Five Questions for the Dragon Babies 2012 Moderator

Photo courtesy of Charlene Cheng

Photo courtesy of Charlene Cheng

Dragon Babies is a group of parents, moms and dads, with babies and toddlers born in the year of the dragon (2012). Charleen Cheng is moderator of this group, made up of over 100 members from San Carlos to Sunnyvale. Members host weekly playdates either at their house or a local park.

“I love our members!” Charleen says. “They are generous hosts, willing to share their homes and keep this group lively and fun. Most are transplants to the Bay Area, so they are welcoming and inviting to newcomers.”

Charleen started the group after visiting a friend’s playgroup in San Francisco that met weekly. “It was so nice and relaxing that I looked for one on the peninsula,” she says. Not able to find one, she started the PAMP Dragon Babies group with a few friends, and it has grown from there.

La Petite Baleen Swim Schools“This summer we had lots of pool parties,” Charleen explained. “There have also been a lot of first birthdays, which has been fun to see the babies grow into toddlers. I would love for our group to continue until the babies go to school. The group is large enough, too, that people meet their neighbors and form real relationships with other families.”

Her job as moderator involves running the parent forum, organizing playdates and managing new members. One goal for the group was to make it welcoming to fathers. Charleen says, “We have definitely succeeded with two-to-three fathers in regular attendance. Also, if the mother has to work during one of the playdates, the father often attends and fits right in.”

Charleen, a PAMP member for one year, works part-time at Stanford hospital as an RN. Her husband Chris is consulting faculty at Stanford as well as the CEO of Koli Inc. Charleen has a 14-year-old son, a 15-month-old daughter and a newborn son. They live in Los Altos and love the Bay Area.

“My husband Chris and I enjoy wine so much we have a room dedicated to it, and we have our own wine label,” Charleen gushes. “We also enjoy playing with the kids outside in this sunny town. We have a busy social life and volunteer at local charities.”

Asked about tips for someone new to running a subgroup, Charleen shares, “Have your members host playdates. One, they enjoy it. And two, it gives them a sense of ownership and belonging.”

1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? Avengers with my 14yo

2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? I transplanted about 4 years ago from the Seattle area. I moved here to be with my husband.

3. What’s at the top of your to-do list? The Annual EPA Boxing Club Gala. It is this winter and we have lots to prepare. The club helps at-risk youth in EPA (East Palo Alto) to get off the street and succeed in life.

4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? The Count. hahahahaha

5. Why are you a PAMP volunteer? To have a community of families for my children to grow up in. We have no family here, so our community is our family. Also, to set an example for my children.

Each month we train the spotlight on someone who works behind the scenes for PAMP. Interested in joining the ranks? Browse our open volunteer positions, and apply today!

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