Los Angeles Times KidCity to Feature More than 50 Interactive Exhibits and Science, Nature Demonstrations

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LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2004 – The second annual Los Angeles Times KidCity, a free two-day children's educational adventure to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 17-18 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, will feature more than 50 interactive literacy, arts, science and nature demonstrations, as well as sports contests, games and recreational activities.

The event's five stages also will showcase a variety of children's and family entertainment, interactive storytelling, celebrity readings, dance and musical performances, and guest appearances by WB Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester and Tweety.

Admission to all activities is free. Parking is $7.

The official Los Angeles Times KidCity event program, which appeared in the July 11 edition of The Times, provides detailed information about event participants, demonstrations and interactive sessions. Event information also is available online at www.latimes.com/kidcity.

Interactive Demonstrations

Literacy

  • Meet a Newspaper Editor – Mary Ellen Walker, editor of The Times' Kids Reading Room Page, shares her secrets for creating the weekly feature.
  • Be a Junior Journalist – Create your own Los Angeles Times' Kids Reading Room Page.
  • Imagination Station – Illustration demonstrations and workshops by Kathryn Hewitt, illustrator of "Lives of Extraordinary Women;" Calef Brown, author and illustrator of "Tippintown;" Kadir Nelson, illustrator of "Ellington Was Not a Street;" Gris Grimly, illustrator of 'Monster Museum;" cartoon illustrator Scott Fresina; and artist Michael Napoliello. Sing along with Bunny Hull and her music workshop, "Dream A World." Readings by D.J. MacHale, author of the "Pendragon" children's book series; Mary Ellen Walker, Kid’s Reading Room editor; and Lani Duke, director of Reading by 9, The Times' literacy campaign. Learn to put together your own comic book adventures with Geoff Johns, author of the "Teen Titans" series.
  • Literacy Lane – Reading experts will answer parents' questions about helping their children learn to read. Sign up to become a Reading by 9 volunteer.

Science and Technology

  • Scuba Tour – Take a 10-minute scuba dive with real diving gear. Towels, wetsuits, masks and air tanks will be provided. (Participants must be at least 10 years old and 54 inches tall to participate, and have written parental permission.)
  • TidePool Cruisers – This Windows-on-our-Waters exhibit follows the path that candy wrappers, coffee cups and other trash take to local rivers, streams and oceans and how it affects sea stars, mussels and other creatures. Visit the General Store of the Sea – a supermarket filled with foods and other items with connections to the ocean.
  • JPL- NASA Mars Exploration Exhibits – A walk-through exhibit recreates the Martian landscape and offers the latest news from Spirit and Opportunity – the two Mars rovers launched last June by NASA. Learn how lightweight rovers work and how they were built.
  • STAR Real Science Museum – Take a guided tour through our galaxy and discover other solar systems and planets. Learn how Earth's inhabitants – including people – depend on each other.
  • Sky Alert! – Discover stars in the daylight and look at the sun – the safe way. Watch sunspots and solar flares through Griffith Observatory’s high-powered telescope and learn more about the stars and planets.
  • "Build your own" workshops – California Science Center experts will help kids transform polymers into super slime and build rocket stompers.

Nature

  • Nature Exchange – Get a sneak peek at this new exhibit from the KidSpace Children’s Museum showcasing the local Pasadena environment.
  • Wild Winged Things Craft Station -- Butterfly or moth? Create your own set of butterfly or moth antennae. Get the chance to win prizes and discount coupons to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
  • Wildlife Waystation – Meet wild birds of prey on Saturday and radical reptiles on Sunday.

History and Culture

  • Gold Rush Days –Experience a piece of California history as you learn how to pan for real gold nuggets
  • Una Ciudad Para Los Niños – Future urban planners get their chance to draw an ideal city just for kids at this exhibit, sponsored by the Museum of Latin American Art.

Sports

  • Los Angeles Kings – Scrimmage on a 40-by-80-foot outline of an "ice" rink. Spin a wheel of fortune for a chance to win Kings merchandise including hockey pucks, posters, Frisbees, stickers and hats.
  • Los Angeles Sparks – Test your basketball-shooting skills for a chance to win team merchandise and other prizes.
  • Rock climbing – Instructors will teach students how to scale the Sport Chalet Rock Climbing Wall. Take your turn at scaling the 23-foot climbing wall from Jungle Gym Rock Climbing. (Sign-ups and parental permission required.)
  • Oscar De La Hoya Experience – This custom-built, 75-foot big rig has been transformed into a customized retail and entertainment showcase featuring historic memorabilia highlighting De La Hoya's boxing career.
  • Street Ball Sport Court – Watch team demonstrations, join “open play” games, practice free throws and compete for prizes.

