The Best Thanksgiving Event in Los Angeles for Families: Saying Thanks on the Westside

Join over a thousand members of the Los Angeles community on Thanksgiving Day and volunteer at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Volunteers will decorate for the festivities, serve food, write thank you cards and carve turkeys. In 2010, more than 1,200 volunteers served 2,500 meals. The event is free and welcome to everyone— families, students, singles, and seniors.

Details: “Westside Thanksgiving”

Cost: Free

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica, California

Date: Thanksgiving Day – Various Time Slots – 7am to 7pm

Website: http://www.westsidethanksgiving.org/thx2011/volunteer.html

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Fun, Safety and Achievement: The Benefits of Afterschool Activities in 3 Words (Sort of…)

Children, parents and educators recognize the importance of afterschool activities. However, when asked why extracurricular programs are essential to a student’s development, many advocates are not familiar with the research and statistics to support their intuitions. Below are a few buzz words, studies and facts to illustrate the benefits of afterschool programs:

1) Fun: Afterschool programs are a catalyst for a student’s happiness, health and confidence. Yet, as schools face budget crises, municipalities are eliminating sports and arts programs. Without these athletic and creative outlets within schools, the opportunities for students to make friends, stay fit and interact with classmates are vanishing. As a result, activities offered by non-profit organizations, cultural institutions and recreational leagues are becoming even more significant.

2) Safety: The hours between 3pm to 6pm are a tipping point for a student. The peak time for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs is after the school bell rings. When the school day ends, communities (which includes families!) should do their best to ensure kids remain supervised. Simply said, afterschool programs keep kids out of trouble.

3) Achievement: What is the one characteristic 95% of the Fortune 500 CEO’s have in common? Participation in extracurricular activities while in high school. Studies indicate that involvement in afterschool programs results in improved grades, higher graduation rates and increased rate of acceptance to college.  If afterschool activities are correlated to a high school student’s success, why do only 8% of teenagers participate?

In the near future, you will find the best youth opportunities in sports, entertainment and innovation at Afterschool.me. For afterschool programs (non-profits, small businesses and franchises) who want to be featured on Afterschool.me, please register at:

http://www.afterschool.me/programsreg.php 

The Best Art and Exercise Event in Los Angeles for Hipster Kids and Parents: Folk Art Bike Ride!

Is your kid a hipster? Are you an urban bohemian parent? Are you looking for an off the beaten path cultural and recreational activity this Saturday? Bring out your Polaroid camera, old-school sneakers and thick-rimmed glasses for the Folk Art Bike Ride in Historic South Central LA.

The Craft and Folk Art Museum is leading an exploration of art, neighborhoods and unique community gathering spots. The bike ride will journey through Historic South Central LA, which includes LA’s historic and underground jazz district and visit the African American Fire Fighter Museum. The event is free to everyone and RSVP is encouraged.

Details: Folk Art Bike Ride in Historic South Central LA

Price: Free

Location: Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007

Time: Meetup 10:45am / Ride at 11:00am

Website: http://www.cafam.org/folkarteverywhere.html

RSVP: rsvp@cafam.org

The Best Extracurricular Activities in Los Angeles: Presented by Afterschool.Me

Each week, we will be highlighting a dynamic afterschool opportunity here in Los Angeles. These opportunities may be one-time events, ongoing classes or free camps to the public. One week may be a description about a Miles Davis Jazz class, the next post may be an exclusive screening for kids under the stars at LACMA or even a hyperlink to a free clinic with the Harlem Globetrotters.

If you want to stay posted about the best afterschool opportunities for kids in LA, click here!

If you want us to feature your extracurricular program, class or camp on Generation Z: The Official Blog for Afterschool.Me, click here!

FYI: We value creativity, credibility, accessibility, innovation and the outdoors! The more fun, the more reputable, the more affordable, the more interesting and the more outside…the better!

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