Briefly In Education

Program helps moms, daughters

An educational and informative program, Mother Daughter Dilemmas: Problems and Solutions, will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach, 286 St. Ann’s Drive.

Co-sponsored by the club and the American Assn. of University Women LBF, the program is the second of a two-part series devoted to the Sandwich Generation Women, who mediate and manage issues related to two generations "” aging parents and adult or teen daughters.

Three trained professionals, all mothers of daughters, will share practical information and answer questions on a topic that challenges many women today.


Vivian Clecak is a therapist in private practice with a primary focus on women’s issues and executive director of Human Options. Kay Ostenson, a middle school counselor, is also a clinical psychologist in private practice. In addition to having mothered five daughters and a number of granddaughters, Susan Velasquez is nationally recognized as a leader in group dynamics and leadership skills for professionals, as well as an author and newspaper columnist.

For more information, call (949) 497-1200.

Coffee Break: Playful Parenting

The first “Coffee Break" of the year will focus on elementary and middle school kids and their parents.


Playful Parenting: a Bold Way to Nurture Close Connections and Solve Behavior Problems will be from 8:15 to 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Surf and Sand Hotel, 1555 S. Coast Hwy.

Developed by Larry Cohen, a nationally renowned psychologist, the program provides parents with the necessary tools to make interactions with children more fun, foster clearer communication between parent and child and offer an alternative discipline approach rather than the typical punitive or permissive models.

Some of the topics include harnessing the power of play to get kids to cooperate without power struggles, rethinking discipline to emphasize good judgment and teaching kids to play their way through sibling rivalry.

According to Cohen, children of all ages have an ongoing need for connectedness, security and attachment. Playful interaction with parents is an important way to develop such bonds.

Cohen is also a consultant to many public and independent schools. He is the co-author of “Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Friendship, Popularity and Social Cruelty in the Lives of Boys and Girls" and “Mom, They’re Teasing Me: Helping Children Solve Social Problems." His regular column in Nick Jr. Magazine was the winner of the Golden Lamp award from Education Press.

Cost is $5. Coffee and muffins are included. For more information, call (949) 494-0447 or e-mail

Redefining ‘green’ at Monday meeting

A panel of experts will redefine “green" at a “Rethink Building" panel presentation, sponsored by Transition Laguna and Seeds Arts and Education from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Anneliese School, 20062 Laguna Canyon Road.


Presenters including author and founder of New Leaf America Chris Prelitz, Ron May of May Construction Inc., Mike Embury of ModHabita and Pamela Sterling of Laguna Green will explain what it means to build green and discuss sustainable interior design, and energy efficiency in the home.

On Jan. 23, the public will have the opportunity to see how one man has put green building into practice, when Kris Spitaleri will offer tours of his straw bale house, at 140 Canyon Acres.

For more information, call Pam Sterling at (714) 654-9860 or e-mail at

Festival scholarship program open

The Festival of Arts 2009-10 scholarship program, open to all high school seniors who live in Laguna Beach, is open through March 5.

The four-year, highly competitive scholarships are awarded to students who excel in film, performing arts "” such as dancing and theater, visual arts "” and writing.

For more than 50 years, the scholarship program has supported rising young artists by making it possible for students to pursue college studies in the arts.

Auditions and interviews will be scheduled in March and April.


Scholarship awards begin at $1,000 and can be renewed for a total of four one-year scholarships. Students must return each summer to reapply for a continuation of scholarship status.

Last year, the Festival of Arts awarded $30,000 to 17 graduating seniors. Many scholarship winners pursue successful careers in the arts, and some even return to the festival as exhibiting artists.

Applications are available at or at the Festival of Arts office, 650 Laguna Canyon Road.