9 online days west valley

Intro to Data Science:

The Art of Visualizations

Those interested in a data science career are encouraged to attend a live webinar from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 26. The free hands-on workshop will cover different visualization packages in Python. Register online at eventbrite.com. For information, email ivy@thinkful.com

Guided Meditation:


Wind down at the end of the week with a guided meditation from 9:15 to 10:15 p.m. Saturday, March 28. The meeting will be hosted over Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. The session will cover the basics of meditation practice. To join, visit zoom.us/j/7688144831 when the meeting begins.

Make Money

Teaching on YouTube

Learn the opportunities YouTube can offer teachers from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31. To join the YouTube live class, visit youttube.com/c/youtubebootcamp.

Scholastic Learn at Home

Children stuck at home due to school closures are in luck. Scholastic has opened up an extensive library reserve of free digital curricular resources. Daily learning journeys are offered for primary and secondary education students and cover a variety of interesting subjects including science, STEM, English language arts and social-emotional learning. The publisher also has materials to teach young people how to prevent disease during the coronavirus outbreak. To view online materials, visit classroommagazines.scholastic.com.

Harper at Home

HarperCollins Children’s Books is taking to social media to share daily story times, learning materials and activities for young readers. Authors, illustrators and Harper staff are chiming in to bring this opportunity to children affected by school closures. Parents can connect young readers to interactive materials on Instagram @harperkids, middle grade readers can tune in on YouTube on the channel “Shelf Stuff” and teens can stay connected on Twitter @EpicReads.


Celebrities, including Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner, are teaming up to share videos of themselves reading children’s books on Instagram. The initiative’s goal is to raise money for children affected by school closures who no longer have access to school-provided meals. Although it is free to listen along to the stories, the celebrities encourage a one-time donation of $10 to support these impacted students. To enjoy the story times, follow @savewithstories on Instagram.

 Read to Sleep

Penguin Random House encourages people to better rest and better reading this year with its “Read to Sleep” challenge, encouraging people to put down the phone and pick up a book before bed. Follow along on social media using #ReadtoSleep to enter to win a bedding set and 25 books of your choice. Participants must enter the reading challenge before March 31. For rules and details, visit penguinrandomhouselibrary.com.

Cloudlibrary App

West Valley libraries use the “cloudlibrary” app, which you can download to IOS, Android, Mac or PC in order to access a wide range of eBooks and online audiobooks. The online reserve provides access to more than 40,000 items, many of which are available at the click of a button.

PBS Learning Media

ArizonaPBS and PBS have curated free educational materials including videos, interactive activities, lesson plans and more. Fun lecture topics include “The Dystopia of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” “The Power of Sadness in ‘Inside Out,’” and “Measuring with Martha in the Doghouse.” To view the archive, visit az.pbslearningmedia.org.

Lunch Doodle with Mo Willems

Mo Willems, the artist-in-residence at Kennedy Center Education is taking his art lessons live at 10 a.m. daily. Online attendees will learn how to draw his iconic pigeon and pig doodles. Artists wanting to draw along with Willems will need to grab a paper and some pencils, pens or crayons. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org.

Draw Every Day with JJK

Jarret J. Krosoczka, the author and illustrator of “Hey, Kiddo,” will record a video for YouTube every weekday at 11 a.m. during this period of self isolation. To view his interactive art videos, visit youtube.com/studiojjk.

 Social Media Live


Musical artists are banding together to bring music to their listeners over social media. Pianist Igor Levit is broadcasting his “House Concerts” nightly over Twitter @igorpianist. Cellist Yo-Yo Man is using #SongsofComfort to connect his fans to short pieces of music that bring him peace over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Bass singer Matthew Rose and cellist Steven Isserlis are creating a dialogue online over Twitter where they introduce each other to new music each day.

Scrapbooking Time

Work with the kids to organize printed photographs to create a family scrapbook. Scrapbook.com has its own YouTube channel with colorful, creative scrapbook ideas and inspiration. The channel has recently launched a free instructional miniseries titled “Soul Healing Art” for those stuck at home and wanting to find a new creative routine.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

With Monterey Bay’s 10 live cameras, virtual visitors can see everything from sharks to moon jellies from the comfort of their living room couch. The aquarium has cameras dedicated to specific habitats, including the kelp forest and coral reef. There is even a camera that can transport viewers straight to the shoreline with soothing views of the beach. To tune into the aquarium’s live cameras, visit montereybayaquarium.org.

Guggenheim Museum

Enjoy this famous New York museum tour from the comfort of your own home. Google Maps street view feature allows visitors to meander the museum’s Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary era art. For more information, visit artsandculture.google.com.

