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Kids& Sleep

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What’s Inside Kids Tidbits Children's Author Kevin Bloomfield; Posh Parties for Kids


Kids Spotlight Khushwinder Gill, Award Winning Principal


Your Kids Snack Art


Haute Items: It's a Jungle Out There!


Your Family Raising Savers


18 FEATURE: Kids & Sleep A recent sleep study suggests kids today aren't catching enough shut-eye. Find out if yours are getting the rest they need. by Jenn Thornton 24

Spring Kids Calendar


Mom on a Mission Heather Mompean, Local Photographer and Blogger





Photos: shutterstock; katy berry; Courtesy Heather Mompean; Courtesy Tots & teapots


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San Joaquin Kids Magazine is published 6x a year by San Joaquin Magazine 793 S. Tracy Blvd, Suite 230 Tracy, CA 95376 Phone: (209) 833-9989 Email:

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kids and parent: tidbits

Posh Parties for


For many parents, throwing a birthday party isn’t just about cake and presents; it’s about creating memories that will last until their children have kids of their own. But sometimes a busy schedule just doesn’t allow for seamless party planning. Not to worry, Tauna Peterson from Premiere Parties in Tracy has everything you need to create a memorable celebration in the comfort of your own home. Specializing in “posh parties for kids”, Premiere Parties provides everything including custom invitations, complimentary photos, costumes, music, tables and chairs, linens, crafts and activities for the kids, cake, ice cream, punch, or a full luncheon. With themes like Princess, Pop Star Diva, Glamour, Spa, Pirate, and Superhero, there’s something for every child. Different party packages can be purchased according to your needs, though a minimum of 8 kids is typically required. On a budget? Rent one of Tauna’s party kits and bring home all the tools you need to throw a fun fiesta with half the effort.—Katy Berry

from Tracy

There’s a new children’s book character that’s been making a stir. His name is Mr. Biggs; he has massive feet, one very hairy back, and an even bigger heart. He was created by former Tracy resident Kevin Bloomfield. The idea for Mr. Biggs, a curious and loveable Sasquatch, came to Bloomfield during a visit to Hong Kong. “I’m a toy designer so I go to China quite a bit, and I’m a fairly big guy. I’m six foot one, and in China that’s pretty tall,” he says. “During one of my first trips, there was a big rainstorm and I was walking around a lot of people and my face was umbrella height. It was a silly situation, walking through crowds of people, getting hit in the face with umbrellas; a silly, big guy in little person’s situation. I think that’s where it started.” After the debut of his first children’s book, Bloomfield returned to his former home in Tracy to read at the local Barnes & Noble. “It’s pretty neat coming back and seeing people I haven’t seen since high school,” says Bloomfield. “My fifth grade teacher showed up!” His second book, Mr. Biggs at the Circus, will be hitting shelves this May. The Mr. Biggs series is best suited for kids between 2 and 6, and comes in a bi-lingual edition for Spanishspeaking families. —Katy Berry

For more information:



For more information: Premiere Parties, Tracy, (209) 610-4100

Photos: Courtesy kevin Bloomfield; courtesy Aaron Burg/



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kids and parent: spotlight

California’s Principal of the Year Khushwinder Gill BY KATY BERRY Each year, the Governor’s Challenge on Physical Fitness & Sports creates a call to action for California principals, teachers, and students to put down the potato chips and pick up the basketballs in an effort to encourage healthy living for a generation of kids. The governor also presents a gold, silver, and bronze Spotlight Award to those who have gone above and beyond in promoting healthy living in their schools. One such winner hails from right here in San Joaquin.

Principal Khushwinder Gill was recently awarded the gold medal for her outstanding work in bringing health-conscious after-school and extra-curricular activities to George Kelly School in Tracy. When Gill first arrived at the school in November of 2008, it had no after-school programs to speak of. She began hosting family movie nights, which garnered a positive response. Slowly, other programs were added. “My goal was 10


