Spring 2020 After-School enrichment classes!
Flyers are posted below!
Registration is now open!
Classes begin on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.
You will find flyers, class descriptions and teacher bios below. Are you ready to register for classes? Click HERE!
LAEF is proud to offer FREE global language classes to 2nd and 3rd graders across the district and reduced pricing for all other language classes! We are so grateful to YOU for supporting LAEF, which makes this opportunity possible.
The free 2nd and 3rd grade Global Language classes have 17 seats available. If the class fills up, we will do our best to add another class, which may be a different language and on a different day of the week. All languages offered are currently available for Los Alamitos High School students, so our goal is to expose children to languages they can pursue further in their secondary education.
Spring 2020 After-School Program Flyers
Please note: all families that participate in Kids Korner extended daycare MUST complete the required release form prior to the start of LAEF Classes!
Lee’s Maker Club Flyer
No class days for LAEF at Weaver:
Mondays – February 10, 17 and April 6, 13
Tuesdays – February 11, 18 and April 7, 14
Wednesdays – February 12, 19 and April 8, 15
Thursdays – February 13, 20 and March 19 and April 9, 16
Fridays – February 14, 21 and March 20 and April 10, 17
No class days for LAEF at LAE and McGaugh:
Mondays – February 10, 17 and April 13
Tuesdays – February 11, 18 and April 14
Wednesdays – February 12, 19 and April 15
Thursdays – February 13, 20 and March 12 and April 16
Fridays – February 14, 21 and March 20 and April 17
No class days for LAEF at Hopkinson, Lee and Rossmoor:
Mondays – February 10, 17 and April 13
Tuesdays – February 11, 18 and April 14
Wednesdays – February 12, 19 and April 15
Thursdays – February 13, 20 and March 19 and April 16
Fridays – February 14, 21 and March 20 and April 17
No class days for LAEF at Preschool Hopkinson and Lee CDC:
Wednesdays – February 12, 19 and April 15
No class days for LAEF at Preschool Weaver CDC:
Tuesdays – February 11, 18 and April 14
No Class days for McAuliffe and Oak:
Mondays – February 17 and March 16 and April 13
Tuesdays – February 18 and March 17 and April 14
Wednesdays – February 19 and April 15
Thursdays – February 20 and March 19, 26 and April 16
Fridays – February 21 and March 20 and April 17
No Class days for LAHS:
Mondays – February 17
Wednesdays – February 18
Thursdays – February 20
Spring 2020 Class Descriptions
A Capella – Learn how to convert your favorite songs into a cappella gold! This is an a cappella program for youth – helping them find their voice and providing a creative outlet for vocally oriented musicians. Students will have the ability to vote on which songs the group will sing, learn how to increase their music literacy and to be able to professionally record the finished products!
American Sign Language – ASL is a fun, interactive, hands-on second language to learn! Learning ASL has many cognitive benefits such as higher abstract and creative thinking, better problem-solving, better listening skills and greater academic achievement. Students will present what they have learned at the end of the session.
Art Exploration (Perez) – Come learn the basics of art and develop your skills! We will explore different art techniques and mediums every week to make you a well-rounded artist! Each week we will be creating a new exciting art project to take home and display!
Breakdance – Learn to breakdance; a dynamic and entertaining form of dance! Students will be introduced to the world of breakdance and learn moves like TopRock, Six-Step, Freezes, Swipes and more!
Broadway Bootcamp (Free to Be Me) – Learn exciting and fun performance techniques centered around some of your very favorite Broadway Hits! We work together in a safe environment to practice skills that encourage self-confidence and team building. Students will learn a variety of improv games, vocal technique, choreography, public speaking, and team building exercises.
Chess – This class uses a fun, story based curriculum to get children excited about chess! Our lessons are tailored to the skill level of the students; all chess levels are welcome! In each class, children will get a 30 minute lesson followed by 30 minutes of chess playing time! We use chess to teach many life skills including sportsmanship, patience, strategic thinking, planning ahead, and working toward a goal. The class will end with a fun tournament where children have the opportunity to win trophies and prizes!
Cooking – Food Exploration (Robles, Middle School) – Students will learn how to cook nutritious and flavorful foods using cultural-based recipes. The class will introduce students to cooking specific foods in a multitude of ways. Students will explore how different cultures utilize commonly used foods to create distinct cultural recipes. The process includes teaching students basic knife skills, how to properly measure ingredients, and how to cook those ingredients together to create the recipe of the day. The students will taste their creations at the end of class. Accommodations can always be made if a student has a food allergy.
Co-Ed Cheer (Goldman) – Cheer is a sport involving the performance of organized cheering, chanting, and dancing. Cheer-leading teaches teamwork. The ability to work with other people to achieve a goal is an aspect of cheer-leading that carries over into your non-cheer life. This is because cheer-leading instills a strong work ethic. Cheerleaders are high achievers because cheer-leading teaches the following five key traits.
1. Confidence 2. Dependability 3. Responsibility 4. Accountability 5. Difficulty
Creative Art – Please join us as we create and explore through traditional and innovative methods of painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and mixed media. Students will have the opportunity to develop new skills in each medium and will be encouraged to apply their own form of creativity to each project to learn about their artistic process. Using the Elements and Principles of Art, students will embark on a journey of self-expression and will learn artistic concepts such as color mixing, value, perspective and pattern.
