My Hometown, Let's Explore Rancho Cordova Coloring BookApr 14, 2021 12:00AM ● By By Chris Ching
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Moving to a new home can be a big change for kids, so the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce via the Explore Rancho Cordova program came up with a fun solution to help alleviate any woes and help them feel a part of the city - a coloring book with page after page showing local nearby destinations and attractions curated especially for the young. “We want to make them feel seen and welcome and teach them about their town,” says Program Director Bee Lopez.
Funded by the City's Community Enhancement Fund, Explore Rancho Cordova welcomes new residents and employees to the city through receptions, a newsletter, and welcome bags filled with information, business offers and small gifts. It’s the latter, where the coloring book titled My Hometown: Let’s EXPLORE has just started appearing.
And as Lopez charmingly adds, “What’s a coloring book without crayons?” She states a pack of colors will be included too.
Working with Chamber President Diann Rogers, artist Cheryl Gleason of the Mills Station Arts and Culture Center as well as an advisory committee, production began in the fall of 2019 with Lopez and Rogers generating content and Gleason illustrating. Calling Gleason’s work (at times taken from actual photos) “outstanding”, Lopez states “she took our vision and surpassed it.”
Lopez says their goal with the coloring book was to get the kids “out and about exploring the town, recognizing places or give ideas of places to go.” Accordingly, such iconic Rancho Cordova locations like the Children’s Museum, Hagan Community Park and the American River Trail are depicted plus city info, questions, activities and other ways to inspire a child’s imagination. Lopez hopes children will feel as much “plugged in, and part of community” as their parents.
Like practically everything in the past year, the project ran into snags due to the pandemic. For example, Lopez wanted to include local kids in the book’s creation by holding an art contest for the cover, but logistically it proved difficult to round up submissions when schools were closed and everyone was in lockdown. But eventually things fell into place.
The contest was offered to city students Kindergarten - 5th Grade with 1st Place going to Sunita Ganesh Moorthy a 5th grader at Riverview STEM Academy. 2nd Place Winner Caitlyn Shubin attends Navigator Elementary. Along with seeing their artwork appear on the cover and back respectively both received gift bags.
Lopez has just begun the distribution of the coloring books and early reviews have been ecstatic. “They were very excited!” she says referring to those who have received it. To request a copy (and your crayons), contact Bee Lopez at (916) 273-5711 or [email protected]. The book will also soon be available for download at www.ExploreRanchoCA.com.