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Thank YOU for a Wonderful Family Day!

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thanks so much for coming out to yet another fabulous Family Day! We had great weather, wonderful people, awesome vendors and so many fun activities and offerings.

"I've loved PAMP since we joined over four years ago," said Regine. "We always love Family Day. As a stay-at-home mom of three kids, the variety of activities that PAMP offers is so important!"

Special thanks to all of our sponsors, vendors and volunteers. We couldn't make the day a success without you! 

"Family Day is such a great way to see people in the community," said Lori. "We love Family Day and all of the quality activities that PAMP hosts and endorses."

If you weren't able to make it, don't worry -- we'll be doing it again next year!

 

Tags:  news 

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Smartphone Photo Tips for Parents

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2016
Eager to get better photos of your kids this summer? Here are 3 easy steps you can take to get better shots, no matter what phone you’re using.

1) Pay attention to the light. Light is the most important aspect of a good photo. The word “photography,” means “writing with light.” Ask yourself, where is the light coming from? A good rule of thumb is to position yourself so that the light (a window, a lamp, whatever it is) is behind you. If it’s behind your baby’s head, you’re going to get that grainy, dark appearance on their face with a bright washed-out area behind them. Move around to the other side for better lighting. 

2) The four sides of the frame are your canvas. Painters have brushes. Musicians have instruments. Photographers have light and a rectangle to use as tools. That means when you are composing a shot, you want to frame it deliberately. Make sure everything you would like to see in the frame is showing, and make sure anything you don’t want to see is not showing. Stand, sit, move or simply tilt your camera up or down, and you’ll completely change the composition and the photo’s impact.

3) Go easy on the filters. You should definitely use filters to make photos pop and give them vibe, but if you want to keep these for posterity, tone it down a bit. In a few years, current filters are going to look really dated — ahem, remember when we used those “frames” in all of our Instagram shots? Most photo editing apps provide a sliding scale that allows you to apply a percentage of the filter to the photo. Generally, stay under 50%. You can use other enhancements like sharpening and contrast to add a little more oomph, but use those sparingly as well. If something looks fake about it, it’s not right.

Sarah Sloboda is a modern photographer for stylish families and kids based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her renowned style of photographing kids has been featured in Rangefinder magazine and many other publications. 

Tags:  technology 

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Four Questions for the Events Manager

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2016

Brittany Campbell is the Events Manager for PAMP. She not only manages a team of volunteers who host PAMP’s small events, she also plans and schedules the day-to-day activities, classes and workshops found in the events calendar, and does the planning for PAMP’s large events. She’s the queen bee behind the upcoming Family Day as well!

“I really like connecting with our volunteer hosts,” Brittany says. “Without them we could never run all the events we do.”

Some of her day-to-day tasks include scheduling small events like soccer, swim, gym, music and messy play classes, scoping out local businesses to partner with on new events and helping volunteer hosts prepare for Parents’ Night Out, Hidden Villa Tours, Firehouse Tours and Mommy-to-Be Meetups.

After coming back from maternity leave following the birth of her baby boy, Brittany says, "My most recent accomplishments included having a shower, getting out of the house in a clean shirt and picking up sushi takeout for dinner." Asked about her upcoming goals, she laughs, "Finishing a book, making a healthy dinner and getting more than 4 hours of sleep in one stretch.”

Brittany has been married to her husband for 5 years, and in October of last year they welcomed a wonderful baby boy named Cameron into the family.

1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? Depends on whether you think the latest Star Wars movie is a kids movie.
2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? Transplant -- from Ottawa, Canada.
3. What’s at the top of your to-do list? Travel, always.
4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Cookie Monster.

Tags:  spotlight 

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Book Drive at Family Day

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2016

PAMP is proud to partner with 10 Books a Home (10BH) for a BOOK DRIVE at Family Day this year. 10BH is an early education Child-Parent Home Tutoring Program located in East Palo Alto.


Please bring your donations of gently used or new books appropriate for preschool-aged children (3-5 years) to the Family Day event to support this great organization!

10 Books A Home gives 2 books per month directly to each child in the program. 10BH puts all book donations to work by giving AND READING them to children – the basics of school-readiness. Parents sit in on every lesson, so they too learn new ways to read with their children.

Learn more about 10BH:

Who is 10 Books A Home (10BH)

10 Books A Home (10BH), founded in 2009 in East Palo Alto, CA, is an early learning child-parent home tutoring nonprofit whose mission is to support high poverty families in nurturing their preschooler’s intrinsic learning motivations so they enter kindergarten positioned to be and remain above grade level.