Creative Drama – Tables and chairs will be pushed aside and students will be asked to throw their inhibitions out the window. This is an environment that encourages students to experiment with their voices and express themselves creatively without judgment. This fun, unique class teaches students acting skills while enabling them to also develop important life skills such as leadership, confidence, communication, verbal expression and team building, regardless of age or prior experience. Students will have the opportunity to present what they’ve learned at the end of the session. With Creative Drama, “THE DIFFERENCE IS DRAMATIC”!
Drivers Education (Kanor) – This in-class teen Driver’s Education program is approved by the DMV to comply with California requirements to earn an instructional permit. *This class does not cover behind the-wheel training.
Flag Football/Baseball (Skyhawks): In the flag football portion of this course, athletes will learn skills on both sides of the football, including the core components of passing, catching and defense – all in a fun and positive environment. In the baseball portion of the class, students will learn the fundamentals of fielding, catching, throwing, hitting, and base running in a fun, positive environment. Athletes learn new baseball skills along with vital life lessons such as respect, teamwork and responsibility.
French (Rogers) – This Beginning French class will be using the comprehensive input method. Students will acquire high frequency vocabulary and be able to read a short story. They will also learn language basics such as introductions, colors, animals, and daily activities.
Girls Self Defense – Karate with an emphasis on empowerment and confidence building. This class will teach assertiveness, verbal confrontation skills, safety strategies, and numerous physical self-defense techniques. Students will gain abilities needed to successfully escape, resist, and survive a violent attack.
Golf (TGA Premier) – We bring the golf course to you making it convenient and affordable for all skill levels to learn and play golf in a fun and safe environment. Certified instructors help students develop golf knowledge and skills from hand-eye coordination to grip and stance to full swing mechanics. At the same time, coaches use the sport to teach valuable life lessons like honesty and sportsmanship. Students participate in STEAM labs that allow them to explore academic concepts like spin, loft and slope through the game. Modified equipment and station-based activities are designed to help each student reach a new level of success on the course in an entertaining and supportive environment.
Golf (SkyHawks) – Skyhawks golf programs focus on building confidence through proper technique and redefining essential skills. Athletes learn the fundamentals of swinging, putting and body positioning. All equipment is provided.
Gymnastics – This class is designed to increase coordination, strength, flexibility, and body awareness by utilizing kid sized gymnastics equipment. Your child will learn gymnastics skills in a safe, fun, and progressive curriculum.
Honk! Musical Theatre (Hanlen) – Students will learn the basics of musical theatre (singing, dancing, and acting) while learning material from the musical Honk!, the story of The Ugly Duckling. They will study roles, learn lines, and work on vocals and choreography to produce a performance of selections from the show at the end of the session.
It’s ALIVE: The Science of Living Things – Time to get out your microscope and take a good look at life around you-and that is just what we will do in, “It’s Alive: the Science of Living Things.” We’ll explore sharks and why they float, take a close look at meat eating plants, find out how leaves breathe, pet live earthworms and even see the invisible life living on the bottom of your shoe! Sound gross, but fun? Then join me for It’s Alive: the Science of Living Things!
Japanese (Brubacher) – Students will gain exposure and introduction to the Japanese language and culture through reading, writing, listening, and engaging in complementary activities (origami craft and singing songs) which will provide a foundation for further study.
Jiu Jitsu – This class will focus on bully prevention and self-defense while helping students gain confidence in their physical abilities using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Kenpo Karate (Solow) – Students will learn basic self-defense while building self-confidence in this physically active class. Karate techniques will improve children’s strength, flexibility, and coordination. Kid approved “ninja skills” will also be provided (i.e. rolls, flying kicks etc.) Respect and self-control will be emphasized in every class.
Lacrosse (Taibi) – Lacrosse is one of the oldest team sports in America, started on the East Coast by the Native Americans in the 12th century. Lacrosse has grown to be one of the fastest growing sports in the country. This interactive sport combines the basic skills used in soccer, basketball, and hockey into one fast paced, high scoring game. Athletes will learn all the fundamentals of stick handling, cradling, passing, and shooting, all in a fun, non-checking environment.
LEGO Academy (Play-Well) – LEGO Academy – This class uses LEGOs to teach fundamental physics and engineering concepts! This class will introduce students to unique math concepts and mechanical designs using LEGOs. Students will build spring balance scales and perform scientific tests using their creation. Students are encouraged to imagine and apply scenarios to their projects that reflect current studies.
LEGO Engineering – This Strategic Kids’ LEGO® class will get students’ motors running! Through this course students will build models designed to introduce them to core concepts essential to science, technology, engineering, and math. Children will also utilize LEGO® Power Functions to illustrate fundamental principles of simple machines and mechanisms.
Media Detective – This FREE class is being funded and taught by the Orange County Health Care Agency. The class is designed for 3rd-5th grade students. This fun and interactive program allows students to unravel the meanings behind alcohol and tobacco advertisements and media messages to delay or prevent the onset of use. Students will also learn how to be responsible with social media. The program is aimed to engage the students so that they will learn skills and techniques that advertisers use. Then they will utilize those techniques to create their own positive and healthy advertisements.
