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Teaching ‘Pretty Little Faces’

Jackson Bell

Angel Lee credits his 4-year-old daughter, Collette, as the

motivation for his opening a children’s playing and learning center

inside the Media City Center.


“With a little one, there are very few places to go,” Lee said.

“At parks, big kids push her around, and some [children’s centers]

are too expensive.”

As a result, Lee and his wife decided to open Pretty Little Faces,


a business he described as a family haven where children 4 and

younger play in a safe and sanitary environment while parents can

relax or shop.

The couple also hired professionals in childhood development,

including a kindergarten teacher, to lead daily classes. The

activities focus on topics for toddlers such as shapes, colors,

numbers, hand-eye coordination, balance and behavior.

“Basically, they’re playing, so they think that they are having


fun,” Lee said. “But the benefit is that they are learning from the


But that improvisation is essential for instructors because

children can sometimes take over activities, he added.

“The teachers are good at knowing kids and how to work with them,

otherwise they just won’t follow [instruction],” he said. “If the

kids want to run around, that is what they’re going to do.”

Angie Ghadimi, the center’s manager, said families are flocking to


the center -- which will celebrate its one-year anniversary Aug. 16

-- because it appeals to both parents and children.

“We didn’t have many kids at first,” she said. “Now, we have too


Children like it because they can interact with their peers, and

the toys are changed on a weekly basis to keep their interest,

Ghadimi said. Meanwhile, she added, parents appreciate the

convenience of mall parking, the $5 cost for all-day access, and the

clean and safe play area.

Toluca Lake resident Michael Schofield, who has taken his

11-month-old daughter, January, to the center almost every day since

it opened, said he feels comfortable letting her play freely.

“It’s really safe here, unlike at home where there is so many ways

she can hurt herself,” he said. “But here, she [is free to] do

whatever she wants.”