Archives for May 2016

Toyota and L.A. County Lifeguards Host Water Safety Event with Boys & Girls Club of Gardena-Harbor

To remind the community of key water-safety tips as families head to local beaches this summer, carmaker Toyota and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Lifeguard Division, hosted an interactive water-safety event for the Boys & Girls Club of Gardena-Harbor in May. Toyota is the official vehicle sponsor of the LA County Lifeguards, and the company considers staying safe at the beach key to having a great time this summer. The event included a water rescue demonstration, beach safety tips and interaction with Toyota lifeguard truck rescue equipment. Key safety tips included: Always swim near an open lifeguard station and...

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los angeles events

Summer Concerts: Hear Music Here, There and Everywhere Around LA

During summer, music seems to be all around us in Southern California. As we seek out Los Angeles events, we have a wealth of family-friendly outdoor music series to attend, and some of them even are free! Here are some of the more notable places to hear music this summer. Warner Park For more than 40 years, The Valley Cultural Center has been presenting its free “Concerts on the Green.” These free performances kick off at 6 p.m. Sundays June 5-Aug. 28, and mainly feature top-notch tribute bands. This month includes Journey tribute band DBS June 12, David Brighton’s Bowie...

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summer activities

Have a Hollywood Bowl Summer for Family Fun

With the kids out of school, summer activities are revving up and it is easier for the family to go out and enjoy a concert together. One great destination is the iconic Hollywood Bowl, and this season’s schedule includes a number of shows that will appeal to all ages. One of the Bowl’s first shows this summer is probably its most family-friendly. On June 3, 4 and 6, an all-star cast will sing along with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” which will be shown on the Bowl’s big screen. Sara Bareilles will sing as Ariel the first two nights, while Jodi...

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los angeles events

A Free Family Festival as Eclectic as Its Namesake

Lummis Day is named after Charles Lummis, a man who arrived in Los Angeles from Ohio – on foot! – in 1884. An author, newspaperman and L.A. city librarian, Lummis was an early activist for Native American rights, but is best known for building his stone house by hand. The Lummis Home, which stands in the Highland Park area, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006, the Lummis Day Festival was created to celebrate the many cultures found in northeastern Los Angeles. This year’s festival kicks off June 3 at Occidental College (1600 Campus Rd.,...

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special needs

Is Your Child With Autism Really Intellectually Disabled?

I am sitting in my office across from a special needs young man who is about to graduate from high school. He has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and is very verbal. But though he shows average intellectual ability on some tests of intelligence, he has virtually no academic skills. I can’t help but feel that this individual has been poorly served by society, and wonder why he is so far behind where he should be. Unfortunately, I can’t say that the experience is uncommon. I often encounter children with autism who are not progressing toward anything that might...

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Songs About Social Skills – And Us

Social skills are important in helping smooth our way through life – but they’re not something we talk about a lot. An album out this spring from SoCal singer/songwriter Kerry Fenster makes the conversation musical. “Songs About Us,” from the independent Muzic School label, is a collection of five tunes aimed at teaching social skills to children and young adults with developmental delays. The album was inspired by Fenster’s work with children with autism at The Help Group, and was executive produced by music executive Richie Gallo, who has worked with artists ranging from Sting to Raffi and founded the...

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school news

School News: Granada Hill Charter Students Rack Up Awards

Shannel Tejuco, Granada Hills Charter culinary arts student, won a full-ride scholarship valued at $122,584 after cooking her way to first place at the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) earlier this month at the Jonathan Town Club in downtown Los Angeles. Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) sent six talented young chefs to the C-CAP competition and each won scholarships, totaling $136,484 out if the $739,000 awarded. Shannel has been working towards this competition for months, perfecting crepes and tourné potatoes, both requirements of the two-hour competition in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. “I was so nervous,”...

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A Giveaway For Your Babymoon – and After

You’re pregnant with your first child, your marriage is entering a new phase and your body is starting to feel like a foreign country. What better time for an exotic vacation? So many couples do take one last trip together before becoming parents that this type of travel is now called a “babymoon.” And the trend has inspired the indie action-adventure comedy The Babymoon, making its debut June 10 at the Dances With Films Festival at TLC Chinese Theatre. In the film, reality-star Trace McEvans and Hanna, his self-absorbed pregnant wife, go on a babymoon to work on their relationship...

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School News: Pasadena Senior Wins Gates Millennium Scholarship

John Muir High School senior Prakash Dass has been named a 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar, becoming the school’s seventh winner of the prestigious academic scholarship since 2005. The news was announced recently by Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) officials. Marshall Fundamental and Pasadena High School were also named recipients of the 2016 Silver Medal from US News & World Report as part of the magazine’s Best High Schools ranking. “Congratulations to Prakash and John Muir High School for this extraordinary achievement,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “Behind every student’s success are hundreds of hours of work by a team of excellent...

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community news

Manhattan Beach Student Honored with President’s Environmental Youth Award

An L.A. tween water conservationist recently received an award from the The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The extraordinary 11-year-old, Joshua Cigoianu, of Manhattan Beach, earned the 2015 President’s Environmental Youth Award. The national award is presented each year to exceptional students who demonstrate creativity, innovation and leadership to address difficult environmental challenges. “During a severe drought, finding ways to conserve our precious water is everyone’s responsibility,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA is proud to honor Joshua’s extraordinary effort to engage fellow students in environmental action and better the lives of those in his community and...

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