they are. Most of all, don't forget to have fun!


More Than Just...

Sometimes a pediatrician is more than just someone who diagnoses illnesses and prescribes medicine. Sometimes they’re a hand to hold when your family needs help, an ear when you need someone to listen, a warm safe place for your child, and a source of information to help make things better. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to have that pediatrician right in your own backyard.

Dr. James Logan and Dr. Susan Mallory are the pediatricians everyone hopes to find. They helped establish Paradise Medical Group on the Ridge in 2001 and practiced there until the Camp Fire which resulted in the relocation of their pediatric office to Chico. Both Dr. Logan and Dr. Mallory were nurses prior to attending medical school and have that additional insight into bedside manner and patient care. Dr. Logan started out with the intention of going into family practice, but after a few days of being on a pediatric rotation he says, “I remember thinking, ‘Why am I just so much happier now?’” He changed all his residency plans at that moment because he realized pediatrics was where he belonged. Dr. Mallory shares that she’s always loved working with children and had been a pediatric nurse prior to medical school. This position further solidified her desire to continue focusing on children’s healthcare. “I just love seeing them as newborns and watching them as they grow and develop and finally

become teenagers. It’s just very fun, having that continuity.” Both doctors have been practicing and part of the community long enough that they’re now seeing patients they saw as newborns, bringing their own children into the office. “That’s fun, we really get to know the families and the kids well.”

Dr. Mallory says, “I see my job as even if I can’t cure them, I can make things better. I’m here to give parents the knowledge they need to raise their kids and deal with problems. It’s not just about diagnosing and treating.” Stomach flu, for example, is a self-resolving illness, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful for parents or less uncomfortable for children. Dr. Mallory shares how important it is to teach parents how to treat the symptoms, ensure the patient doesn’t get dehydrated by making sure they get enough fluids, and deal with painful gastrointestinal cramping. She teaches them what’s normal, what’s not normal, and what indications may require them to come back in. Dr. Logan chimes in adding, “But if we can teach them things so they don’t get sick as often—to change their diets a little, add some vitamin D in the winter, more exercise, less screen time, and the importance of vaccinations—” that’s the goal. Often parents already know the importance of these things, but hearing it from a trusted source helps give more weight to the ideas and reminds them of the

effects they have on their children’s health.

Health isn’t composed of physicality alone, but a combination of so much more. Both doctors credit their medical training at Loma Linda University, which somewhat pioneered the idea of whole-person care, as the motivation behind their attention to all aspects of a child’s well-being. Dr. Mallory explains how rewarding it is to be able to make a difference in a child’s life now that will last an entire lifetime. “Not only with treating diseases and problems but also with teaching them healthy living; both physical and emotional. We’re blessed in our practice that we can help them with spiritual health as well.” Dr. Logan acknowledges that not everyone has the same belief system as they do, and they respect that fact but are able to draw on their faith to bring a sense of compassion, kindness, and attentiveness to their patient care.

If you’re looking for a pediatric practice that’s more than you expect, that treats the whole child and not just the illness, contact Paradise Medical Group Pediatrics. They are located at 1010 Mangrove Avenue, Suite A in Chico with hours Monday through Thursday 9 AM - 5 PM, and Fridays from 9 AM - 12 PM. They can be reached through their website at or 530-877-KIDS.


Hacks for a Successful Back-to-School from a Busy Mom of Three

Mood Matters: Mornings can be so hard on all of us. Why not start the day with a favorite song, words of affirmation, or use Alexa as an alarm that wakes them up with a fun fact or the weather? If you feel compelled to go a step further, I love to write sticky notes for my kids on the bathroom mirror or bedroom door with uplifting messages to boost their confidence and set a positive tone for the day.

Confidence-Building Outfits: I know this is easier said than done while you cringe with some of the combos they put together, but being part of helping your child feel confident by letting them choose outfits that make them feel good about themselves is such a great way to connect. I love this time together to see how they express their creativity and autonomy. I encourage their unique style but also give them suggestions. Disclaimer: If they don’t opt in to help prepare the night before, then I get to be the chief outfitter that day—no ifs, ands, or buts.

