Community briefs, Aug. 31


Valley Church hosting annual festival

WATSONVILLE — Valley Church is inviting the community to its annual festival fundraiser Sunday afternoon.

The “Gran Kermesse Mexican Food Festival” will include not only a variety of authentic food, but live music by La Ilusion, Karina, and Bronze Norteno, raffle prizes and more. 

Festival hours are noon to 6 p.m. at Our Lady Help of Christians Valley Catholic Church, 2401 East Lake Ave. in Watsonville.

Sponsors include D’La Colema market, Cardenas Markets, La Princesa, Mehl’s Colonial Chapel, Allstate Insurance, El Primo Produce, Lejes Tires and Couch Distributing Co.

For information, call the church office at 722-2665.

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PVUSD announces winners of summer reading challenge

WATSONVILLE — Three local students each won a tablet as they were crowned the winners of a summer reading challenge.

Mextli Medrano from Alianza Charter School joined Rio del Mar Elementary School students Omar Awwad and Noah Baliscao as the winners.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District students read 3.5 million words over summer break, using the early literacy app Paso a Paso, Creciendo Juntos/Step by Step, Growing Together.

“We are honored to partner with Footsteps 2 Brilliance in this transformative community-wide initiative that gives all children equal access to high quality bilingual English and Spanish literacy instruction,” said PVUSD Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez. “PVUSD believes this is a powerful and effective model to prepare our youngest to be ready for school.”

The prize for the summer challenge was a tablet for each winner in three categories: Preschool to TK, kindergarten to first grade, and second to third grade. The tablets were a donation from the Chevron STEM Zone grant.

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Civil liberties attorney to speak in La Selva Beach

LA SELVA BEACH — Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will speak at the 10 a.m. service at La Selva Beach Community Church, 26 Florido Ave., on Sept. 9.

Kendell litigates many high profile cases focusing on civil liberties. She and the National Center for Lesbian Rights address issues focusing on civil liberties, women, prisoner, immigrant and LGBT rights.

Attendees are invited to also meet young students at the event who are working for social justice in the community and schools.

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Cabrillo Youth Strings begins fall semester

APTOS — Registration for the Cabrillo Youth Strings Music Program is underway.

An entry level string orchestra class, fourth-sixth grade beginning strings for violin, viola and cello, will be offered on Fridays from 4-5:15 p.m. Students must provide their own instruments.

Auditions for Festival Strings (beginning note-readers) and Cabrillo Strings (intermediate-advanced) will be held on Sept. 7 from 3:45-4:15 p.m., with rehearsals on Fridays, 4:15-5:45 p.m. for Festival Strings and 4:15-5:55 p.m. for Cabrillo Strings. The first rehearsal will be Sept. 7 at the Music Building, VAPA 5000, on the Cabrillo College Aptos campus, 6500 Soquel Drive.

String players ages 5 to 18 are welcome to join the private lesson and string orchestral programs.

For those interested in participating in or making contributions to the program, call 479-6101 or visit www.cabrillo.edu/academics/music/suzuki.

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‘Pennies for Parks’ program launched

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) has created an additional funding stream to support Kids2Parks: Pennies for Parks.

Customers at Friends-operated ParkStores can now round up their purchases to the next dollar. The extra pennies support field trips to local state parks and beaches through Kids2Parks, a park-equity program bringing students from Title 1 schools on state park field trips.

Friends operates ParkStores at Natural Bridges State Beach, Wilder Ranch State Park, Seacliff State Beach, Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park and New Brighton State Beach (seasonal). The shops offer nature- and history-themed merchandise with sales benefiting local parks and beaches.

“Many small donations add up very quickly,” Friends’ Executive Director Bonny Hawley said. “The next time you make a purchase in a ParkStore, please consider rounding up to support the Kids2Parks program bringing more kids into our local state parks and beaches.”

Kids2Parks, a partnership with California State Parks, increases the number of elementary school students from San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties who have visited a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access with funding for program supplies and transportation to and from the parks. Title 1 is a designation by the U.S. Department of Education that primarily indicates a high percentage of students from low-income families.

One hundred percent of revenue from ParkStore purchases supports local state parks. The customer donations from rounding-up with the Pennies for Parks program will go directly to the Kids2Parks program.

“This is a great way park visitors can help to bring local schoolchildren to the parks by supporting our Kids2Parks programs,” said Linda Hitchcock, Santa Cruz District State Park Interpreter III.

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County debuts illegal dumping website

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The County of Santa Cruz announced a new website dedicated to reducing illegal dumping throughout Santa Cruz County.

The new website — www.stopdumping.us — provides residents with information about illegal dumping, including information on reporting illegal dumping, links to download mobile apps allowing residents to report dumping through their phones, information about scheduling curbside collections of bulky items, a list of approved refuse haulers, and a form to report illegal dumping.

At its Buena Vista Landfill and Ben Lomond Transfer Station sites, the county accepts recycled materials including Styrofoam, cans, cardboard/paper, metal items, books and CDs/DVDs, batteries, eWaste and household electronics and more. Household hazardous waste is also accepted. For hours, visit dpw.santacruzcounty.us.

Used mattresses are accepted at no cost. Construction debris and tires are accepted for a small fee. County ordinances also provide for the collections of sharps and unused prescription medications.


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