“I think it’s important to have balance, as a child or adult,” says Gill. That balance may be why the school’s Academic Performance Index score rose 58 points this year alone. There has also been an improvement in attendance. “Students who are enjoying what they’re doing are more prone to come to school. Our attendance has been going up the last three years, which is a difficult thing to do.” Still, Gill reminds her students that academics come first, and kids are expected to maintain an acceptable GPA in order to participate in their activities. “We have a rule,” says Gill. “If you miss school, you can’t participate in the extra-curricular you have scheduled that day. So the students make sure they’re here, and they love it so much we don’t even have to remind them.” With her award, Gill received $10,000 to continue her excellent work. The money has since gone to purchasing new fitness and PE equipment, starting new programs focused on nutrition, and buying new tools for the gardening

program. Gill is currently working with the district’s food services to create more healthy dining options for lunchtime and hopes that in years to come, the school will be eligible to compete in the Healthier U.S. School Challenge, a national competition where schools compete to win money for their health-conscious school programs. From having nothing to achieving state-wide recognition, Khushwinder Gill has enriched the school’s atmosphere in a big way, and she has no intentions of slowing down.

For more information:

Photos: Matthew James Photography

to produce well rounded children, it still is,” says Gill. “I want them to be provided with all possible opportunities.” Gill added volleyball, soccer, and two basketball teams to the after-school roster. She also added a program where kids learned to cook with different vegetables and fruits during their lunchtime, and a gardening program to learn more about healthy eating while developing an interest in the outdoors and agriculture. In addition, Gill added after school art lessons, a science Olympiad, a math Olympiad, an annual musical production for kids interested in theater, and a school choir.

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Snack Art for Kids BY KATY BERRY

A fun afterschool activity and a healthy snack can be one-in-the-same when using your imagination to create fun and tasty snack-art. Not only will your kids enjoy putting together their creations, but they’ll love munching on their edible crafts afterwards. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sushi Rolls Take a classic kid-approved snack and give it a funky new twist. Not only are these oh-so easy to make, but kids will have fun mastering the use of chopsticks while enjoying their lunch. To make: • Use a rolling pin to flatten a slice of bread. • Spread peanut butter and jelly over two-thirds of the bread. • Roll your bread so the peanut butter and jelly are inside. • Slice into bite sized pieces.


Pancake Art You thought making a Minnie Mouse pancake was fun? Wait till you see what you can do with some food coloring and a few squirt bottles. • Mix up some pancake batter. Make sure it’s very smooth (you may even want to put it in a blender). Divvy it up into separate bowls and add a little food coloring to each. • Pour each colored batter into its own squirt bottle (available at most grocery stores in the ketchup aisle). • Choose a simple design. Squirt its outline onto a greased skillet. It takes time to fill in the design, so make sure the skillet isn’t too hot or your pancake will burn before it's done. Fill the outline in with the appropriate colored batter. • Turn up the heat a bit so it cooks. • When your pancake starts to bubble, flip it over and cook for another 60-90 seconds. If • your pancake needs eyes, use blueberries or chocolate chips.


Diggin’ for Veggies This is a fun way to learn about fruits a veggies by making an exciting game out of it (well, exciting for a four-year old!) To make: • Take a mini-muffin pan (or an empty egg crate) and fill each “hole” with a different fruit or veggie. Grape tomatoes, mini carrots, and berries work great. • Cover the top of the pan with a layer of tin foil and a piece of green tissue paper. Tape the tissue paper around the edges so it’s secure. • Let your kids go “digging” for vegetables in their new garden. They can poke a hole in the tissue paper using a chop stick, feel the fruit or veggie, try to guess what it is, and best of all: eat it!

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kids and parent: haute items

It’s a Jungle Out There! —compiled by Katy Berry

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kids and parent: your family



Money—if there’s one thing you can bank on it’s that kids don’t get it, and you don’t have enough of it. While you are seriously considering pay-as-you-go cell phone options, your kid is living it up in the Age of Indulgence. The silver lining of this irksome disparity is that the current economic climate is a great time to teach your kids about spending less and saving more. Here, three steps to thrifty kids. Cash In

Ditch the plastic. If not permanently then until your kids have a firm understanding that just because you have a credit card doesn’t mean you have money. Model good spending habits—show restraint, set limits, pay with cash. Discuss the finer points of the ATM machine—no, it doesn’t just spit out cash whenever you want—and use real-world scenarios to explain more advanced financial concepts. Like interest, for example, to library book late fees. And every time a chore isn’t done? Don’t nag; charge extra—like, say, a second night of drying the dishes when night one’s a bust. Use the colorful graphs on bank statements to show your kids how to divvy up their piggy banks into categories labeled “spending money” and “savings account” and when they’re ready, introduce allowance and suggest it be funneled into these classifications. Later, gift them with a new notebook for detailed recordkeeping. 16

