Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 20, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 9

Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 20, 2021 
9EDUCATION AND YOUTH Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 20, 2021 



—Following two rounds of virtual auditions, 
The Music Center has selected 112 of Southern 
California’s most talented high school students as 
semifinalists in The Music Center’s 33rd annual 
Spotlight (Spotlight) program, a free nationally 
acclaimed arts training and scholarship program 
for teens. 

A TMC Arts program, Spotlight offers valuable 
performance opportunities, audition experiences 
and mentorship, plus technical and artistic insights 
taught by professional artists and arts administrators, 
and awards more than $100,000 in 
scholarships each year. 

 TMC Arts re-imagined the program’s offerings 
to be entirely digital and COVID safe for the 
2020–2021 year. The Music Center named 16 
semifinalists in each of seven categories—acting, 
ballet, dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, 
classical instrumental and jazz instrumental. 
This year, nearly 1,500 teens representing more 
than 275 schools, 194 cities and 8 counties auditioned 
for the prestigious program. All Spotlight 
applicants receive written feedback from distinguished 
panels of judges following each audition 
round to help students improve and gain knowledge 
in their particular performance discipline. 

Since its launch in 1988, Spotlight has transformed 
the lives of 51,000 high school students 
from Santa Barbara to San Diego by being more 
than just a competition. An important part of 
The Music Center’s fundamental support for arts 
learning, the program provides students the opportunity 
to develop their performance abilities, 
receive valuable college preparedness skills and 
gain confidence to pursue their dreams in the 
performing arts. Through a supportive environment, 
students also develop important life skills, 
including building self‐esteem, preparation and 
perseverance, that benefit the participants beyond 
the stage. 

Notable Spotlight alumni include Tony Award® 
winner Lindsay Mendez, American Ballet 
Theatre’s principal dancer Misty Copeland, 
Emmy® award-winning composer Kris Bowers 
and major recording artists Josh Groban and 
Adam Lambert, among many others. Recent 
Spotlight finalists appeared as guest performers 
during Groban’s first livestream Holiday concert 
in December 2020, which was viewed by an international 

“While arts learning remains under pressure in 
school budgets, Spotlight participants receive 
multiple opportunities to perform in front of 
professional experts who provide personalized 
and precise feedback that other free programs 
just don’t offer,” said Rachel S. Moore president 
and CEO of The Music Center. “Spotlight is a 
year-long journey with a lifetime of benefits for 
these young students. We’re very proud that our 

program offers a comprehensive learning experience 
that nurtures young artists’ aspirations and 
supports the next generation of performers and 
arts professionals.” 

“Spotlight is completely free with no financial 
barriers to participate, which gives equal footing 
to kids looking to make their dreams come true, 
no matter their talent level,” added Jeri Gaile, director 
of The Music Center’s Spotlight program. 
“Each round in the audition process is a little different 
so the knowledge and connections each 
participant makes compound, especially as the 
semifinalists attend mastery classes. 

Experts provide students with highly valuable 
feedback on their performances, offering them 
a rich learning experience. Each semifinalist 
will audition virtually again before a new panel 
of judges, who will then select the top two finalist 
performers in each category for a total of 14 
Grand Prize Finalists. Judges will also name an 
Honorable Mention in each category. 

The Grand Prize Finalists will perform in The 
Music Center’s Spotlight Virtual Grand Finale 
Performance on May 22, 2021, premiering on 
The Music Center Offstage digital platform at 

7:00 p.m. 
The Music Center’s Spotlight program awards 
more than $100,000 in cash scholarships annually. 
Semifinalists each receive $300. The eventual 
Grand Prize Finalists will each receive $5,000 
scholarships, plus one Honorable Mention in 
each category will receive $1,000. The Music 
Center also celebrates five students in each category 
with the Merit Award, which acknowledges 
students who inspire the judges by their commitment 
and dedication to their art form; Spotlight 
Merit Award recipients each receive $100. 

To help students interested in applying to the 
Spotlight program, The Music Center launched 
The Spotlight Academy last summer as an episodic 
series of online videos and tutorials. Designed 
for young artists, parents and educators, 

The Spotlight Academy features 15 webisodes 
that focus on subjects related to applying for the 
Spotlight program as well as advice for anyone 
considering a career in the arts, both onor offstage. 
The videos provide a deep dive into the 
program’s seven categories, and discuss curated 
topics featuring alumni and experts in the field, 
including Superstore actress Carla Renata, opera 
singer Suzanna Guzmán and New York City Ballet 
principal dancer Tiler Peck, among others. 

