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December 2016

www.valcomnews.com | ß CRAFTS, 7 | ß BOOK REPORT, 8 | ß WHO WROTE THAT, 11 | ß WHAT’S HAPPENING, 15


Blind Sacramento teen learns from Paralympians Caleb Hutchens, 14, of Sacramento looks forward to his annual chance to learn judo when Society for the Blind in Sacramento hosts the Blind Youth Paralympic Sport Experience in early December each year on the day of the California International Marathon. “Caleb really gets a kick out of the judo workshop,” said Sam Hutchens, his father. “I like that it’s an event we can experience together.” 20 Sacramento-area kids and teens with visual impairment, along with their parents, descended on Society for the Blind on Dec. 4 to learn judo, archery, golf and goalball from top blind athletes. Greg DeWall, 2008 Beijing Paralympics Bronze medalist and staff member at Society for the Blind, hosted the judo clinic. Janice Walth, Women’s Gold Medalist at the 2015 World Archery Championships and

a Society for the Blind board member, hosted the archery clinic. The event also included Bill Davis, who holds the world record as a blind golfer, and Joe Hamilton, Silver Medalist in goalball at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Some of the kids and parents, including Caleb and Sam Hutchens, also participated in the California International Marathon fun run before the event. “We like running the fun run and then spending the afternoon at the Blind Youth Paralympic Sport Experience,” said Sam Hutchens. “I’m always interested in learning how blind athletes are able to do the same things sighted people do.” The event, which is hosted by Society for the Blind, United States Association of Blind Athletes, and Paralympic Sport Club of Sacramento and sponsored by Hanson McClain, also included lunch sponsored by

the Senator Lions Club and a keynote address by Shawn Cheshire, ranked sixth in the world for tandem cycling racing. At the end of the event, participants were presented with certificates a nd s wa g ba g s d ona t e d by the Sacramento Kings Foundation and the Northern Nevada Delta Gamma Alumnae Chapter. “It’s great to be able to put opportunities in front of Caleb that he can choose from,” said Sam Hutchens. “Being visually impaired, Caleb doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to participate in sports.” For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally rec-

Sam Hutchens of Sacramento and his son Caleb participate in the California International Marathon fun run before joining the Blind Youth Paralympic Sport Experience at Society for the Blind that afternoon.

ognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 26-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills

training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information, visit www. SocietyfortheBlind.org.

www.valcomnews.com Publisher: David Herburger Editor: Monica Stark Contributing Writers: Susan Roberts, Bitsy Kemper, Carmel Mooney Art Director: John Ochoa Graphic Designer: Annin Greenhalgh Advertising: Steve Crowley 916-429-9901 Cover photo courtesy Metro Newspaper Service California Kids! is published monthly and distributed to more than 1,000 locations in the Sacramento Valley, including all of Sacramento County, and portions of Yolo (Davis and Woodland), Placer (Rocklin and Roseville), El Dorado (Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Placerville) counties. Subscriptions are available for $30/year. Mail prepaid check or money order to California Kids!, 2709 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95818. Make sure to specify the person and address to which you wish issues to be mailed. Deadlines for advertising and calendar listings are the 25th of the month prior to publication. Calendar listings should be mailed to 2709 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95818, faxed to (916) 429-9906, or e-mailed to editor@valcomnews.com. Copyright 2017 by Valley Community Newspapers Inc. 2709 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95818. Phone: (916) 429-9901. Fax: (916) 429-9906. E-mail:calkids@valcomnews.com. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.



CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide • JANUARY 2017


‘Viva, viva La Befana’ The chant of Italian children bring forth the mythical character to a Carmichael event near you By Monica Stark Chanting “Viva, viva La Befana” Sacramento area bambini (children) will summon the mythical figure on Sunday, Jan. 8 at the Italian Center in Carmichael in celebration of the Epiphany Feast – the Catholic holiday during which time the Three Wise Men shower baby Jesus with gold, frankincense and myrrh. In Italian culture, bambini go to sleep hoping La Befana will visit them during the night and leave presents for those who have been good but on Jan. 8 she will bring her basket of gold chocolate coins and special gifts for every bambino. Everyone is invited to bring their entire family and join in the celebration, featuring the “Legend of La Befana” puppet show and Italian folk dances performed by the Society’s “Bambini Dancers” (Children’s Dance Troupe). One of Italy’s oldest and most renowned legends, La Befana is honored with special events throughout Italy on this holiday. Many cities and towns organize festivities and parades to celebrate La Befana. In Sacramento and cities across the U.S. with Italian communities, “The Legends of La Befana” is celebrated with children’s festivals. “(La Festa Della Befana) is a chance for children in our community to get together and celebrate together. It brings in young families to the event; it’s a feel-good event,” said event chair Bill Cerruti. Partially, in an effort to redeem the hag-like woman from the stereotypes that tarnish her reputation, the woman behind the moniker, Phyllis Cupparo, describes La Befana as a “kindly old woman, not a witch.” While the mythical character sports a haggard appearance

and flies around town on a broom, Phyllis maintains “this woman was sweeping and too busy to go with (the Three Wise Men). She felt bad... She’s not a witch; she’s just a woman that flies on a broom and goes to every house because she’s searching for baby Jesus.” Caught off guard by Phyllis’ physical beauty, some have approached her stating: “But, La Befana is supposed to be old and ugly.” To their reply, Phyllis undermines herself and says, “I am old.” For the past 18 years, local bambini have witnessed Phyllis’ magic, as phrases like: “Que bella bambino (What a beautiful child)” grace the annual event. Children often ask: “Can we take picture with La Befana?” Her reply: “Ma certo (of course).” A full-blooded Italian, Phyllis takes pride in the Ephinany Feast celebration. Up to three years ago, as La Befana, Phyllis had to hide from the children until their summoning of her presence with the chant- “Viva, viva Le Befana.” Then suddenly women organizers decided to set up a photo booth so that La Befana could co-exist with the children prior to the chanting. “Take pictures with La Befana,” they encouraged.” And the children did and will surely do again. “I can go there in my costume dressed. I don’t have to hide until the very end (of the puppet show)”. Once a performer, always a performer; Phyllis recalls a poignant time in her acting career: In 1978, Phyllis played Miss Forsythe in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” under the guidance of none other than Tom Hanks who was hired as stage manager. She recalled having a costume mishap minutes before the first performance. The strap on her 1940s plat-