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Shopping—no time to talk about budgeting, there’s cantaloupe on sale! Cool your jets Mom, and consider how much more you’d save if your kids weren’t begging for Oreos on aisle 3 and were in on the act. Involved kids are cooperative and accountable, so assign tasks that teach. At home this means cutting coupons and prioritizing the shopping list; at the store, tallying expenditures (practicing math along the way, go Mom!). After crossing off all the essentials, let the kids choose the non-essentials from a predetermined group of agreed-upon options to avoid arguments. This tactic sustains organization while teaching compromise and how to identify “want” and “need.”


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Use technology to generate excitement. Introduce your kids to family-friendly video games, apps, and banking websites that discuss money in terms they understand via bells and whistles that a lecture from you simply can’t produce. Navigate these worlds as a family; ask your kids how to apply the featured concepts at home. Above all, don’t just talk about money, stress value.

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If your child is not getting enough sleep and it’s keeping you up at night, you’re right to be concerned. Adequate sleep is vital at every age, but especially crucial for kids who, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, are not nodding off nearly as much as they should be. Whether from a lack of structure, an abundance of distractions, or a poor diet, insufficient shut-eye greatly affects physical and mental development, immunity, psychiatric health, and the regulation of metabolism and behavior. We contacted Stockton based pediatrician Daksha Vaid, MD to sound the alarm on the ABCs of catching Z’s.



SCHOOL-AGED (5 to 12 years) Hours needed per night: 10 to 11

A IS FOR AGE Gender, diet, and routine all greatly affect a child’s ability to sleep. Age is also a telling variable. “There is no magic number of hours of sleep required by all kids of a certain age group,” notes Dr. Vaid. But the following doctorprescribed guidelines provide a general average of how much shut-eye kids in every age category usually require, common sleep interferences at that age, and a prescription for a sounder night’s sleep. PRESCHOOLERS (3 to 5 years) Hours needed per night: 11 to 13

SLEEP DISTURBANCES: Many toddlers and preschoolers have not learned to sleep without some

form of help—singing lullabies and rubbing backs are all forms of parental aid they rely on to help them drift off. Medical disabilities such as autism and developmental delays can also affect sleep abilities of children this age as well as, though rarely, snoring, sleep apnea, and other related conditions. RX: Maintain a regular sleep schedule. While soothing your child at bedtime is nurturing and healthy, watch for over-reliance from your little one. If he comes to depend on your attempts to pacify every time he wakes during the night, talk to your physician. Finally, cultivate a good sleep environment—keep the room cool, quiet, dark and free of technology—and always keep it the same. Predictability for this set is important.

SLEEP DISTURBANCES: Children at this age are highly vulnerable to fears, both real and imagined. Kids with a keener sense of loss and/ or trauma are more susceptible to disturbed sleep as they strive to be vigilant—very often peering out windows, checking closets, and pacing in their room after light’s out. “It is understandable how fear can affect a child’s ability to fall asleep,” explains Dr. Vaid, “because when they do, it means losing control over their environment.” Over-scheduling, technology, and hectic schedules also contribute to sleepless nights. RX: Beware of monsters in the closet, underneath the bed and under the covers. The imaginations of school-aged children are wildly active, and they are extremely influenced by what they see and hear so monitor what they are exposed to. Set limits on extracurricular activities, caffeine, and media—images from the latter can foster unease and fear, and

at bedtime, resistance. Sleepy kids in this category are prone to behavioral and cognitive issues that can negatively impact their social worlds and impair classroom learning. Preserve a peaceful sleep setting. ADOLESCENTS AND TEENS (12 years and up) Hours needed per night: 9.25

SLEEP DISTURBANCES: Hormone changes coupled with early school start times; sleep sacrificed for lengthier grooming routines; over-scheduling; too-late bedtimes; electronics; frequent caffeine consumption; and medical conditions such as sleep paralysis put adolescents and teens continually at risk for sleep deprivation. “Our society rewards students who excel in sports, academics, art, and music,” Dr. Vaid notes. “They do many hours of community service and work part-time as well. These [factors plus] rigors at school and at home can really stress a teenager’s sleep.” She further explains that sleep deprivation for this set adds

