Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 6 Months

Hello, Parents!

Welcome again. Time has passed and you are able to see big changes with your baby at this point in her development. You also may have new concerns or questions; about your parenting skills, about your child’s development, about routines, or about your child trying different foods and concerns about allergies. Reminder: It’s always okay to ask questions and talk to other parents.

What to Expect at 6 Months

  • Your baby knows his name and may use his voice to let you know when he needs attention. The baby squeals and is beginning to babble to you and others. He may make sounds like “mama” or “dada.” He is also learning to respond to “bye-bye.”
  • Your baby gets stronger every minute. She now holds her head up and looks around at everything that’s going on. She is learning to sit up, at first using her hands for balance.
  • Your baby’s grasp has relaxed now. He likes to reach and grab nearby objects, holding and banging objects and even holding something in each hand!
  • Your baby knows you very well now; the different tones of your voice will sometimes make her react with a smile or with tears knowing that you are happy or upset with her.

Activities to Help Your Baby Grow and Learn

  • Crush ice into very small pieces that your baby can eat safely. Let them explore the cold ice as it squirms around in a bowl. The crushed ice and cool fingers will feel good on their gums and new little teeth.
  • Fill a small container or tray with water and play with it together. As the baby touches the water, talk about how it feels using real words to promote language. “Oooh, the water is so cold.”
  • Rock, walk, or dance and whisper sweet words in your baby’s ear. Whispering to your baby helps her to calm down and provides another way to talk in a quiet and loving voice.
  • When your baby is awake and alert, turn off the television and other household sounds so that he can only hear your voice. This helps your baby hear the sounds of words more clearly or recognize other noises like the rain, the wind, or a bird. Ask the baby, “Can you hear the rain? Can you hear the bird?”

The ASQ (Ages & Stages Questionnaire) is a great, fun tool to help your child grow. The ASQ can also help you identify any areas where your baby may need some extra support to succeed. Remember, if you have any concerns about your child’s development there is no harm in reaching out.

Call 211 for more information.

Sources: ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink

Homeless Connect Event

Each January, communities throughout the United States conduct a Point-in-Time (PIT) count to tally the number of individuals experiencing homelessness on a single night in their area. This year, January 24th is that night, and Nevada County is holding an event on the 25th to bring folks in, give them the opportunity to connect to services, and interview them for the count.

The Homeless Connect event will be held on Thursday, January 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Salvation Army office in Grass Valley. Attendees will receive a free hot meal and can connect to a variety of services, such as health information, flu shots, Veteran’s services, and legal assistance.

Trained interviewers will conduct a confidential 15-minute survey with each individual who is experiencing homelessness. Those who take the survey will receive a gift for their participation.

Free transportation to the event will be provided from the following bus stops:

  • Nevada City Public Parking Lot (Rock Crusher)
  • First Baptist Church
  • Nevada City Veterans Building
  • Memorial Park
  • Tinloy Transit Center
  • Kmart Shopping Center
  • SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center

If someone you know is without shelter, camping out, or living in a vehicle, please let them know about this important event. The information collected at the Homeless Connect event will help bring additional funding and resources into our county to serve people experiencing homelessness.


What: Homeless Connect Event

When: Thursday, January 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Where: Salvation Army, 10725 Alta Street, Grass Valley

Coordinated Entry for Homelessness Launches January 23rd


January 23rd is the official launch date of Nevada County’s “Coordinated Entry” system for people experiencing homelessness. Coordinated Entry is a process that ensures that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access to services. The process does two important things:

  1. It builds a centralized list of people in our community who need housing assistance to ensure that that those who need services the most receive them first.
  2. It allows participating housing providers to access the list and contact individuals who may be eligible for their services as housing resources become available.

In Nevada County, 211 is the access point for Coordinated Entry. Anyone experiencing a housing crisis can call 2-1-1 (or 877-847-0499) and speak with a call specialist who will walk them through the Coordinated Entry questions and provide referrals for shelter, food, healthcare, and other services to meet their needs. 211 then enters the data into HUD’s Housing Management Information System (HMIS), which can be accessed only by designated organizations that provide housing services.

Getting to this point took years of discussion and planning. The process was led by the Homeless Resource Council of the Sierras (HRCS), a coalition of housing and shelter providers, consumers, advocates, and government representatives who work together to shape planning and decision-making around the issue of homelessness. HRCS coordinates the Placer-Nevada Counties Continuum of Care, a joint effort to end homelessness in our two counties.

Ultimately, Coordinated Entry could provide a big-picture view of the needs of those experiencing homelessness in Nevada County and allow service providers to apply for HUD funding to improve services in our community.

