Keeping Up with Ken
September, 2021 - Issue #203
Q: The world is very different now than it was when we were teens. Navigating the pitfalls of social media is challenging and stressful for our kids - even dangerous. How can parents get the information and resources they need to protect our youth?
A lot of parents are uncomfortable with social media - mainly because their kids understand it better than they do! One great opportunity to get social savvy is to participate in this month's Parent Resource Symposium titled, "Social Media: The New Gateway Drug." This event, hosted by Drug Free Youth in the Santa Clarita Valley - also known as DFY in SCV - will inform parents about the possible pitfalls of social media. Online bullying, peer pressure and even access to illicit drugs are all downsides of engaging online. At this event, parents will hear from a panel of experts and learn more about how to protect their children. Parents and teens alike are welcome to attend this event on Wednesday, September 22, at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall. I would also like to encourage the community's youth and their parents to check out This is a great program for kids and teens that encourages making smart and healthy choices and provides parents with resources on the many challenges that face our youth on a daily basis.

Q: Santa Clarita is known for being a giving community that looks out for one another. This is seen in the city's volunteer program, which just won a very prestigious national award. Can you tell us more about that and how people can get involved?
Our city has built a reputation for being an excellent place to live, work and play. We have also been consistently recognized as a tight-knit community that gives back to maintain and improve the quality of life for all residents. One such recognition is the prestigious "Rising to Excellence Award" from the National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG), which was presented to the City of Santa Clarita's Volunteer Engagement Program. This national award was presented to the city for the creation of the online Santa Clarita Volunteer Hub, which offers volunteer opportunities ranging from delivering desks to Hart District students for distance learning to meal and grocery deliveries during the pandemic. The Volunteer Hub is a website designed to connect volunteers to non-profit organizations offering critical services. It also offers nonprofits a new avenue to promote their volunteer needs and recruit, while providing residents with a one-stop shop for volunteer opportunities. Since the site's launch, there have been close to 30 volunteer opportunities from over a dozen local non-profits and over 170 volunteers registered. If you are interested in giving of your time and skills, I urge you to check out the Santa Clarita Volunteer Hub at

Q: One of the community's favorite city events is returning to Old Town Newhall! For people who haven't yet enjoyed a SENSES Block party, can you tell us what to expect this year?
After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, our Arts and Events team has pulled out all of the stops to create fun and exciting themes for the upcoming SENSES Block Parties! These free events cater to an adult crowd and ignite all of your SENSES through live entertainment, themed activities and include an on-street bar from one of the restaurants on Main Street. You can show off your athletic abilities at the kick-off event on August 19 with "Sports of All Sorts," which begins at 7pm. On September 19, Main Street will be transformed into Freemont Street, with an outdoor casino and that famous Las Vegas flair. The season closes out with cider, pumpkin bowling and a scarecrow decorating contest at Harvest Festival on October 21. All three events are a great opportunity to connect with your friends and neighbors, support local restaurants and businesses and enjoy the city's premiere Arts and Entertainment District.
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