Archives for July 2015

Wake Up: A Millennial Dad’s Guide to Los Angeles Coffee

I’m tired. My son, Hank, is now 10 months old and wakes up every morning at 5:30. I used to wake up at 8:30 a.m. Those days are over. Now my alarm clock is a howling cry from the next room. Now it’s all about this little angel – and yet all I can think about is the devil’s bean. And here’s the rest of my morning: a diaper change before coffee, then a change of clothes before coffee, then a milk bottle before coffee, and then, I get dressed. All before coffee. I let little Hank roam our modest...

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica Teen Wins National Award

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America recently named Jamie Hinojosa of Mar Vista as the national winner for the 13-15-year-old age group in the film category of the Digital Arts Festivals and ImageMakers National Photography competition. Hinojosa’s original film, “I’m Not Afraid to Be Uniquely Me,” tells the story of how she overcame her social fears by remaining true to who she is. Hinojosa, a 14-year-old student at Marina Del Rey Middle School, has been a member of Boys & Girls Club for two-and-a-half years. It was through the club’s Technology Center that she was introduced to the digital arts....

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NBC4 Helps Clear the Shelters in August

If your family has been considering adopting a pet, now you’ve got one more reason to go ahead. NBC4 is urging viewers to help “Clear the Shelters” as part of a two-week campaign. The station will be working with animal shelters in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, which will offer a flat reduced adoption fee of $20 per pet on Aug. 15. NBC4 will air 30-minute special Aug. 8 and 9, and NBC4 anchors and reporters will report from the shelters Aug. 15, adoption day. This is the second year of the “Clear the Shelters” campaign....

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Daniella Guzman & Whit Johnson: Anchored to Family

Like most parents with careers, Daniella Guzman and Whit Johnson fit two full-time jobs into each day, juggling their work responsibilities as co-anchors of NBC4’s “Today in LA” and the work of parenting their young kids. But their work days have an usual twist: They start at 1:30 a.m. Because their news show airs live from 4:30-7:30 a.m. weekdays, the co-hosts’ morning alarms go off when most of us are in deep sleep. “It’s very quiet in my house as I get ready and eat breakfast,” says Guzman, who has a 4-year-old daughter named Sofia with her husband, Hector Villegas,...

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special needs canine companions Lionel

A Boy and His Dog Share Love and Therapy

Eight-year-old Daron, of Van Nuys, has a tight knit family. They have been through a lot together. Daron has cerebral palsy and needs a lot of support, but his parents, Hagop and Armine, and his older sister, Ani, are devoted to him. They will do just about anything to make Daron smile. That is why the family applied for an assistance dog for Daron from Canine Companions for Independence. The nonprofit organization enhances the lives of people with disabilities and special needs by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. It was not a small...

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New High School Offers STEM Curriculum for Students with Social and Learning Differences

STEM3 Academy is a new, innovative high school opening this fall, designed for students with social and learning differences and a passion for science and technology. The school, operated by The Help Group in the Valley Glen neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, offers a rigorous curriculum in science, technology, engineering and math to students in grades 9 through 12. “There is a growing realization that we are short of people with certain technical skills,” says Ellis Crasnow, Ph.D, director of STEM Education at The Help Group, who is overseeing the development of the school. “At The Help Group, we...

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ETTA Expands Day Program Offerings for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

ETTA’s Isak Boruchin Adult Day Program opened in September with three clients, and has exceeded expectations by growing to 14 clients in the first year. The program provides safe, meaningful and purposeful volunteering, job development, skill building, and recreation activities for adults with disabilities at sites within their local community. That growth will continue, as ETTA is expanding the program to include adults with more severe disabilities, and opening of new day program for adults with mild to moderate disabilities in the Conejo Valley. ETTA provides a full spectrum of services for adults with special needs and their families, including...

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A Film That’s Twice Exceptional

Just off Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City stands an unassuming building, home to Bridges Academy, a school for students in grades 5-12 who are “twice exceptional,” meaning they have developmental disabilities, but are also intellectually gifted. The school is the subject of 2e: Twice Exceptional, first released last fall and now out on DVD. The film will introduce you to some of the most fascinating students you’re likely to meet in 54 minutes. Whether you know someone who is 2e or just want to learn more about this often misunderstood and misdiagnosed group of individuals, don’t miss producer/director Thomas...

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How Failure Improves Homework Habits

Most parents want to make sure they are doing everything they can to assure their children are happy, healthy, feel good about themselves and are successful. “How do I get my child to clean up their room without a fuss?” “How do I limit electronic entertainment?” “How do I get them to stop fighting with their siblings?” These are common questions I receive. But one of the most common is: “How do I get my child to do their homework?” Being a mindful parent is key to creating changes in your child’s behavior, whether your child is 4 or 18....

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Trendy Timepieces for Mom

Q&Q SmileSolar ( is known for its solar-powered technology and expertly crafted color-driven watches. Win a “mix and match” package that includes two watches from the Core Collection ($40.00 each), two from the Spice Collection ($45.00 each), a watch from the Mini Collection ($35.00) plus two interchangeable straps ($10.00 each) so you can switch it up day-to-day! Total value: $225. Deadline to enter for a chance to win is Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 11:59pm PT.

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