JANUARY 2017 • CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide

form slingback high heels broke. Hanks’ suggestion: Staple it. “‘That should hold, but take it to a shoemaker this week and bring the bill. It should hold, but if it doesn’t, play it.’ I thought to myself, it better. Thankfully, Tom’s stapling job held and I played that beautiful scene.” “It was the closest I’ve ever got to Broadway,” Phyllis says today. And on her bucket list now: Seeing Tom Hanks one more time. A fourth-generation native New Jerseyan, Phyllis grew up in the same Italian neighborhood as her parents and grandparents. “It was a very warm family environment,” she said. But what really got Phyllis interested in her heritage were three trips to Italy with her aging mother, once in 1995, ‘96 and ‘97. “My mother loves to travel, but she had never been to Italy. In 1995, she said ‘I’m going to

Italy even if have to go alone.’ I said I’ll go, too.” After the first trip to Italy, Phyllis took Italian classes, starting with language, then dance. “Italy is beautiful. The people are beautiful. My favorite thing was trying to speak Italian when I started taking the language classes.” For a number of years, she’s hosted a radio show on Sacramento public access, KUBU (96.5 FM) called “Sacramento Italian Style”. Currently, the show airs Sunday at noon and features Italian music and happenings at the Sacramento Italian Cultural Society. Visitors to La Festa Della Befana are invited to take a memorial photo with La Befana in the Befana photo booth and get our Befana book signed by La Befana herself. If you don’t have a copy of The Legend of La Befana book already, you can visit the book fair to get a copy and

browse the many other Italian themed children’s books for sale. Keepsake La Befana t-shirts will also be available for purchase. Volunteers are needed to help with craft tables, book fair, and various tasks. Contact Janet Kwartler at 217-1952 to volunteer. Donations of traditional Italian cookies are always appreciated. Call Patty Peter at 399-9592 if you can donate cookies or holiday treats.

If you go: What: Festa Della Befana, featuring a puppet show and children’s arts and crafts and of course a visit from La Befana When: Sunday, Jan. 8 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Where: Sacramento Italian Center, 6821 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael




Have fun coloring!

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CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide • JANUARY 2017


Fairytale Town looking for donations for new playset Entering a place called Fairytale Town just has to be a magical experience. Staff there work hard to make sure that once children and families cross under the Humpty Dumpty gate, they enter an enchanted realm where stories come to life and children can play to their heart’s content. These days, after hearing the initial “Oohs!” and “Ahhs!” upon entering the park, the next comment we often hear is, “What is that supposed to be?” when children see the droughtstricken waterways throughout the park. One frequent guest hit the nail on the head when she said, “Fairytale Town has done such a great job of upgrading and refreshing the grounds and playsets. It’s a shame the moats are such an eyesore.” A statement on the nonprofit’s website reads the following: “The board and staff of Fairytale Town are committed to keeping the historical integrity of our storybook park. We can easily

justify maintaining and improving the moat around King Arthur’s Castle and the waterways close to the Pirate Ship and the Water Wheel. But, after many years of drought, it has become difficult to rationalize the use of water as a decorative element and costly to fill the non-thematic waterways in the park. For these reasons, we began to look at ways to repurpose the non-thematic waterways in the park. “Thanks to a grant from Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, we are in the process of creating a new playset! The grant allows Fairytale Town to request proposals from artists and arts organizations to create a new playset to replace the waterway between the Tipi playset and the Mary’s Little Lamb exhibit. Like all the structures at Fairytale Town, the new playset will be story-based, interactive, and powered by the imagination rather than electricity.”

The grant requires a one-to-one match, and we need your help to raise the $100,000 match! The public is invited to join us in making this exciting and collaborative project come to life.

Donate Today Make a contribution online, or please contact Kathy Fleming at (916) 808-7060.

Fairytale Town Trouper Auditions to be held Jan. 23 The Elly-Award winning Fairytale Town Troupers will be holding auditions for actors and singers for their 10th exciting season of original and innovative entertainment—and your child can be part of the fun! The program is open to youth ages 5 to 18. No theatrical experience is required. Parents and guardians are welcome to accompany minors. Auditions will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23 at Fairytale Town. Audition appointments are required. To make an appointment, or for questions about the Troupers, please contact John Lee at mrlee@fairytaletown.org. The Fairytale Town Troupers is a theatre arts program that teaches the

essentials of live stage production in a practical rehearsal and performance format. The Troupers program is open to young actors ages 5 to 18. Internship opportunities are also available for ages 18 to 21. In this unique program, novices work side-by-side with seasoned veterans to gain invaluable hands-on experience in the art of producing live theatre. The Troupers program is led by Fairytale Town’s Education & Theatre Arts Specialist John Lee, an award-winning local playwright, director and actor. For Auditions: Actors should prepare a one-minute monologue—preferably memorized. Monologues can be sonnets or speeches from Shakespeare, passages from favorite books, plays or poems.

Popular choices include selections from Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, and Lewis Carroll. Please do not memorize a speech from a movie, TV show, or any video or audio recording. After presenting your monologue, be ready for cold readings of scenes from the scripts and possibly some movement exercises. For Singing Auditions: Songs should be 2 minutes maximum length (shorter is okay). Please query for music restrictions. For more information, call the main office at 916-808-7462 or the 24-hour line at 916-808-5233. Or email: mail@ fairytaletown.org Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento.