Create a Family Command Center: Set up an area at home where you can keep track of homework, an anthology of best work, and papers to sign. I use labeled baskets and have found if I have the kids put them in the coordinated spots directly, things don’t

get lost, and it establishes an automated routine. This teaches them responsibility, organization, and gives them a role in their success, which helps their overall confidence. I take this one step further with a backpack station near the door where your child can keep their backpack, shoes, and outerwear. This has really cut down on time looking for misplaced items.

Lunchbox Love: I look forward to randomly slipping notes, riddles, or jokes into their lunchboxes for them to find. If you don’t have time to make them yourself, I found

some little rip-out booklets of knock-knock jokes, cute sayings, and affirmations for purchase at Scrubbs Carwash and The Grateful Bean Coffee House in Chico.

Parent-Teacher Teamwork: Establish a relationship with their teacher right out the gate. Don’t wait until your child is struggling to communicate with them. This collaboration demonstrates to your child that their education is a team effort. I also make sure we practice asking for help, talk about who can help them when they are struggling with frustration, and how important gratitude is in our culture and how to demonstrate it.

Use a Shared Digital Calendar: Utilize shared online calendars to keep track of family members’ schedules, extracurricular activities, and school events. It helps everyone stay on top of their commitments. I personally love the app 'Family Wall', and I’ve been using the app 'Structured' to help me with time management reminders. It has helped me immensely! I’m one of those people who suffer from chronically late syndrome because I am overly optimistic about how much time is needed for my giant daily to-do list. I have really been improving since adding these apps to my daily routine and consistently using them.

My hope for you, as you prepare to start the school year, is that you gained a new idea to implement and make your own. I wish you confidence and a positive parenting mindset because modeling is the most important tool you have available to you. Good Luck; you got this!

23 Our Hours are: Wednesday-Sunday 10am to 6pm Contact us at: 530-343-2294 Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @tjfarmsestates Weekend Features: Hayrides! Product tasting! Feeding the animals! And so much more! NOVEMBER Swan Lake November 11, 2023 | Cascade Theatre, Redding | 7:30 p.m. November 12, 2023 | Laxson Auditorium, Chico | 2:00 p.m. FEBRUARY Mozart Requiem February 17, 2024 | Laxson Auditorium, Chico | 7:30 p.m. February 18, 2024 | Cascade Theatre, Redding | 2:00 p.m. MAY Sounds of the Cinema May 11, 2024 | Cascade Theatre, Redding | 7:30 p.m. May 12, 2024 | Laxson Auditorium, Chico | 2:00 p.m. MARCH YOUTH CONCERTS Extraordinary Beethoven March 5, 2024 | Cascade Theatre, Redding March 6, 2024 | State Theatre, Red Bluff March 7, 2024 | Laxson Auditorium, Chico Tickets Available 2023–2024 SEASON Ovation DONORS AUGUST 1–3 SUB SCRIBERS AUGUST 8–10 SINGLE TICKETS AUGUST 15

How Havenscourt Lends a Helping Hand

The Oroville Southside Community Improvement Association has been meeting the needs of South Oroville since 2009, providing services like Haven of Hope on Wheels, a mobile hygiene unit that serves the homeless by giving them a place to take a shower, do a load of laundry, and get a haircut. OSCIA’s newest branch is Havenscourt Family Resource Center. “We have been working tirelessly getting this resource center off the ground,” Breauna Hodnett, Havenscourt’s director, says. “Our goal is to transform this place into a hub of fulfillment. Our passion lies in preventing anyone from leaving our center without vital access to the indispensable skills, tools, knowledge, and services required for a triumphant journey through life.” The Resource Center offers case management, housing support, mental health resources, support groups, workshops, résumébuilding, and skills development.