Stages

KidCity also will feature five stages:

  • Heritage Stage – African, Aztec, California Indian, Indian, Japanese and Korean cultural entertainment. American blues and Reggae. Lula Washington's Youth Dance Ensemble.
  • Live Action Stage – Australian pop star Samantha Jade. Performances by A Hawaiian Experience, Anaheim Ballet, Arte Flamenco, Culture Shock Los Angeles Dance Troupe, Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team and Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana. Sing-along with Strawberry Shortcake and Friends. Hip-hop by HYPE, KidStarz and Off Limits with Johnny E. Martial arts demonstrations by Jun Chong Tae Kwon Do and Mestre Boneco Brazilian Capoeira.
  • Reading by 9 Storytelling Stage – Two-time Emmy nominee Bryan Cranston, co-star of the Fox Television series, "Malcolm in the Middle," will emcee Sunday's Reading by 9 Road to Reading Adventure Awards program. Celebrity readings by Pasadena Mayor William Bogaard; actress and author Jane Seymour and actor-director James Keach; Randy Jackson, " American Idol" judge, author and Grammy Award-winning producer; Emmy nominee Kimberly J. Brown; and Los Angeles Sparks guard Tamecka Dixon. Interactive storytelling by Beethoven's Wig, The Imagination Machine, We Tell Stories, The Chameleons and "200 Years of American Music" by Razzle Bam Boom.
  • Mervyn's Stage – The younger set takes to the runway as they model the latest kids' fashions and accessories. Bryan Cranston emcees the second annual Los Angeles Times Above & Beyond Awards ceremony, which recognizes outstanding Southern California youngsters. Celebrity readings by actors Holly Robinson Peete and Arlen Escarpeta, co-star of the Emmy Award-winning NBC television's series, "American Dreams." Shakespeare's comic masterpiece, "Much Ado About Nothing," is re-cast in early California and set to Mariachi music by the East L.A. Classic Theatre. Performances by the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Plaza de la Raza's mariachi and ballet folklorico.
  • Nature Stage – Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County presents "Albert the Bone Digger" and "Dino in my Dinner." "Fun with Science" and "Snakes!"demonstrations by STAR Eco Station environmental science education center. Animal showcases by Wildlife Waystation Wild Works.

The California Wellness Foundation and Reading by 9 will present free children's vision screenings, which will be conducted by the Los Angeles Eye Institute. Scholastic Inc. will distribute free books to all children completing vision exams.

Sponsors

KidCity title sponsor is Mervyn's. Contributing sponsors are Borders and The California Wellness Foundation. Media sponsors are Hoy, KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV, KDIS-AM (1110), KIIS-FM (102.7), KRCD-FM (103.9-98.3), Univision 34 and Viacom Outdoor.

About Reading by 9

Launched by the Los Angeles Times in 1998, Reading by 9 is a multi-year initiative aimed at helping Southern California kindergarten through third-grade students read at grade level by the age of nine. The program is conducted in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, and is supported by almost 50 business, civic, education, media and philanthropic organizations.

About Above & Beyond Awards

The finalists, ages 7-13, were nominated by parents, teachers and community leaders who submitted 200-word essays describing their nominee's contributions. A panel of judges – composed of parents, educators and community leaders from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties – selects the winners from each of those counties. Judging categories are: Above & Beyond in my Community, Above & Beyond in my Classroom, and Above & Beyond in my Cultural Heritage.

Winners' names will be published in a congratulatory advertisement to appear in The Times. Each winner will receive an Above & Beyond Awards statue, four annual passes to a local amusement park and an Above & Beyond awards t-shirt.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and the winner of 35 Pulitzer Prizes, including five this year – the second-largest yearly total in the history of the awards. The Times publishes five daily regional editions including the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange and Ventura counties, the San Fernando Valley, and an Inland Empire edition covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties as well as a National edition. Additional information about The Times is available at www.latimes.com/mediacenter.

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