Healing Pastures

EJ’s Little People Haircuts for Kids

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JANUARY 2017 • CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide

Regular Haircut. Expires 1/31/17 VCN




Sacramento Boys & Girls Clubs Get Active with “Exergame” in Land Park area school A body in motion tends to stay in motion. And that’s a good thing. There was a lot of moving around for first-grader Sascha and her buddies who happily tested out new “exergame” kits that were donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento. Known as NERF ENERGY Game Kits, the devices help encourage children to be more physically active through “exergaming” – a videogame that is also exercise. “I really like the way it works,” said Sascha about the kits. “The technology is really



fun and easy, and it will help show my family that I get a lot of exercise by just playing.” The NERF ENERGY Game Kits, which use activity trackers, soccer balls and mobile games to get kids moving, were donated to the local Club by UnitedHealthcare as part of an initiative with Hasbro, the kit maker. The special donation was timed to coincide with the holiday season when children tend to be more sedentary. Nationwide, approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents ages two to 19 years are obese, according to

the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In California, studies show that 15 percent of children are considered obese. The NERF ENERGY Game Kits enable kids to pick their own method of being active. As children participate in physical activity, they earn “energy points” that are tracked by the activity band, and these points turn into screen time to play the mobile game, NERF ENERGY RUSH, on a smartphone or tablet. The mobile game is an “endless runner” game that asks players to turn, jump and avoid obstacles to complete courses and earn power-ups. The positive response was echoed by fifth-grader Izaiah. “It’s a pretty cool thing to have these kits. I plan to start setting goals for how many steps I can

take, so I’m grateful to have a toy that is both fun and rewards me for just playing.” The kits were distributed during a demonstration event held Dec. 15 at Leataata Floyd Elementary School in the Upper Land Park area. About 30 school-age club members were on hand to receive the kits and get in

some exercise, with help from UnitedHealthcare volunteers and the company’s mascot, Dr. Health E. Hound. The kits will be available as a regular part of member activities after school and on weekends. The Sacramento donation is part of an initiative by UnitedHealthcare to donate more than 10,000 NERF ENERGY Game Kits to schools and youth-focused organizations across the country, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide • JANUARY 2017


Make it yourself!

Memory Box

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ake a memory box at the beginning of a New Year. It is a great way for children to think about what they have done and achieved over the previous year, and makes a super memory to pull out once a year and enjoy as a family.

Wooden Spoon Cow

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ur wooden spoon crafts are so much fun to do and look fabulous, and this wooden spoon cow is no exception. Make a whole collection of wooden spoon animals and use them for a puppet show or put them up on display - they look great attached to the wall in a row with Velcro tabs (which also makes them easy to pull down for puppet show use!)

You will need:

You will need:

Wooden spoon White paint Black paint or marker Wiggle eyes Pink, black and white craft foam Glue

A shoebox Paint or wrapping paper Small photos

To make: Paint or cover a shoebox. Draw or paint the year (just passing) on to the lid. Cut out lots of small photos taken this year and glue to the box to decorate. Fill the box with tickets, leaflets, photos, certificates and other mementos to help you remember all the things you have done this year.

Snake Hand Puppet

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ut an old sock to good use with this fun snake hand puppet craft for kids - why not make a whole family of snakes!

Instructions: Paint the spoon white and leave to dry. Draw or paint black splodges all over the spoon - you can use the photo for inspiration. Cut a nose from pink craft foam. Glue the nose to the front of spoon, drawing on nostrils with the marker pen. Stick on the wiggle eyes. Cut two horns from white foam and two ears from black foam. Glue the horns and ears to the back of the spoon.

Fox Finger Puppet Craft

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hildren can whip up this fox finger puppet craft in a flash and be putting on a play before you can say Fantastic Mr Fox! Also useful for a British Wildlife theme.

You will need:

You will need:

Long sock Ribbons, buttons, eyes and other decorative bits Fabric glue

White paper Orange card Sticky tape Wiggle eyes Glue

Instructions:

Instructions:

Cut a forked tongue from red ribbon. Glue on to the sole of the sock so it sticks out of the toe. Glue eyes on to the top of the toe section. Decorate your snake however you like. Having a patterned sock we kept things simple but you can get really creative with your decorations! Wear the sock so that your fingers slip into the toes and your thumb into the heal, to form a mouth.

Cut a quarter circle of orange card. Cut a smaller quarter circle of white paper and glue it to the orange card so that the corners meet. Roll the orange card into a cone and tape to secure. Cut out two semi-circle ears. Fold over a small flap and use it to tape the ears to the head. Stick on two wiggle eyes. Your fox finger puppet is ready for the show!

Crafts courtesy of: www.Activity Village.co.uk - Keeping Kids Busy JANUARY 2017 • CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide




THE BOOK REPORT

Multicultural Folk Tales By Susan L. Roberts

F

olk tales are a wonderful way to introduce geography, climate, cultures, customs and values. Often told metaphorically, they broaden the mind and viewpoints of children, giving them an opportunity to “try on someone else’s shoes.” Here are some recent favorites. Remember to check out the children’s folk tale section in the bookstore or library when selecting books for your child. Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll, The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village, by Sunny Seki (Tuttle Publishing, Ages 4-10) There’s magic in this story. While simply told, there’s something in it that stirs the heart and imagination. A Japanese village met disaster when a volcano ruined their crops. Yuko-Chan, a young blind girl, that many villagers felt sorry for, teased village leaders who stop reciting scriptures when lights were blown out. “Wow! You’re handicapped aren’t you,” she joked.” Yuko-Chan discovers the gourd, shaped like Daruma-san (Father of Zen Buddhism) up-righted itself. She suggested the villagers could make dolls that always stood upright and sell them. The dolls sold, and today people come from around the world to purchase them. Text is in both English and Japanese. Reviewer’s Pick of the Month Indian Boyhood, The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing, by Charles Ohiyesa Eastman, illustrated by Heidi M. Rasch (Wisdom Tales, Ages 6-10) This true story, written by a Sioux who lived in the 1800s, gives a glimpse of what it was like for Native Americans in early America. Ohiyesa called his boyhood the “freest life in the world” and every day there was a real hunt. As a baby, he learned to converse in the unknown language of birds and squirrels. When he was four, white men sent his people off their land; many times they did not have anything to eat. When he was fifteen, his



father, who had been kidnapped by the US Army, returned. Ohiyesa moved to the city and started school. A generous Forward and Bio expand the story of the Indian Boy and his culture. Maya’s Blanket, by Monica Brown, illustrated by David Diaz (Lee & Low Books, Ages 4-8) Following the tradition of the Yiddish folk song about an overcoat that is made into smaller and smaller items, Maya Morales has a special blue and green with purple butterflies blanket (manta) made by her Abuelita, which eventually becomes frayed on the edges.  Maya, with the help of her Abuelita, uses the material to make herself a dress (vestido), then a skirt and eventually a bookmark. When she loses the bookmark, she decides to write a story about her manta, and writes this book.  While the story structure is not new, incorporating Spanish culture and a girl who makes her own new items with the help of her Abuelita, makes this a love-filled story.  The book is written in both English and Spanish.

