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March 2016

The Serious Work of Play

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:32 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Mar 7, 2016, 9:19 AM ]

by Kristin Snell, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from  serious learning. But for children play is serious   learning. Play is really the work of childhood."

Fred Rogers

Each Tuesday morning, the Phoenix Room on the Oak Tree Campus is filled with the sights and sounds of play.  Curious children explore the space, find books to page through and towers to build, balls to roll and crafts to create.  They crawl, roll, jump and walk, often even more fascinated with each other than with any objects in the room.  As they explore and interact, I join them in their sense of wonder and amusement.  Knowing how critical play is to healthy brain development, acquisition and growth of social skills, and a host of other positive childhood outcomes, I am glad to  host these weekly gatherings that offer the opportunity to practice the art of being playful.

If you are curious about playgroup, I encourage you to join us.  Playgroup is a free drop-in activity, no forms or registration required.  We meet Tuesday mornings 10am-noon in the Phoenix Room on the Oak Tree School Campus.  All children ages 0-5 and their parents and caregivers are invited to attend.  Older siblings are also welcome.  Playgroup provides a safe place to explore and express, sing and dance, meet up with friends new and old, and, of course, learn through the serious work of play.



Save the Date: EARTH DAY CELEBRATION! April 23rd

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:31 PM by Kristin Snell

Save the Date






Kids in the Kitchen with Wendy

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:28 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Wendy Van Wagner has returned to the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center to share her expertise and love of cooking healthy, delicious foods. Supported by a Nevada County Department of Public Health Nutrition Education Grant, she is helping young cooks hone their skills and develop an understanding of the value of good nutrition. In her ever-smiling, kind and patient manner, Wendy is impacting our children by imparting knowledge and abilities that will serve them well throughout their lives. Thanks, Wendy!


“You don’t always have to serve something all by itself. You can mix foods together and make something really yummy.”

Jehalin Savage

1st Grade~Grizzly Hill School


“I think it was really fun to make the stir fry. It was really cool how we all had a part in making it and we all took a turn stirring it. I think the ginger was a little too strong, but in the end it turned out really good!”

                                                                Bryce Kersey

                                                         3rd Grade~Grizzly Hill School



“I want to learn to cook for my Dad and my Grandma and my Mom. I really like cooking!”

Sophie Bivin

5th Grade~Grizzly Hill School


“I like cooking because if I’m tense or annoyed it helps me to relax. It feels good to feed people and it’s fun to work on your knife cuts.”

         Ariel Hooker

    6th Grade~Grizzly Hill School



“I learned that cooking with a full plate can boost your energy and that my family can have healthier foods for dinner. The stir fry we made today was healthy and delicious!”

Ireland Brown

6th Grade~Grizzly Hill School


Free Yoga at the Family Resource Center

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:24 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Beginning on April 6th, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center will be hosting FREE YOGA CLASSES for ADULTS. Certified to teach Hatha Yoga by 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona Arizona, Teacher Rachelle Devlin has been practicing yoga for over twenty years. “Hatha Yoga uses postures and stretches in combination with the breath to develop flexibility, balance, strength, and relaxation. This class is appropriate for those who are new to Yoga and more advanced practitioners who want to refresh some of the basics. I feel that yoga should be available to all people in all income brackets. It brings people of all ages and beliefs together. Yoga brings out different ways of healing and body/mind awareness.”

We are very excited to provide this opportunity to our community. Bring a Yoga mat (limited community mats available) and comfortable clothes. In order to enable parents of young children to participate in these classes, the Family Resource Center will make child care available for a donation of only $5 per child. Although classes can be taken on a drop-in basis we are asking those who plan on attending to let us know ahead of time, especially if child care is needed.

For more information call 292-3174.

What?    Hatha Yoga Classes

Where?  Oak Tree Lodge

When?   Wednesday mornings 10-11





Car Donations Keep Doors Open

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:24 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Many thanks to those who have donated vehicles to the San Juan Ridge Community Library and Family Resource Center! Your donations help us to serve our community. It’s easy to donate a vehicle. Just call the Center for Car Donations at 877-411-3662 and tell them that you want to donate a vehicle(s) to the San Juan Ridge Community Library. They’ll take it from there. Thanks again for thinking of us and helping us keep our doors open.


Kindergarten Round-Up at Grizzly Hill School

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:23 PM by Kristin Snell

Submitted by Grizzly Hill School

It’s Kindergarten Round-Up time at Grizzly Hill School.  A parent orientation meeting will be held in the kindergarten classroom at 6 pm on April 27th.  Come and meet Mrs. Cheri Smith, the kindergarten teacher.  She will explain the kindergarten routine and what to expect in the coming school year.  You may also schedule a time for your child to visit the kindergarten classroom while school is in session. 

Children who will be five on or before December 1 may register at Grizzly Hill School between February 25 and May 1.  Parents may pick up a registration packet at the orientation or in the school office during the registration period. 