Accessing Coordinated Entry

Nevada County
Call 211 Connecting Point at 2-1-1 or 877-847-0499. Provides referrals to emergency shelter as well as additional resources, including food, healthcare, transportation, legal assistance, and more. Callers can choose to be included on a centralized housing assistance list.

Placer County
Call the Homeless Resource Helpline at 833-3PLACER (833-375-2237). Provides referrals to emergency shelter. Callers can choose to be included on a centralized housing assistance list.

Schedule Your Free Tax Assistance Appointment

Need some help filing your taxes this year? The AARP Tax Aide volunteers are gearing up to provide preparation services and electronic filing of both Federal and California tax returns for folks with low and middle income. This service is free for Nevada County residents of all ages.

If you bought health insurance through Covered California and received Premium Tax Credits, you must file a return. Let AARP help! The Tax Aide group can handle most common personal tax returns, including those that have salary, interest, dividends, itemized deductions, pension, IRA withdrawals, capital gains, or stock transactions.

Tax appointments are available every Monday between February 5th and April 9th. Appointments are required. To schedule your appointment, call 211 (just dial 2-1-1 or 877-847-0499) and press 4.

Ages & Stages: Your Baby at 4 Months

Hello, Parents!

Parenthood is a journey like no other. Your child is special and truly one of a kind, just like your experience as a parent.

During this journey, you may worry about your child’s growth, health, and behavior and wonder if you are doing all the “right” things to help her develop. Doubt is inevitable (welcome to parenting!), but no one knows your baby better than you. Trust yourself, and remember that it’s okay to reach out; there are all kinds of great resources in our community to help you along the way.

Here’s a quick list of what to expect from your 4-month old and a few activities to try with her.

What to Expect at 4 Months

  • Your baby is communicating with her whole body. She’s moving around, making noises, and crying when she needs something.
  • Your child smiles spontaneously, especially at people.
  • Your baby copies some movements, like smiling or frowning.
  • Your baby likes to play with people and may cry when playing stops.
  • Your baby is beginning to babble.
  • Your baby may begin to be aware of his voice and may test it or play by making different noises.
  • Your child may start reacting with excitement when she sees or hears you.

Activities to Help Your Baby Grow and Learn

Physical play is a valuable tool to support your child’s development. Activities that use physical movements allow children to use their energy, recognize their own capacities, learn new things, and socialize. Playing also benefits your child’s health. Even from a very early age, children use play to understand the world around them.

Here are a few activities to try with your 4-month old:

  • Place your baby on your lap or a firm surface facing up. Pull your baby up slowly by her arms. Then gently lower her in an up-and-down game. This will help strengthen her stomach and neck muscles.
  • Talk to your baby while changing her diaper or giving her a bath; let the baby know what you are doing. You can also sing to your baby and play gentle games, like splashing on the water or playing peek-a-boo with a washcloth or your hands.
  • Place your baby in different positions, like on his stomach or his side. This will allow him to move his arms and legs in different directions, strengthen his body, and give him a more interesting view of his surroundings.

Have fun and remember: you are the most important person in your child’s life!

Want more information? To learn more about your child’s developmental stages, check out the Ages & Stages Questionnaires online or give us a call at 2-1-1 to speak to our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Chappuzeau. Call 211 to connect to a wide variety of resources, including child safety information, childcare, parenting classes, health services, and more.

ASQ-3 Learning Activities, Elizabeth Twombly & Ginger Fink
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ages & Stages: Social-Emotional Development at 2 Months

Raising a little person is beautiful, fun, and (sometimes) terrifying. It’s also pretty predictable.

Researchers have been studying the stages of child development for years and are able to provide a fairly detailed roadmap of what’s ahead developmentally. Each month, we will share with you some practical information on what to expect from your new baby and some activities you can do together to encourage her healthy development.

Social-Emotional Development

Your child is developing many different skills as she grows, including communication skills, motor skills, social skills, and problem-solving skills. Today we’re focusing on your infant’s social-emotional development.

Social-emotional development is all about your child’s ability to experience and express feelings. Social-emotional strengths are the foundation for all other learning and development to occur throughout your child’s life.

What to Expect at 2 Months

  • Your baby is really smiling at you and others now
  • Your baby may use different cries to tell you when she is hungry, uncomfortable, or sick
  • Your baby “talks” to you with noises and gurgles
  • Your baby likes to be with people and is becoming more interactive with you
  • Your baby likes to play with her fingers, hands, feet, and toes
  • Sometimes your baby will be fussy only because he wants your attention
  • Your baby can recognize familiar people by their voices

Tips for 2 Months

Use a positive tone with your baby to let her know that you love and care for her. Making your child feel safe, secure, nurtured, and loved will help her grow and learn.

