— Seventh grade student got her first picture book published

Congratulations to our seventh-grade student, Isabella Murphy, on the launch of her first picture book, which features a pumpkin’s journey from seed to jack-o’-lantern!

Her book launch will be on Tuesday, October 10th at 6:00 p.m. at Ink Spell Books in Half Moon Bay. All proceeds will go to a children’s charity.

She will also present her book at Books, Inc. in Burlingame during Storytime on Sunday, October 15th at 11:00 a.m. Click here to visit her website.


 

— In the News: Coaches flag benefits of non-contact sport

Middle schools offer alternative to full-contact sports. By Sarah Griego Guz. Published in the Half Moon Bay Review on September 6th, 2017.

The August sun warmed the quad at Sea Crest School as boys and girls donned blue practice jerseys in preparation for the first flag football practice of the season.

Flag football is offered at both Sea Crest and Cunha middle schools. The lessons learned on the field often can translate to stellar performances on the high school gridiron.

“It’s 9-on-9 here, regular football is 11- on-11,” said Sea Crest middle school flag football coach Craig Strong. “It’s two less linemen, that’s the big difference.

“You’re still blocking, passing, running the ball, throwing the ball, catching the ball,” he continued. “On defense, you’re attacking, when you’re pulling the flag, that’s the equivalent of tackling. You’ve got to read offenses and move your body in such a way so that you’re heading where the ball is going.”

“The biggest difference between playing high school football and middle school flag football is the competition level and the intensity,” said Gabe Giacotto who played flag football for Sea Crest Middle School before joining the Junipero Serra High School football team.

“The coaches expect more from the players at a high school level and they rely on you to keep yourself and your fellow teammates in check,” he continued. “The other big difference was adjusting to both wearing and hitting with pads. It gives a whole different feel in running and movement. You also have to learn how to hit and tackle with them if you haven’t played tackle football before.”

Flag Football Middle School Athletics

Kaiya Hanepen (7th grade) practices with athletic director Craig Strong watching during flag football practice at Seacrest School in Half Moon Bay. Jamie Soja / Review

Full-contact youth football organizations have taken great care to ensure the health and wellness of their athletes. From capping the weight requirements of heavier players to ensuring all equipment is in excellent working order, athletes par ticipating in full contact football have never been safer or better prepared.

Still, some parents are hesitant to allow their children to play. For middle school-aged children, flag football may be just the ticket for those hoping to one day step foot on the high school field.

“Flag football gives athletes the opportunity to throw and catch the football on a regular basis and get a foundation for the game,” said Keith Holden, varsity head football coach at Half Moon Bay High School in an emailed statement. “Players learn a lot about angles, schemes and about how to move on the football field.”

“The players are learning the rules of the game as well as an understanding of the game,” said Strong. “Full contact is different in terms of some techniques, such as tackling techniques. We don’t tackle, we pull flags. However, we still block, without pads. Some of the techniques and skills developed in flag football absolutely translate to full contact football.”

Flag Football Middle School Athletics

Coach Dan Halepen shows a diagram to the team at flag football practice at Seacrest School in Half Moon Bay. Jamie Soja / Review

Strong stated that a big part of the flag football season includes teaching aspiring athletes intricacies of the game, including how to move and defend the ball.

“They are learning the actual skills, laying groundwork that, if the athlete didn’t have, might present more a of challenge if they played full-contact football without the foundation,” he said.

“I learned a lot on the flag football field that helped me to recognize plays when on defense, such as the difference between a deep pass, short pass and runs both outside and up the middle,” said Giacotto.

“It also helped me to pick up and pursue a quarterback when he is scrambling,” he continued. “Playing flag football helped me on offense when getting the hang of memorizing plays and adjusting to different defensive formations.”

As to how to bridge the gap between flag and full-contact football, Holden believes that the best supplemental training is playing other sports.

“Also, I believe that strength training is beneficial to any athlete, not just football players, for preventing injury,” he said.

“My advice for kids playing flag football, who aspire to play in college, would be to stick with it and to not give up,” added Giacotto. “At first, the sport is going to seem tough and brutal, especially in a program like Serra’s.

“Although, if you work hard and stick with it, you will be surprised at how fast you catch on and make the necessary adjustments,” he continued. “The other thing would be to always hustle and give your best effort because that is what the coaches are really looking for.”


 

— Seventh graders volunteered sorting out food at Coastside Hope

Coastside Hope Coastside Hope Coastside Hope Coastside HopeThe 7th grade visited Coastside Hope’s warehouse on Tuesday, June 6th. The purpose of the visit was to unload and sort over 35 barrels of food. The students worked tirelessly pulling barrels off pallets, emptying those barrels onto tables, and checking dates on all of the products they were sorting. Overall it was a very productive day. It was a collective effort with each student doing their best and using their strengths to help each other. With all of their hard work, Coastside Hope will now be able to hand out the food to families in need on the Coast.

 

Here is just some of what the students took away from this field trip…

“Fun, nice to help. It was hard work”
~Callisto

“ It was inspiring to see how much would or could get done as a group. It helped us work together and collectively collaborate”
~Shea

“It felt good that every can I packed helped a family”
~Mari

“It made me feel good because I was helping people who may have less than me”
~Ryan M.

 


 

— In the News: Coastside kids help give hope to those in need

Students from Sea Crest School gathered at Coastside Hope recently to prepare hygiene products for delivery to those in need. Sarah Griego Guz / Review

Published in the Half Moon Bay Review on May 23rd.

Students pack hygiene products for Coastside Hope. By Sarah Griego Guz.

Sixth-grade students from Sea Crest School gathered outside Coastside Hope’s warehouse in Princeton on May 17 with a clear purpose in mind. For over a month, the civic-minded children had been doggedly collecting hygiene supplies for needy families. This was the day that they would package the supplies into “kits” so that they could be given to people in need.

