Family Time
January, 2020 - Issue #184
Students Off & Running (SOAR) Hosts Mardi Gras Madness
On February 23, 2020, the Santa Clarita Track Club's Students Off And Running program (SOAR) will host its 10th-annual Mardi Gras Madness 5K/10K at Valencia Town Center. The primary goals for Mardi Gras Madness are to increase awareness of SOAR and to raise funds for youth in need who are in the program. A full 100 percent of event proceeds cover training costs for students competing in the Los Angeles Marathon.

The event offers electronic chip timing, an exciting USATF certified 5K/10K circuit course along Santa Clarita's celebrated paseo system, 1K Mini Madness for the little guys, custom tech tee-shirt, post-run protein refuel, live DJ music, a Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co. beer garden and premier nickel-alloy finisher's medal for all 5K/10K participants.
Log on to register and for more info.

"My girls Lynzie (9) and Taylor (13) have been attending Santa Clarita School of Performing Arts over the past seven months. In these short months, we have seen our girls soar! Within the first month of attending, our daughter Lynzie was signed by an agent and within two months our older daughter Taylor was signed with another agent! The girls are having a blast in class. At first we were worried that they would get tired of the drive or get burnt out on going to class, but the staff assured us they would love it! Sure enough they do! SCSOPA offers a variety of classes for all different ages, including runway modeling, print and branding, voice over, singing, dancing and a vast amount of different acting classes. My oldest went in with the mindset that all she wanted to do was model but after a few months into modeling and branding classes we told her she needed to add an acting class. She was hesitant at first but she found out that she absolutely loves acting! She was our shy girl when it came to meeting new people and speaking in front of classmates - not anymore! Then, after attending a few acting classes, she told me on our ride home how much she has grown with her communication skills. She isn't shy about speaking in public and her voice doesn't shake anymore! She can easily start conversations with people and doesn't feel awkward. They continue to get auditions and are having a blast in the Hollywood scene. While we came to gain experience for getting jobs in the industry they also have gained confidence in everyday life situations. This has become our second home and our extended family. This was a great investment for our girls!"
~The Beller family

courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock
How to Make Dental Care a Priority at Home
Be honest - do your kids floss nightly? Brush at least twice a day? Get checkups and fluoride treatments twice a year on the dot?

Probably not - and you aren't alone. Study after study show that when it comes to the dental health of children, parents need to create routines, follow up on brushing and flossing and commit to regular professional care - but many of us just... don't.

We're busy, we're tired, we're forgetful - and we're creating bad habits that can hurt our children's long-term health. After all, dental disease has been associated with everything from dementia to heart attacks. Appropriate dental care isn't just about your smile - it affects head-to-toe overall health.

So, what to do? Forget those sticker charts for the kids - incentivize yourself! Recognize that poor dental hygiene isn't just bad for your kid's health - it's rough on your wallet! Making those appointments and checking up on brushing can save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a year on preventable dental issues like cavities and decay. You can spend that money on fillings - or a weekend away at a resort. Which is better? (Hint: The resort. Pack your floss!) Let go of the guilt. Many parents admit that they delay checkups for their kids because they're worried a poor "report" will look badly on them. Get out of that paralysis and start anew today - your dentist will be proud of you! Take advantage of your insurance. No one likes knowing that they leave "money on the table." You pay for your dental insurance - and most cover checkups and preventative care with no additional out-of-pocket cost. Make that appointment asap - and know that you're getting every penny out of the plan you or your employer already paid for!
Dr. Marvin Tong, DDS 268-6284
courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock

Help Keep Siblings Together
Children's Bureau Info Meetings Teach Interested Families about Foster-Adoption

Foster care and foster-adoption are meaningful ways for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. Children's Bureau offers a comprehensive foster care and adoption program that brings families together for a lifetime. The agency is in need of resource families for children in foster care while reunifying with birth families or to provide legal permanency by adoption.

In Los Angeles County alone, the foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with 200 of those foster children waiting for an adoptive family. Many of these children are siblings in need of families who are willing and able to keep them together. In fact, Children's Bureau turns away at least 10 sibling sets weekly due to lack of families.

"Children's Bureau focuses on keeping siblings together whenever possible," said Amy Heilman, Children's Bureau's director of foster care and adoption. "The sibling relationship is a strong and important long-term bond in the life of a child. We see that children adjust better and find more success in life when they join a family with their siblings. It takes away that worry about the safety of their brother or sister. The child can then focus on adjusting to the family they have joined and their new environment."

Although they find loving families for more than 300 at-risk children and finalize 100 adoptions annually, the need continues for more individuals and families to become resource parents, especially ones who are able to accept siblings.

Children's Bureau welcomes every individual regardless of race, age, religion, disability, marital status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression to become a resource for children. Qualifying families receive training and support throughout their journey.