Mind Body Singing Adventures – This is a fully immersive class of self-discovery using music, voice and mindfulness to improve body awareness, balance, emotional regulation and self-confidence. While in class students will sing in groups, duets and solos to integrate the concepts learned, culminating in a vocal performance at the end of the semester. During the week, students can continue to learn and explore using supplementary video lessons created by master teacher Crystal Barron.
Mindfulness and Meditation – In our Mindfulness and Meditation class your child will be introduced to many ideas and concepts such as stillness, breathwork and being present in the moment, enabling them to appreciate everything that life has to offer. Through various stories, games and talks we will discuss such topics as: our thinking mind, being with emotions, our habits (both good and bad) and what words we choose to use. We will work together to not only bring mindfulness to the class, but plant the seeds for embracing a living practice. Students will be given the opportunity and teachings to develop and sharpen a potential lifelong practice. Come join us as we exercise an ancient tradition in a modern light!
Muay Thai (Centerline Gym) – This NON-CONTACT class will focus on teaching the art of Muay Thai Kickboxing while at the same time helping the students to become more fit, confident and coordinated. Students will also focus on core skills including focus, discipline, tenacity, and discipline.
Musical Theater: Charlie Brown’s Peanuts (Thorn) – Celebrate spring as one of Charles Schulz’s famous Peanuts! Don’t worry about allergies, these Peanuts will only cause smiles and laughter as Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of the club come to life in a final class performance. In this musical theatre class, students will learn some basics of theatre and performance. They will utilize these new skills, and like all actors, will be expected to memorize at least one song and dance, be able to stay focused during weekly class rehearsals and be willing and able to follow the instructor’s directions. Students will also be expected to practice their parts outside of class, assuring that all Peanuts will shine in the final performance. No experience is necessary but a desire to express your personality and a willingness to work hard to achieve class goals is!
Origami (Strategic Kids) – A fun and exciting class where children will learn the Japanese art of origami along with a different aspect of Japanese culture each week! Every student will receive an origami instruction sheet on what was covered that day. They will take home projects after every class! Students will make origami hearts, origami cups, samurai helmets, and several animals such as dogs, cats, cranes and more! They will start with easy creations and get more and more complex.
Our Friends in the Sea! – In this course, students will dive deep into learning about the unique animals that live in our oceans. Students will gain an understanding of what helps each animal survive in their specific habitat through lessons, videos, and experiments. In addition to learning about our oceanic friends, students will gain a deeper understanding of the habitats in which they live.
Preparing for the College Essay – This is an ideal course for students who will be applying to colleges and universities. This 6-week course will guide students in writing an effective college essay. Students will gain tips, be guided through revisions and have a polished essay ready to submit to colleges.
Seasonal Food Exploration – Children will learn about California seasonal fruits and vegetables, how to grow vegetables in small spaces, the Hundred Languages of Food and delicious tid bits of food history. Chef Ollie Cigliano will guide them on child-centered lessons that will culminate in a final presentation for parents and caregivers to see their child present a signature dish.
Singing for Kids (Thorn) – Celebrate spring singing out loud with the classic songs from THE SOUND OF MUSIC! Come sing-along like the VonTrapps with timeless music like Do Re Mi, So Long Farewell, and Edelweiss. The focus of this class will be on vocal performance. Students new to singing will learn some of the basics including breath control and diction and all will explore performance qualities that will help each student shine in a final class presentation. No experience is necessary but a desire to share your voice and a willingness to work hard to achieve class goals is! There will be opportunities to sing in duets, small groups and also as a soloist. Students should be able to stay focused during weekly class rehearsals and be willing and able to follow the instructor’s directions. Students will also be expected to practice their music outside of class. So, let’s “start at the very beginning” in a class that is sure to be one of this spring’s “favorite things”!
Skateboarding (Skatedogs) – Skatedogs is a hands-on skateboarding after school program for all levels. Whether you are just learning, or ready to move on to advanced tricks this program is right for you. This popular sport is a fun and exciting way for students to get a great workout while building coordination and self-confidence. The blacktop will be turned into a temporary skate park to give students an ideal opportunity to skate like the pros. Fill your afternoon with ramps and rails as you continue to improve your skating ability each week. Requirements: A “trick” skateboard, knee pads, elbow pads, a helmet and a signed Skatedogs waiver. Visit SkateDogs.com to view their online skateboard customizer and to learn more about what type of skateboard to bring. You can purchase safety gear and/or a skateboard and they can bring on the first day of class by selecting “local pick up”.
Soccer (LA Galaxy O.C.) – LA Galaxy Orange County provides a FUNdamental soccer experience for all players. Following an age-appropriate curriculum, every player will be provided with a fun yet challenging environment facilitating the development of soccer skills and techniques. Staffed by qualified professional LA Galaxy OC coaches.
Soccer with Sportsmanship (Pure Game) – By establishing a safe, fun and encouraging environment, the Field Champion (Teacher) delivers the Pure Game S.T.A.R. SOCCER value-based curriculum. By infusing sports-based activities and character-building curriculum, students have a unique experiential learning process that develops and improves self-confidence, self-esteem, and positive attitudes. Students work through challenging situations, setting and achieving realistic goals, understanding the importance of healthy lifestyle choices, and providing a positive and encouraging demeanor of hope for a better life.