Social-Emotional Activities to Try with Your 2-Month Old

More activities to try with your 2-month old. Click on the image to download a PDF of the activity sheet.
  • It is never too early to read books to your baby. Choose simple board books at first and talk about the pictures. Cuddle up close.
  • Take your time when you are giving your baby a bath or changing his diapers. Gently massage his feet and/or belly. Talk to the baby or sing during these one-on-one times.
  • Talk to your baby about what she is doing, seeing, hearing, and feeling. Say, “I am changing your diaper. You will like being nice and dry.”
  • Spend time holding your baby and use this time to show her things around the house or yard. Name things and let the baby touch safe, simple objects (like plastic cups or big wooden spoons).
  • Find more activities here.

Remember, you are the most important person in your child’s life!

To learn more about your child’s developmental stages, give us a call at 211 (just dial 211 from any local phone) or check out the Ages & Stages Questionnaires online

Source: ASQ:SE-2 User’s Guide, Squires, Bricker, & Twombly

Schools Support Children Experiencing Homelessness

Take a moment to think about homelessness in Nevada County. What image comes to mind? If you are not seeing children, then you are not seeing the whole picture.

The face of homelessness is changing. California’s housing crisis has displaced many working families, meaning more and more children are living in cars, campgrounds, and shelters or couch-surfing with family and friends. This instability impacts children’s lives in many ways, including their education.

Kids experiencing homelessness may not have the resources to buy school supplies, appropriate clothing, or other basic necessities. The McKinney-Vento Homelessness Education Assistance Act is a federal law that provides for supports and services to fill some of these gaps and ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities.

According to the McKinney-Vento Act, a family is considered homeless if they:

  • Lack a regular, fixed, and adequate nighttime residence
  • Live in a shelter, motel, or hotel
  • Live in an unsheltered residence, such as a car or park
  • Share housing (doubled-up or couch-surfing) due to economic hardship
  • Live in campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Are an unaccompanied child or youth (i.e. not in the physical custody of their parents or guardians)

Students experiencing homelessness in Nevada County can get help through their school with clothing, school supplies, bus passes, field trip fees, testing fees, counseling, academic support, enrollment, and access to community services. Each school district has an appointed Homeless Education Liaison who helps homeless students and families access these supports and services.

If your child needs support, the first step is to share information with your school’s Homeless Liaison, school counselor, or a trusted teacher or school staff member.

Recent data shows that 338 students in Nevada County qualified for McKinney-Vento last year, and it’s likely that even more were eligible. Our community has a lot of work to do to support children experiencing homelessness. McKinney-Vento is a first step in making sure kids have what they need to get the most out of their education.

Homeless Students’ Rights Under McKinney-Vento

School Stability
To remain enrolled in, and be transported to, a student’s School of Origin when feasible, even if a
student moves outside of the district. (‘School of Origin’ means the school last attended when
permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled).

Immediate Enrollment
To be enrolled immediately (even without medical or school records) in the neighborhood school.

Food Provision
To receive FREE breakfast and/or lunch in schools that serve both.

Assistance with Barriers
To have barriers addressed so that they can participate in athletics, field trips, and after school
activities (this could include having certain school fees waived). Parents or guardians should contact
school staff for help.

Academic Support
To ask for academic support if a student is struggling with classwork. Parents or guardians should
contact school staff for assistance.

Transportation Assistance
To ask for transportation support if a student is at risk of missing school. Parents or guardians should
contact school staff for assistance. Homeless Liaisons can work with parents to problem-solve
transportation challenges.

12 Days of Christmas on Gold Country Stage

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with FREE RIDES on all Gold Country Stage routes from December 20th through 31st.

Skip the parking hassles and do all of your local holiday shopping by bus. Catch a ride to the great shops in downtown Grass Valley (Route 3) and downtown Nevada City (Route 1), pick up your wrapping paper and tape in the Brunswick basin (Route 4), or make your way down the hill to the Roseville Galleria (via Route 5).

Gold Country Stage will be operating normal schedules and times on all routes with free fares for all. (There will be no bus service on Monday, December 25 in observance of Christmas Day).

Bus schedules are available in the Gold Country Stage Rider’s Guide. Call 211 to find the best routes, stops, and times for your trip.

