Shared Experiences: Reason #1 Why Afterschool Activities Are Important

EXCERPT FROM BIG (1988)

MR. M: Piano lessons?

JOSH:  Three years.

MR. M: Me too. Everyday, after school….Chopsticks….What department did you say you were in?

JOSH: Oh, I’m in computers.

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Hikes in Los Angeles: The Great Outdoors

Contrary to popular belief, foliage in Los Angeles does exist. Stretching from Los Feliz to Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains offer more than 20 (yes, twenty) individual parks. There are hundreds of trails, nature preserves and views of the Pacific Ocean from mountain cliffs. Right along La Cienega, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area offers picnic sites, tot lots, fishing lake, lotus pond, a community center and five miles of trails. As students leave the classroom for the holidays, encourage them to explore their city, see waterfalls and embrace the great outdoors!

Websites

Want to explore the Santa Monica Mountain Parks? Click here.

Want to visit Kenneth Hahn SRA? Click here.

Want to search other LA Parks? Click here.

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

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 STEM Afterschool Activity in Los Angeles: Inspiring the Next Einstein

Is your kid the next Albert Einstein or Marie Curie? The Department of Astronomy and Physics at UCLA is hosting a free, dynamic and innovative day of events called “Exploring Your Universe 2011.” The family friendly event will have activities for all ages including workshops, planetarium shows, solar telescope viewing, comet making, weather tours, and dinosaur fossils. Topics for the activities highlight Stellar Evolution, Bottle Rockets, the Science Behind Optical Illusions and Constellation Detectives.

Details: “Exploring Your Universe”

Price: Free

Location: UCLA Campus

Time: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Website: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~outreach/eyu2011.html

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