Spanish (Ava Hacker) – Students will be immersed in Spanish through music, movement, games, play and study. Join us as we explore the cultures and language of our Spanish-speaking neighbors and friends
Spanish (Pilar DeNardo) – This Spanish class is taught through music, movement, repetition, visuals, and games by native speakers. This Spanish class will be fun, engaging, and there will be a focus on biliteracy and biculturalism.
Spanish (Claudia Mena) – Greetings! ¡Saludos! In this class, you will have the opportunity to dive into the Spanish language and culture. Classes will incorporate communicative activities, art, games, music, and multimedia to learn Spanish in a fun way! Students will learn more extensive vocabulary and have the chance to use “real world” phrases while having fun and build confidence that will help them in their every day school setting.
Speech and Debate (Garcia) – This course will help students develop and improve public speaking, argumentative, and critical-thinking skills in communication settings. Students will prepare and deliver speeches and participate in several in-class debates and forums on current topics. Techniques will be taught to control speech anxiety, as well as build the skillset to structure and organize information for a variety of audiences. As such, the fundamentals of physical and verbal delivery skills, use of language and gesturing, as well as listening skills will be learned or enhanced.
Speech and Debate (Ruano) – This course will help students develop and improve public speaking, argumentative, and critical¬ thinking skills in communication settings. Students will prepare and deliver speeches and participate in several in-class debates and forums on current topics. Techniques will be taught to control speech anxiety, as well as build the skillset to structure and organize information for a variety of audiences. As such, the fundamentals of physical and verbal delivery skills, use of language and gesturing, as well as listening skills will be learned or enhanced.
Sports Wheel – Students will be enthralled with many different sports! Sports Wheel will include Soccer, Basketball, and T-Ball/Softball. This class is meant to create awareness and spark excitement for beginning athletes. Emphasis will be placed on physical activity in everyday life, teamwork, dealing with adversity, problem solving and sportsmanship.
The Truth about Your Voice, Vocal Workshop – Find a powerful, lasting connection to your voice in this intensive workshop as we deep dive into alignment, vocal production, breathing, performance psychology, body mapping, vocal technique and much, much more, all in a supportive group setting. This is a hybrid course. Each week students will have the opportunity to work in class with a qualified professional vocal coach to integrate and apply concepts to their own body and voice. During the week students will continue to explore and learn with supplementary video lessons created by master teacher Crystal Barron. Students will sing in groups, duets and solos throughout the semester and integrate concepts learned in class to vocal performance.
Volleyball – Students will learn the basic skills needed to participate in the game of volleyball. The focus will be technique when passing (bumping), setting, serving, and hitting (spiking)! These skills will be applied while participating in drills and lead-up games related to the game of volleyball.
World Dance (M. Jones) – Children will learn dances from different countries, about their people and customs. Music and steps from African, Brazilian, Chinese and Hawaiian dances will be covered during these two weeks: needed props will be provided.
Teacher Bios – Spring 2020
David Anderson – David has been directing, performing, arranging and recording contemporary a cappella music for over 15 years. Developing his skills at Brigham Young University, he performed and arranged for the award-winning a cappella group, Vocal Point. He is currently a music teacher for Los Alamitos Elementary School and looking to spread his love of a cappella music to anyone willing. Find out how to turn your favorite songs into a cappella gold!
Derrik Bankemper – Derrik Bankemper has been practicing Mindfulness and Meditation for over twenty years. Lucky enough to have learned it in school, he has developed and evolved his practice through various retreats, workshops and seminars throughout the years. Drawing from seventeen years of studying and teaching martial arts to people of all ages, Derrik has found that instructing children in these sister arts is both a great way to pass on the knowledge he has received and also to help cultivate patience within himself! Derrik believes heavily in the idea of mutual respect for both teacher and student and it is this idea that permeates his teaching style. Derrik is a graduate of CSUF with a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Religious Studies. He finished UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Centers ten month Intensive Practice Program and is currently in his Master’s program for Consciousness Studies.
Barron Academy of Music (Crystal Barron) – Crystal Barron has been teaching voice for over 25 years, and has a passion for building strong, healthy voices no matter the age or level of singing. She holds a BA and MM in Vocal Performance, along with an advanced certification in MDH Breathing Coordination. She mentors young voice teachers, providing them with a foundation of functional anatomy and physiology for singers, performance psychology, vocal production and vocal health, and how to recognize and correct the individual issues each student has. What this means for the student is strong, functional training from the very first lesson. Not only does this ensure a solid educational experience and measurable results — but you won’t have to pay for lessons with a master teacher to receive a quality education.
Laura Bietman – Laura graduated from CSULB with her Bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language Linguistics and Interpreting. She currently works as an ASL-English interpreter at El Camino College in Torrance. She has lived in Los Alamitos since middle school, and her two younger siblings are currently students in the district. Laura’s younger brother, Andrew, has Autism and has inspired her to work and volunteer with people of all types of abilities, and he is the reason she is so passionate about her work. Laura is a graduate of Los Alamitos High School.