Habitat for Humanity to Hold Application Meetings

The new year is bringing new home ownership opportunities for Nevada County residents with low income. Habitat for Humanity will soon be accepting applications for their Heritage Oaks neighborhood in Grass Valley.

Habitat for Humanity is hosting two Application Information Meetings for folks interested in applying. The meetings will be held at the United Methodist Church in Grass Valley on Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00 pm and Saturday, January 13th at 1:00 pm. Call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot.

The benefits of partnering with Habitat for Humanity include:

Click on the image above to open a PDF of the flyer.
  • Affordable, no-profit, principal-only home loans
  • Energy-efficient homes with quality construction
  • A great neighborhood with easy access to schools, businesses, and services
  • Investment in a safe, stable asset for your family for generations to come

In order to qualify, families must:

  • Meet income requirements (see the flyer for information on the minimum and maximum annual gross income for your family size)
  • Have an income and the ability to pay for a habitat home
  • Be in need of better housing
  • Be willing to partner with Habitat, including putting in “sweat equity” hours
  • Live or work in Nevada County

All Habitat for Humanity homes are sold to the homeowner family at no profit and with a 0% interest mortgage. If you find yourself spending your entire paycheck on housing, this opportunity is for you.

Call 530-274-1951 form more information or to reserve your spot.


What: Habitat for Humanity Application Information Meeting

When: Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00 pm OR Saturday, January 13th at 1:00 pm

Where: Grass Valley United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall, 236 Church Street, Grass Valley

Cost: Free. Call 530-274-1951 to reserve your spot. Child care will be available (call to reserve).


5 Ways to Get Involved for #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, a great excuse for all of us to take a look around our world and decide how we can be of service. Giving is about more than writing a check—it’s about seeing a need for change and doing what you can to bring it about. Whether it’s our time, our money, or our great idea, we all have something to give.

This #GivingTuesday, we hope that you will support 211 in helping people connect to the services they need to live healthy, independent lives. Here are 5 great ways to give:

1. Donate Your Time
If what you have to give is time, we’ll take it! Your time and energy are very valuable to us. 211 is always looking for volunteers to help with outreach, satisfaction surveys, tax scheduling, and more. If you love meeting new people, learning new things, and helping people in your community connect, get in touch! Learn more about volunteering for 211 here and here.

2. Share Your Expertise
Do you have a superpower you want to share? Maybe you relish research, have a way with words, or are a real people person. Don’t keep all that talent to yourself. 211 needs your expertise. Let us know how you can help and we’ll gladly turn your expertise into action.

3. Make a Financial Contribution
There’s no way around it: money helps. Making a monthly donation, whether it’s for $5 or $500, lets us know that you support the work we’re doing in the community. Your monthly donation gives us the security we need to build this great program to meet the needs of more people in Nevada County. Donate here.

4. Like or Share
Social media is powerful. Use your power for good by liking 211 on Facebook and Instagram and invite your friends to do the same. It really helps!

5. Tell a Friend
If you like what 211 is doing, let someone else know about us. Tell your friends, your family, and your neighbors about 211 and help us spread the word. And remember, 211 is free, friendly, and available 24/7.

4 Great Reasons to Volunteer

Each year, 211 partners with AARP to set free Tax-Aide appointments for community members with low and middle income. Scheduling hundreds of tax appointments between January and April requires a great group of dedicated volunteers. Here are four reasons you might want to be one of them:

Get ‘er Done

Like all good things, tax season must come to an end. Tax appointment scheduling starts in early January and ends April 17th. Get all of your volunteering done in the cold and rainy months and feel great about hitting the road when the sun comes out.

Meet New Friends

We like to think we have a pretty great team of volunteers and staff around here. A trip to the watercooler might put you in the path of a rancher, a pilot, a winery owner, a singer who does a killer Bowie impression, an art historian, and many, many dog lovers. If you love talking to people, this job is for you.

Keep Your Skills Sharp

We answer calls and schedule appointments using web-based applications. If you can shop online, you can answer a 211 call. This is a great opportunity to keep up those skills and learn a few more along the way.

Help Your Community Connect

Each year, 211 answers over 10,000 calls from Nevada County residents like yourself. 211 is a quick, easy starting point to connect to community resources for food, shelter, transportation, legal assistance, and more. Your work as a volunteer supports local people in living healthy, independent lives.

If any (or all) of these reasons appeal to you, get in touch. Check out our Opportunities page for more information or download an application here.

New Parent Resources: Car Seats

By now we all know that car seats save lives. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, car seat use reduces the risk of death in infants by 71% and in toddlers by 54%. Car seats are so important for child safety that they are now one of the very first tools new parents need to bring their babies home; hospitals cannot allow a newborn to leave in a car without a car seat.