In addition to the Family Resource Center, is Havenscourt Higher Learning Childcare Center. While it is open to all, the Center’s goal is to be able to cater to parents and caregivers who work odd hours such as: law enforcement officers, nurses, doctors, emergency service dispatchers, firefighters, truck drivers, hospitality staff, and those in the casino industry. They are currently open from 5 AM to midnight, but within the year they will be open 24 hours a day, offering flexibility and peace of mind to adults who have struggled to find childcare

to suit their needs and changing schedules. With over 30 years of experience in child education, Shannon Tomlin, Havenscourt’s childcare director says, “Extended highquality childcare is not just a convenience, but a necessity for professionals who work these odd-hour jobs. It ensures that these dedicated individuals can focus on their vital roles in society, knowing their children are well-cared for and nurtured in a safe environment”. This fall, the Center will provide transportation services for participants receiving care through Havenscourt, ensuring convenient afterschool care for our valued community members. The Center follows a Reggio Emilia approach to learning, based on the belief that parents and the wider community have a collective responsibility for children. They implement a STEAM-based curriculum in seven different classrooms for children 0 to 12. “Our dedicated team of 18 teachers at Havenscourt is thrilled to provide highquality care to children at the center. We are passionate about creating a nurturing environment where every child can learn, grow and thrive,” says Shannon.

These new programs offer considerable resources to those in Butte County, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. “We’re going to create an expansive community garden. This garden will not only provide an opportunity for families to connect and contribute but also offer invaluable insights into the world of nutrition. We strongly believe in

the power of collaboration and working together to achieve greater success than we could ever achieve individually. By shifting the narrative and modeling the concept of strength and unity, we aspire to create a strong and supportive community where everyone can thrive and reach new heights.”

Havenscourt Family Resource and Higher Learning Child Care Center are located in the Southside Oroville Community Center at 2959 Lower Wyandotte Road in Oroville. Tours are provided daily upon request. Enroll your child in Havenscourt Higher Learning Childcare’s extended care program today and give them the opportunity to thrive in their innovative and creative learning environment. Experience the difference as they go above and beyond to provide high-quality care and personalized education for every child. For more information contact Shannon Tomlin at (530) 716-9528 or Breauna Hodnett at (530) 716-9527.


Thinking Outside the (Crayon) Box: Preparing our Children for Back-to-School Success

Welcome to the back-to-school season! The store shelves are brimming with crayons, notebooks, and school supply essentials as families gear up for another school year. Along with practicing academics and shopping for supplies, there are other ways we can provide support to our younger ones as they embark on their first school experience or return for another year. By choosing the right combination of strategies to fit the needs of our children, we can facilitate a smooth and positive transition for all.

Plan for Transition

Create a family bucket list to make the most of the remaining days of summer break. Give your children the gift of making memories and experiencing special activities together as a family they can learn and grow from. Plan upcoming family events that children can look forward to even after the school year has begun. Utilize visual aids such as printable calendars or paper countdown chains to create a sense of

anticipation and prepare your student for the upcoming change. Visit the school and explore the campus together. Locate the playground, restrooms, and classrooms. Promote social connections by organizing playdates or meetups with peers before the start of school. Engaging in activities that involve taking turns and problem-solving with other children helps your child build the social skills necessary for the classroom. Establishing a comforting “goodbye” routine can be helpful too. Saying goodbye could be expressed through gestures, such as a fist bump, a hug, signing “I love you,” or any motion that conveys your love and support while reassuring your child you’ll be there for them at the end of the day.

Re-establish Routines and Encourage Independence

Gradually reintroduce school routines in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year. Set consistent bedtimes, wake-up times, and meal schedules to establish a structured rhythm. Refresh homework

stations and keep returning students in a reading routine that can continue during the year. To minimize stress at home, consider creating a task checklist or visual for morning or bedtime routines. Empower your child to take ownership of school-related tasks, such as packing their backpack or organizing their materials. Encourage them to complete these tasks without repeated reminders. Practice keeping to specific time frames for starting and finishing activities. By gradually giving more ownership over these responsibilities, you nurture independence and foster time management skills needed for the classroom.