Young Norihei found a kappa lying on the ground and revived him with water. They beThe Thunder Egg by Tim J. Myers, illustrated by came friends. When two unscrupulous men tried Winfield Coleman (Wisdom Tales, Ages 4-8) to steal the kappa, Norihei saved him. When the A young Cheyenne girl, sensitive to her environ- kappa moved away, he gave Norihei a crystal ment, finds a thunder egg.  She is led to care for necklace and said, “If you ever need help with the egg, even when other children ridicule her.  water, drop this into a stream and call me.” NoriHer grandma comforts her, saying “Someday hei became a parent and when his toddler girl fell you’ll find your power, and with it the good you into the river, Norihei remembered the kappa. can do in the world.” In the middle of a drought, As promised, the kappa brought his daughter each tribe member is asked to make sacrifices.  The back. The Kappa Roll, made of cucumbers--the girl chooses to sacrifice her egg, her most valuable kappa’s favorite food—remains a popular dish item.  She leaves it near a tree where lightning throughout Japan. has struck before.  Lightning strikes it, breaking it open.  In thanks for her caring for the thunder egg, the thunderbird brings rain to the land.  Susan L. Roberts (www.Books4theCuriousChild. A touching story of a sensitive girl’s resolve. com) lives in Sacramento, CA where she reads The Last Kappa of Old Japan, A Magidozens of picture books each month and reviews cal Journey of Two Friends, by Sunny Seki the best to help parents and teachers find books (Tuttle Publishing, Ages 6-10) that will inspire and develop a child’s curiosity The kappa, translated “river child,” are believed and love of life. to be messengers of the god of water and have been part of Japanese folklore for hundreds of years.

CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide • JANUARY 2017


A Jolly ‘Ol Time at the Family Y By Monica Stark

Twas not yet Christmas, and all through the Y, children were swimmin’ and havin’ good time. The decorations were hung by the pool with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were splashing all fun in the pool, while visions of merfolk danced real cool. And lifeguards on deck, and one on a chair, were watchin’ the kids for a long evening stare.

Photo by Lance Armstrong

When out on the deck there arose such a clatter, Children swam all around to see what was the matter. Away to the deck they swam like The Flash, to see Santa Claus and offer a splash. With little red swim trunks, and a candy cane shirt, Santa was quiet and the children alert. More rapid than sharks, the children they came, Santa whistled and shouted HO, HO, HO just the same: Now Sophie! Now Billy! Now, Albert and Ben! Oh, Jeffrey! Oh, Samuel! Oh, Audrey and Jen! Over to the shallow end! To where you can stand! Now tell Santa your wishes! Tell him all night! Covering her tail as she walked through the Y, Aimee Alejandre, her fins underlie some scarves and a jacket that hid her mer-self until she was ready to reveal her true self. Whose mermaid career began in ‘11 as a lead at Dive Bar Aimee’s giving back now after being a sea star A fish in water almost her whole life She loves the community there at the Y And Santa whose presence there on that fun night Aimee had a wish for the man – keep the children safe and all right. The children were fine; they had a good time. So did the parents whoopity do. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

JANUARY 2017 • CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide

All other photos by Stephen Crowley




Parties!

Parties!

Parties!

Parties!

Parties!

Parties!

Parties!

Under The Cups Tell Me A Story

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his is a fun version of “Memory” which you can play with all age groups. We have a party version and a non-party version, both of which your kids will enjoy, as well as a version for one child to play on their own. Age: 4+

Preparation for the party version:

You will need 28 Styrofoam or paper cups (not transparent) and 2 each of 14 different pairs of treats to hide such as sweets (candy), treat-sized chocolate bars, or tiny gifts. When nobody is looking put the treats in a rectangular grid pattern (7 x 4) on a table and cover with the cups to make a “concentration” game.

Play: The children take it in turns to turn over a pair of cups. If the treats underneath match, they may take the cups away, claim the treats as their own and have another go. If they do not match, they must carefully replace the cups and play passes to the next player.

Home version: For a game at home with your own children, find articles such as buttons, toy

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T cars, coins, pencils etc to use instead of treats - although you may want to include a treat or two to make the game extra fun and motivate your child to play! Count up the number of pairs of objects you have found at the end and declare a winner.

Solitaire version: A child playing on his or her own can count the number of moves made to find all the pairs, and try to beat the score next time.

Hints: Increase or reduce the number of cups and pairs of objects to suit the age and ability of the children. For a party game for older children, reduce the number of “treats” and throw in the odd booby prize! You could also hide an “instant forfeit” under one or more of the cups: choose something that all the kids at the party would be happy to do.

his is a lovely game for a group of children or a family gathering. Play it as an ice-breaker, around the dinner table, on car journeys, as an after-tea party game... in fact, play it anywhere! Tell Me a Story is a very simple game. One person starts off a story with 4 words. The next person adds 4 words. And the next, and so on.

Here’s an example: Child 1: Once upon a time Child 2: there lived a great Child 3: big hairy spider with Child 4: only four legs. He Child 5: loved chocolate! And he...and so on.

You might want or need to introduce your own rules. For example: You can’t use the same word twice in a row (eg it was a cold, cold, cold...)

Pass the Parcel

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his well-known classic birthday party game is a favorite with the younger age-group, although we have found that very young children don’t understand that they need to pass the parcel on and have suffered an embarrassing tantrum or two as a result! Age: 5+ Preparation: You will need a present wrapped up in at least as many layers of gift wrap as there are children at the party. You can economize by using construction paper or newspaper for the early layers. If you are playing with very young children, you may like to add a small chocolate bar or roll of sweets (candy) to each layer. You will also need a CD player or similar.

You should make it clear if you are ending a sentence You might decide that 4 words is too many or too few.