What 10BH Does

Programming
10BH provides a year-round, 2-year child-parent home tutoring program (Child-Parent Home Tutoring Program). The program offers home tutoring and educational resources to high poverty families in exchange for parent participation. Preschool-aged children receive weekly lessons in their homes from the age of 3 for two years until they begin kindergarten. Volunteer Role Models use 10BH’s educational resources and staff support to provide the tutoring and tailor each lesson around the child’s unique learning motivations. Parents participate in every lesson and in between lessons use educational resources and staff support to complete weekly reading and homework with their children.

Program goals
The program’s goals are twofold: (1) encourage the child to fall in love with learning by nurturing their intrinsic learning motivations, and (2) support the family in transforming their home to continually support their child’s love of learning. The impact the program seeks to achieve is long range: every child served will begin kindergarten positioned to remain at or above grade level until high school completion. 10BH longitudinally tracks academic performance from K-12 to understand its impact.

Vision
10BH's vision is to serve 1.6 million high poverty preschoolers annually by 2035, which comprises the nation's poorest 20% of preschoolers. 10BH’s dream is to tip high poverty communities into reforming themselves by empowering large numbers of children and families in local communities to annually enter kindergarten positioned to be and remain above grade level.

Impact

In 2012, two East Palo Alto family friends had the opportunity to apply to 10BH. One applied and one did not. In 2016, both women’s children were in second grade – with one major difference. The former 10BH girl performed at the top of her class while the other girl struggled academically.

In 2016, the mother who didn’t apply signed up her youngest child for 10BH. In her registration appointment, she told the story above and added, “I’m not going to make the same mistake again.”


Keep up with 10BH's progress in the following ways:

  1. News Page  - Regularly published reports, blogs, newsletters, press releases, etc.

  2. Facebook - The daily going-ons of 10BH

  3. Youtube - Regular updating of new lesson videos, how to videos, learning activity demonstrations, etc.

  4. Other - Twitter, Linkedin



Tags:  news 

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The ABC's of Spotting Eye Issues in Infants & Toddlers

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

As parents, it’s so exciting when we bring home that little bundle of joy and begin to anticipate their future growth and achievements.

 

For infants and toddlers, their developing eyesight is of the utmost importance. But for those little ones that don’t necessarily communicate so well, it can be difficult to know if they are experiencing problems with their vision.


Experts agree that children should have their first eye exam at six months and then the next before they enter school, usually around age five or six. They also report that 5 - 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. So the gap between birth and 24 weeks and waiting another half-dozen years is a critical time for parents to be on the lookout for possible issues with their youngster’s eyes.

What to Look For
While it would take an eye expert to diagnose something like
astigmatism (a warping of the curvature of the cornea), there are still some ways parents can take charge of their child’s vision during this young age.

Take a look (pardon the pun) at these three red flags when it comes to your children’s eyesight. They’re easy to remember given this A-B-C format. You should check regularly for these important signs to safeguard your child’s sight:

Alignment
This one is perhaps the easiest to spot of the three. By the age of 4-6 months, a baby’s eyes begin to stabilized and should be properly aligned. If they’re cross-eyed (strabismus), have a wandering or “lazy eye,” they should be taken to see an ophthalmologist immediately. There are treatments available that can help to correct these conditions before they become permanent.

Books
When your child is playing with books and other toys, do they bring the object close to their eyes to get a better look or draw it away at arm’s length? By the age of 18 months, a child’s vision should begin to mature enough to see things clearly at a reasonable distance. If they’re not focusing on items, this could be a sign there is a problem with the proper development of their vision. Also watch for squinting as they could be trying to correct the problem themselves.


C
loudiness
Look for cloudiness in the pupil and surrounding area, which could be a sign of infant cataracts. Although rare, this condition needs to be treated immediately to prevent further damage. Similar to older children and adults, if not treated surgically, the tissue continues to deteriorate and it could cause permanent vision loss or even lead to blindness.

Be on the lookout for any unusual vision or eye behavior that seems out of the ordinary. For example, while it’s cute to watch a baby rubbing their eyes with their tiny, little fists, if they’re doing it consistently, there could be trouble.


When it comes to protecting our children’s invaluable vision, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and take them to “see” a professional.

 

Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics.

Tags:  health 

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Choosing Appropriate Kids’ Apparel for Sunny Days

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A bright, sunny day should never be wasted. In addition to the vitamin D goodness we get from being outdoors, Early Childhood News shares that outdoor play helps develop a child’s physical and social skills. But like any other weather element, the sun can inflict harm on our children -- so it’s important to make sure our kids are dressed in the right clothes that will allow them to run around without getting too warm, while also maintaining their wellbeing.