Maintain Open Communication and Provide Emotional Support

Initiate conversations with your child about school, encouraging them to share their expectations, concerns, and anticipations. Your child may experience a range of emotions during the transition period, so offer reassurance, validate their feelings, and create a safe space to


express any concerns or anxieties. Take the time to talk to your child about what they can expect upon returning to school, including classroom rules and teacher expectations. As parents, our demeanor and enthusiasm toward the upcoming school year can significantly impact our children's perceptions. Keep a positive outlook and express excitement for the new school year. Email your child's upcoming teacher to establish a positive relationship. Read school communications and attend back-toschool events to familiarize your child with their new environment. Consider placing a family photo in your child's backpack to address separation anxiety. Sending a small comfort item like a stuffed animal or fidget keychain can offer emotional support during school hours if allowed. Teach your child relaxation techniques, like breathing exercises, to help them manage stress independently. Read age-appropriate books about starting school together, choosing stories that depict positive school experiences, making friends, or overcoming challenges. Discuss the characters' emotions and connect them to your child's situation. Assist them in developing coping strategies and problem-solving skills.

Be a Goal-Minded Family

Embrace a goal-oriented mindset. Setting goals can be a powerful motivator and provide a sense of purpose throughout the school year and in life. Discuss goals for the upcoming trimester with your child, encouraging them to think about what they want to achieve academically, socially, or personally. Celebrate every milestone and accomplishment during the transition period and beyond, whether completing the first week of school, making a new friend, overcoming challenges, or accomplishing small goals. Evaluate and adjust these goals throughout the year, incorporating classroom data, teacher feedback, and your student’s interests. Acknowledging and celebrating your student’s hard work and growth throughout the school year creates a family culture of goal-setting, boosts your child's confidence, and keeps your student motivated to strive for their personal best.

This time of year is perfect for creating a plan catering to your child’s needs and interests. Doing so lets you make the most of every remaining minute of summer break and sets the stage for a successful school year together.

Back-to-School Success Checklist:

Plan Ahead

Refresh skills with grade-level content practice

Shop for suggested school supplies

Use visual aids to mark upcoming events

Visit campus together

Organize peer playdates

Help your child problem-solve and take turns

Practice a “goodbye routine”

Re-establish Routines

Return to a consistent sleep and meal schedule

Refresh homework stations

Create checklists or visuals for routines

Encourage independence with managing supplies and task completion

Communicate & Support

Initiate conversations with your child about school

Create a safe space for your child to express feelings and find validation

Stay positive

Email your child’s teacher to begin establishing a positive relationship

Read school communications

Place a family photo in your student’s backpack

Send a small emotional support comfort item in the backpack

Teach your child self-relaxation techniques

Be a Goal-Minded Family

Embrace a goal-oriented mindset

Include your student in identifying goals for areas of growth

Celebrate goal progress

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Choose the right strategies to help your child (and family!) transition to school.

Investing for the future

Investing for a child's future is a thoughtful and proactive way to secure their financial stability and provide them with opportunities. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, or guardian, making smart investment decisions can help set the stage for long-term success. Here are some essential tips on how to invest for a child's future:

Start Early: Time is a powerful ally when it comes to investing. The earlier you begin investing for a child's future, the more time their investments have to grow and compound. Even small amounts invested consistently can make a significant difference over the long term.

Set Clear Goals: Determine the purpose of the investment and set specific goals. Are you investing for education, a down payment on future a house, or a general financial cushion? Knowing your objectives will help you make informed investment choices.

Assess Risk Tolerance: Consider your risk tolerance when choosing investment options. Generally, long-term investments can afford to take on more risk, as there is time to recover from any potential downturns. However, it's crucial to strike a balance between risk and potential returns based on your comfort level.

Diversify the Portfolio: Diversification is a fundamental principle of investing. Spread the investments across different asset classes such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate. This strategy helps reduce risk and increases the chances of achieving stable returns.

Consider Tax-Advantaged Accounts: Utilize tax-advantaged accounts like 529 plans or Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) to save for a child's education expenses. These accounts offer tax benefits and can help accumulate funds specifically earmarked for educational purposes. See the note at the end for more information on this!

Contribute Regularly: Consistency is key in investing. Make regular contributions to the investment accounts, whether it's on a monthly or annual basis. Set up automatic contributions to ensure a disciplined approach and take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.

Reassess and Adjust: Regularly review the investment portfolio to ensure it aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. As your child grows older, adjust the asset allocation to become more conservative and protect the accumulated funds.

