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Selected Resources for Berkeley and the East Bay

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Visitor Guides
English Language Programs
Educational Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunities
Mothers Clubs and Parenting Resources
International Spouses
Fun and Recreation
Job Search Resources
Hospitals


VISITOR GUIDES

Visit Berkeley is a guide for what to do, where to dine, where to stay and where to shop in Berkeley.

Arrival Guide for International Students and Scholars at UC Berkeley (55 page PDF document, may take a little time to download on slow internet connections) This guide, although intended for international students and scholars, has a wealth of information for any international newcomer to Berkeley.


ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAMS

English-in-Action at the Berkeley YWCA – A free program that finds a partner for you to practice English conversation.

Berkeley Adult School

Berkeley City College 

Laney College, Oakland

Language Studies International (LSI), Berkeley

English Studies Institute (ESI), Berkeley

The English Center (ECIW), Oakland

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Adult Schools
Adult schools offer inexpensive daytime and evening classes in ESL, computers, art, music, foreign languages, dance, yoga, exercise and more.

Berkeley Adult School 

Community & Recreation Centers
Community and recreation centers offer classes in a variety of areas including art, cooking, sports, computers, etc. You can pick up an “Activity Guide” at your local library or community center, or visit the website for each center.

City of Berkeley

City of Albany

City of El Cerrito

City of Emeryville

Jewish Community Center of the East Bay

Albany YMCA

Downtown Berkeley YMCA

Berkeley/Oakland YWCA

City of Orinda

City of Lafayette

Town of Moraga

City of Walnut Creek

Community Colleges
At a community college, you can take individual courses, get certificates in certain programs, or get an Associate of Arts (AA) degree (2-year).

Berkeley City College

Laney College, Oakland

UC Berkeley Extension – offers professional certificates and specialized programs of study.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Bay Area Volunteer Information Center

Volunteer Center of the East Bay

Volunteer Match

Major Volunteer Opportunities in Berkeley/Oakland

Alameda County Food Bank

Berkeley Public Schools

Habitat for Humanity – helps build homes for low-income families

Libraries

Children’s Hospital

Taproot Foundation –  An organization that provides pro-bono consulting to non-profit organizations

MOTHERS’ CLUBS AND PARENTING RESOURCES

Joining a mothers’ club is one of the best ways to meet other moms. Mothers’ clubs organize many events including dinners with other moms, outings, playgroups, babysitting co-ops, parent education talks, stroller walks, etc.

East Bay Moms – Hikes, stroller walks, and other activities for moms together with their infants or toddlers.

Moms Club of Oakland

Parents, Resources and More (PRAM), Richmond

Lamorinda Mother’s Club – A mothers’ club for mothers in Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga.

The UC Berkeley Parents Network – Besides an incredibly thorough listing of local resources, this site has advice on many specific topics. Visit parents.berkeley.edu/subscribe.html to join and receive their newsletters.

Bananas – Offers free parenting information, workshops and referrals to family child care, child care centers, preschools, babysitters, in-home caregivers, nannies and playgroups.

NurtureMom – Rick and Jan Hanson, authors of the book Mother Nurture, have written and lectured extensively on parental stress and depletion, ways to nurture mothers and fathers, and how a couple can be both strong teammates and intimate friends while raising a family. Their website has great articles and resources.

Bay Area Parent

Parents’ Press

Acalanes Adult Education Center, Walnut Creek
Excellent parent education (mommy and me) classes starting from birth to 5 years.

Tot Drop – (925) 284-3999 or 1-888-TOT DROP
Tot Drop is a class for walking babies through preschoolers. Cost is $10/hour (siblings $9/hr.); minimum appointment is 1 hour. Open 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m. Drop your child off occasionally or arrange weekly appointments. Locations in Lafayette. Pleasanton, and Livermore.

Lafayette Nursery School Community Play School – 979 First St., Lafayette
Parents and their preschoolers are invited to use the indoor and outdoor facilities at this co-op nursery school from 10:00-11:30a.m. Thursday mornings. A donation is requested at a per-child or per-family rate. A great way to have fun with your child, meet other parents, and learn about a co-op preschool.