Finding that balance between breathable fabrics and protection from the sun can be tricky at times. To help you out, here are a few tips on picking the proper children’s clothing for the outdoors.

Choose fabrics with the best UV protection
There are certain fabrics that are evidently best suited for sweltering heat and humidity, but not everything is made equally in terms of protection against UV rays. While cotton, linen and silk are lightweight and highly absorbent, the tightness of the weave as well as the color of the material also play integral roles in blocking UV rays according to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Because of the climate, the three fabrics mentioned still work best for the sun in terms of breathability. However, if you would like to test the level of protection of the clothes, simply hold up each garment at the sun and see if the rays penetrate the fabric. If they do, it’s best to pick out another shirt for your kid.

Make sun safety fun with colorful accessories
The key to making a potential health concern fun is by incorporating exciting elements to it. In this case, stylish and vibrant accessories that Tootsa blogger Lisa Dwyer Hogg lists, including hexagon sunnies and ice cream ponchos, will encourage children to protect themselves when they step out in the sun. Putting on hats, shades and sprays can be annoying, and the reason for their use may never be fully understood by kids -- but if accessories can make your child look and feel cool, you’re all set!

Shoes can make all the difference!
Warm weather may have kids wanting to wear sandals, flip flops or even go barefoot to run around in the grass or on a sandy beach. Unless you’re heading out to the beach, pool or just going on a casual stroll, the previously listed footwear are not the best choices despite the demands of the climate. Sandals and flip flops will put your children at risk for splinters, stubbed toes and even bee stings. And for any child that is just learning how to walk, WebMD says that closed toe shoes are still your best bet.


According to J is a mother of two young boys who love to play outdoors, so she is an expert on dressing them for maximum safety and fun. Other than family hikes, she loves DIY projects, trying out new recipes and reading. Watch out for her own blog soon!


Tags:  activities 

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Family Day is for Everyone!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Updated: Monday, July 11, 2016

PAMP's largest event of the year is fast approaching. Come join us for Family Day on Saturday, July 30th from 10am-1pm at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto.

"We love Family Day and always have a great time. My kids especially love the pony rides and petting zoo," said Sarah. "They also like to help mommy at the PAMP board table sometimes."

This year we're excited to offer an expanded selection for lunch, including hamburgers, turkey burgers and veggie burgers in addition to the staple sausages, hot dogs and a variety of yummy salads.

We've also expanded our entertainment this year as well. We'll have a magic show, story time with a fairy princess and live music from PAMP favorite The Hipwaders. 
There will also be a petting zoo, pony rides, bubbles and more! 


"Family Day is a great way to meet members you don't know, have a fun filled day with the family and also meet the faces behind the scenes of PAMP," said Sarah. What more could you ask for?!

We're always looking for volunteers, too. Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and get to know PAMP families. Not sure what you can do while wearing your little one or chasing your toddler around? Just ask us!     

Bring a friend and join the festivities. It's definitely a day not to miss!

For complete information, look here.      

Tags:  news 

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What are Your Birth Preferences?

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Updated: Sunday, July 3, 2016

Having a baby is often an exciting time for new moms, yet it can also raise questions and concerns. Not all pregnancies are the same, even when you have had previous children. Some questions you may ask are: What choices do we have for our birthing experience? Do birth plans really work? Will my medical caregiver have the time and interest in honoring my preferences for my childbirth experience? There is a great deal of information available through childbirth classes, new mom groups and parents clubs, the internet and word of mouth. But where do you start?


Choosing a practitioner best suited to your personal and medical needs is usually the first step. Defining your wishes for your pregnancy, and developing a birth plan, is also an important part of the process. Birth plans can help create a more positive experience, but those plans can also be dismissed if your delivery has an unexpected twist. Sharing your preferences ahead of time with your care provider is critical to gaining a commitment to honoring them.


In addition to choosing a doctor or midwife to help you through this exciting time, another important choice to make is where you want to deliver your baby. We are very fortunate in the Bay Area to have great tertiary centers for high-risk mothers and babies. These hospitals offer the advanced medical care needed when more medical interventions are necessary. For non-high-risk pregnancies, there are hospitals and birth centers that provide a low intervention, patient-driven, family centered labor and delivery experience. Choose a facility where the nursing team is your partner. Consider cesarean section rates, breastfeeding rates and safety measures. Look up reviews online and talk to others about their experiences.


