Drug, alcohol use topic of forum

“Who? My Kid? Drug and Alcohol Use in Laguna Teens" is the PTA Coffee Break program, planned for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Surf & Sand Resort.

A broad-based panel including school officials, parents and experts will explore what parents should know about alcohol, drugs and the teen party scene, emphasizing prevention.

The Laguna Beach Unified School District and its Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Steering Committee have launched an intensive effort to tackle the prevention of substance use problems.


“We are crafting a comprehensive, multi-year plan incorporating cutting edge research-validated prevention programs," said Irene White, chairwoman of the Steering Committee and director of Special Education and Student Services.

White will share the details during the program. In addition, representatives from the Laguna Beach Police Department, and high school Principal Don Austin and Assistant Principal Bob Billinger will describe what actually goes on among students.

Several parents will offer a frontline perspective. Bill Beacham, from Prevention Impact, will discuss different ways kids and parents can handle drugs and alcohol as well as the benefits and risks of various approaches.

For more information, contact Judith Anderson at (949) 494-0447 or drjza@


Boys & Girls Club Week starts Monday

Boys & Girls Clubs around the world dedicate one week during the year as National Boys & Girls Club Week to highlight the programs and staff clubs have to offer to their community.

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has been around for 57 years and serves more than 1,500 kids every year.

This year Boys & Girls Club Week will be celebrating from Monday through March 28. The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has special activities planned for kids 6 to 17.

Kids do not need to be a Boys & Girls Club member to participate in the activities. All that is required is a parent permission slip.

Call Elena at (949) 494-2535, ext. 105 for more information.

Families can explore alternative schooling

Community Learning Center will hold an informational orientation at 10:15 a.m. April 8 for all interested and incoming families.


Now in its 25th year, the center serves a total of 40 children in two classrooms in first through fourth grades with a child-centered educational style that creates a partnership among parents, students, teachers and the community. It is open to all families within the Laguna Beach Unified School District. Established in 1983, Community Learning Center is a “school within a school" at Top of the World Elementary School.

The orientation will include classroom tours and refreshments. Stroller babies and toddlers are welcome. For more information, call Jacquie Cohn at (949) 497-9117. Learn more about the program at

Students seek pledges for 2009 Jog-a-thon

El Morro and Top of the World elementary schools will be holding their annual Jog-a-thon fundraisers Friday. Jog-a-thon is the schools’ largest annual fundraiser and a favorite student event.

Donations raised by students help support many PTA programs such as Art Masters, Colonial Days, Science-on-the-Go, after-school programs and teacher stipends. Pledges can be made per-lap, or for a set amount.

For more information about the El Morro Jog-a-thon, call Brendy Michael at (949) 499-0094.

For more information about Top of the World’s Jog-a-thon, e-mail

Artist Rita Blitt visits Boys & Girls Club


Artist Rita Blitt shared her approach to the arts before 25 young artists at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach recently.

“When I create, I feel like I’m dancing "¦ and everyone can do this," the New York-based artist told the kids.

Blitt was in Laguna Beach to participate in First Thursday’s Art Walk for her exhibit at Marion Meyer Contemporary Art. Blitt expressed her inspiration from nature, dance and music.

Club members, following her lead, listened to a variety of music as they moved to the sounds and created art, by using both their hands at the same time.

This artistic process resulted in kids having a lot of fun with art and expressing themselves through creating in a free-form way.

The Art Program at the Boys & Girls Club offers daily art classes in a dedicated studio setting with regularly scheduled art programs free of charge to all club members. Programs include: JazzMasters, Montage Fine Arts Club, Photography Club, sculpture, Global Arts and dance.

My Hero Film Fest seeks entries

The MY HERO Project is pleased to announce the launch of the second annual Laguna Hero Festival. The award winning global project is looking for stories, art and films that celebrate local heroes and heroism. The deadline for submissions is May 1.

The Laguna Hero Fest will be at 7 p.m. May 28 at [seven-degrees].

The event is made possible by a grant from the city.

Submissions are encouraged from all members of the community. Artwork and short videos that highlight people or organizations working to make the world a better place will be showcased. Selected works will also be eligible for competition in the MY HERO short Film festival at USC in the fall.

For more information, e-mail myhero@myheroproject. org or call (949) 376-5964.