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Briefly in Education: High school receives FOA grants

The Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation awarded Laguna Beach High School five grants for visual and performing arts education programs, according to a news release.

Laguna Beach High School's art program received a $15,000 grant; its band boosters received $5,000; the dance department $2,500; performing arts program $5,000; and performing arts boosters $2,500.

The grants are key to the high school's programs.

"Visual and Performing Arts are essential in the development of a well-rounded student," Principal Joanne Culverhouse said in a statement. "The generous grants from the Festival of Arts Foundation support our staff and students and allow them opportunities beyond a traditional high school experience. We are fortunate to live in a community where there is strong support to promote the arts in our school."


Artwork on display at library

Creative works produced by the Boys & Girls Club Even Start Preschool are on display at the Laguna Beach Library throughout May as part of the Imagination Celebration in the city, according to a news release.

Laguna Outreach for Community Art (LOCA) teachers Pat W. Phillips, Sharon Risley, Carol Swanson, Noel Lashley and Billy Jo Lee lead weekly art activities for more than 20 preschoolers at the club. The program encourages the preschoolers "to explore and expand their creative awareness and build self-confidence," the release said.

The Kinder Buddy children's artwork is also included in the exhibit.

"I am so delighted with the LOCA program," Terry-Anne Barman, the early childhood and family services director at the Boys & Girls Club, said in a statement. "The children have really blossomed in their creativity and art expression. It is a wonderful and unique opportunity for our little ones to exercise their creativity and have a chance so early on to be taught by such talented artists — everybody involved benefits."

More information about the Boys & Girls Club can be found at


Youth participate in fitness program

Top of the World Elementary School students participated in the 1-mile Kids Run the OC Marathon event (KROC) earlier this month, according to a news release.

The students participated in a 12-week fitness training program, with the run serving as the culminating event. The KROC program encourages physical activity and healthy eating habits among the youths.

Students participated in 25.2 miles of moderate to vigorous physical activity, the release said. Including the marathon, the students accumulated 26.2 miles — marathon distance — and they will receive official OC Marathon medals.


Teens discourage underage drinking

Several teens from the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach leadership club teamed up with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Orange County to participate in Sticker Shock, a program that has store owners displaying stickers that discourage underage drinking, according to a news release.

With high schoolers attending prom and such, the teens wanted to get the word out. The stickers are "designed, developed and then placed on packages of alcohol indicating that it is illegal for adults to purchase alcohol for minors," the release said.

The stickers are also placed on the doors and windows of participating stores that sell alcohol.


Cheer team takes home awards

Laguna Beach High School varsity cheer took home a Grand Champion trophy after competing in the NRG Nationals' All Stars and Senior High School division earlier this month, according to a news release.

The team also placed first place in the Varsity Novice division and won a spirit stick for "awesome attitude." It was the team's second competitive cheer experience, the release said.

In April, the team competed in its first competition, the 2013 So Cal Classic, and took home first place in its division.

Yvette Perez coaches the team, which counts about 15 girls. Starting in the summer, the team will be in need of sponsors for its fall football banner. For more information, email Perez at


High school named best in nation

Laguna Beach High School was awarded a Gold Medal in U.S. News & World Report's Best High School rankings, according to a news release.

LBHS was one of 21,035 public high schools in 49 states and District of Columbia that was analyzed and evaluated for the rankings.

"It takes teamwork, effort and drive to create and sustain a high-performing high school," Laguna Beach Unified School District Supt. Sherine Smith said in a statement. "On behalf of the Board of Education and Laguna Beach Unified School District, I congratulate ... [Principal Joanne] Culverhouse, the teachers, staff, and students, along with the parents and community that provides us with such deep support."

Meanwhile, the high school also was recognized for its Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) program by the Orange County Department of Education.

The department conducted surprise visits at schools to present the 2013 Outstanding PAL Program and Advisor awards, according to a news release. Winners were chosen for their innovative practices when it comes to engaging youths and connecting with the community.


Cub Scouts learn about 911

Doctors Ambulance, which serves Laguna Beach, made a visit to Laguna Beach Cub Scouts Pack 35 Wolf Den as part of a mock 911 call, according to a news release.

The 911 simulation gave the Scouts a look at what happens when someone dials the emergency number. During the event, Doctors Ambulance went to the Presbyterian Church parking lot, where the Scouts got the chance to explore an ambulance and talk with paramedics, the release said.

— Alisha Gomez

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