Children's Bureau now also offers a fee-for-service Domestic/Independent Adoption Home Study Program for families seeking the adoption of an infant whose birth mother is making an adoption plan for her newborn child.
Call for more information. 208-4212

"Tomorrow... it's Only a Day Away!"
ESCAPE Theatre is proud to present over 300 talented youth and teens in "Annie." Every family is sure to enjoy the story of a spunky 11-year-old orphan during the Great Depression in New York City who goes from rags to riches when she's adopted by the world's richest man, Daddy Warbucks. Through Annie's optimistic outlook on life she changes the lives around her, including her own.

You'll want to sing along to songs like "Tomorrow," "Easy Street," "Little Girls," "NYC" and "Hard Knock Life" and you're sure to be entertained with hundreds of orphans, street boys, New Yorkers, Hooverville crowds and all of the servants in Mr. Warbuck's mansion. Your hardworking, talented cast members range in age from 6 to 18 and have been rehearsing for four months - come show your support! Performances are at The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center from January 17 to January 19, January 24 and January 25 on Fridays at 7pm and Saturdays and Sudays at 2pm and 7pm.

ESCAPE is a non-profit organization that is designed to teach youth and teens about musical theatre and teamwork in a fun, supportive environment. For more information on tickets to see "Annie," or to register for their next show, "Disney's Little Mermaid," log on.

courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock

Gift experiences this holiday season - and then redeem them over break?
Gilchrist Farm offers gift certificates for riding lessons, farm camp, mounted archery, goat yoga, farm classes, goat milk soap, cheese making classes, pony rides, parties, field trips, a day at the farm and more. Stick one in their stocking, then redeem it together when everyone needs to get outside and enjoy the natural world.
Gilchrist Farm 645-2517

Visit a senior-living community?
It can be an especially lonely time for seniors who don't have any holiday visitors. On Halloween, numerous local families popped into senior communities (With permission, of course.) with their costumed kids - and special treats - in tow. Now's the time to do it again! Whether you're sharing a holiday carol, treat or just a friendly smile, it'll brighten their day.

Attend a winter walk at Placerita Canyon Nature Center?
Held on Saturdays, the Placenta Canyon Nature Center hosts a variety of events, including bird, wildflower and nature walks; an animal show and their signature Twilight Hike. These family-friendly outings are led by educated docents and are fun and interesting for all ages.
courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock

Make a holiday treat for animal friends?
So many of our local wildlife have been displaced by the recent fires. Return to your childhood and teach the kids how to make a pinecone "feeder" with nothing but some peanut butter and birdseed!

Clean out your pantry?
Last month, social media posts flew over Facebook: The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry had critically-low supplies. Our community stepped up - but it's going to be a long, cold winter. Have the kids help you find these items in your cupboard or make a special shopping trip: nut butters; canned fish and meat; macaroni and cheese; healthy cereals and snacks like trail mix, granola bars and popcorn; bags of nuts; pantry staples like lentils, beans, rice and quinoa; low-sodium canned soup for seniors; pasta and sauce; canned tomato products; shampoo and conditioner; disposable diapers size three and above; baby wipes; deodorant; bar soap; and toothbrushes and toothpaste.

courtesy of shutterstock
courtesy of shutterstock
You Only have a Few More Weeks to Use 2019's Dental Benefits
If your dental benefits plan is like most others, it will reset on a calendar year basis, which means you'll lose out on all unused benefits after December 31. Dental insurance is unlike medical insurance - dental insurance companies provide you a specific dollar amount to spend on your care each calendar year.

Book your Routine Checkup - it's Probably Free!
Many dental benefits carriers provide coverage for two routine checkups per every calendar year. Most dental plans cover preventative services at 100 percent, so you will likely have little to no out-of-pocket expense associated with this visit. Now's the time to get those teeth cleaned!

Don't Pay Deductibles Twice
If you've been putting off getting those cavities repaired, or require more extensive restorative treatment, the end of the year is the perfect time to get started. This is especially true if you've already met your child's annual deductible and have dollars remaining of your maximum. It's a double whammy - in addition to losing your child's unused benefits by delaying treatment, you will also be required to pay your deductible again.
Santa Clarita Children's Dental 735-1500

The World-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra Swings into the SCV for Local High School Musicians
Get this sell-out event on your calendar now - and bring the entire family for a night of culture and music! This special one-night-only event to be held at West Ranch High School on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 7pm. The most sought-after big band in the world - the Glenn Miller Orchestra - will take the stage with Bandleader Nick Hilscher at the helm, performing beloved hits from their extensive library which includes "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade" and "Pennsylvania 6-5000."

Hosted by West Ranch High School's music program, the concert will be an event for all ages and offers the chance to experience history, enjoy the magical melodies and walk away knowing you're supporting a new generation of talented musicians in the process. The most popular and sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing dance engagements with its unique jazz sound, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time. The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world.

Tickets are $25 for seniors, students and military; $30 for general seating and $40 for premium seating. Prices increase by $5 at the door the day of the event. Get yours online.
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