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up over time, so one hour less of sleep per night is, at the end of the week, equal to a full night of no shut-eye, which can result in bad temperaments, problems in school, stimulant use, and driving accidents. “More than half of ‘asleep-at-the-wheel’ car accidents are caused by teens,” she says. RX: TV, video games, cell phones, texting, and computer use swallow a huge amount of time, so set limits on usage. “Parents should establish ground rules for their children’s use of electronic devices, and even consider not allowing them in the bedroom,” says Dr. Vaid. Establish curfews on technology to control distractions. And make sure adolescents and teens get downtime (not involving electronics) and physical exercise. B IS FOR BEDTIME ROUTINE Irregular sleep schedules are the bane of every parent’s tired existence. Take stock of what is happening in the brief hours before the lights go out. Is there sugar intake before bedtime? Repeated requests for a glass of water? Excessive trips to the bathroom? If you’re exhausted by this run-around, how do you think your child feels? According to Dr. Vaid, depleted, irritable, uncooperative, and whiny—all the behaviors that drive you nuts, and that you may have unintentionally helped cultivate. Emphasize consistency—institute the same bedtime every night, read a book (which has a calming affect on children), control room temperature, remove gadgets from the bedroom, allow one glass of water and one trip to the bathroom, tuck your little one in and hit the switch. If the routine is new to your child,

expect resistance. A simple fix such as changing the language from “bedtime” to “wind-down time” may stave off initial hemming and hawing. But, if your kid comes barreling out his room “dying of thirst,” it’s vital to stay the course. Don’t respond to the whining. Instead, gently and quietly scoop him up and tuck him back into bed with a reassuring kiss on the forehead. Do this as many times as it takes, for as many nights as it takes, until a pattern is established. True, it will mean less sleep for you at the outset, but you’ll be back counting sheep in no time. As for the issue of co-sleeping, this is an individual choice. “Some families have no problems with it at all; children will sleep in the same bed as a parent or older sibling for cultural or sentimental reasons,” explains Dr. Vaid. “But there is evidence that co-sleeping increases the number of times both the parents and the child will awaken.” Here’s where instincts come into play. If co-sleeping works for your family, and everyone is fully rested, more power to you. If not, and you are sacrificing your own need for sleep (and consequently, your energy to properly parent), consider alternatives. C IS FOR CARE If falling and staying asleep continues to be problematic for your child, there may be a more serious issue—sleep terrors, sleepwalking, sleep enuresis (bed-wetting), and obstructive sleep apnea among related conditions—discoverable only by physical examination and appropriate ancillary testing. “Diagnosing sleep disorders in children remains

Sleep Solutions When it comes to helping your child sleep, give these 5 simple sleep tips the nod. ■ Banish technology from the bedroom. Reduce stimulating play well before light’s out; institute a no-technology-after-6 o’clock-rule (or a time that best suits your child). ■ Cut the caffeine—the buzz indicates that one caffeinated beverage per day equates to 30 minutes of lost sleep. ■ When little ones are drowsy, get the heck out of dodge. Even the softest, ever-so-nurturing backrub at that point can jolt them back into consciousness. ■ Set up a reasonable wake-up time for school-aged kids and teens, even on weekends, to avoid troublesome sleep when they try and nod off on Sunday evening. ■ Avoid letting your child fall asleep anywhere other than in his or her own sleep environment— i.e. the car, the couch, or a sibling’s or parental bed.



a challenge,” notes Dr. Vaid, who recommends a multidisciplinary approach involving pediatric health care, child psychology, pulmonary, neurology, psychiatry and otolaryngology when determining a diagnosis. If you suspect your child may have a sleep disorder, visit your pediatrician. An evaluation is likely to detail the history of your child’s sleep patterns. A physician may even suggest that you keep a sleep diary over a period of time to help with identification. Start charting these patterns before a scheduled appointment for a more proactive approach. Lastly, because there’s no rest for the weary, parents also need their winks. When kids don’t sleep well, the entire family suffers. Parents of newborns can expect some amount of sleep deprivation, but moms and dads of 6-year-olds must get their Zs. Well rested parents are good parents, so make sure you too are nodding off regularly and soundly.