Play: Sit the children in a circle and give the present to the birthday child. Start the music. The children pass the parcel around the circle to the child on their left as long as the music continues. When it stops, the child holding the parcel undoes one layer or wrapping (and, if you have included them, takes a treat). The final layer will open to reveal the prize. Hints: This game is very popular but needs close supervision with younger children. Some are reluctant to pass the parcel at all and may need some encouragement! You will also need to make sure that the music stops in such a way that everyone gets a turn, and (preferably) so that the birthday child doesn’t win the prize! It is helpful to memorize the last layer of wrapping paper so that you can make sure a suitable child wins the prize – perhaps the youngest child or the shyest child.

CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide • JANUARY 2017


Who wrote that? KIDLIT CREATORS WHO MAKE KIDS WANT TO READ An interview with with Lisa M. Bakos

By Bitsy Kemper

Who Wrote That? is a monthly column that profiles the talented authors and illustrators who bring children’s books to life.

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isa M. Bakos is the author of two charming picture books that parents, as well as kids, will enjoy reading over and over. From Danville, she recently did a book signing at the prestigious California Library Association conference in Sacramento. She talked with fellow author Bitsy Kemper about her writing journey. Q. It looks like you’ve done dozens of author visits and storytimes this past year. You must enjoy it! Did you always want to be an author? A. As long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed writing. My parents were constantly encouraging me to write, and even entered a poem of mine in a Young Writer’s Contest when I was in second grade. I believe it was a poem about my deceased cat…I guess that was my “dark period” [laughs]. I won an Honorable Mention and it meant the world to me at the time. Though I didn’t become serious about writing until after I had kids of my own, I’ve always appreciated the support of my mom and dad. Q. What’s your favorite thing about being an author? A. I truly enjoy being an advocate of literacy, visiting schools, sharing my books, and speaking with students about the importance of reading. The more you read the better you’ll write! I like to emphasize the importance of keeping a journal for ideas and stories since you never

Lisa M. Bakos

know when and where inspiration will strike. My favorite quote of all time is by author Charles de Lint: “Don’t forget, no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories you have to tell.” Q. Why did you want to become an author? A. I’m a huge advocate for children’s literacy and I’m especially fond of children’s picture books, which I believe are relevant for people from age 1-100! I have always loved writing and this was something my parents always encouraged me to pursue. It wasn’t until much later in life, however, that I actually sat down and began to write. I’m proof it’s never too late to follow your dream! Q. What is your favorite book that you read as a kid? A. My all-time favorite book from my childhood is HOW JOE THE BEAR AND SAM THE MOUSE GOT TOGETHER (written by Beatrice Schenk De Regainers and illustrated by Bernice Myers). I’ve had this book since I was a toddler and the message still holds true today—we can all find common ground somewhere, especially when it comes to ice cream!

Q. Where do you get your ideas? A. Most of my ideas come from silly things my kids or pets do. I often start with the title first, then the story comes along after. My son was the inspiration behind THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED, because he frequently wakes up...on the wrong side of the bed! Q. TOO MANY MOOSE! is really cute. It’s full of great rhyme and alliteration. What was your inspiration for all of Martha’s marvelous moose? A. I have always loved animals and have a multitude of pets, from chickens to horses, and if I had a farm, it would include a moose or two. So, I thought it might be fun to imagine what life would really be like to have too many moose in the mix. Q. I gotta ask: how many moose ARE too many moose? A. Hmmmm…maybe a million! I may not be the most impartial person to ask. Q. If you could order multiples of any animal, what animal would it be? A. While it’s probably true that less is more when it comes to moose, I’d still have to say moose! Although an extraordinary amount of elephants could be exciting too. Q. What are you most excited about regarding your books? A. I’m delighted Too MANY MooSE! comes with a 12-page Educator Guide and a 5-page Activity Kit. Both can be found online on what Sourcebook calls a “Virtual Moose Mart,” where kids can select and name their own moose. http://books.sourcebooks.com/moose-mart/ Q. Your bio mentions you have a crowded house. A. I live with my husband, three kids, two dogs, and three

cats. There’s also a horse and several chickens...but they live outside, much to their chagrin. Q. Sounds like a picture book waiting to happen! A. My caboodle of chickens are Mildred, Edith, Babs, Bernice, and Honey Bee, just to name a handful. My chickens are the inspiration for a book I’m working on right now… but ‘clucks’ the word on any more details for now!

Bitsy Kemper is author of 16 children’s books. You may have seen Bitsy on CNN, heard her on national radio, noticed her quoted in a range of places from Parenting magazine to Writing Children’s Books for Dummies, or seen her work in countless newspapers, radio and TV stations across the U.S of A. Busy with three kids (four if you count her husband), she happily finds time to present at schools and writer conferences from CA to NY. Find out more at www.BitsyKemper.com

LEARN MORE ABOUT LISA M. BAKOS Website: www.lisambakos.com Twitter: @lisambakos Instagram: lisambakos Lives: Danville, CA

Favorite Quote: “Don’t forget, no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories you have to tell.” -author Charles de Lint Can be seen: Danville Public Library on Tuesday, March 21st for Story Time & Crafts. More school and bookstore visits in the process of being scheduled. Check her website for her most up to date calendar of events.

BOOKS BY LISA M. BAKOS TOO MANY MOOSE! illustrated by Mark A. Chambers, Sourcebooks,2016 THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED, illustrated by Anna Raff, Penguin Random House, 2016

JANUARY 2017 • CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide

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Pocket softball standout signs onto play at UC Davis By Monica Stark editor@valcomnews.com

At a high school where the student population does not boast a very large talent pool for softball players, 5foot-1-inch second baseman Kiana Lee stands tall above her John F. Kennedy teammates, and as of last month accepted an offer to become an academic-athlete and play