FamilyPaths 24-Hour Crisis Hotline – (510) 893-5444; (800) 829-3777
Just call anytime if you are feeling stressed and need to talk with someone.

T.V. PROGRAMS FOR SMALL CHILDREN

Parents (70%) believe that the best programming for children and young people can be found on PBS. KQED, Channel 9, is our local channel. PBS Kids’ Programs



INTERNATIONAL SPOUSES

Berkeley Wives  This website is for Berkeley wives who leave their home country behind to accompany their partners to study and do research at UC Berkeley.

Life in the Bay A blog started by Stanford spouses to help accompanying spouses/partners settle into their new lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

FUN AND RECREATION

Fun and Cheap – lists all of the free things to do in the Bay Area

Free Museum Days
 – lists days that admission is free to different Bay Area museums.

Things To Do In San Francisco

San Francisco City Guides – offers free, guided walks in San Francisco. 

Bay Area Attractions – Beyond San Francisco

Parks

List of local Berkeley parks

Tilden Regional Park

Especially Fun for the Kids

Bay Area Kid Fun – a list of fun things to do by city

Habitot Children’s MuseumBerkeley
This museum is great for young children. They offer hands-on exhibits and drop-in art activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and families. They also have parenting classes and parent support groups.

Little Farm and the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Tilden Park
The Little Farm has a variety of farm animals including cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens and pigs Visitors are welcome to bring lettuce or celery (but nothing else) to feed the animals. Open daily 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The EEC is a small museum where kids can explore exhibits that tell the story of the Wildcat Creek Watershed. You will find information on park activities, and nature-related books and materials are available for purchase at the nature center store.

Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round
Herschell Spillman merry-go-round in Tilden Regional Park is a splendid antique carousel with hand-carved and beautifully painted wooden carousel animals to ride. For information, call (510) 524-6773. For days and hours of operation please see the Tilden Attractions schedule. There is a fee: $2 per ride; $10 for 7-ride ticket book. Fees are subject to change.

Adventure PlaygroundBerkeley
The Adventure Playground at the Berkeley Marina is an outdoor area where children can play and build creatively. Children can hammer, saw or paint, climb on forts, boats, and towers, and ride the zip line.
Open Saturday and Sunday, 11- 5pm.

Lawrence Hall of ScienceBerkeley
A public science center with exciting hands-on experiences, exhibits, a planetarium, animal discovery room, classes and camps for kids, and a science-themed gift store. Don’t miss their outdoor park with a fabulous view of the San Francisco Bay and a giant whale that kids can climb on.

Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland
Chabot Space & Science Center seeks to educate students of all ages about Planet Earth and the Universe. It offers an observatory, planetarium, classes, lectures, shows, and interactive exhibits.

Oakland Zoo (a nice, easy zoo for walking around) and San Francisco Zoo

California’s Great America Theme Park
For kids of all ages who love thrill rides!

Water World 
When it gets hot, head out to Concord (about 30 minutes east of Berkeley) for some fun water slides.

Exploratorium, San Francisco
Housed within the walls of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a collage of hundreds of science, art, and human perception exhibits. In its vast interior, children of all ages can interact with unique machines, experiment with sound, light and texture, and learn about physics in a fun way.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom 
If your kids like giant roller coasters and dolphin shows, then this amusement park (about a 30-minute drive from Berkeley) is the place for you.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Walnut Creek
A fun museum where kids can see live, California wild animals such as hawks, owls, eagles, fox, bobcat, opossum, coyote, snakes, toads, and turtles.

JOB SEARCH RESOURCES

Jewish Vocational Service

Local One-Stop Career Centers 

Quintessential Careers  – A website with lots of job-search advice.

Craigslist  – Lists job openings in the Bay Area.

HOSPITALS

Alta Bates Medical Center
2450 Ashby Ave., Berkeley

Children’s Hospital Oakland
747 52nd Street, Oakland
Children’s Hospital Oakland’s is the Bay Area’s only emergency department completely dedicated to the care of children and staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week with certified pediatric emergency medicine specialists. They treat children from birth to 18 years only.

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