Lanai Road Elementary Receives National Blue Ribbon Award

By Elena Epstein The excitement was palpable as teachers, students, parents and administrators gathered to celebrate Lanai Road Elementary School’s coveted Blue Ribbon Award this week. The school, located in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood of Encino in the west San Fernando Valley, is among a handful of schools selected nationwide. Of the 24 California schools chosen for Blue Ribbon recognition this year, Lanai Road is the only one in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Blue Ribbon award is considered the highest honor achievable by a school. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education honors public and private elementary,...

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Meet Boy 5A: Representing 20,000 L.A. County Kids Who Need Families

By Elena Epstein The reception room inside Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts was filled with community supporters, families, and employees of Five Acres, a nonprofit organization focused on finding safe and permanent family solutions for children in L.A. County. But, the most anticipated guest remained under cover most of the evening. Boy 5A, a four-foot sculpture of a boy representing the 20,000 children currently living in foster care in L.A., was unveiled Nov. 6 by Parenthood actor and Five Acres mentor and supporter Sam Jaeger. The hybrid-fiberglass sculpture was created by Pasadena-based sculptor and visual artist Matthew “Scout” Segotta....

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A special Halloween for Babies in the Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Volunteers were working hard on the days leading up to Halloween to ensure a festive celebration for the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Cedars-Sinai’s Maxine Dunitz Children's Health Center. In what has become an annual tradition, volunteers from Good Beginnings and some nurses in the Maxine Dunitz Children's Health Center created adorable costumes, all handmade, for the tiny babies who were spending their first Halloween in the hospital. Each specially-made costume features Velcro openings so the babies can easily be placed in them without disturbing their tubing to life-saving machines. The volunteers and nurses buy all the...

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New Kids’ Club Offers Lots of Fun Activities at the Glendale Galleria

The Glendale Galleria has a fun new Kids’ Club featuring different activities from 10 a.m.-noon every Tuesday. Presented by the Zimmer Children’s Museum, the free activities and entertainment are designed for children ages 10 and younger. Activities include theater skits, craft projects, interactive sing-alongs, musical performances, carnival games and much more. For a listing of Kids’ Club events, visit: The Galleria is also working in collaboration with the Glendale Public Library, Arts & Culture to present a weekly free story time for children 10 and younger. For the Saturday story time listing, visit:

Costco Donates $10 Million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Making the largest single corporate gift Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) has ever received, Costco Wholesale Corporation has made a $10 million philanthropic commitment to support the pediatric medical facility. In honor of this gift, the second floor of the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, home to the hospital’s Heart Institute, will be named the Costco Wholesale Floor. "Costco Wholesale has been a significant partner in our mission to create hope and build healthier futures for the children of Southern California,” says Richard D. Cordova, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Costco’s generous gift will directly impact...

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Ballet for All Brings Dance to Typical Kids and Those With Special Needs

Elise Luna, 6, loves to dance. With her ballet DVD in hand, she twirls around her living room every chance she gets. One of the biggest treats of the week is her ballet class. While verbal communication is a challenge for Elise, who has autism, dance frees her to fully express herself. Elise has been taking classes at Ballet for all Kids in Encino for the past year. The studio, founded by Bonnie Schlachte, also has locations in Westlake Village and Ventura offers classical ballet lessons for kids with all abilities. Classes are open to boys and girls ages 2...

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Paint My Teez Offers New Way to Get Creative for Kids and Adults

If you like having fun while getting creative, there is a new place in town just for you. Paint My Teez is a painting studio for t-shirts. You can grab some girlfriends for a fun moms’ night out or take the kids to create wearable masterpieces. Paint My Teez prints t-shirts and uses the front room as its studio. They provide painting birthday parties, wine and t-shirt nights and mom’s night out. They have recently incorporated Paint My Teez House Parties, where they bring the party to you. “We want to create a place for the community that offers something...

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The Shops at Montebello Awards $9,500 in College Scholarships to Local High School Seniors

Twenty high school students from the Montebello Unified School District were awarded $9,500 in scholarships through The Shops at Montebello’s Scholarship Awards, meant to recognize graduating seniors in the community and help them continue their education. The scholarship program was created in 1985, when the center opened, as a way to assist local students in recognizing their educational goals and to provide initial monetary support to achieve those goals. “We’re honored that we’re able to support the academic endeavors of promising and driven youth within the Montebello community,” said Marida Petitjean, director of marketing and business development at The Shops...

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Celebrity Fashion Designer Debuts New Collection at the 16th Annual DesignCare to Benefit the HollyRod Foundation

By Elena Epstein Holly Robinson Peete and the Peete family hosted celebrities and friends at The Lot Studios in Hollywood for the 16th annual DesignCare, a celebration of fashion, philanthropy and music that benefits the HollyRod Foundation. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception, silent and live auction, a runway show by fashion sensation Michael Costello and a special musical performance by Naturally 7, an a cappella R&B group known for their “vocal play.”   Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete are well known for their advocacy in the autism community, as well as many other organizations and causes including Parkinson’s disease....

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A New Place to Play in the West Valley

There is a new kids gym in town. KidZone, located in West Hills, features 3,000 square feet of fun for open play and private parties for children ages 12 and under.   The gym offers lots of different activities including a trampoline, zip line, building blocks, puzzles, craft table, rope wall, library, puppet stage, swings, and interactive games on Xbox with Kinect. There is also a parent lounge with HDTV, coffee, tea, water, and complimentary Wi-Fi. KidZone is located at 6729 Fallbrook Ave., West Hills, 91307. For more information, visit Click here for more Community News updates!

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