Choice of activities during labor are another thing to consider for your birthing experience. Some families prefer to walk the hallways while others prefer to rest in the shower or jacuzzi. Others may prefer rocking in a chair or even bouncing on a birth ball. These are just a few of the activities encouraged by trained labor and delivery personnel promoting natural childbirth.


Another consideration is breastfeeding. More and more hospitals across the nation are achieving Baby Friendly designation. This certification is given by the World Health Organization to hospitals that agree to policies and offer training to doctors, midwives, nurses and lactation consultants to promote breastfeeding.


Take the time to ask yourself and your partner these important questions. Do the research and ask your friends and loved ones. Find the right doctor or midwife and birth center for your optimal birth experience. It’s a life changing event -- and it’s your event.


Maria Greulich, RN, CNM has worked closely with OB/GYNs, perinatologists and pediatricians throughout her career and currently practices at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos. Coming from a large family and birthing her own five kids, she values working with family’s needs and wants during the birth experience.





Tags:  parenting 

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Vacationing Choices For Special Needs Kids

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Finding the best recreational spots or vacation destinations for a family is a daunting task at best. But when it comes to those who have children with special needs, this is especially challenging. In a state like California, we’re already home to many popular and practical vacation venues, everything from Disneyland to San Francisco.


Parents of special needs kids do have options when it comes to traditional venues, as there are some destinations that are more accessible for those with physical limitations when compared to others. Take the “happiest place on earth” for example. While Walt and his descendants have done their part to ensure their amusement park is physically friendly, there are other venues like Legoland that take it a little bit further in accommodating those with special needs.

Listed in Legoland’s downloadable handicap access guide, they indicate the majority of their attractions are completely accessible by wheelchair. They also point out that others can still be enjoyed with transfer and give the best point of reference for the switch. All the restrooms in the park are equipped with at least two handicapped stalls. Every shopping venue, restaurant and all their dining establishments are easily accessible and wheelchair friendly.

Spectacular South Bay Spots
While Southern California is well known for their many theme parks and beautiful beaches, Northern California -- especially closer to Menlo Park and Palo Alto -- also has much to offer. Check out some of these lesser-known waterways and beach locations that cater more towards those with special needs and other physical challenges.

Hitting The Waterways
A summer holiday often dreams up venues of lakes, oceans and the beach, but for those confined to a wheelchair or with other physical restrictions, these beautiful, scenic spots can be a real nightmare. A Wheelchair Rider’s Guide To The California Coast highlights some better choices to enjoy waterways in Santa Clara County:


Nearby San Mateo County is home to some really spectacular beaches, but many of them come equipped with treacherous trails and dangerous access routes. However, these options may work beautifully: 


Even though it’s not mentioned in The Wheelchair Rider’s Guide, another spot in San Mateo County is definitely worth a look. About fifteen minutes south of Half Moon Bay on scenic Highway 1 is
San Gregorio State Beach. Well known by the locals as a tranquil area that’s littered with driftwood and seashells, there is a smooth, gradual pathway down to the beach.

Beyond The Boardwalk

Practically everyone in the Bay Area is already familiar with the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and while they have plenty of information and assistance available for those with special needs, what about other nearby waterways?


The folks at Hilltromper Santa Cruz compiled a list of their favorite spots that are surprisingly accessible, including the rental of a beach wheelchair that can have those who are otherwise bound to a chair able able to cruise the dunes and approach the surf. Enjoying a fun-filled day at the beach really is possible for everyone!

 

Naomi Shaw lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. She is a free-lance journalist and stay at home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry and parenting.


 

Tags:  activities 

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Family Day is This Month!

Posted By Communications Manager, Sunday, July 3, 2016

PAMP's largest event of the year is fast approaching. Family Day will take place on Saturday, July 30th from 10am-1pm at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto.

This year we're excited to offer an expanded selection for lunch, including hamburgers, turkey burgers and veggie burgers in addition to the staple sausages, hot dogs and a variety of yummy salads.

We've also expanded our entertainment this year as well. We'll have a magic show, story time with a fairy princess and live music from PAMP favorite The Hipwaders
There will also be a petting zoo, pony rides, bubbles and more! 

Family Day is a great way to meet other PAMP members, and there's lots to do for the whole family!


We're always looking for volunteers, too. Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and get to know PAMP families. Not sure what you can do while wearing your little one or chasing your toddler around? Just 
ask us!     

Bring a friend and join the festivities. It's definitely a day not to miss!

For complete information, look here.      


Tags:  activities 

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