Family Time
March, 2023 - Issue #218
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courtesy of Shutterstock

Free to Be Me Festival Celebrates SCV Special-needs Community
The Free to be Me Festival is a free event celebrating our special-needs community and their families through a series of inclusive and adaptive activities. Guests will enjoy live sensory-friendly entertainment, arts and crafts, recreational activities, sensory play and more. A chill zone will also be available for those that need a calming space. The day's lineup of activities has something for everyone: live music, a drum circle, line dance instruction, arts and crafts, face and hand painting, sensory activities, therapy dogs, softball, volleyball, golf, cheer, street hockey, football, running, character appearances, raffle prizes, a special-needs registry and more. The event will be held outdoors on Saturday, March 11 at the Canyon Country Community Center from 12pm to 3pm with an indoor sensory safe space. A select number of headphones will be available for check out and sign language interpreters will be at the stage. Stickers with phone numbers will be available for identification purposes, too. Log on for more information.

"I have been an actor for a few years, but Mike of Santa Clarita School of Performing Arts saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself. Once I got to Santa Clarita and saw his school in person, I was able to witness the way he really cared about the students and families who are part of the SCSOPA community. I was immediately drawn to SCSOPA - it is a family, a home, a sense of fulfilling true purpose... all rolled into one! As soon as I enrolled and started taking classes, I felt a shift. It's a true gift to feel like I'm on my way to success and that my future in this career as an actor is bright."
Diamante Drayton
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courtesy of Shutterstock

Let's Talk about Moms & Dental Care
Yes, this is a call out to the moms - and those who love them!
"It's usually Mom who schedules their children's dental appointments - and as a group, they do an excellent job of making sure their kids get the best dental care available," says Dr. Marvin Tong, DDS.
But what could Mom use a hand with? "We often have to remind moms to schedule their own appointments," says Becky Short, office manager of Dr. Tong's Valencia practice. "As a mom myself, I get it! We're so good at checking all the boxes for our kids, our job, our house, our partner... but when it comes to our own health and wellness, we put ourselves at the bottom of the list."
"I recently treated a wonderful mom who ended up requiring a much more significant dental intervention because life kept getting in the way and she kept putting off her appointments. What started as a small cavity a year ago became more than it needed to be. When she left, she made a promise to us and to herself that she would never delay her dental care again," says
Dr. Tong. "She even sent us a message on social media telling us that she's flossed every night since her appointment!"
"We're a family practice," says Short. "That's why we have really convenient scheduling options, including Saturday appointments, so that everyone - even, and especially Mom! - can get the dental care they need, because your dental health affects your entire body as well as your confidence. Moms deserve care, too!"
Dr. Marvin Tong, DDS 268-6284
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courtesy of Shutterstock

Wholesome Spring Fun at Gilchrist Farm
Spring at Gilchrist Farm is one of the most exciting seasons of all! Gilchrist Farm will be hosting its traditional spring activities and events along with some brand new offerings - and you won't want to miss any of them.
Spring classes include a six-week hands-on animal care class where students learn about a different animal at the farm each session. Get to know pigs, cows, bunnies, horses, goats and sheep! The class includes hatching and cuddling chicks, gathering eggs, working in the garden - even watching caterpillars transform into butterflies! Other classes include Archery, Horsemanship, Wool Spinning, Sewing, Crocheting and more.
The Spring Fling & Egg Hunt at Gilchrist Farm takes place this year March 25, March 26, April 1, April 2 and April 8. Each day of the Spring Fling includes meeting the farm animals, amazing egg hunts, visits with the Easter Bunny, live music, pig races, gemstone mining, wool spinning, festival food and so much spring fun!
The Women in History event on March 4 will include pioneer activities to celebrate the launch of Gilchrist's Gold Rush program. Visit the farm to try hand dipping candles, panning for gold, crafting pioneer dolls and learning to spin wool into yarn while meeting some of the famous women of the past.
Spring Farm Camp is enrolling now for the weeks of April 3 to April 7 and April 10 to April 14. Campers will ride horses, try archery and horseback archery, pan for gold, milk goats, gather eggs, run the obstacle course, spin wool and play outside.
Gilchrist Farm is located at 30116 Bouquet Canyon Road in Santa Clarita and is open to the public for farm visits every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm. Log on for registration and more information.
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

New Website Makes it Easier to Source Safer Bedding for your Family
Over 75 million Americans have asthma and/or allergies - and keeping bedrooms free of dust mite colonies can make a major difference in quality of life. But how do you know what products really work - and which just have a big marketing budget? The nonprofit Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America has just launched an asthma and allergy-friendly certification program that tests pillows, mattress covers and sheets to ensure they're suitable for creating a healthier home. You can now find certified bedding products by logging on.
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