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softball at the highest collegiate level. As most of her fellow senior classmates are currently turning in college applications, Kiana committed herself to UC Davis, a Division-1 university. For awhile, Kiana didn’t even want to play college softball, but she realized after all the hard work she’s put into the sport, she’d

work even harder to get noticed by recruiters. She sent out hundreds of emails, made hundreds of phone calls, so when the news came that UC Davis wanted her to play on their team, Kiana “was just really happy. I think I cried three times,” she said. Academically attractive to recruiters, Kiana’s small size on the other hand created some difficulty in getting noticed. So, she put her education first. “It’s a big relief,” she said. To her parents Kevin Lee and Meena Chan Lee, Kiana is a role model to many young girls with lofty ambitions. “She is proof that no matter where you come from or what your obstacles are, with the right attitude, perseverance, and support, pretty much anything is possible to child wanting to fulfill their biggest dreams,” Kevin Lee said. Ever since a little girl, Kiana has wanted to attend UC Davis for its veterinary program, but more recently neurology, psychology and behavioral science have piqued the interest of the 4.2 grade point average student. “I like the brain and the mystery it has... one favorite courses (at Kennedy) is anatomy by Mr. Pollock,” she said. Perhaps, Kiana’s intended major goes hand-in-hand with her position as second-baseman. “You need a

strong mental focus,” she says. “There’s more thinking involved in second base than what people realize. You have to react quickly and think about what you’re going to do and think about situations before the pitch is being pitched.” One of her main coaches, Ray Stone has been with her since age 12, encouraging her to make the switch from pitching to second-base. A player of the fast-pitch softball club Batbusters for the last year and a half, Kiana has moved to three different organizations just to stay under the guidance of Stone. Her 18 and under club team has boasted multiple collegiate commitments. “Two girls are going to South Dakota State, one to Wagner College in York, one to New Mexico State, one to Humboldt State,” she said. When she was 5 years old, Kiana first walked onto a baseball field to play tee ball for Pocket Little League. At that age, she was both unaware of her talents and unaware of the existence of a softball league. After two years of learning the fundamentals of baseball, she moved onto softball at the age of 7. It wasn’t long before she started to notice her abilities. Kiana started with Pocket Girls’ Softball, a main reason she had a head start in a flourishing softball career.

This next spring, Kiana thinks the Kennedy Cougars softball team will be good due to a high number of strong transfers. Will they beat rival, C.K. McClatchy? “I think so,” she says. Then, in the summer, Kiana will stay busy, traveling for national championships and having regular practices. Meanwhile, on the agenda, her UCD coach will hand out a summer workout. “Since I’m close enough, I can go to the weights room and work out with the weights coach.” In the game of fast-pitch softball, players, including Kiana have had their share of injuries. She’s been hit in the mouth, the throat, the elbow. Asked about her batting, she said she didn’t used to be a very good, but now boasts the second highest average on her team. Additionally to softball, Kiana plays tennis and soccer, sports that help her stay in shape. Adding to her regimen, Kiana does “core work” while watching Netflix and enjoys walking the family’s white German Shepherd, Shiloh. An added bonus of attending college nearby, Kiana says she come home and see her dog. “She’s not coming home to see us, but coming home to see the dog,” quipped her mother. “True,” Kiana says.

CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide • JANUARY 2017


Effie Yeaw Winter camps Wildlife Watchers (ages 6-7 and 8-11, see below) Tuesday, January 3, 10am to 1pm Session A for ages 6-7; Session B for ages 8-11 $20 members; $25 nonmembers Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Become a young citizen scientist! Prance through the preserve and help us count and map deer and turkey sightings. How many toms, hens, jakes and poult will we see? How many bucks, does, yearlings and fawn will be found? Investigate antlers, feathers and fur, play games and make new discoveries! Two sessions offered, by age group. Please note session on registration. Be sure to print and complete the Registration & Re-

lease form before purchasing a camp online. http://www.sacnaturecenter.net/images/ Fall_Winter_Camp_Registration_and_Release_Form_ for_WEB.pdf Early Birds (ages 6-7 and 8-11, see below) Wednesday, January 4, 9 a.m. to noon Session A for ages 6-7; Session B for ages 8-11 $20 members  $25 nonmembers Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Flock to the trails early to see what kinds of birds are wintering at Effie Yeaw! Get a closer look at these amazing flyers as you learn how to use binoculars and how to identify what you

find. Meet a raptor, hear a bird tale and decorate your own gliding bird to take home. Flock to the trails early to see what kinds of birds are wintering at Effie Yeaw! Get a closer look at these amazing flyers as you learn how to use binoculars and how to identify what you find. Meet a raptor, hear a bird tale and decorate your own gliding bird to take home. Be sure to print and complete the Registration & Release form before purchasing a camp online. http://www.sacnaturecenter.net/images/ Fall_Winter_Camp_Registration_and_Release_Form_ for_WEB.pdf Wonderful Water (age 5) Thursday, January 5, 10am to 1pm $20 members; $25 nonmembers Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a treemendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a treemendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the en-

vironment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Flock to the trails early to see what kinds of birds are wintering at Effie Yeaw! Get a closer look at these amazing fliers as you learn how to use binoculars and how to identify what you find. Meet a raptor, hear a bird tale and decorate your own gliding bird to take home. Drip, drip, drop…. Water is very important for life here on Earth. Discover the reasons we value water so much in our preserve and everywhere. Activities include art, meeting a water-loving animal, hiking to the pond and river, learning about the water cycle, and doing a real science experiment. Be sure to print and complete the Registration & Release form before purchasing a camp online. http://www.sacnaturecenter.net/images/ Fall_Winter_Camp_Registration_and_Release_Form_ for_WEB.pdf Nature’s Notebook (ages 12-15) Thursday, January 5, 10am to 1pm $20 members • $25 nonmembers Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a

backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Trees are important part of our world. Join us for a tree-mendous time of exploring trees and discovering all the amazing things trees do for people, animals and the environment. Bring your snack and water in a backpack for hiking, sketching leaves, detective work, and of course tree identification! Go beyond basic identifications and develop a deeper connection to the nature world around us. Inspired by the teachings of John Muir Laws, we’ll practice our observation skills and learn to be actively curious while filling our nature journals with drawings, quantifications and questions. Be sure to print and complete the Registration & Release form before purchasing a camp online. http://www.sacnaturecenter.net/images/ Fall_Winter_Camp_Registration_and_Release_Form_ for_WEB.pdf Registering for Camp You can register in three ways: online at http://www.sacnaturecenter.net/wintercamps. html using the PayPal menu, via fax/mail by downloading the registration form http:// www.sacnaturecenter.net/ images/Fall_Winter_Camp_ Registration_and_Release_ Form_for_WEB.pdf, or via phone by calling the Nature Center at 489-4918. For more information, fax: (916) 489-4983 or mailing address: P.O. Box 579, Carmichael, CA 95609 Physical address:2950 San Lorenzo Way (off Tarshes Drive), Carmichael, CA 95608.

