Honors & Awards

invent it challenge

The Invent It Challenge Shows How Inventive Children Can Be

  Is your child a tinkerer, a dreamer, a builder and fount of ideas? Do they see a problem, whether it is a hole in a sock or a hole in the ozone, and want to find a solution for it? Then you should know about the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge. A partnership between Cricket Media and the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, this annual...

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school news

Granada Hills Charter Dancer Trains in Moscow

Sana Suzuki, Granada Hills Charter Class of 2020, has packed her ballet slippers and moved to Moscow to attend the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, one of the oldest and most respected ballet schools in the world. Suzuki was invited to study full-time at the academy after demonstrating her talent during the Bolshoi Summer Intensive in Connecticut this summer. Her acceptance is a source of long-awaited joy and celebration for Suzuki and her family...

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school news

LAUSD Instructor is Among California Teachers of the Year

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson this month selected five outstanding educators as the 2017 California Teachers of the Year. “I am pleased to honor five dedicated and hardworking teachers who use their creativity and talents every day to make a huge difference in their classrooms,” Torlakson said. “These inspiring and innovative teachers enrich the lives of our students while helping them to succeed in 21st century careers and college. These teachers represent the best...

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school news

Thinking Globally: Lang Ranch Students Compete in Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Everything was going great until the U-Haul arrived. After months of hard work, the fifth-grade Odyssey of the Mind team from Lang Ranch Elementary School had made it to the World Finals competition. The seven girls on the team had gathered at the school at 3 a.m. May 24 for their flight to Ames, Iowa. For two days, they had been at Iowa State University enjoying the festivities surrounding the...

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School News: Joyner Elementary Gets Turnaround Arts Grant

Congratulations are in order for South L.A.’s Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary. The school was recently named a recipient of the coveted Turnaround Arts program grant, the only Los Angeles-area school to receive one this year. First Lady Michelle Obama was on hand at the White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show in May, where new schools accepted into the program were announced. Joyner Elementary’s Principal, Dr. Akida Kissane-Long, and Turnaround Arts: California...

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Meet Some Pint-Sized Plant Savers

A team of 6-year-olds from Notre Dame Academy Elementary School in West L.A. has garnered an international prize with their clever idea for preserving plants – and the insects that feed on them. This spring the team took the top prize in the ages 5-7 division of the Smithsonian-Cricket Media 5th Annual Spark! Lab Invent It Challenge. In this international contest, students had to identify a global health issue and create an invention to help...

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community news

The Music Center’s Spotlight Program Crowns SoCal Teens

The Music Center recently named 14 Southern California high school students as grand prize finalists in the 28th annual Spotlight program, a free nationally recognized scholarship and arts training program for teens. Two grand prize finalists were named in each of seven categories, including acting, ballet, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental and jazz instrumental. All finalists will receive $5,000 scholarships and appear in a ticketed Grand Finale...

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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...

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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...

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parenting

L.A. Parent Recognized for Writing and Design Excellence

L.A. Parent was recognized with seven awards at the annual Parenting Media Association Editorial and Design Awards Competition April 20 in Indianapolis, IN. From among 645 entries submitted, L.A. Parent was singled out for bronze awards for the design of the 2015-16 “Education Guide” cover and the excellent writing in the 2015 “Your Child With Special Needs” publication. In addition, the article “They Won’t Be Kids Forever” in “Your Child...

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Rolling Robots Develops VEX Robotics Champions

Three teams of kids from the tech workshop Rolling Robots won awards at the 2016 VEX Robotics State Championship, which took place March 12 in Pasadena. Team 7700R won the Tournament Champion and Innovate Award in the high school division, while Team 7700B won the Design Award and were finalists in the middle school division. 7700W, the all-girls team in the elementary school division won the Judges Award. All three...

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LAUSD Teacher Makes National Award Finals

Daniel Jocz, who teaches at Downtown Magnets High School and is a 2016 California Teacher of the Year, has been selected as one of four finalists nationwide for the 2016 National Teacher of the Year award. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the selection this week. “Daniel is a dedicated, passionate, and innovative educator who incorporates popular culture and music in the teaching of history and social studies in...

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Wellness, Didi Hirsch

Local Center Wins Grant For Disaster Distress Helpline

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services’ Suicide Prevention Center, one of only three in the U.S. with 24-hour English- and Spanish-speaking crisis counselors, won a highly competitive federal grant to continue operating the national Disaster Distress Helpline. The free, confidential helpline provides 24-hour crisis support services for people struggling emotionally because of natural or man-made disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, drought and incidents of mass violence. The...