Lordes Brown – As a native Spanish speaker, sharing the love of my first language and culture has become my impetus for teaching Spanish to elementary level children. I spoke Spanish consistently during my former twenty-one year career as a police services dispatcher in a predominantly Hispanic community. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, all from CSU, Long Beach. I am a proud mother of two children who attend the Los Alamitos School District and a supportive member and resident of the Los Alamitos community.
Kathy Brubacher – Kathy Brubacher is fully bilingual in English and Japanese having been formally educated in both the US and Japan during her formative years and through graduate school. Her interest in education—the development of the mind and heart—was sparked as a young adult by her mentor and with support of her parents. As a certified teacher in Japan and professional mom, she has taught various age groups in multiple settings including private schools, private tutoring, and homeschooling. Kathy encourages her students to aim high and pursue excellence in whatever they do. She believes passion typically comes after mastery of a subject opening doors to opportunities for the future and present. She is looking forward to teaching Japanese this fall!
Brianne Burtness – Brianne is a creative elementary art teacher who has a strong passion for introducing children to the interactive world of art. Brianne is an imaginative teacher. She is a professional as well as highly trained in a wide array of artistic mediums. Brianne makes instant connections with her students through creative art activities.
Centerline Gym (Jerry Wetzel) – Jerry is the founder of Red Zone Threat Management and travels nationally and internationally teaching seminars to members of the DEA, Local Law Enforcement, and civilians on the topic of personal protection. He is the author of the book “Red Zone Prime: A Foundation for Personal Protection”. In addition he is a passionate instructor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts which he teaches at the facility he has owned and operated for the last 14 years, Centerline Martial Arts and Fitness. Jerry runs kids classes daily in mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as the kids BJJ competition team. He has one child who is a Weaver student as well as one who just left Weaver to move into 6th grade at Oak. Jerry firmly believes that every child has the right to enjoy their school days without fear of being bullied and is committed to helping them develop the necessary tools and attitude to help them on their journey.
Melissa Chambers – This school year will be her 20th year teaching! She has experience as a classroom teacher in grades 1, 4, and 5, but has spent the last 12 years as Lee Elementary’ s part-time Media Center and Makerspace teacher. She absolutely loves working with her students and supporting the classroom teachers by instructing Lee students in Internet safety, computer programming, and engineering. She has taught the LAEF STEAM Fair workshop class at Lee for the past five years and has coordinated Lee’s STEAM Fair.
Ollie Cigliano – Ollie graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Comparative Literature, English, Italian and Spanish. Ollie is a fully credentialed and highly qualified classroom teacher. She earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Long Beach, and an Ed Specialist Credential from the Orange County Department of Education with English Language Learner and Autism Authorization. Ollie earned her director’s credential from UCLA and has run an enrichment program and preschool as both a non-profit and a small business. She has 16 years of teaching experience and integrates inquiry-based and hands-on learning into her cooking classes. She cooked in Spain and Rome while completing her undergraduate work; and traveled extensively throughout Italy, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii and Europe. Ollie brings her traveling experiences to the kitchen with simple, rustic dishes using local and sustainable ingredients. While living in Berkeley, Ollie was inspired by Alice Waters’ cooking, edible garden, and farm-to-school programs. She currently works as a private chef and teaches organic cooking and biodynamic gardening classes. Her family’s roots are from Ischia, a small island off of Naples, which is reflected in her Italo-California fusion cooking and passion for gardening. In her spare time she enjoys cooking with her family, creating cheese plates, caring for a baby California desert tortoise and Zucca the puppy (Italian for squash). Ollie is excited about teaching for LAEF this summer at SEI!
Drama Kids (Jeff West) – Jeff is the Director of Drama Kids North Orange County. Drama Kids International is the largest after-school drama program in the world with students at nearly 2000 locations in over 25 countries. As a teacher, performer and business owner, Jeff recognizes the invaluable impact that teaching children strong communication skills can have on their daily lives. He received his BA in Psychology and MBA from UC Irvine. Jeff is passionate about helping kids build confidence, leadership skills, verbal expression and creative thinking at a young age. He lives in Seal Beach and enjoys performing with his band, teaching courses at UCI and UCLA, facilitating improv classes with children and adults and, of course, spending time with his family and friends.
Drama Kids (Angie Wolf) – Angie is the Director of Drama Kids North Orange County. She graduated from San Francisco State University where she completed her teaching credential and majored in Child Development. She is a former elementary school teacher, after-school program instructor and camp counselor. She’s passionate about working with children and is a true believer that boosting confidence is key to developing successful individuals ready to take on the world. She is a mom with two fun and beautiful little girls and can’t wait to bring Drama Kids to her community!
Mama Maestra (DeNardo) – Pilar DeNardo was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain and in Perú. After graduating from college, she came to the United States to learn English. Pilar earned an M.A in Bilingual Education as well as multiple teaching credentials. After teaching elementary school for 5 years and becoming a mom, Pilar decided to open her own business and teach her native language to many different schools.
Melodie Fox – Melodie graduated from Hope International University in Fullerton with a B.A. in Human Development and has taught in several private elementary schools throughout southern California for over twenty years. Developing her own curriculum and spear-heading an innovative after school program on the east coast, she moved back in CA to pursue her love of hands-on teaching in the classroom. She is currently a projects coordinator at Oakwood Academy in Long Beach.