Ages 3½ thru adult Private piano instruction Over 30 years of teaching experience JANUARY 2017 • CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide

piano-cat@myway.com

(916) 238-8072 13


What’s Happening, Kids! SATURDAY, DEC. 31-JAN. 1 WHO YEAR NEW YEAR’S PARTY AT THE SACRAMENTO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: For the first year ever, the Sacramento Children’s Museum will be adding a kid-oriented after-hours component to the museum’s Who Year daytime activities from 9 p.m.-12:15 a.m. for dancing, continued noise-maker making and bubble stomps, games, light refreshments, and, of course, Museum play, culminating in a festive New Year’s countdown! Register in advance. Registration is $5/person (Members and Non-Members). 2701 Prospect Park, Rancho Cordova.

TUESDAY, JAN. 3 ANIMAL HOUSE: THE EXHIBIT: Sacramento Fine Arts Center presents Animal House, the Exhibit because it’s a zoo out there! 12th annual exhibit goes until Jan. 29. Online entry is closed. Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Inc., 5330B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael. Hours open: Tuesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 4, THURSDAY, JAN. 5, FRIDAY, JAN. 6 WINTER CAMP AT THE SAC ZOO: The learning doesn’t have to stop when school break begins; bring your 1st – 8th grade children to the Zoo for more learning and even more fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.! The season’s second session is titled: Weird, Wacky, and Wild! Have you ever wondered why an Anteater’s nose is so long, why an Armadillo is so scaly, or why an Aardvark’s toenails are so long? Answer all of these and more when we delve into the world of weird, wacky, and wild animals at the Zoo this January. 3930 West Land Park Drive, Sacramento; 808-5888.

SATURDAY, JAN. 7 KIDS CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT BY THE SACRAMENTO AUDUBON SOCIETY: Sacramento Audubon has been sponsoring its Annual Christmas Bird Count since the 1940s! All over the world, thousands come together to count birds and this information is used by scientists and others who

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study birds. Sacramento area kids aged 6-10 can participate in this exciting event at Effie Yeaw, located at 2850 San Lorenzo Way (off Tarshes Drive), Carmichael. 9am-12:30 pm. Pre-registration is required. Please register each participating child and each accompanying adult. Once you are registered you will receive your registration confirmation via email. Space is limited for both days and registration is first come, first served. Questions about the event? Contact Maureen Geiger at 916-444-0804.

SUNDAY, JAN. 8 KIDS CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT BY THE SACRAMENTO AUDUBON SOCIETY: Sacramento Audubon has been sponsoring its Annual Christmas Bird Count since the 1940s! All over the world, thousands come together to count birds and this information is used by scientists and others who study birds. Sacramento area kids aged 10-16 can participate in this exciting event at the Cosumnes River Preserve, 13501 Franklin Blvd., Galt, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Please register each participating child and each accompanying adult. Once you are registered you will receive your registration confirmation via email. Space is limited for both days and registration is first come, first served. Questions about the event? Contact Maureen Geiger at 916-444-0804.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18 FREE TRAVEL SHOW AT MISSION OAKS COMMUNITY CENTER: EASY Group Travel Designed for Adventurers who are newly retired or “still working but ready to travel; cost: free; Mission Oaks Community Center, 4701 Gibbons Drive, 972-0336.

MONDAY, JAN. 23 TEACHER FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE SACRAMENTO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: SCM invites all educators and their families to play for FREE at the Museum on Jan. 23, 2017 from 2-6 p.m. You’ll have a chance to not only tour the Museum and play with all of our hands-on exhibits, but also learn about our field trips, Van Go! Mobile Museum program, and Cultural Connections classroom kits. Please RSVP to education@sackids.org. 2701 Prospect Park, Rancho Cordova.

THURSDAY, JAN. 26 DEER & FAWN STORYTIME AT EFFIE YEAW NATURE CENTER: Bring your preschooler for an hour of songs, stories and a craft, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Effie Yeaw, located at 2850 San Lorenzo Way (off Tarshes Drive), Carmichael! Pre-registration required. Visit http://www.sacnaturecenter.net/ to sign-up!

FRIDAY, JAN. 27 COMMUNITY JAM NIGHT AT THE MISSION OAKS COMMUNITY CENTER: All-ages musical jam to socialize and showcase your talents! Every last Friday of the month. 7-8pm (sign-ups at 6:45 p.m.); cost: $2; location: Swanston Community Center, 2350 Northrop Ave.; 333-6464

SATURDAY, JAN. 28 AND SUNDAY, JAN. 29 GALAXY EXPRESS PLAY: An exciting theatrical series for the whole family; fun starts at 3 p.m. both days; cost is $10; location: Swanston Community Center, 2350 Northrop Ave.; 333-6464.

SATURDAY, FEB. 1 SF SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL’S PRODUCTION OF TWELFTH NIGHT TO BE PERFORMED AT MCKINLEY LIBRARY: Become part of the show as the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival presents their touring production of Twelfth Night at 3:30 p.m. at McKinley Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd. Shakespeare’s heartfelt comedy Twelfth Night follows the journeys of castaway twins and one of Shakespeare’s greatest heroines, Viola, as they make profound discoveries about the nature of love, loss, and identity. This fun-filled production includes walk-on roles where audience volunteers get into the act. San Francisco Shakespeare Festival Education Director Carl Holvick stages this hour-long show, performed in Shakespeare’s original text. After the show, enjoy Q & A with the cast.

RECURRING CHAUTAUQUA PLAYHOUSE presents “Funny Little Thing Called Love” Chautauqua Playhouse will present the comedy “Funny Little Thing Called Love” by Jones, Hope and Wooten beginning on December 2nd at the Playhouse. The

show will run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Jan. 15 with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. on Jan. 14. The show will not play Christmas or New Year’s Weekend. The performances will be held at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. Admission is $20 general, $18 seniors/students and SARTA members. Premium seating is an additional dollar. The cast includes several local actors and Chautauqua favorites. Information and tickets are available through the Chautauqua Playhouse website: www.cplayhouse.org or call the box office at (916) 489-7529, during business hours.