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Santa Monica’s Pono Burger Receives Green Business Certification

Pono Burger in Santa Monica has been certified as a Green Business by the Santa Monica Green Business Certification Program (SMGBC), making it one of only 13 restaurants currently certified. Chef Makani of Pono Burger has always been a proponent of community, sourcing all of her ingredients locally and working directly with farmers. “What we take into our bodies becomes part of us. That’s why we source our ingredients from...

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Granada Hills Charter Student To Attend Science Congress

Granada Hills Charter High School senior Matthew Nelson was selected by American astronaut Buzz Aldrin to attend the annual Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders coming up June 29-July 1 in Boston. Nelson will join Nobel Prize winners and chief executive officers of leading technology firms at this historic gathering that introduces high school students to inventors, professors, futurists and other scientific professionals. A member of the class of...

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13-year-old Chef Cooks With Food Greats at Autism Speaks Gala

By the time Chase Bailey was 10, he was hooked on cooking shows. He discussed best methods for caramelizing onions with his mom and filled the family DVR with recipes for pizzas baked in brick ovens and tortillas filled with mahi mahi and mango-radish salsa. At 11, he started his own cooking blog, followed by his YouTube channel, “Chase 'N Yur Face.” And in October, the Irvine 13-year-old, who is...

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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...

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Local Teens Honored for Projects Helping Day Laborers, Schools and Kids In Need

Shira Alcouloumre, 16, of Laguna Beach; Emmi Eisner, 16, of Encino and Riley Gantt, 14, of Sherman Oaks, were just announced as recipients of the 2015 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, a $36,000 award that recognizes teens for their commitment to social good and volunteer service. Alcouloumre began Laguna Friends in Need, a project to support Hispanic day laborers. When a young Alcouloumre complained about having to eat a peach...

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Meet 2015 L.A. Parent Dad Hero William Evans!

For the second year in a row, L.A. Parent collected nominations from families across L.A., looking for a Dad Hero. We even wrangled celebrity judge and L.A. dad Mark Steines to offer a dad’s parenting perspective. We finally settled on Willam Evans, a father of two from Hollywood. Here’s what his wife, Johanna Voutounou, had to say about the father of her children: My husband works 12 to 14 hours...

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Montebello Shops Award Scholarships to Students

The Shops at Montebello awarded scholarships to five Montebello Unified School District students who completed a three-week We Care For Youth. The program is designed to prepare students to enter the workforce by offering job skills. The Shops at Montebello held an Achievement Ceremony at the center, recognizing 32 local high school students who completed the special program. Of the students in attendance, Hugo Zavaleta Rojas, Alexis Serna and Francisco...

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Village Glen Robotics Team Takes Rookie All-Star Award, Heads to Nationals

The students at Village Glen School are extraordinary in a number of ways – and their Knightrise robotics team is no exception. Village Glen, part of The Help Group, is made up of students who have special needs and challenges in socialization, communication and peer relations, but also natural ability in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The school’s STEM initiative includes classes in computer programming, digital arts,...

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Granada Hills Charter Takes State Academic Decathlon

Long standing rivals, El Camino Real Charter and Granada Hills Charter went head to head in this year’s Academic Decathlon. It was a close match, with Granada winning this year’s California State Academic Decathlon championship. Only one winning team from the California competition was able to advance to Nationals this year, while in previous years, two teams from each state were given the opportunity to compete. Last year, El Camino...

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Local Kids Awarded $9,000 In Scholarships For Charity Efforts

Lila Copeland, 12, from L.A., created the Earth Peace Foundation and has educated 1,500 people about species equality and a clean plant-based food supply. Noah Crouse, 11, from Rancho Santa Margarita, started an organization called Magical Missions, which organizes magic shows in his community. He has raised more than $1,500 for Oklahoma tornado relief. They are two of the nine L.A. area kids chosen to receive the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship...

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Santa Monica Students Complete Marathon Kids Challenge

More than 100 elementary students from Santa Monica’s Saint Anne School were honored June 6 by Mario Lopez, host of TV’s “Extra,” for completing the Marathon Kids 26.2 Mile Challenge and running the equivalent of a marathon over the course of the school year. The awards ceremony was held at Whole Foods in Santa Monica. Lopez, father of two, presented the students with Marathon Kids medals. Parents, Saint Anne School...

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Local Kids Win Benihana Contest

Abigail Martinez of Los Angeles, Katelyn Shen of Irvine, Alexa Meraz of Lakewood and Mya Picazo of Torrance were selected as winners of Benihana’s 2014 Children Helping Children Coloring Contest, part of the restaurant’s Children’s Day program. The students’ efforts helped Benihana raise $50,000 in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. More than 17,000 children submitted artwork to this year’s contest, and Abigail, Katelyn, Alexa and Mya were selected...

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