Teach Financial Literacy: Alongside investing, educate your child about money

management, budgeting, and basic financial concepts. This will help them develop healthy financial habits and empower them to make informed decisions in the future.

Involve your Child: As your child gets older, involve them in the investment process. Explain the concepts, discuss investment decisions, and encourage them to take an active interest in their financial future. This involvement can foster a sense of responsibility and ownership.

Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting a financial advisor who specializes in family financial planning. They can help you navigate the intricacies of investing for a child's future, provide personalized advice, and ensure your investment strategy aligns with your specific circumstances.

Investing for a child's future requires careful planning, patience, and a longterm perspective. Starting early, setting clear goals, diversifying the portfolio, and teaching financial literacy are all crucial steps. By following these principles and adapting to changing circumstances, you can lay a solid foundation for a child's financial security and support their future endeavors.

What is a 529 Plan?

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help individuals and families save for future education expenses. Named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, these plans are offered by states, state agencies, and educational institutions. The primary advantage of a 529 plan is its tax benefits: contributions to the plan grow taxfree, and withdrawals used for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, room and board, books, and supplies, are also tax-free. Additionally, some states offer state income tax deductions or credits for contributions made to their specific 529 plans. With flexible contribution limits, a wide range of investment options, and the ability to use funds at eligible educational institutions nationwide, 529 plans provide individuals with a powerful tool to save and invest for their or their loved ones' educational future.



Check out all of the great things we have to look forward to this fall! Please note that dates and times are subject to change.


Chico Friends of the Library Book Sale

Every Saturday, 9-11am

Come to the Chico Library and stock up on great reads for the home or to fill your favorite Little Free Library.

Chess Club

Every Saturday

Challenge your mind and enjoy the game of chess at your local library. Chico Chess Club is from 10:30am-noon and Paradise Chess Club is from 11am-4. Battle your friends and family for the ultimate bragging rights.

Afternoon Kids Club

Every Wednesday 3:30-4pm

Looking for a great way to spend an afternoon? Join your friends for awesome games, LEGOs, and more. Each week is a different activity at the Oroville branch of the Butte County Library

Community Resource Room

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month

Come out for free basic art supplies (paint, glue, paper, and more), learning materials, activity ideas, and premade resource kits. Open to all; no registration required. Check their calendar for sites, between Gridley, Oroville and Chico, at

Kids Tumbling Class at Paradise Stronger

Every Monday and Wednesday 3:30-4:20pm

Ages 4-12. Tumbling classes utilize an array of movements, exercises and stretches to help kids improve muscle strength, and flexibility. These exercises help build endurance, balance, agility and coordination while strengthening the whole body.

Back to Giving Supply Drive

Ongoing Until August 14th

Chico Marketplace is kicking off their annual Back to School Back to Giving, local student supply drive July 14th through August 14th. Bring new school supplies donations to participating retailers, local businesses, and all Chico Marketplace events. Enter to win a $500 gift card to the mall retailer of your choice. All donations will be



distributed to local students in need. You may bring donations to Chico Marketplace management office Monday – Friday from 9am – 4pm*. *Hours may vary, call 530-343-0706 for information.

Thursday Night Market

Every Thursday Until September 14th

Explore Downtown Chico’s Thursday Night Market on Broadway between 2nd and 4th Streets, including side streets, and the fabulous City Plaza! This festive, weekly market is a ton of fun and features a bounty of farm-fresh produce from CDFA certified farmers, mouth-watering prepared foods from food trucks, booths, and downtown restaurants, handmade, local arts & crafts, and singer-songwriter entertainment for all ages. Held from 6–9 pm; for more info, visit

Friday Night Concerts

Every Friday Until October 13th

Held in the Chico City Plaza from 7:00–8:30 pm, 418 Main Street.

Downtown Oroville First Fridays

First Friday of Every Month, 4-8pm

Explore Downtown Oroville’s shops and restaurants during the monthly First Friday events hosted by the Downtown Oroville Business Association! During these themed events, select shops keep their doors open later and invite you to enjoy a night of shopping and festivities!