Car seats are expensive and complicated. With some help, every family can get a car seat (and get it installed correctly) to make sure every trip in a car is a safe one.

Getting a Car Seat

A very good place to start is at one of the PARTNERS Family Resource Centers in our area. The FRC will see if you are qualified for a free car seat and help you get the best one for your child’s needs. Start with the Grass Valley Family Resource Center. They will get you headed in the right direction.

Grass Valley PARTNERS Family Resource Center
235 South Auburn Street
Grass Valley

Installation Assistance

Car seats are great, but these simple superheroes need an assist from us to be truly effective. That means making sure your car seat is properly installed. (Three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly, diminishing their ability to prevent injury or death in a car accident).

There are a number of options to help you properly install your car seat for the best protection of your baby. All require you call for an appointment.

Nevada County Child Car Seat Inspector
Nevada County Highway Patrol
11363 McCourtney Road
Grass Valley, CA

First 5 Nevada County
250 Sierra College Drive
Grass Valley, CA

AAA Car Seat Installation Inspector (This is for all, not just AAA members!)
Kristen Engelstad
113 Dorsey Drive
Grass Valley, CA

As your child grows, continue to keep her safe in the appropriate car seat. Check with the Nevada County Car Seat Inspector at 530-477-4900 for the latest information.

For more information on resources for families, see our Children & Youth resource page.



Navigate Your Transportation Options with 211

“How do you plan to get there?” We’ve recently started asking this question of many of our 211 callers. We serve a lot of folks who don’t have a car, no longer drive, or have never driven. Whatever the reason, we all still need a way to get where we’re going.

Cars are convenient, but they’re not the only option. Nevada County has public buses, paratransit services, taxi services, and even an Uber driver or two. How do you know which one will work best for you? Ask 211.

We’ll ask you some simple questions to help you narrow down your options and find the transportation choice that works best for you. Here’s how we’ll start:

Where are you now? Where are you going?
If we know your start and end points, we can help you narrow down the options. We’ll start by eliminating options that don’t go to those places.

Are you on a bus route?
We can help you find the nearest bus stop and check to see if your path there is safe and accessible.

When do you need to be there?
Your options will be different depending on the day and time you’re traveling. If you’re headed to an appointment during business hours you may be able to use the bus or paratransit system. If you are heading out at night, you may need to call a taxi.

If you are taking the bus, it’s smart to work backwards from your arrival time to make sure you board the bus with enough time to reach your destination. We’ll help you read the timetables to find the best route, bus stop, and boarding time.

Are you traveling to a medical appointment?
There’s a chance your health insurance will pay for transportation to your doctor’s office. We can help you check what your plan offers.

Are you a veteran, senior, or person with a disability?
There may be additional options based on your individual situation or needs. We’ll go through these with you to see if you qualify.

Do you use a wheelchair?
Let’s make sure your transportation options are accessible. All of the public buses have ramps and tie downs for wheelchairs, but only certain taxis have accessible vehicles.

What’s your goal?
Maybe you don’t want or need to leave the house. If what you really need is food delivery, a good book, or a visit from a friend, there may be services available to meet your needs.

Wherever you’re going, make 211 your first stop. For more information, give us a call by dialing 2-1-1- or check out the transportation resource page on our website.

Get the Support You Need to Breastfeed

Research shows that breastfeeding has many health benefits for both infants and mothers. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “human milk provides virtually all the protein, sugar, and fat your baby needs to be healthy.” Breastfeeding also benefits your baby’s immune system, helping to protect her against a wide variety of diseases and infections, and helps create a close bond between mother and child. 

Plus, breastmilk is free, always ready, and doesn’t require sterilized bottles!

Breastfeeding does not always come easily to mothers or their babies. That’s why there are all kinds of great and FREE resources in our community to assist new moms with breastfeeding.

If you are having trouble breastfeeding, a great first step is to visit with a lactation consultant. An Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC, for short) will check to make certain your baby has a good latch to help keep you comfortable and assure your baby is getting the nutrition she needs. They will help you learn how to get your baby to latch correctly every time! Your lactation consultant will also be able to answer your questions and help solve any issues you might be experiencing.


Women Infant Children (WIC)
Western Nevada County: 530-265-1454, 988 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley
Eastern Nevada County: 530-582-7814, 10075 Levon Avenue, Truckee
Provides in-home support for breastfeeding women. Most families with Medi-Cal qualify for free WIC services. Give them a call and ask if you qualify.