LIBRARY EVENTS ARDEN-DIMICK LIBRARY TEENS ONLY NIGHT – Come for free pizza, video games, movies, activities, crafts and more at this afterhours program. Open to teens in 6th -12th grades. Friday, Jan. 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento. THE HOOTS – We’re having a children’s music concert at the library! Come and watch Sacramento’s local children’s band: The Hoots. Join us for this family program on Wednesday, Jan. 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento. TEEN LGBTQ+ ALLIES GROUP – Teen member of the LGBTQ+ community? Join us for snacks, talking, movies, crafts and more. Teen allies welcome. Open to ages 12-19. Friday, Jan. 13 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento. ANIME CLUB FOR TEENS – Join us for Anime, manga, gaming and crafts for 6th-12th grades. Friday, Jan. 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento. TEEN ADVISORY GROUP – Want to have a say in what the Arden-Dimick Library does for teens? Want to earn volunteer credit for school? Then hang out with us, eat some snacks, and help us plan programs and events! TAB looks AMAZING on college/scholarship applications! Open to teens in 6th-12th grades. Friday, Jan. 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento.

CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide • JANUARY 2017


What’s Happening, Kids! FAIR OAKS LIBRARY HOMEWORK ZONE – Our Volunteer homework coach will be available to help students in grades K8 with homework assignments on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Fair Oaks Library, 11601 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks.

CENTRAL LIBRARY TAPESTRY: A HISTORY OF SACRAMENTO’S AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY – From January through the end of February 2017, the library will display a collection of sketches and watercolors by local artist Darryl Davis that both capture and celebrate the African-American experience in Sacramento. Ongoing during library open hours, Central Library, 828 I St, Sacramento.

ROBBIE WATERS POCKET-GREENHAVEN LIBRARY BABY/TODDLER STORYTIME -- Babies and toddlers (ages 0 to 3 years) and their caretakers are invited to join us for songs and rhymes. Arrive early or stay late for extra social time with other children and parents. Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. at Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive, Sacramento. READ TO A DOG - Looking for a way to boost school-age reading skills? Join us in the library’s Reading Tower area and practice reading out loud to a registered therapy dog (Marvin, the Wonder Corgi). Kids are invited to bring their own books or borrow one from our fabulous collection. Saturdays, Jan. 14 and 28, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive, Sacramento. COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS – Learn when and where to look for scholarships and get tips on what to include in any scholarship essay. Instructor Marilyn Van Loben Sels, a certified college counselor, has been helping students and their families for over 15 years. Registration is required for this workshop by calling (916) 264-2920 or online at saclibrary.org. Wednesday, Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive, Sacramento.

SOUTHGATE LIBRARY STORYTIME @ SOUTHGATE - Toddlers and Preschoolers (18 months to 5 years) and their caregivers are welcome at this program of stories, songs, rhymes, and flannelboards. Wednesday, Jan. 4 from 11:00 a.m to 11:30 a.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento. FAMILY GAME TIME @ SOUTHGATE – Join your family, friends and neighbors for some fun board games! Games will be available for both children and adults. Snacks will be provided. Friday, Jan. 6 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento.

JANUARY 2017 • CALIFORNIA KIDS! Family Fun Guide

SENSORY STORYTIME FOR FAMILY/ALL AGES - This inclusive storytime was developed for youth with autism and/or sensory disorders and their families/caregivers. It features songs, stories, sensory activities and interactive materials. The program is targeted for a developmental age of 2 to 6 years old. Behaviors and/or noise are no problem. Siblings are welcome! Saturday, Jan. 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento.

Best Bets

TEEN TUESDAYS, MINECRAFT @SOUTHGATE - Play Minecraft, an open world, adventure/ building game. You will gather materials to build the best creation you can imagine. We will have 12 laptops reserved for this special event, first come first served. Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento. HOMEWORK ZONE - Drop-in homework help for elementary up to junior high school students. Volunteer homework coaches will assist students in grades K-8 with homework assignments. Thursday, Jan. 12, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento. SATURDAY STORYTIME – If you can’t make it to a storytime during the week, join us every second Saturday for an afternoon storytime for the whole family. It’s designed for families and caregivers to enjoy books, songs, felt board stories, rhymes, and more. Saturday, Jan. 14 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento. After School Science Club – Do you like to investigate, create and get messy? Join the afterschool science club and explore fun hands-on science activities. Kids in grades K8 welcome. Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento.

SATURDAY, FEB. 1 SF SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL’S PRODUCTION OF TWELFTH NIGHT TO BE PERFORMED AT MCKINLEY LIBRARY: Become part of the show as the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival presents their touring production of Twelfth Night at 3:30 p.m. at McKinley Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd. Shakespeare’s heartfelt comedy Twelfth Night follows the journeys of castaway twins and one of Shakespeare’s greatest heroines, Viola, as they make profound discoveries about the nature of love, loss, and identity. This fun-filled production includes walk-on roles where audience volunteers get into the act. San Francisco Shakespeare Festival Education Director Carl Holvick stages this hour-long show, performed in Shakespeare’s original text. After the show, enjoy Q & A with the cast.

FRIDAY FAMILY FLICKS - Join us for the PG-rated movie “Pete’s Dragon.” Fun for All Ages, free popcorn will be provided. Friday, Jan. 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento. Meet the Computer - Ready to take that first step and learn about computers? This course will introduce the new user to computers, beginning with the components that make up a computer system and how to use a mouse and keyboard. This course also covers basic Windows 7 skills including starting programs and working with the desktop and windows. This is a one-session course. Advance registration is required. Register at the front desk, online or by phone at 916-264-2920. Friday, Jan. 20 at 10:00 a.m. at Southgate Library, 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento.

Do you have an upcoming or monthly event? Let us know. e-mail Monica: editor@valcomnews.com

THE HOOTS – We’re having a children’s music concert at the library! Come and watch Sacramento’s local children’s band: The Hoots. Join us for this family program on Wednesday, Jan. 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Arden-Dimick Library, 891 Watt Ave., Sacramento.

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California Kids - January 2017