Cardboard Challenge at Elk Grove CDI

Each October, kids worldwide participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge for Imagination’s Day of Play. Elk Grove CDI was one of our locations that participated in the Cardboard Challenge at CDC. Starting last month, our School Age kids created a KWHL chart and discussed what they knew and what they wanted to learn. The KWHL chart stands for what students Know, what they Want to know, How they will find the information and later, what they have Learned about the topic. This strategy helps students plan, implement projects and measure knowledge of the topic. They then split into groups of 3-4, chose a peer to lead the club and together they planned what they wanted to build over the next few weeks.  They began the process by drafting their designs on paper before cutting the cardboard, painting and designing their projects. On the day of the event, each group set up their project in the classroom and the younger children were invited to come and play.

They used their imagination and creativity to construct several different types of arcade games with a variety of materials such as cardboard, tape, paint, glitter, saran wrap and other items of choice to offer inside the machines as prizes. Some of the final pieces included Claw Machines and Vending Machines that held toy prizes that had been donated from homes of older children and extra goodies from summer camp. The kids got to keep the toys that they won and they are planning to do a fashion club and a sports club next! To see how our children were inspired by Caine and to learn more about the Global Cardboard Challenge, visit:







Fall/Back-to-School Raffle Winners!

Congratulations to the families that won our Fall/Back-to-School raffle when registering for our All Inclusive Plan! Each family won a $100 Target gift card and were excited to go shop!


Rock Creek CDC – Keehley Family

Robert J. McGarvey CDC – Empedrod Family

Collins CDC – Sanjeev/Ravindran Family

Cumberland CDC – Semanko Family

Tustin Ranch CDC – Vasquez Family

Plaza Vista CDC – Gonzalez Family

Portola CDC – Jenkins Family




Tafoya CDC teacher aids in children’s development

This article features one of our teachers at Tafoya CDC in Woodland who began her teaching at this center as an Associate Teacher and is now continuing her education to becoming a Master Teacher. Creativity, hands-on learning and children’s involvement in daily activities are examples of our staff’s dedication to children in our program. To read more about how this teacher inspires her students and learn more about our afterschool activities, click here.


Week of the Young Child at CDC

In celebration of the Week of the Young Child on April 24-28, our centers participated in a variety of activities to honor our younger CDC children. At Red Hill CDC in Santa Ana, children were encouraged to dress up as their favorite superhero. As they shared why they dressed up as that superhero they would say, “They save people from bad guys”. Another child added, “I want to be like the Flash because he’s faster than everyone”. At the end of the week the children were able to dress up as who they wanted to be when they grew up. The children chose to dress as police officers, doctors, executives, engineers, and a cowgirl. During their greeting time, the children shared why they chose that career and shared back, “doctors save people”. Another child added, “police officers keep people safe”. They concluded the week by going over the importance of being a child and remembering that although we may grow up, will always remember how fun it was to play and learn as a child.

Over at Ben Frankin CDC in Riverside, they celebrated by giving the preschoolers a picnic. The picnic included rotisserie chicken, salsa, tortillas and rice. They also took turns to hit a Piñata and got the treats from it. The day included studying the different children’s celebrations across the globe and discussing why they liked being a kid.

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and development.


Spring Camp Color Run at Parker Whitney CDC (Club Rocklin)

During Spring Camp, the kids at Parker Whitney CDC (Club Rocklin) spent the week preparing for Friday’s Color Run. The Color Run, traditionally known as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet” promotes healthiness and happiness, which fit perfectly with their Movin’ and Groovin’ camp theme. Throughout the week the camp focused on muscles, moving, fitness and hydration. In addition to focusing on healthy eating habits, they held a banana eating contest that both the staff and kids loved.  Some of the Color Run preparation activities included making headbands and decorating a personal water bottle. For hydration, the kids did an experiment where they weighed fruit and dehydrated it in the oven. Once that process was complete, they weighed it again to understand what happens to your body when you heat up and lose water.

The headbands and water bottles the kids decorated were brought out to use during the Color Run on Friday. Some kids chose to decorate their headbands with their names, while others decided to come up with something unique and different to fit their personalities. After a warm up, the kids ran a total of four laps and each lap was finished up with a splash of different powder color. It was a perfect way to finish Spring Camp while having fun and getting colorful.

Circus Camp Day during February Recess at Cherry Chase CDC in Sunnyvale

For February Recess Camp, two of the 5th grade girls approached their teachers about helping to plan a circus themed day for camp. They helped come up with ideas for activities that would be fun for Kindergarten through 5th grade and organizing those ideas to share. The girls worked on their planning daily, which included learning about budgeting, writing a list of materials and the costs of those materials. The Site Supervisor, Alyssa, guided them in planning the special day and helped them with all their planning questions. One of the ideas they came up with was drawing a body for the campers to decorate into an acrobat or a clown and 3 skits for the camp leaders to act out during the morning welcome. This was a hit with our campers. On the day of the circus camp, Alyssa purchased top hats and made our leaders Jr. Ringmasters. The girls both came up with their own camp names of Lavender and Lilac. It is inspiring to see the students get involved and bring their ideas to life. This has encouraged more of the children to add their ideas into Spring Camp and become Jr. Leaders for our summer day camps.


Employee Photo Contest

How does your CDC staff like to spend their time off? We asked employees to submit photos of what they are busy doing on the weekends. This helped showcase how active, fun and loving our staff is. We garden, volunteer, travel, exercise, bake, dance, cook, play in the snow, spend quality time with our families and seek adventure. The same kind of passion we bring to our jobs shows in our free time too. It was hard to narrow down winners from all the submissions, but here are a few favorites:

Winner : Cheyenne, Assistant Teacher- Hiking up to Hollywood sign

Runner’s Up: Elvie, Teacher-Gardening

Josh, Teacher- Announcing engagement

Thomas, Teacher- Feeding ostriches


Winter Camp Raffle Winners

Winter Camp Raffle Winner:

Our winners received baskets full of great winter fun. This included local gift cards, activities from our Programs Department and a cookbook provided from our Nutrition Department. Our activities included rainy day ideas for kids, directions to make bird feeders and materials and directions to make crystal snowflakes and materials. Congrats to all our winners! Mound CDC winners featured.

Lights on Afterschool Event at Montgomery CDC

In celebration of Lights on Afterschool, Montgomery CDC held an event with their families that included a Mexican themed dinner buffet and desserts along with activities such as painting pumpkins, bingo and live music. This event, sponsored by the center was a wonderful example of how our programs connect with our communities, families and the important impact they make on our children.

Learn more about Lights on Afterschool or Sign the Petition here:

Center Photo Contest Winners

Our centers have been participating in a photo contest over the last couple of months. We think these photos capture some of the great things happening in our programs. Our children are captivated, curious, helpful, growing leaders. They have fun, learn, explore, create, climb, read, laugh and so much more. Our contest winners were Canyon View CDC and Nordstrom CDC. Our runner-up centers were Santa Teresa CDC, King City CDC, Stonegate CDC, Herk Bouris CDC, and Canyon View CDC. Congratulations to our winners!