Free to Be Me (Vanessa Knowles) – Free to Be Me Performance Academy provides quality performance training in a positive, enthusiastic, nurturing, and embracing environment. Through our classes our students learn essential life skills such as teamwork, respect, responsibility, care and compassion. We emphasize the importance of character both on and off the stage and work to inspire each student to BE a positive light out in the community. Most importantly we encourage FUN!
Elena Freeh – Elena graduated from People’s Friendship University of Russia, earned her B.A. degree in World History. Her diploma comes with teaching credentials. Elena spent three years at Tianjin University where she earned certificates in Chinese language proficiency (including a HSK certificate) and she took Master degree courses in economic and trade law in Mandarin. She worked in Russia as a middle school ESL teacher. In China she tutored ESL to groups of students from preschool to middle school age and individually tutored Russian language to Chinese and Korean students. Elena has experience developing individual teaching plans suitable for different ages, skill sets and requirements, creating fun activities to make classes interesting and fun. She strongly believes that anyone can learn a foreign language and enjoy the process. Elena is a proud parent of two students in the Los Alamitos Unified School District. Elena is extremely excited to teach for LAEF!
Mariela Garcia-Alvarado – Mariela graduated from California State University-Fullerton with three bachelors of arts degrees in American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, and Philosophy and received the prestigious Edward J. Praitis Scholarship for her outstanding achievements in Philosophy at the commencement ceremony; moreover, Mariela was also chosen to represent the Chicana/o Studies department at the 2016 Ethnic Studies Conference at Chapman University and was awarded the Susan Flinkingshelt Student Association Service Award by the American Studies department. While completing her degree, Mariela debated for the varsity policy debate division and received multiple individual speaker awards and made it to many finalist rounds with her partners. During her last year of debate, she was awarded the Giles Scholarship by the CSU-Fullerton Forensics team and was awarded the 2017 CEDA All American Scholar- an award that recognizes those who demonstrate exceptional competitive and academic achievements as they participate in intercollegiate debate. Coach Mariela has been coaching for numerous schools and companies for 5 years, helping many students place in finalist rounds, raise their grades, and be accepted to many prestigious schools.
Ava Hacker – Ava Hacker is an experienced Spanish teacher who has lived in Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica. She has over two decades of experience teaching in dual immersion classrooms, and has a special passion for teaching young children to speak and understand Spanish through the use of games, songs and other enjoyable learning activities. She is eager to get started empowering our Los Alamitos students to communicate in a language that is important to all Americans, and to appreciate and celebrate the cultural achievements and contributions of our friends and neighbors.
Brenna Hanlen – Brenna Hanlen has been working in children’s theatre for 11 years. She has directed, musically directed, and choreographed for Musical Youth Artists Repertory Theatre. She is currently taking classes a LBCC in hopes of transferring and eventually attaining a BFA in Musical Theatre. She can’t wait to bring musical theatre to your kids!
Johanna Hultberg – A junior at CSULB studying Marine Biology. She volunteers in Dr. Lowe’s Shark Lab and the Marine Mammal Care Center. She spends her free time SCUBA diving and baking. She hopes to have a career in educating kids about our special ocean!
Monik Jones – Monik is an artistic director, choreographer, entrepreneur and dance educator. She received her BA from UCLA in World Arts and Cultural and her M.F.A in Dance from UCI. It was at UCLA where her love of world dance was cultivated. She has traveled and taught in Brazil, Croatia and Ghana, West Africa. In 2004 she founded Monik’s Creative Movement a dance education company that provides quality dance education throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Her passion is education and she is an adjunct professor of dance at several Community Colleges.
Kanor Driving School (Driver’s Education) – All of Kanor’s driving instructors have passed industry standardized tests as well as in-house testing prior to becoming a member of their staff. You can be confident that Kanor’s instructors know exactly what it takes to help the student reach their goal of becoming an educated driver.
Kendra Koelsch – Kendra, former Rainbow Wahine Indoor Volleyball player at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Master’s student at CSULB in Kinesiology, has played at the highest level and has been coached by Olympic legends. Kendra led the Rainbow Wahine as captain to the NCAA Championship tournament each year, making it to the Sweet Sixteens. The past five years, she has enjoyed coaching clinics throughout the islands of Hawai’i and coaching club volleyball. Kendra has a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her mission as a coach is to show her athletes just how FUN the sport of volleyball can be, while also building foundational technique!
L.A. Galaxy – LA Galaxy OC provides professional, quality coaches for all after-school programs. Coaches are certified by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), and The Football Association England (FA). All coaches are CDC concussion certified. Currently coaches work in our highly competitive club program coaching teams in the Southern California Developmental Soccer League (SCDSL). They have numerous years of working with children of all age and skill levels and look forward to putting on after-school programs. They have taught classes at other school districts in Southern California including Irvine & Saddleback Valley.
Michael Ma – Michael recently served as a coach at the University of Arizona for their Women’s Division I Volleyball team, as well as high schools locally such as: Cerritos HS, Valley Christian HS, and Cypress HS. Michael attended St. John Bosco HS and graduated from Long Beach State, with a major in Accounting. Michael is a volleyball coach at Seal Beach Volleyball Club. He is excited to coach for LAEF for the first time during the Spring 2020 season.