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kids and parent: getaway



Bourn Cottage at Empire Mine/Photo: Intentional Marketing

Grass Valley, a fascinating gold rush era town, is a delightful daytrip or mini-vacation escape. During one period of time during the wild and woolly gold mining epoch, it was recognized as the largest and most prosperous of all the mining areas. It remains a thriving, friendly community today. What to do and see: Anyone interested in this fascinating period of California history will be enthralled with tours of Empire Mine, the oldest and richest gold producer in California. Separate fact-filled mine and grounds tours including


the intriguing upscale “Bourn Cottage” should be on your must-list. Now an 845-acre state park, it’s one of that era’s most popular attractions with 12 miles of hiking/biking/equestrian trails as additional lures. (empiremine. org) Having visited the town many times, we know how popular their prominent holiday festival, Cornish Christmas, has become. This family-friendly event is a fun-loving homage to the thousands of miners who came from Cornwall, England, and is worth the trek during the holidays or planning ahead for next year’s merriment. ( Three other enticing events to consider attending are the Nevada County Fair (August), Draft Horse Classic/Harvest Fair (September), and Celtic Fair (September or October). Be sure to make hotel reservations well

in advance of any event. A short drive to South Yuba River State Park is a cool outing for swimming, fishing, hiking (Independence Trail was the first wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country), picnicking, or viewing the beguiling Bridgeport Covered Bridge, thought to be the longest single span roofed bridge in existence. Free gold panning is also offered every weekend in the summer and the troughs are salted with small amounts of gold nuggets to ensure children will enjoy the experience. ( Where to stay and dine: If you’d like a full-service, newer hotel, The Gold Miner’s Inn is a first-rate choice on the edge of downtown. Accommodations and public areas are tastefully furnished, the staff is exceptionally friendly, and a special breakfast

Gold Miner Statue/ Photo: Ann Jackson

Tofanellis Restaurant

buffet is offered to guests. ( If you’d like a smaller property just outside downtown but still within walking distance, our pick is the charming,12room Sierra Mountain Inn, a beautifully remodeled, yesteryear home away from home. (sierramountaininn. com) Into historic lodging? The classic Holbrooke Hotel, one of the state’s oldest lodging properties, is on the upswing and under new ownership. ( Hungry, and looking for something tasty and local? Cirino’s At Main Street offers Mediterranean cuisine and has been in the area since 1983. It's well-known for family-recipe Italian dishes. Kane’s, serving a wide variety of entrees, offers al fresco

dining, evening entertainment, and owner John Kane is a former Pacific Coast Chef of the Year. (kanesrestaurant. net) Tofanelli’s Bistro is a popular place to drop in for an enjoyable breakfast, lunch, or dinner (, while Maria’s is perfect for those of us craving authentic south-ofthe-border offerings. (www. Before you leave town, be sure to try a famous Gold Rush culinary staple, the meat/potato/onion filled, turnover-style Cornish pasty. Try the ones at Bestin-County specialty shop Marshall’s Pasties.

For all things Grass Valley: and

Gold Panning at Bridgeport

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kids and parent: calendar


The Jungle Book

March April CALENDAR compiled by Katy Berry

Stockton Asparagus Festival April 27-29, Stockton It’s back and better than ever! Join the rest of San Joaquin County for the Best of the West Food Fest, including the annual Spear-It Run, tons of artisan vendors, live concerts, family entertainment, kid-friendly rides, cooking demonstrations, and of course, Asparagus Alley serving up fan-favorites like asparagus ice cream and deep-fried asparagus. Hours vary. $7-$12. Downtown Stockton, 221 N. Center St., Stockton, (209) 644-3740,

Magic, Motion, & Michief! March 3, 2012 Whether he’s juggling knives with his hands on fire or escaping from a straitjacket upside down, Greg Frisbee and his never-ending trunk of props will be sure to have you laughing out loud and sitting on the edge of your seat. Join him and his friends at the Grand for a night of comedy, juggling, magic, and above all else, family fun. 2-4 p.m. $7-$15. Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, 715 Central Ave., Tracy, (209) 831-6858,