For more information or to schedule a personal appointment with Mrs. Smith, please call the school office at 265.9052.


Rance Broda Memorial

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:22 PM by Kristin Snell

Submitted by Greta Broda

Oak Tree School Lodge

18847 Oak Tree Road

(on the San Juan Ridge)


Sunday, March 6, 2016

1-4 pm

Bring songs, poems, prayers, food, flowers, memories, dances, love and goodwill


Artwork by Greta Broda

Community Legal Empowerment Project

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:20 PM by Kristin Snell

by Erin Noel, Attorney at Law

When:                Friday, the 11th, 2-5 pm

Where:              San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center,  18847 Oak Tree Road ~                                        North San Juan

What:                 Legal and Mediation Clinic                        

Cost:                  Free, donations welcome

Need a lawyer, but want more of a say in the legal process?  Need help, but cannot afford an attorney?  Not sure which form to download, or can you use a form?  Have a dispute but don’t want to go to court?  Want to enjoy instead of tolerate the legal process?  This clinic is for you!


Do you have a dispute that you do not want to bring to court?  A need to understand more about the law before you make a binding agreement?  Need help resolving a landlord/tenant issue, code enforcement, easement or property law issue, need help with legal issues you do not understand?

Visit our monthly legal clinic!  Erin Noel is the clinic attorney, who has experience with court mediation, property and land use law, landlord/tenant law, and other areas of law.  If she does not have expertise, she may be able to refer you to another free or low cost lawyer, and help you to prepare the questions you have.

Walk in, or MAKE AN APPOINTMENT so we can better serve you. 

To make an appointment, please contact Community Legal at 265-3425.

This clinic is staffed by volunteers, and is not affiliated with PARTNERS Family Resource Centers, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, or Nevada County Superintendent of Schools.


San Juan Ridge Community Library Update

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:19 PM by Kristin Snell

by Julie Childs, Board President-San Juan Ridge Community Library

Hours: Tue-Thu 11am-7pm and Sat 10am-4pm        

Phone: 292-3008 during open hours

· Wi-fi and computers available for public use

· Work stations and comfortable seating

· Book sale shelf, DVDs for checkout, periodicals, children’s room

· Experienced staff on-hand

· An ever-evolving collection of wonders to listen to, read, and watch

Our small but mighty Library had a party and so many of you turned out! It was a fantastic night, the food and music delightful, and the support we felt gladdened our hearts! The Library exists by donation and volunteering only, and look what we can do!

So Thank You to everyone in this community who worked the event, who spoke there, who donated rolls and potatoes, pasta and tomatoes, cheese, cream, butter, and desserts, who donated their music and time, who cleaned and cooked! The businesses get a huge shout-out; Mother Truckers, Ridge Café, Briar Patch, Mountain Bounty Farm…Thank you for your love! We can’t wait to throw another party! Be on the look-out.

More mundanely, the Library is now accepting donations of quality music CDs. We have over 1000 movie DVDs! Mary and Roo have been busy rearranging shelves and keeping our books and movies up to date, adding new ones, and addressing the less glamorous jobs, such as calls reminding folks of their overdue items… (bring ‘em  in, we don’t bite.) Our steady volunteers bring their good  energy to the effort, we all bow to you.

Most of all, the Library exists to bring good reading and other media to this community, come and visit, reading is one of the healthiest things we can do!

Lisa Rowe will continue facilitating Magic the Gathering on the last Saturday of the month, March 26th. Call 292-3246 if interested.

The Tapestry Project, ongoing Tue 1-3 pm and Thu 10-12 pm, is getting more incredible week by week, tapestry by tapestry! You must come and add your stitches and stories to this marvelous endeavor. You do not need to know how to stitch.  Marsha, Mary, and others will be glad to show you. See you at the Library!



The North San Juan Community Church: The Tie Dye Flock on the Ridge Thrives as They Celebrated One Year Anniversary on February 7th!

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:16 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Mar 10, 2016, 1:26 PM ]

by Rev. Yvonne Varner, NSJ Community Church

All are invited to attend church with The North San Juan Community Church at 29190 Hwy 49 in North San Juan any Sunday.  On February 7th, they celebrated being a church family for a year!! Be advised, though, you WILL have fun there. Loads of music and a concentration of the life of Jesus is the main theme of this so very small church. “It's like Sunday School for the whole family!” expounds Pastor Pinkie Varner. Youth Pastor-in-Training Marshall Varner says, “Its fun, there's a lot of people and a lot of music.” This is no conventional church, but a non denominational church of self proclaimed “Pedestrians”. “Jesus did the talkin' and we'll do the walkin.” says Associate Pastor Lane Baldwin, with an undeniable fire in his heart. Co-Pastor Chad Varner backs him up with, “I would rather live like there is a God and find out there isn't, than live like there is no God and find out that there is.” Associate Pastor Denise Llamas had this to say, “Get right, or get left!” Well, how do you do that? Pastor Pinkie Varner says, “The way we do it is to volunteer to do things for our community. How can we ask people to volunteer if we are in paid positions? North San Juan Community Church has no paying positions, no salaried staff and we are serious about the “Community” portion of our name. We have a lot of people helping who don't attend, but believe in what we do. We wouldn't be able to help our community without our community's help.”