Claudia Mena – A native of El Salvador, Claudia moved to the US in 1986. She loves sharing language and culture with students and has been teaching in Orange County since 2008. Claudia earned her Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University and a B.A. in Education and Child Development from National University. As a language teacher, her goal is for students to be exposed and gain a deeper appreciation of the beautifully diverse multilingual, multicultural, and multiethnic communities we are so blessed to have in California and in our world.
Alex Montes – Alex is a gymnastics coach of five years with 13 years of actual gymnastics experience. He is a coach at SCATS in Huntington Beach. He enjoys teaching children and giving back to the sport that taught him how to stay fit and healthy. He is currently attending school seeking a degree in education as his aspiration is to continue to teach children of all ages.
O.C. Health Care Agency (Jessica Carranza) – Jessica is a Health Education Associate with the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Team (ADEPT) at the Orange County Health Care Agency. She has served in this role for four years implementing youth and parent curricula focused on alcohol and drug prevention. Jessica holds a B.S. in Public Health Sciences from UC Irvine and is currently obtaining her Master’s Degree in Public Health at California State University, Long Beach.
O.C. Health Care Agency (Sherryl Ramos) – Sherryl Ramos is a Health Educator for the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Team (ADEPT) at the Orange County Health Care Agency. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the California State University, Long Beach. She has 20 years of experience working with youth in Orange County on alcohol, drug and tobacco prevention.
Katie Perez – Katie, a California native, is an accomplished artist and teacher. A recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach, Katie has already led her students to art competitions and had their work shown in the Nixon Public Library. Her art, especially in the classroom, focuses on the collaborative. Katie has a heart for her community that can be seen not only in her work, but also in the way that she interacts with others. She is both detail oriented and creatively flexible, allowing students to explore their ideas while holding them to a high artistic standard.
Play-Well (Trayer Harvey) – Trayer is a native of Long Beach and an avid LEGO fan. He studied Robotics at the UC Santa Cruz and really enjoys bringing his love for STEM into the classroom. Trayer has just completed his first summer teaching Play-Well LEGO Engineering Summer Camps all across Orange County. His favorite Play-Well project is Battletracks!
Pure Game – Field Champion Alex has played soccer for the majority of his life. He has learned many important lessons from soccer that have shaped the person he is today. Working at Pure Game gives him the opportunity to use soccer, as well as other sports, as an educational tool to help develop students’ life skills. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach and has worked to be a leader in his community both on the field and off since then.
Noemi Robles – Noemi is a graduate from California State University, Long Beach with a major in Dietetics and Food Administration. She enjoys cooking, shopping at the farmer’s market, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. She is adventurous and likes to try new things. Currently she is employed with Levy at the Dignity Health Sports Park. Noemi has taught Fun with Food the past two summers with LAEF. She is motivated and excited to teach students about healthy and delicious foods!
Jenna Rogers – Jenna graduated from Los Alamitos High School and went through the district. She has a great love for foreign languages and cultures. She received her Bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish at California State University of Long Beach. Jenna is currently enrolled in her Masters of Education at Concordia University. Her dream is to open an international preschool one day to encourage children to learn another language as young as possible. Jenna looks forward to sharing her passion with your children and, hopefully, inspiring them to continue an education in another language. Jenna currently teaches third grade at Harkham Hillel. Jenna has taught after-school with LAEF and is currently teaching Spanish at LAHS!
Raul Ruano – Raul earned bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and American Studies at Cal State Fullerton. Raul competed in varsity policy debate at CSUF, winning multiple awards, including: 1st place speaker, top-10 speaker finishes, and octo-final finishes in 2 national tournaments. He was also awarded the All-American debater award at the national CEDA tournament in 2018. His training in performative-style argumentation fueled a passion for teaching others how to use debate to refine civic leadership skills.
Skatedogs (Adam Cohen) – Born in Huntington Beach, it wasn’t long until the owner of Skatedogs, Adam Cohen picked up a skateboard. It quickly became his passion and he would skateboard whenever he had free time. At a very young age, he realized that he wanted to turn this passion into a business. So after graduating Edison in High School, he enrolled at SDSU to earn a degree in business. Skatedogs offered their first summer camp in Los Alamitos in 2008 and they now have 4 mobile skateboard parks running skateboarding programs allover SoCal and NorCal. He’s so happy to be able to use skateboarding as a tool to inspire children to find their passion in life, live a healthy lifestyle, and make long lasting friendships.
SkyHawks – Skyhawks provides a wide variety of fun, safe and positive programs that emphasize critical lessons in sports and life, such as teamwork, respect and sportsmanship. Our programs are designed to give each child a positive introduction into sports while fostering a lifelong love for an active, healthy lifestyle. Our patient and knowledgeable staff use a variety of skill-building games and activities to give each athlete a complete understanding and overview of the sport.
