SCOTTS valley

Library offers free homework-assistance program

The Scotts Valley Library is offering a free homework assistance program 3-5 p.m. Thursdays at 251 Kings Village Road.

The branch is one of six participating in the county libraries' Homework Help program. Each site is supervised by a California-certified teacher, and bilingual services are available.

The program is open to students up to grade 12. No appointment is necessary.

For information, go to www.santacruzpl.org.

SANTA CRUZ

Museum offers tour of Moore Creek Preserve

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is presenting a tour of Moore Creek Preserve on Jan. 19 as part of the Families in Nature series.

The Winter Adventure event will include an exploration of the open space with naturalist guides, binoculars and hands-on activities that will include scouting for tracks and identifying birds and plans.

To register, go to www.santacruzmuseums.org or call 831-420-6115.

SANTA CRUZ

Habitat for Humanity gets grant

Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County has been awarded $125,000 to build a three-bedroom, two-bath home in the Beach Flats neighborhood.

The grant provides half of the cost of construction. It comes from Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, a partnership between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity International.

The partnership is providing money nationally to fund the construction of 113 Habitat for Humanity homes in 31 states in 2013. The Santa Cruz project is one of just eight awarded by Thrivent Financial on California's Central Coast.

Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County will host a mandatory orientation for homeownership applicants 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 19 and from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 21. Both sessions will be held in Spanish and English at the Beach Flats Community Center, 133 Leibrandt Ave.

SANTA CRUZ

Blanket drive slated for shelter

The Santa Cruz Sanitation Workers Alliance Network is hosting a blanket drive for the Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Santa Cruz Clock Tower.

The organization is looking for new, unused blankets for the shelter. Santa Claus will also make an appearance.

For information, call 588-8422.

BEN LOMOND

Trustees will discuss bond sale

The San Lorenzo Valley board of trustees will meet at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in a workshop to discuss the final sale of Measure O Bonds.

In both November and December, the board discussed how to structure the financing of the bonds, including the number of years, interest rates, and the annual cost to the taxpayer. The Jan. 9 workshop will be at the Quail Hollow multipurpose room, 325 Marion Ave.

SANTA CRUZ

Entries sought for contest

The Santa Cruz Sister Cities Committee invites writers to enter the annual Hans Christian Writing Andersen Contest.

The contest features four age group divisions: 3-5, 6-11, 11-16, and 17 and older. Winning submissions are entered in the international competition in Sestri, Italy, one of Santa Cruz's five sister cities. Entries are due Jan. 18.

Hans Christian Andersen visited Sestri for many years, and the international competition is a celebration of his time there.

For information, go to www.cityofsantacruz.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2849.

APTOS

Non-violent communication workshop slated

Rick and Aviva Longinotti, marriage and family therapists, will host a workshop Jan. 5 on nonviolent communication in political engagement. Rick Longinotti is a founder of the Santa Cruz Desal Alternatives organization.

The event will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 125 Cantebury Drive. The cost is $10 to $25 on a sliding scale. Attendees should bring their own lunch. Free child care will be provided.

To register, go to www.NVCSantaCruz.org/classes/speakingpeace.html or call 440-8979.

SANTA CRUZ

Bookshop hosts annual book drive

Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., has launched its third annual Holiday Book Drive to collect books for distribution in public schools in Santa Cruz County.

Bookshop Santa Cruz is offering 20 percent off all purchases of new and used books to be donated to the Santa Cruz Education Foundation, on behalf of Santa Cruz City Schools and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.

The store will collect these books at any register until Dec. 31 and pass them onto school libraries and classrooms to enhance reading opportunities for public school students.