Walk on the Wild Side Animal Show

Daily Until August 14th

Join us for a fun-filled educational wildlife show, and see animals showcasing their natural behaviors in a captivating and inspiring atmosphere. With great new animals this season, this show is one that you won’t soon forget. 11 am and 12 pm; for more info, visit

Wings of Summer! Butterflies!

Daily Until August 14th

Visitors view hundreds of butterflies in a tranquil, enclosed garden. Nestled in the Redwood trees of Wildlife Woods, the Butterfly House is the coolest place in the park! For info, visit


Girls on the Run registration

Tuesday August 1st, 6am

At Girls on the Run North State, teaching critical life skills is the cornerstone of our research-based programs. Meeting in small teams, trained volunteer coaches inspire girls of all abilities to strengthen confidence and other important life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and physical activity. The annual run in November is sure to inspire, inquire online for more details at

Valley Oak Children’s Services

Wednesday August 2nd, 8am-12:30pm


Preventative Health & Safety; 8-hour training. This is a 4-session training. You are required to attend all parts in order to receive the certificate. The three modules cover the required content of the Emergency Medical Services Authority Child Care 7 Hours Preventive Health and Safety Training Course and 1 hour of Nutrition Training (total of 8 hours) and provide information and guidance on how to control infectious disease in the child care setting, prevent injuries, and provide healthy nutrition. Contents of the curriculum and handouts are in agreement with Title 22 regulations.

Mom’s of the Ridge Ice Cream Social August 2nd - 11th, 5pm

Each social will focus on a different school with the intention for all parents and their children to meet, mingle, get to know other parents, make connections, and make the back-to-school transition easier. Ice cream bar will be provided for school children at no cost. August 2nd - Cedarwood, August 9th - Pine Ridge, August 11 - Paradise Ridge Elementary, August 11 - Achieve Charter School.

Enloe’s Mothers Stroll

Saturday, August 5th

Join Enloe and other community organizations as we raise awareness for maternal mental health during World Breastfeeding Week! This FREE event for mothers and their families offers

education and support in fun and engaging ways. There will be refreshments, face painting, mental health resources, prizes, breastfeeding info, group latch-on, community connections, and more.

Biz Kidz Showcase

Saturday, August 5th

The winning entrepreneurs from our annual Biz Kidz contest will showcase their products and services from 11am – 2pm at Chico Marketplace. We will have face painting, character appearances, and raffles during the event. Awards will be handed out following the event at 2:15pm.

Downtown Oroville

Historic Walking Tours

Saturday August 5th 10am

Step back in time and discover the rich and racy history on the first Saturday of every month with your guide, Daniel Ballard. Daniel, a member of the Butte County Historical Society has been serving as a docent and collecting stories from local historians since the age of 15. Walking tours are free to the public, but tipping the guide is encouraged.

Valley Oak Children’s Services

Wednesday August 9th, 8am-12:30pm PART 2

See information in previous column.

Chico Marketplace Kids Club

Saturday, August 12th

Join us for our monthly Kids Club. Bring back-to-school supply donations and enter to win a $500 Gift Card. Held from 1 pm – 2 pm. Register and get all details at

Movies In The Park

Saturday, August 26th

Come and enjoy this summer tradition as we begin the series with Top Gun Maverick! Bring a blanket or a low-back chair and sit under the stars while enjoying a family-friendly movie. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The movie starts 15 min. before sunset - official time TBD; please visit for more info.



Little Wonders Preschool Program

September 5th, 6pm. & 9/28, 12:15pm

The magic of Little Wonders brings a child’s imagination to life! This STEAM focused program will feature hands-on activities each week that will foster your little one’s curiosity and creativity. We’ll cover academics, social learning, emotional growth, physical education and more.