Andrea Solow – Andrea Solow has been a student of Kenpo Karate for over 30 years and is currently a 5th Degree Black Belt. She has been the International champion six times and has won more than 150 1st place trophies in her tournament career. Ms. Solow owned and operated a karate school in Telluride, Colorado for 15 years. She has instructed several hundred people over the years, having many advanced students, and bringing several people to the rank of black belt. She recently moved back to her home state, California, with her husband and two children who attend school at Weaver. Ms. Solow is passionate about teaching kids and is excited to be an instructor for the LAEF program!
Strategic Kids – The mission of Strategic Kids is to be a positive impact on our community by teaching life strategies through games. Program instructors have experience working with elementary aged children. They have energetic and fun personalities that inspire kids.
Jordon Taibi – Jordon is currently a student at Cal State University of Long Beach. Entering his fourth year, he hopes to graduate with a degree in Sports Psychology. Prior to joining the LAEF team, he worked with Long Beach Parks and Recreation at Wardlow Park as a day camp leader and coach. Outside of work, he enjoys snowboarding and watching sports. Jordon is a graduate of Los Alamitos High School where he played lacrosse through his tenure there.
TGA Premier Sports (Golf, Tennis and Volleyball) – Kevin Oliver, TGA Premier Sports. TGA of Greater Long Beach is owned and operated by Kevin, who is an avid athlete himself and supporter of all youth sports programs. Kevin owes a lot of his success in business to life lessons that were learned in his early childhood from being involved in sports. Things like being part of a team, leading by example, learning from defeat, improving your skills, and competing with your best effort are just a few of the things children of all ages can take away from their experience with sports. All these are applicable to everyday life and now its Kevin’s chance to give back these same lessons to the children of our community and show them how a solid foundation of sports can catapult them to their own successful future. All TGA coaches are screened and sport-certified in TGA’s rigorous STEAM infused curriculum that is revolutionary by combining youth athletic instruction
Timothy Thorn – Educating youth through performance has been a focus throughout Tim’s life. Early in his career, he toured with The Lilliput Players, The Imagination Machine, True Colors, and You Need to Read. He has also performed with children for multiple educational youth theatre groups including First Artist Children’s Theatre, Children’s Theatre Experience and Musical Youth Artist Repertory Theatre (MYART). Tim has taught theatre through multiple school districts throughout California including Fullerton’s All the Arts for All The Kids program, various after school programs, as well as, the Orange County High School for the Arts. As a founding member of MYART, now in its 26th year, Tim served as Assistant Artistic Director, as well as, Resident Director of MYART northern California where he directed and choreographed youth casts of up to 300 performers in multiple productions. He has also choreographed the spring musical at Cerritos High School (his alma mater) for the past two decades. Tim is currently a member of two educational theatre groups. With Long Beach based, Olio Theatre Works, he helped develop a new anti-bullying school touring program, Grasping Bullying, premiering in the 2017-18 school year. He also currently serves as the Resident Director and Technical Director of Phantom Projects Theatre Group.
WeBreak – WeBreak Hip-Hop Dance Company was founded in 2011 by Brian Wright. Brian Wright is a natural and gifted instructor in dance and has been teaching dance for the past 12 years. He loves working with children, teens and adults and has been dancing for over 17 years and breakdancing for over 12 years. He, along with a friend, founded and designed the California State University Breakers, a campus club committed to teaching the art form of breaking at Cal State University Long Beach. The CSULB Breakers won the very first intercollegiate breakdance competition at LMU in 2006. Brian also received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from CSULB.
Arnold Weintraub – Dr. Weintraub has been teaching since 1966. He received his BA degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a double major in English and Speech Communication. He received his MA and PHD degrees in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He taught English at every level, ranging from remedial through AP Honors. He coached Debate for 11 years at Omaha Central High School. He has also taught several courses in Speech Communication at El Camino College and Golden West College. Dr. Weintraub is an enthusiastic teacher and served as a walk-on coach at Los Alamitos High School, coaching the Debate team and the Mock Trial team.
Binbin Wu – Binbin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the Huangshan University, China and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of California, Riverside. Currently, she is enrolled in a teaching credential program in Mandarin at CSU Long Beach. She will finishing her teaching credential in the fall of 2019. She has taught Mandarin in the education field for many years serving a diverse student population. Binbin Wu has a passion to help individuals to succeed in their Mandarin learning and she hopes to leverage all her experiences for the benefit of the students.
Aside from the FUN, innovative classes offered, did you know quality After School Programs:
- Give children activity choices, engage them in enrichment activities, and support socialization and team learning
- Pay academic dividends during the school day, whether or not the class is classified as “academic,” because programs feature reading, language comprehension and analytic thought
- Provide opportunities for group projects which enhance children’s learning, as do music, art, theatre, and computer activities, as well as reading for pleasure and writing for an audience
- Let students connect with teachers in a lower teacher-child ratio setting. Such meaningful interactions are associated with more positive interactions, less negativity, and more flexible and age-appropriate activities
- Allow students (most markedly boys) greater flexibility to make choices in their class activities, which research connects to better social skills with classroom peers
- Can decrease TV viewing behavior in children!! Researchers found that children watch far more television at home after school than they do at after-school programs. In numerous studies, time viewing television has been associated with lower reading achievement and more frequent behavior problems among children.
LAEF’s After School Programs…where Los Al students have fun and parents have peace of mind! Have questions about programs? E-mail our Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org