Manteca Quilters 33rdAnnual Quilt & Cloth Doll Show March 3-4, Manteca Come browse the artistry of local quilters as you enjoy a merchant mall, food, demonstrations, a boutique, and the opportunity to purchase “wearable art.” This event will also be featuring the work of local quilt artist, Jan Ayers. $7, children under 12 free. Strollers allowed on Sunday only. MRPS Hall, 133 N. Grant St., Manteca, (209) 823-5013 24


March 7-11, Stockton Come hear the extraordinary musical adventure of Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves in the jungle, as he learns about “jungle law” from his pack of wild animal friends including Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther, and Kaa the python. March 7-9 at 6:30 p.m., March 10 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., March 11 at 1:30 p.m. $10. Kudos Kids Theater, 1943 W. Lucille Ave., Stockton, (209) 5076996,

Classics IV: Conflict and Resolution March 8 & 10, Stockton Enjoy the sounds of Stockton’s own symphony as they feature works such as Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and Bach’s Oboe Concerto in F major. Thursday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 6 p.m. $10-$55. Atherton Auditorium, Delta College, Stockton, (209) 951-0196,

Haggin 2nd Saturdays: Art All Around Family Festival March 10, 2012 Make it, sing it, say it! This hands-on day celebrates youth in art. This afternoon festival features special performances by students from the Tokay and Bear Creek High Schools, and the Don Riggio Orchestra. Activities are included with price of admission and all materials are provided. No reservations are required; just come and have fun! 1:30-4 p.m. Free. The Haggin Museum, 1201 N. Pershing Ave., Stockton, (209) 940-6315,

Shamrock Shuffle 5K March 17, Stockton Beginning in beautiful DeCarli Square in Stockton, this 5k walk/run combines rock and roll and running! Participants receive a t-shirt, refreshments, and entertainment. Awards will be three deep in each age division. 8:30 a.m. $30 for pre-registration before March 12, $35 thereafter. DeCarli Square, 200 N. Center St., Stockton,

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Apollo Night March 30, Stockton This annual event showcases the brightest stars in Stockton. From singers and dancers, to actors and artists of all kind, this is a great opportunity to support Stockton’s finest young talent. 6-9 p.m. $14. Bob Hope Theatre, 242 E. Main Street, Stockton, (209) 337-HOPE,

April Stockton Ports vs. Modesto Nuts April 12, Stockton Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time for the opening game of the Ports’ 2012 home season! With over 60 seasons under their belts and 11 league titles to their credit, the Stockton Ports are truly a rich part of our city’s and Professional Minor League Baseball’s history. Come out to the beautiful Banner Island Ballpark on the waterfront and cheer them on! 7 p.m. Prices vary. Banner Island Ballpark, 404 W. Fremont St., Stockton, (209) 644-1900,

Easter EGGtravaganza at the Grand Theatre April 6-7, Tracy Did you know that Peter Cottontail has living grandparents? There’s plenty of magical fun to discover as you join Zeke and Petunia Bunny for this high energy musical show. Come and experience the fun with lots of audience participation and even an Easter egg hunt. April 6 at 7 p.m., April 7 at 2 p.m. Children $7, Adults $9. Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, 715 Central Avenue, Tracy, (209) 831-6858,

Stockton Cambodian Temple New Year Celebration April 13-15, Stockton The Wat Dharmararam Buddhist Temple in Stockton will be hosting festivities all weekend long in celebration of their New Year Year. Stop by to browse vendors, enjoy food, live music, take tours of the temple, and see the temple’s stunning collection of over 90 larger-than-life status, each one more vibrant than the last. 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Free. Wat Dharmararam Buddhist Temple, 3732 E. Carpenter Rd., Stockton, (209) 423-9356 (for English), (209) 915-1164 (for Cambodian)

Reptile Roundup at the World of Wonders Science Museum April 7, Lodi Discover the world of Reptiles through arts, crafts, and other amazing activities. Come face to face with reptiles of all shapes and sizes in this interactive, hands-on experience brought to you by local reptile stores and museums. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $4-$6. World of Wonders Science Museum, 2 North Sacramento St., Lodi, (209) 368-0969,