Kai Music and Arts Intro to Guitar

September 7th, 6pm & 9/28, 12:15pm

Learn basic chords and finger placement, allowing you to work towards playing some of your favorite songs in no time! Students are divided by age. 515 Wall Street, Chico

Kids Wood-Science and Art

September 11th-25th @ 1-4pm

A truly unique combination class of woodworking, science, and art! Students will learn the basics of measuring, cutting, and constructing wood projects. Hands-on science experiments are more fun with a group of friends! And finally, ART! We will explore all different mediums and work with all levels. Classes are taught by the Viking Woodworks homeschooling family. Register at

CCD Musical Theater Production Classes

September 11th-25th @ 6:30pm-7:30pm

Chico Creek Dance is excited to be offering musical theatre production classes that will focus on building skills that are required in the theatre world. These classes will learn a basic audition process, improving singing dancing and acting skills, theatre etiquette, and how to be a star performer. This class will lead into a spring class that will be working on a junior musical to be announced soon!!! Musical theatre production classes are a great way to learn skills while meeting lots of new friends and having fun in the process!

Chico Country SummerFest 2023

Saturday, September 16th

The 3rd Annual Chico SummerFest has gone Country. A celebration of ALL things COUNTRY. Live Music with tunes from country tribute bands, craft vendors, exhibits, buck-em bronco bull riding, ping pong, cornhole tournament, more. Partial

proceeds go to various nonprofits.

Children's Full Moon Hike

Friday, September 29th @ 7:30pm

Come experience the light of the full moon! Join us for a hike in Upper Bidwell Park, as we explore nocturnal animals and some of their unique adaptations, learn about the phases of the moon and soak in the beautiful night sky. These hikes will meet at Upper Park, Designated Parking Area A and will be held on relatively flat terrain. For the full experience, and the safety of wildlife, we ask you to leave all pets and strollers at home. Hikes range from an hour to an hour and a half, with flexible end times. Star Finder App and headlamps are recommended.

Movies in the Park

Saturday September 30th, 6pm CARD will have a special showing of the Super Mario Bros. Movie while they celebrate their 75th birthday.


Scarecrow Contest

Friday October 6th, 4-8pm

Make your way to Downtown Oroville on October 6th for our Annual Scarecrow Contest! Participating businesses will be showing off their scariest, cutest, and funniest scarecrows. Shops will show fall arrivals, new displays, and more! Your vote will enter you to win a $50 gift card to a downtown business of your choosing. Be on the lookout for live Scarecrows from Chico Princess Parties roaming downtown ready to take pictures with the kiddos!

Downtown Oroville’s Fall Farm-to-Table Dinner

Saturday, October 7th

Restaurants without walls, Downtown Oroville’s outdoor farm-to-table experience brings the freshness of fields, orchards, and artisanal foods directly to your table. This lovely evening under the stars will feature locally sourced food prepared by Downtown Oroville chefs, along with classic cocktails and wine. For tickets and more, visit

Chico Reptile Show

Saturday, October 7th

The 10th Annual Chico Reptile Show is a great opportunity to experience reptiles up close and personal. Plus, vendors will have animals and merchandise for sale. Held at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico.

Johnny Appleseed Days

Saturday & Sunday, October 7th and 8th

Local businesses will give demonstrations and display their wares, and Paradise will host artisans from all over the state and beyond selling a variety of handicrafts. The ever-popular children’s area will feature face painting, games for the young and old alike, and prizes. Johnny Appleseed will visit and tell stories. There will be continuous entertainment on both days. Saturday 10am-5pm & Sunday 10am4pm at Terry Ashe Park, 6626 Skyway in Paradise. Free admission.

30th annual 2023 Chico Walk to End Alzheimer’s Fundraiser

Saturday, October 14th

Join your community at Sycamore Field in Bidwell Park at 8:30 am for the 30th annual 2023 Chico Walk to End Alzheimer’s in support of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, their caregivers, and further research for a cure. Register your Walk Team TODAY at

Movies In The Park

Saturday, October 21st

Come enjoy this summer tradition as we wrap up the series with Hotel Transylvania: Transformania! Bring a blanket or a low-back chair and sit under the stars while enjoying a family-friendly movie. Refreshments will be available for purchase. The movie starts 15 min. before sunset - official time TBD; please visit for more info.

Treat Street

Saturday, October 31st @ 2pm

Treat Street is BACK in Downtown Chico Monday, October 31st! Join us for a fun evening of trick-or-treating, live music and photo opportunities with Chico PD and Fire! Visit for more information!


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