The Nest 
530-637-8411 (530-NEST411), 107 W Main Suite B Grass Valley
The Nest offers a free drop-in New Parent Support Circle classes on Thursdays from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm for breastfeeding assistance.

Sierra Care Physicians Pediatrics 
530-272-9780, 140 Litton Dr. Suite 100, Grass Valley
New parent support group, facilitated by Kris Jassen-Mather, an IBCLC.  Wednesdays from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. Everyone is welcome!

Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health Program, Nevada County Public Health
530-265-7269, 500 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley
Provides support, education, and home visits with a public health nurse, including breastfeeding resources and support.

Need more support? Check with your insurance carrier; many policies will pay for a certain number of in-home visits with an IBCLC.

211 has more great resources for parents and families. Check out our Children & Youth guided search page to connect.  

Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic October 3rd

Come one, come all! The Nevada County Public Health Department (NCPHD) is conducting a FREE drive-thru flu shot clinic in Grass Valley for the public on Tuesday, October 3, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (or while supplies last) in the parking lot of Twin Cities Church at 11726 Rough and Ready Highway.

The drive-thru clinic is for adults and children 3 years of age and older. (If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next month, please see your primary care or prenatal care provider to get your annual flu vaccination). Participants will only be able to access
the parking lot using the westbound lane off of Rough and Ready Highway; no eastbound access will be allowed due to safety concerns.This is a drive-thru only event; all participants will be required to stay in their vehicles. Again, due to safety concerns, walkups and bicycles will not be permitted.

The purpose of the drive-thru event is twofold: to provide free flu shots to community members and to give NCPHD staff and community partners a chance to practice and evaluate response levels and preparedness in the event of a large communicable disease outbreak or public health emergency. If a significantly large communicable disease outbreak occurs, such as a pandemic, NCPHD will not want individuals to congregate in large spaces to receive prophylactic medicines. The drive-thru mechanism allows for county residents to receive medicine without ever leaving their car, thus protecting not only themselves, but friends, family and the community as a whole.

The Public Health Department is hoping for a large response from the community, not only to protect residents from the flu, but also to learn valuable lessons and enhance response efforts for future exercises. 

Public participation is essential to making this exercise a success, so please join in and help fight flu! 

For more information or questions please call 530-470-2658 or email


Click on the image above to open a PDF of the event flyer.

What: Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic

When: Tuesday, October 3rd, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm (while supplies last)

Where: Twin Cities Church, 11726 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley. Access the parking lot using the westbound lane off of Rough and Ready Highway; no eastbound access will be allowed due to safety concerns.

Cost: Free!

Get Empowered, Prepared, & Proactive About Falls

In 2014, over 1000 Nevada County seniors went to the emergency room due to a fall. According to the Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County, falls are the number one reason seniors are hospitalized due to injury.

We are at greater risk of falling as we age, but there are simple steps seniors can take to reduce the chances of a fall.

On September 27th, the Falls Prevention Coalition is hosting its 10th annual community event to bring seniors, their family members, and caregivers together to share information, resources, and ideas for staying strong, safe, and independent.

The event, which will take place at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Grass Valley from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, will feature keynote speaker Leslie Kernisan, MD, MPH on “How to Spot Risky Meds, Partner with Your Doctors and Personalize Your Fall Prevention Plan!”

The Coalition has planned a fun, interactive day that will include a resource fair, music by the Forever Young Senior Chorus, and a buffet lunch. Optional breakout sessions on exercise planning and community support services will be available from 1:30 to 2:30.

To register for the event, call 530-271-0255. Registration ends September 22nd.


Click the image above to open a PDF of the flyer.

What: Falls Prevention Coalition 

When: Wednesday, September 27, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, with optional breakout sessions from 1:30 to 2:30.

Where: Seventh Day Adventist Church

12889 Osborne Hill Road, Grass Valley (off Hwy 174, near Union Hill School)

Cost: Free. $10 suggested donation at the door.

Connecting Point Offers Free Classes for Caregivers

Providing care for a spouse or aging parent is hard work, both physically and emotionally. Caregivers are often so focused on the needs of others that they forget to care for themselves.

Reducing your stress and learning new tools can help both you and your loved one live a safer, more balanced life.

Connecting Point offers free classes taught by experts in the field to help caregivers sharpen their skills and reduce the stress of caregiving. Classes include:

Click on the image above to view a PDF of the full class schedule.

Safe Lifting & Transferring 
October 3, 2017
Learn practical skills to safely lift someone into and out of a car, chair, bed, or bathtub.

Practicing Peace 
Oct 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2017 or April 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018
Build your self-care toolbox with techniques to minimize the emotional and physical effects of stress.