Stockton Earth Day Festival April 22, Stockton “Think Global, Act Local” is the theme of this year’s 24th annual Earth Day Festival in Victory Park. The event will have dozens of informative, interactive booths, displays and exhibits, plus there will be plenty of great food and exotic crafts. Begin the day with Yoga on the park green at 10 a.m., or join the hundreds of cyclists who will bike as part of the Family Fun Bike Ride and Parade (registration is at 10:30 a.m.) Or just come for the entertainment, which will feature colorful ethnic dance groups and great area bands. Official festival start is at 11 a.m. Free. Victory Park, North Pershing Ave. and Argonne Dr., Stockton, (209) 937-8389,

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The Human Services The Human Services Agency isAgency seeking quality foster and adoptive homes in San Joaquin County for children need. We provide training, education is seeking quality foster in and and licensure to individuals interested in adoptive homes in SanFind out either foster care or adoption. more about how you can Joaquin S a n J o aCounty q u i n C for o u be nchildren t yinvolved Foster Care Licensing by calling 209-465-KIDS (5437). in need. We provide training, education and licensure to Do unforgettable ... YOUsomething can make individuals interested in either aBe difference in a or adoptive parent! a foster foster care or adoption. Find child’s life! is seeking quality foster and adoptive homes in The Human Services Agency out more about how you can San Joaquin County for children in need. We provide training, education and licensure to individuals interested in be involved by calling either foster care or adoption. Find out PHONE: -4 6 -KiD 5 S( 5 4 3 7 ) 209-465-KIDS more about how you(5437) can be involved EMAIL: by calling 209-465-KIDS (5437). WEB:

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Delta Charter School’s Sheelah Bearfoot climbs NFL rankings to number two in the State: Delta Charter School’s Sheelah Bearfoot is in elite company in the National Forensic League rankings. She currently ranks number two in the State of California and 31st overall in the U.S.A. Sheelah’s performance has recently landed her name on an impressive list of Academic All Americans published in the heralded speech publication ROSTRUM magazine. Her efforts have contributed to the overall performance and ranking of Delta Charter School’s Forensics programs. While Sheelah’s accomplishments are sure to impress Ivy League admissions counselors, she is one member of an impressive Delta Charter School Speech and Debate Team. While Sheelah has achieved the highest rankings on the team, the rest of her team isn’t all that far behind. Currently Delta is ranked in the top 10% of programs nationally and there is no indication they will be slowing down anytime soon. For five years in a row, the Delta Charter High School’s speech and debate team has sent its students to compete at the national level in what is billed as the world’s largest academic competition. Delta’s performance at state and national competition have now placed the small, yet formidable, charter school in

the top 10% of speech and debate teams nationwide recognized by the National Forensic League (the oldest and largest interscholastic forensic organization). As a member of the National Forensic League students pledge to uphold the highest standards of integrity, humility, respect, leadership and service in the pursuit of excellence. These expectations hold true for all students enrolled at delta Charter School. At Delta, the school motto is Success is the Only Option. However we all know success can be measured in many ways when it comes to today’s high school student. While participation in speech and debate doesn’t guarantee a student will increase their score on the California Standards Test (CST), there is a growing body of research that indicates activities like speech and debate are likely to pay much higher dividends for today’s high school senior than that of an excellent CST Score. In his essay “Forensics and College Admissions”, professor Minh A. Luong of Yale University contends that of all extracurricular involvement, forensics activities increase an applicant’s chance of admission. According to the Wall Street Journal (Interactive Edition, April 16, 1999), college admissions directors are relying

less on grade point averages and standardized test scores and are relying more on success in academically related extracurricular activities such as speech and debate as well as drama. The Wall Street Journal report specifically highlighted a “consistent trend” — one that forensic coaches have known for a long time — that dedicated participation in drama and debate has significantly increased the success rate of college applicants at all schools that track such data. State and national award winners have a 22%–30% higher acceptance rate at top tier colleges and being captain of the debate team “improved an applicant’s chances by more than 60% compared with the rest of the pool,” according to the report. This is significantly better than other extracurricular activities that tend to recruit from the same pool of students as forensic teams such as school newspaper reporter (+3%), sports team captain (+5%), class president (+5%), and band (+3%). Even without winning major awards, participation in speech and debate develops valuable skills that colleges are seeking out and that is reflected in the above average acceptance rate (+4%). This data clearly tells us that colleges and universities are looking for articulate