Pastor Pinkie goes on to say, “Here are some of the community outreach programs we have provided to North San Juan in one short year;

*Community Outreach really started in April when we co-hosted the Easter Celebration along side the North San Juan Community Center. The day started at 6:32 am with Easter Sunrise Service then on with the Free Community Pancake Breakfast. The Pancake Breakfast was a huge success due in part to folks like the management at Tom's Sierra Super Stop North San Juan, who donated all the syrup we could possibly need! The Easter Celebration concluded with an Easter Egg Hunt complete with stuffed animals and all kinds of toy and candy discoveries.

*This was followed not so closely by Cowboy Vacation Bible School in June, right before Father's Day. Our little cowpokes ate cowboy food like chili bowls, fried bread, and pancakes with bacon inside. The kids made cowboy crafts like snakeskin hat bands, vests, roped a steer and made dad a new coffee cup! There at the end, they even got to ride horses for free, courtesy of Fred & Bonnie Smeltzer!

*Then we started “Operation Number 2.0 Pencil”, that's where we collect and continue to distribute school supplies to four local schools. Grizzly Hill, Milhous School, Washington School and Camptonville Schools all receive supplies. We wanted to ease the burden of school supply costs on our local teachers. Some families can't afford to buy supplies for their all of their kids and the teachers fill in the gaps after their supply grant has been used up. For some, its hard to understand why the schools would run out of money when they have grants and such. Not everyone knows that the schools get what is called allocated fund grants. That means if they get a $20,000 grant for a garden – not one cent is spent on pencils or school supplies. It started with pencils, for us, and has yet to end....

*”Souper Sunday” allows anyone to come in after church, at noon, and have a bottomless bowl of soup de jour as well as partake in the numerous types of crackers we end up with. We recently obtained a new coffee pot and loads of teas to accompany the soup. We encourage folks to stay and enjoy a family movie at 1:00pm - if they need a place to stay warm or just to socialize.

*Along ca

me “Operation Feed the Ridge”. This is where we collect food stuffs from Nevada County Food Bank that are specific to the needs of homeless and impoverished Ridge Folk who live and/or visit here. Drinks are in plastic or cardboard cartons, no glass – too messy. Organic snacks, yogurt, small packs of cheese, granola and things that would easily fit into a backpack. Then we take the food out of the cartons and separate them into 30 two-day supply bags for the week. We then distribute six bags a day Monday through Saturday in the Gibbins' parking lot across the highway from Bigley's Deli in North San Juan at noon-ish. Participants are encouraged to only take a bag every other day so its fair to everyone. Sometimes the bags contain toiletry items like Dial Soap and Breck Conditioning Shampoo from the local Milano's Bed & Breakfast Inn. Thank you Jeanne & Frank!! Every now & then we can afford to throw in a roll of toilet paper in each bag for a week when we find it on sale.

* Sponsoring and organizing “Community Work Day” was a beautiful thing! The building we call Church was sanded and readied for painting, new doors were installed, new window panes replaced, a bunch of landscaping was done and video cameras installed. There was building material purchased to build a portable handicap ramp in the near future. It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces volunteering. Everyone was treated to a free lunch and was very happy with it!

*We had a ginormous Christmas Celebration on Christmas Day! It started at 6:00 pm with our Christmas Program complete with Santa giving out gifts. We had an intermission and had dinner at 7:30. A huge pot of corn chowder soup, two kinds of chili, a giant spiral ham, breads, cookies, candies, cakes and such were served. We gave away loads of warm stuff. We watched the movie, “The Nativity Story” and then we had church service pretty close to midnight. The last person to leave left the building at 1:00 am. No one left hungry or cold or empty handed. We gave out presents to 75 people that night and for some - made Christmas what it once was in their eyes. A family celebration.”

*“Cold Hands – Warm Heart” started on Christmas Day during the Christmas Celebration. It is a mobile clothes closet that stays in the same van as the food delivery bags. This new outreach provides sweaters, sweatshirts, pants, socks, hats, scarves, mittens and anything else warm we can get our hands on..... daily. Recently, Tie Dye Pat of North San Juan donated 30 pairs of new mens' socks. New socks are a huge hit!!! Sometimes its just the smallest thing that we all take for granted that can make someone else's day.


Again, we wouldn't be able to help our community without our community's help.”

North San Juan Community Church – we don't believe in black sheep – just tie dye sheep!

Practicing Pedestrians – just trying to walk the walk.

For more information …...

The North San Juan Community Church

29190 Highway 49

North San Juan, Ca. 95960

(530) 415-9705

PS - Thank you all in local media - for everything you all do!!

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