Farm Tour

Children can learn about farm life with 11 virtual farm tours featuring minks, pigs, cows, apples, eggs and more. To take a tour through a variety of Canadian farms, visit farmfood360.ca.

Explore Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Rover allows viewers to take a peek at the surface of Mars in a 360 mode. The site is currently updating to WEBXR for more interactive fun. To view Mars’ surface, visit accessmars.withgoogle.com.

Netflix Party

Netflix, the movie and television streaming service, recently launched a Chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends. The extension synchronizes video playback and adds group chats to Netflix viewing. This way, people can host movie nights with friends and loved ones, even if they live in a different state, or self-quarantining at home. For more information, visit netflixparty.com. 

Spotify Collaborative


Spotify, a music streaming service, allows users to team up with friends to create collaborative playlists. Anyone on the collaboration team can add, delete, and reorder the music tracks. Grab some friends, choose a playlist theme, and work together to create a personalized playlist together over Spotify. For information, visit spotify.com.

KonMari Declutter


Marie Kondo challenges people to declutter and organize their homes using an expert organizational strategy she dubs the KonMari method. People can learn her method in the Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” in her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” or on her YouTube channel, “Marie Kondo.”

Spring Cleaning

Now is as good a time as any to dust off the blinds, wash the comforter and disinfect all surfaces. The CDC recommends giving extra attention to tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets and sinks. For information on which disinfectants are effective for COVID-19, visit cdc.gov.

Practice Cooking Skills

The Washington Post has launched a new YouTube series titled “The Quarantine Cooking Show.” For those stuck at home without fresh produce, the series demonstrates ways to make the most out of whatever might be lying around in your pantry.

Project Gutenberg

Founded in 1971, this virtual volunteering organization is working on creating the largest cultural artifact digital library. Online volunteers can help the project by transcribing books into a digital form and proofreading others’ work. For information on how to get involved, visit gutenberg.org.

Translators Without Borders

Those who know two or more languages are encouraged to check out this nonprofit organization that focuses on humanitarian aid through translation. The online volunteers provide translations of medical texts and crisis response communication for international organizations. For application information, view translatorswithoutborders.org.

More Love Letters

More Love Letters hand selects four letter requests to publish on its website each month. These letter requests are designed to cheer on and encourage people who are in need of some words of love. Volunteers craft personalized “love letters” at their own pace each month. For more information, visit moreloveletters.com.

Virtual Runs

With new COVID-19 community event regulations in place, many in-person races have been canceled and transitioned to virtual races. This gives people across the country an opportunity to “join races” from home, running and tracking mile times from their own trails, parks or neighborhoods. Prices vary by race. To find virtual races, visit virtualrunevents.com. 

YouTube Yoga

Avoid the gym and practice yoga from your living room with YouTube yoga tutorials. Several YouTubers, including Yoga with Adriene, offer free yoga programs online. There are a variety of yoga types online, including videos for beginners, those battling anxiety, those wanting to strengthen core muscles and more. Namaste. 

Estrella Mountain

Regional Park

Bring a camera to capture the beautiful scenery at Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Avenue, Goodyear. The park is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Estrella Mountain features wetlands and undisturbed desert areas. There are trails and picnic sites.  Entry fee is $6 per car.

Base and Meridian


Take a calming walk or take the kids fishing at the Base and Meridian wildlife area at South Avondale Boulevard (north of Phoenix Raceway) in Tolleson. There are plenty of good trails for jogging or bicycling.

Estrella Mountain

Competitive Track

This little-known gem in Estrella Mountain is a 9.9 mile loop trail with beautiful wildflowers and an elevation gain of 843 feet. Horses are also able to use this trail. Look for the open gate at the Estrella Mountain Park after taking Exit 131 off the I-10. Entry fee is $6 per car.

Ford Canyon Loop Trail

Spend the early morning at this hiking trail at White Tank Mountain Regional Park, 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell. This challenging 9.7 mile hike features a beautiful waterfall. Entry fee is $7 per car. Please note that this trail is rated “difficult.” Hikers should bring plenty of water and start early in the morning.

Blackjack Loop

Perfect for hiking and nature trips, Blackjack Loop is a 5.7 mile out and back trail with stunning scenery and an elevation gain of 643 feet. Visit alltrails.com for detailed directions and information.

Turnbuckle Loop Trail

This 4-mile Buckeye hike is moderate and features gorgeous wildflowers at Skyline Regional Park, 2600 N. Watson Road, Buckeye. The park is open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Dogs are able to use the trail, but must be kept on a leash.

Rainbow Valley South Loop Trail

This 5.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horseback riding and mountain biking. Dogs are able to use the trail, but must be kept on a leash. Look for the open gate at the Estrella Mountain Park after taking Exit 131 off the I-10. Entry fee is $6 per car.