thinkers and communicators who will become active citizens and leaders of tomorrow. Today many of the budgetary resources at local area high schools are allocated towards increasing student performance on fill-in-the blank tests that are aligned to a linear set of standards. Activities like speech and debate or other “extracurricular” activities are not considered essential curricular components. At Delta activities such as speech and debate are not only supported as core components of the academic program but they can also serve as cornerstones for new program development and charter school growth. The success of Delta Charter School’s speech and debate team has fueled the development of the School’s new Early College Academy of Leadership and Law. The new Academy launched in the 201011 school year and is looking to expand its presence throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus County. The Academy will continue to focus resources on its efforts to personalize student learning and provide relevant educational programming focused on success in college and beyond.

A personalized education where SUCCESS is the only option.

Delta Charter School • K-12 Programs for students at ALL ability levels offered both onsite and online • Open Enrollment across the San Joaquin Valley serving students at our Learning Centers in Stockton, Tracy and Manteca • NCLB Highly Qualified Credentialed Teachers • Tuition-Free Public School • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) • A-G coursework approved by the University of California • 21st Century Learning with digital curriculum available online 24/7

Visit our Tracy Campus or call for more information:

31400S. Koster Road ‫ ا‬Tracy, CA 95304


Visit us on the web at: 28


San Joaquin Kids Book Giveaway!


Then send your name, age, address, and the title of last book you read to:

For a chance to win our book giveaway! THIS ISSUE'S



Mr. Biggs in the City (Bilingual edition, signed by the author!) When a curious Sasquatch named Mr. Biggs leaves the forest to visit the big city, he finds that fitting in isn’t very easy. Can he find a way to have fun, or is he just too big? Find out in this silly, larger-than-life adventure. Submissions must be sent by April 15, 2012. One entry per child. One winner will be chosen by May 1. Reading with your child sparks their imagination, helps develop language skills, social skills, improves hand-eye coordination, and promotes life-long literacy. Start reading with your kids while they’re young, and you’ll enrich their lives for years to come.

209.833.9989 I


kids and parent: mom on a mission

Heather Mompean I am a mom, a wife, an employee, a business owner and a blogger. I have a 6 year old daughter named Sarah Monset, a 16 month old son named Elijah Shane Mateo, and am the wife to Kim Mompean; an incredible father, husband, musician, therapist, and best friend. By day I work for the City of Stockton Community Services Department as a Marketing and Community Relations Officer. By night I work as everything else; primarily “mom,” but also as the owner/photographer (alongside my husband) of Moomp Photography ( and owner/co-writer of a blog called Mom About The Town. (momaboutthetown. com) Another title I hold but don’t often flaunt for fear of causing jealousy is Queen of Laundry and Dishes. Like the Moms on a Mission before me, I can readily agree that being a working mom is tough. Although, I imagine it is no tougher than being a stay at home mom – just tough in a different way. Working full-time out of the home, I am constantly second guessing if I am missing important moments of my children’s lives. But I also have to trust that I am doing the best I can with what I have. I make the most of what time I do have at home. I make it a priority to reserve time out of my hectic schedule to be truly present with my family. Together we have danced horribly in the front yard, laughed loudly at movies, and talked endlessly while enjoying a pizza together. It may not always be the Married to: Kim Mompean quantity I prefer, but I try my best to make up for it Kids: Sarah Monset & in quality.

Elijah Shane Mateo

As a family we enjoy taking daycations to Micke Grove Zoo, visiting the library, and roaming the Haggin Museum. For our weekend getaways you can most always find us at the beach! My husband is a professional musician and our kids love music as well. I am thankful to have so many local venues like the Bob Hope Theater and the Stockton Arena just minutes from our doorstep so we can get our entertainment fix. At the end of the day, my most important role is that of wife and mom. I thoroughly enjoy taking photographs, owning a business, and blogging, and I am thrilled to be marketing the importance of our public library at my day job—but I love my husband and kids. They are my pride and joy and my constant source of education, gray hair, and inspiration! They encourage me to be the best I can be, and in return, I try to do everything I can so they can be the best they can be, too.



Courtesy Heather Mompean

Photographer, Blogger, Marketing and Community Relations Officer for the City of Stockton

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SJ Kids March 2012  
SJ Kids March 2012  

SJ Kids March 2012