Another Argument for Holistic Approaches to Learning

“Kids will be engaged in learning and internalize the academic side if you are also helping them work to develop in multiple ways.” Engaged in learning? Sign me up.


Today on KQED’s Mind/Shift, Katrina Schwartz shares results from a study by the Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) called “Beyond Academics: What a Holistic Approach to Learning Could Look Like.”

“The CCSR report makes the case for better integrating aspects of a child’s development using a compilation of developmental psychology, neuroscience, sociology and education research perspectives. By combining insights from each of these areas, the report’s authors strive to paint a clearer picture of how to support development of the intangible qualities underlying both the cognitive and non-cognitive skills emphasized in school, clubs and at home.”


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Scientists say many worker ants are actually super lazy

Finally I can blame it on science.

Alabama Shakes – “I Found You”

They’ve definitely been growing on me.

Song Of The Day

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What Get-up Should I Run In for the Human Race?

Last year I ran my first 10k. I used it as an opportunity to challenge my community to raise $1,000 for my daughters school. It worked out so well I thought I would try it again. But you can only do something the first time once, right? So this year I decided if I make my $1,500 goal I would dress up in something funky to run the race.

Jonathan Crow Human Race 2009

Jonathan Crow Human Race 2009

Where you come in is I need some help determining what that costume should be. So add your comment below and I will let the some of the kids from DeLaveaga Elementary decide the winner.

Donate here

Also, last year I asked everyone to give me a song for my playlist I could listen to on the run. One of the unexpected things to come out of that was that when I listened to the song it reminded me of the person that suggested it and made me feel very supported and loved. I am again asking for your song suggestions, so please include that in the comment below.

Just to give you some background on where the money goes – the Dos Alas program is a two-way immersion program at DeLaveaga Elementary. The program supports bilingualism and bi-culturalism in English and Spanish. What these kids have shown through their years in the program has been inspiring. Not only have they developed a fluency beyond their years, but they have developed a self-confidence that has enabled them to go out and make use of these skills in the community – helping as translators in situations where there is a communication barrier. Money raised over the years has gone to pay for Spanish language resources, teacher training, and promoting bi-culturalism through fun events.

And don’t forget – if I make my goal of $1,500 I have to run in a costume the kids decide on.

Donate here

Kitchen Tour – Benefit for Literacy Program

At yesterday’s board meeting for the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz Barbara Davis, the Executive Director for the Literacy Program, came by and gave us an update on the Kitchen Tour. The Kitchen Tour is a benefit for the Literacy Program which is really an undersung program of the Volunteer Center.

Kitchen Tour
Sunday, August 24th, 2008

The project has tutored unbelievable numbers of English learners and has an engaging curriculum that includes things like following recipes to cook meals in class and on the job teaching. What really impressed me about the program is that in a study comparing test scores around the state this program has equaled or surpassed the English as a Second Language programs in most of the community colleges throughout California. And this from volunteers! The California Department of Education feels the same way about the program. In June 2008 the Dept. of Ed. honored the Literacy Program with a Promising Practices award.

The Kitchen Tour is a great way to support the Literacy Program and see some amazing kitchens. The 9 kitchens on the tour can give you some new ideas for your own kitchen. Not only that but raffle tickets are available at each of the tour sites. You can win a trip to Kauai or the Yucatan Peninsula.

Pick up your tour booklet for $15 at any of the following locations:

You can contact the Literacy Program for more details at 831-427-5077 or by email at

Update: Just saw that MetroActive posted an article about the Kitchen Tour

The following article is at the bottom of the page.

Ogling for Dollars

Everyone does it–you go to someone’s house, you check out their décor. An innovative fundraiser capitalizes on the human urge to snoop.

Santa Cruz Design + Innovation Center

I just got back from the launch of the Santa Cruz Design + Innovation Center. I am really bad at estimating how many people were there but it must have been in the millions. Ok, would you believe several hundred. The room was not big enough so they had to turn away a lot of people and I believe maximum capacity was around 250.

Ed Porter, Santa Cruz City Council Member and Chair of the Santa Cruz Design + Innovation Center talked about how he got up at some of the original meetings at talked about the Renaissance and expected to get a polite “thank you but…” But, to his surprise his notion of the necessity of arts and design at the forefront of a burgeoning movement was met with, well him becoming the chair of the committee.

Darrin Caddes, the head designer guy at Plantronics – I have been told you have to see the wall of ears there – followed with a great reasoning of why Santa Cruz. We have a great culture made up of Do-It-Yourself all out energy driven (I would amend that while energetic it is a laid back type) people.

As I have said before I am a marketing guy not a designer. But to be able to hook up with a network of people who do it really really well is a huge blessing. It made me think about the other types of networks in Santa Cruz. Others are working on different parts of geek dinners and get togethers. I am thinking about starting a Meetup, but I certainly don’t want to muddy the waters. I will have to do some more thinking about it.

In order to do it we would need to get a company to sponsor – you got to have the pizza and beer if we are having a geek party – and a venue.

Any suggestions?