Confident Dementia Caregiver 
November 1 & 2, 2017 or May 2 & 3, 2018
Gain a better understanding of the various types of dementia and how to care for someone with memory loss.

Disaster Preparedness 
November 14, 2017
Prepare yourself and your family-member for a natural or man-made disaster.

Self-Care & Stress Reduction 
February 13, 2017
Take responsibility for your self-care and identify sources of strength that can help you minimize stress.

Universal Precautions 
March 13, 2018
Get tips on how to protect yourself and your loved one from communicable diseases.

These interactive classes are designed specifically for caregivers. Get the tools you need to save you time and energy and the self-care you need to save your life.

All classes are free and open to the public. Please RSVP to reserve your spot. For more information or to RSVP for classes, call Karen Bellanti at 530-274-5601 or register online.


A Q&A on ASQ

The first five years of your child’s life are some of the most important for her development. As she grows, she’s developing core skills—communication skills, motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social skills–that she will rely on for the rest of her life. Because these years are so vital, 211 is now offering tools and assistance to parents of children age 0 to 5 to help their kids get the best start possible.

One of these tools is the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3), an easy-to-use tool to help you better understand what to expect at each stage of your child’s development and to keep track of her strengths as she grows.

You can complete the ASQ at home on your own or meet with our Ready to Grow Specialist, who will walk you through the questionnaire.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the ASQ:

What is ASQ-3?
ASQ-3 is a set of questionnaires about your child’s development. It has been used for more than 20 years to make sure children are developing well. An ASQ screening provides a quick look at how your child is doing in important areas such as communication, physical ability, social skills, and problem-solving skills. ASQ-3 can help identify your child’s strengths as well as any areas where she may need support.

What age range does ASQ cover?
The ASQ can be used for children from 1 month to 5½ years of age. Questionnaires can be completed at any or all of the following intervals: 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 42, 48, 54, and 60 months of age.

How do I complete the ASQ?
Parents or caregivers can complete the ASQ-3 independently online or make an appointment with our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Schoch, who will assist you with the questionnaire.

Is it parent-friendly?
No one knows your child better than you do. ASQ-3 relies on your in-depth knowledge of your child to accurately assess her strengths. The ASQ questions have been designed with parents in mind and include illustrations and examples to make the process user-friendly and fun.

How long does it take?
Questionnaires can take between 10 and 40 minutes for parents or caregivers to complete.

Does taking the ASQ cost anything?
No. The ASQ screening through 211 is free of charge.

Is it easy to do?
Yes! ASQ-3 questionnaires are written in simple, straightforward language and include illustrations and concrete examples. Each questionnaire comes with:

• easy instructions
• an information sheet for identification
• 30 simply worded activities—6 for each of the 5 developmental areas
• an information summary sheet for scoring and general comments

How is it scored?
ASQ uses a simple formula to convert parents’ responses to points:

• Each yes response is assigned 10 points
• Each sometimes is assigned 5 points
• Each not yet is assigned 0 points

The points are totaled for each developmental area and transferred to a summary sheet. Scoring takes only about 2–3 minutes.

What materials do I need?
There are no specific tools required to complete the ASQ. You can use toys or simple household items that you already have.

What are the questions like?
A question from the Problem Solving section of the 2-month questionnaire, for example, is: “When you hold your baby in a sitting position, does she look at a toy (about the size of a cup or rattle) that you place on the table or floor in front of her?”

Where do my answers go?
If you complete the ASQ online, your completed questionnaire will be sent to our Ready to Grow Specialist, who will quickly score the ASQ and contact you within one business day.

If you would like assistance completing the ASQ, you can set up an appointment to meet with our Ready to Grow Specialist at our office. She will enter the answers from your paper questionnaire into an online database and share the results with you within one business day.

How will you contact me?
Our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Schoch, will contact you by phone, email, or mail.

After I complete the screening, what is the next step?
Once you have completed the ASQ questionnaire, our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Schoch, will contact you to share the results and discuss your child’s strengths. If it looks like there are any areas where your child may need some support, Lorena will be able to recommend community resources.

Is this information confidential?

Is the ASQ available in languages other than English?
Yes, 211 currently offers ASQ screenings in English and Spanish.