As they stood around a horseshoe of work tables, the students listened as Coastside Hope’s Community Development Director Keith Terry provided insight.

Terry explained that Coastside Hope was started in 1976 and is now considered to be a core agency within San Mateo County.

“Coastside Hope takes care of the Midcoast, which is basically Montara down to La Honda,” said Terry, addressing the students. “Last year we gave away 450,000 pounds of food. That’s a lot of pounds. We gave away food to about 3,400 people.

“Summertime is when we run short on food, because in November and December everyone donates food,” he continued. “And then we put that on our pantry shelves and we give it away. Then our next big dose is what we just got, the 35 barrels from the Postal Workers drive, and then, there’s not a really big one until the Boy Scout drive. And guess what? That’s in the autumn too.”

Properly educated, the students set to work unpacking the hygiene products. They labored together in groups. There were animated discussions as to the best way to accomplish their goal.

“We’re organizing all the hygiene products,” said Ben Cleary as he packed a gallon-sized bag with toothpaste and shampoo.

“We’re sorting them and organizing them into packs to give them to people so they can use them,” added Luke Aranda. “We try to maximize what we put in each pack, so usually they have some basic supplies that people might need at home, like deodorant, toilet tissue, shampoo and conditioner.

“Some other necessities that some homeless people might need are like a can opener,” he continued. “Which is very important when they get food, because if they don’t have a can opener they can’t eat the food.”

“The most needed product, surprising when you’re dealing with food, especially with a homeless person, is a can opener,” said Terry. “Can openers are really important, especially for a homeless person because they lose them and then can’t get into their food.

“As far as specific food items, we always need soups, breakfast cereals and oatmeal,” he continued. “We always need basic staples like oil, flour, sugar, things like that that people can turn into food, so they can make their own bread, their own tortillas. They make things out of that.”

Terry also stated that cake mixes are always welcome as well as any food staples.

Because of the influx of food resulting from Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, Terry estimates their supplies will last one or two months.

“We always welcome food donations, regardless of the time of the year,” he stated. “Fresh produce, if someone has a backyard tree (and) they want to pull their lemons down, those go really fast.”

In addition to food donations, neighbors wishing to support the safety net programs at Coastside Hope are invited to attend the annual barbecue scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. on June 21 at Mavericks Event Center. Tickets go on sale in early June and will cost $40 to $50 at the door.

For more information, visit coastsidehope.org.

 


 

— In the News: Coastside sixth-grader heads to Washington

Chase Urban is going to Washington D.C. to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes. Sara Hayden / Review

Published in the Half Moon Bay Review on May, 23rd.

By Sara Hayden.

Between writing letters to lawmakers and preparing for a speech to present at Levi Stadium, Chase Urban has been busy. But not so busy that he can’t find time to play basketball, dedicate himself to his sixth-grade studies at Sea Crest School and hang out with his two cats.

This is all in a day’s work as the 12-year-old rallies awareness about Type 1 diabetes. Next stop: Capitol Hill, where he intends to solicit support from Congress.

“I really want to change the world,” Urban said. “I really want to get (Type 1) diabetes out there and tell more people about it and educate people about what diabetes is and that we need to find a cure for it.”

About 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease for which there is presently no prevention or cure. At its onset, the pancreas stops producing insulin — a necessary hormone that helps the body derive energy from food.

Without it, people living with Type 1 diabetes must carefully balance activity and eating, around the clock, as well as monitor blood sugar levels and inject or infuse insulin with a pump, which can be expensive. If blood sugar levels aren’t managed, it can cause long-term complications for nerve, kidney, eye and cardiovascular health.

The majority of people with Type 1 diabetes are adults, and minors represent 16 percent. Urban will join more than 150 other children from all 50 states in Washington, D.C., to draw attention to the importance of eradicating the condition.

“The U.S. government funds research for Type 1 diabetes,” Urban said. “We want them to continue doing that so hopefully we can get a cure someday.”

That’s the ultimate goal. Technological advancements in managing the disease are important objectives in the meantime. In 2013, Urban participated in a clinical trial for an artificial pancreas from Stanford University as well as a new sensor that monitors blood sugar levels. He says these advancements make it easier to do the things he loves.

The Children’s Congress trip is supported by JDRF, an organization dedicated to funding research for Type 1 diabetes, a disease that annually incurs $14 billion in health care costs nationwide.

Advocacy feels ever more urgent as the passage of the American Healthcare Act earlier this month leaves people with pre-existing conditions, including Type 1 diabetes, vulnerable to increased insurance costs.

“These children and their parents face the burden of Type 1 diabetes every day, and, by sharing their stories, they become the most powerful advocates we have in fighting Type 1 diabetes,” JDRF President and CEO Derek Rapp said in a statement.

Urban said he was first inspired to get involved with JDRF the day after he was diagnosed when he turned on the TV. There was a broadcast of the JDRF One fundraising walk, and Urban found his calling, getting his family and others from Half Moon Bay onboard to participate.

Over the years, dozens of Chase’s Champions have collectively raised more than $100,000. They intend to do it again this fall.

“We’re totally going to be walking,” Urban said.

“It’s Chase’s favorite day of the year,” his mother, Jenny, confirmed. “We’ll be doing it for a long time.”

“I’ll find a way to get there in college,” Urban added.

Urban has also gone on to be a junior spokesman for JDRF. He’ll be giving his 10th speech on May 31 at Levi Stadium to address the people of Silicon Valley about Type 1 diabetes.

“We have this thing around the office — ‘Chase for president,’” Shelly Jensen, a member of JDRF’s marketing and communications team, said. “He’s an incredible young man … He’s taken it to heart that he is raising awareness for our community.”

 


 

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