Friday, May 27, 2022

Student Sphere at UCSB

Flora Zhang from StudentSphere and a current UCSB student reached out to me to let me know about the new program that pairs college students with parents and families. She shared that StudentSphere was established in response to COVID-19 and hopes to alleviate the resultant stress on parents and their children. They pair K-12 students with college students for assistance with homework, learning a language, tutoring, dancing, and more! Everything is absolutely FREE and virtual! I asked if she would be willing to do a Q&A to answer questions so I can share the program with you!
Q: What inspired you/students to start the group?
A: Two UC Davis students launched StudentSphere, to assist families with children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were inspired to start the program when they observed families in their own community, including those that consisted of single parents, frontline workers, and immunocompromised individuals, facing challenges with balancing work and their students’ education. Our program was initially designed to help connect K-12 students to college student mentors for assistance with the transition to online learning. Although in-person learning has resumed, our program continues to establish mentorships and support K-12 students.

Q: Who are you hoping to reach?
A: We offer free mentoring services to K-12 students living in North America.

Q: What kind of help do you provide?
A: We are a community-service based organization that provides free and virtual academic support and enrichment to K-12 students. We pair volunteer college/university students, known as mentors, with K-12 students for homework help, tutoring, social activities, and college preparation.

Q: How are students matched? How are the students vetted?
A: StudentSphere screens applicants based on interests, availability, and compatibility. We match mentors and mentees based on these criteria in order to ensure a successful mentorship. In terms of mentors, we also verify that they are indeed college students.

Q: How do I find out more?
Our website is and email is

Q: Any other things you want to share?
A: StudentSphere was interviewed by Univision back in September 2020. Thanks to outlets like Univision and other community organizations, our program has been able to reach diverse population of students from all over the nation. Link to the interview

 This sounds like an amazing resource for our community!

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Winchester Park

 Winchester Park 1 and 2 just got face lifts. Winchester I Park is located in the 7600 block of Calle Real (closest cross street Bradford Dr). It got new exercise equipment for adults, but no playground for kids.  

Winchester II Park is located in the 7700 block of Calle Real with an entrance across from Jenna drive or another entrance in the cul-de-sac Warwick Pl. There are 2 large play structures with shade over rubber foam mats as well as a self powered merry-go-round, lily pad bridge and swings. There are regular swings a toddler swing and a differently abled swing. This park also has shaded benches and a shaded picnic table as well as older picnic tables under a tree.

The age 2 to 5 place structure has three climbing areas, a larger double slide and a tiny slide for very littles as well as the kind of place my kids used to use for an ice cream store. 

The 5 to 12 play structure has a rope climbing structure, swinging rings and three other climbing places as well as a long slide.

The shade for parents is definitely a plus
There is plenty of sitting space for parents.
The merry-go-round was a hit with my kids. 
Parking can be hard to come by.
There is no bathroom. 

Related Lists:
Parks for Big Kids
Summer of the Parks
Extensive Parks List