How can I get more information about the Ages & Stages Questionnaire?
For more information about the ASQ or to schedule an in-person ASQ appointment, please give us a call by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-877-847-0499) or email our Ready to Grow Specialist, Lorena Schoch, at


Learning is a Lifelong Pursuit with OLLI

All of this back-to-school talk has some of us feeling jealous of the younger folks in our community who are—as we speak—browsing through course catalogs, scheduling classes, and making plans for the academic year ahead. Fall is all possibility, with course descriptions that promise to transport us back to Ancient Egypt, illuminate the fundamentals of our Democracy, or make us the great performers we’ve always known we could be.

For those of us who never want to stop learning, Sierra College’s OLLI—Osher Lifelong Learning Institute—is just the thing to satisfy our back-to-school envy. OLLI offers classes for people age 50 and over who are eager to expand their knowledge on a variety of topics, without tests or grades. With classes on art, film, history, health, literature, music, and science there is something for everyone. And that Ancient Egypt class? It starts in October.

OLLI classes are offered at the Grass Valley, Tahoe-Truckee, Rocklin, and Roseville Sierra College campuses. No previous educational background is necessary to join OLLI, just a desire and interest to learn or experience something new.

Class fees range from $15 to $50 and OLLI offers a whole slate of free classes. You must be a Club OLLI member to register for a class or special interest group. Annual membership is $20 and is valid from August 1 to July 31 each year.

Ready to enroll? Flip through the Fall 2017 OLLI Catalog for more information or download an OLLI registration form to get started. 

For more information about the Sierra College OLLI, call 1-800-242-4004 extension 6290 or email

Back to School by Bus

School is back in session this month. If you’re scrambling to figure out how you or a family-member are going to get to school, look no further. Below is your Back to School by Bus guide, with routes, arrival times, and instructions on how to take public transportation to our local high school and college campuses. Take the bus to school and spend less time driving and more time with your books.

This is just a start. For help finding your best route and planning your trip to school, give us a call at 211.

Sierra College

Nevada County Campus

Gold Country Stage Route 4 goes directly to Sierra College’s Nevada County Campus, arriving at 6:39 am, 7:39 am, 8:39 am, 9:39 am, 10:39 am, 11:39 am, 12:39 pm, 1:39 pm, 2:39 pm, 3:39 pm, 4:39 pm, and 5:39 pm.

You can catch Route 4 at the Tinloy Transfer Station in Grass Valley at half past the hour, from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. The ride from Tinloy to Sierra College takes nine minutes.

Gold Country Stage Route 2 stops at Sierra College Drive, right near BriarPatch at 7:40 am, 9:40 am, 11:40 am, 2:40 pm, 4:40 pm, and 6:40 pm. Riders taking Route 2 will have to walk up the hill to the campus.

Route 2 departs the Tinloy Transfer Station at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6:30 pm. The ride from Tinloy to Sierra College takes ten minutes.

Rocklin Campus

The ride from Grass Valley to Rocklin requires two steps:

1) Take Gold Country Stage Route 5 from the Tinloy Transfer Station in Grass Valley to the Auburn Amtrak station at Nevada Street. Catch the bus at Tinloy at 6:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 5:00 pm. The ride from Grass Valley to Auburn takes 50 minutes and arrives at 6:50 am, 8:50 am, 9:50 am, 1:50 pm, 3:50 pm, and 5:50 pm.

2) From the Auburn Amtrak Station, take the Placer County Transit #10 Light Rail Bus DIRECTLY to Sierra College. This bus runs every hour, on the hour, from 5 am to 7 pm. The ride takes 17 minutes, arriving at 17 minutes after the hour, every hour, from 5 am to 7 pm.

Returning from Rocklin:

The Placer County Transit #10 picks up at Sierra College and goes back to Auburn Station every hour, 40 minutes after the hour, from 6:40 am to 8:40 pm. It is important to note, however, that Gold Country Stage Route 5 returns to Grass Valley from the Auburn Amtrak Station only six times throughout the day, at 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:00 pm.

Nevada Union High School

Gold Country Stage Route 2 stops at Nevada Union High School at 7:42 am, 9:42 am, 11:42 am, 2:42 pm, 4:42 pm, and 6:42 pm.

See above for Route 2 departure times from the Tinloy Transfer Station.

Bear River High School

There is no Gold Country Stage bus that goes all the way to Bear River High School. However, Gold Country Stage Route 5 stops at the Holiday Market at the Lake Center in Lake of the Pines. From the Holiday Market, it is a .6 mile walk to the Bear River campus along a safe walking path. The walk takes approximately 12-15 minutes. The Route 5 bus arrives at the Lake Center/Holiday Market at 6:28 am, 8:28 am, 9:28 am, 1:28 pm, 3:28 pm, and 5:28 pm.

See above for Route 5 departure times from the Tinloy Transfer Station in Grass Valley.