For more information about The Music Center’s 
Spotlight program, visit 
join the conversation on


Following our two “Supporting our Children’s Mental Health” programs 
(Feb. 20 & 24), we compiled the presentation materials and 
resource links as well as suggestions and ideas parents can draw on 
to support their children’s mental health and well-being. 
Please remember that you don’t have to do ALL the things! There 
is no one right way to do this. Keep in mind that we need to take 
care of our own mental health needs in order to meet our children’s 
needs. If you are feeling overwhelmed, or if nothing seems to work, 
remember there is support available. See “Mental Health Services 
Resource Information” handout.) There is also support available to 
meet other needs that may be contributing to personal or household 
stress – rent, food, internet access, etc. Call the PUSD hotline (626396-
3680) or check the Resource Guide which can be found at pusd.
Presentation Materials 
Elementary Program (2/20) Video of Program: https://youtu. 
Slide Presentation (English) | Presentación (Español)
Secondary Program (2/24) Video of Program: 
Slide Presentation 
Resource Links 
Mental Health Services & Resources - Includes flowchart (where to 
get help) and list of mental health agencies serving PUSD schoolsYoung and Healthy (626) 795-5166 ( -
Pasadena-based non-profit organization that connects underserved 
children with free medical, dental and mental healthcare through 
volunteer doctors; helps families with insurance enrollment and 
navigation; and provides referrals to local services. Young & Healthy 
can help families with private insurance to navigate that insurance 
and get connected to needed resources. Y&H ‘s Mobile Dental Clinic 
(for students and parents) is March 11-19 – call 795-5166 for more 
information. Check out Y&H Mindful Mondays Videos (presented 
by one of our speakers, Rebecca Bokoch!): https://www.facebook.
“Me Time” Mindful Mondays: D'Veal Family and Youth Services offers 
a 15-minute "Me Time” zoom session each Monday afternoon. 
Zoom room opens at 3 PM, sessions starts promptly at 3:10 PM. 
Savor a moment of peace and calmness as you gear up for your work 
week. Click on the link to join: 

Community-based Agencies that usually have a small fee for services:

• Pasadena Mental Health Center (626) 798-0907 
• Rose City Counseling Center (626) 793-8609 
• Fuller Psychological and Family Services (626) 584-5555 
• Westminster Center - affordable counseling (626) 798-0915"Supporting Families During COVID-19” | Child Mind Institute 
The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit 
dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling 
with mental health and learning disorders. 
"COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Guide” City of Pasadena Public 
Health Department

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - - If 
you have questions or concerns about whether your child or another 
family member might be dealing with a mental illness, NAMI is a 
great resource. 

Strategies and Suggestions

These suggestions came from our Saturday workshop for parents of 
younger children. The first set addresses our children’s needs during 
distance learning/quarantine. The second set focuses on strategies to 
help prepare children for when we can go back to school. 

Alverno Heights Academy

200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Julia V. FanaraE-mail address: 
Arcadia Christian School 

1900 S. Santa Anita Avenue Arcadia, CA 91006Preschool - and TK - 8th Grade 
626-574-8229/626-574-0805Email: inquiry@acslions.comPrincipal: Cindy Harmonwebsite: 

Arcadia High School

180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: Brent 

Arroyo Pacific Academy

41 W. Santa Clara St. Arcadia, Ca,

(626) 294-0661 Principal: Phil ClarkeE-mail address: 
Barnhart School 

240 W. Colorado Blvd Arcadia, Ca. 91007 
(626) 446-5588Head of School: Ethan Williamson 
Kindergarten - 8th gradewebsite: 

Bethany Christian School

93 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 
(626) 355-3527Preschool-TK-8th Grade 
Principal: Dr. William Walnerwebsite: www. 

Clairbourn School 

8400 Huntington DriveSan Gabriel, CA 91775Phone: 626-286-3108 ext. 172 
FAX: 626-286-1528 

Holy Family Catholic School

1301 Rollin Street South Pasadena Ca 91030 
(626) 799-4354 •
Transitional Kindergarten - 8th GradePrincipal: Mrs. Darcie GirmusWebsite: info@holyfamily.orgFacebook & Instagram @HFSKnights 

Foothill Oaks Academy

822 E. Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010(626) 301-9809Principal: Nancy 

Frostig School

971 N. Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107 
(626) 791-1255Head of School: Jenny Janetzke 

The Gooden School 

192 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 
(626) 355-2410Head of School, Jo-Anne Woolner 


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon RoadPasadena, Ca. 91107 
Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989 

La Salle College Preparatory

3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 351-8951 website: 
Principal Mrs. Courtney Kassakhian 
Monrovia High School

325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016

(626) 471-2800 Principal Darvin JacksonEmail: 
Odyssey Charter School

725 W. Altadena Dr. Altadena, Ca. 91001

(626) 229-0993 Head of School: Lauren O’Neillwebsite: 
Pasadena High School

2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca.

(626) 396-5880 Principal: Roberto Hernandezwebsite: 
St. Rita Catholic School 

322 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024Principal: Adela Solis (626) 355-6114solis@st-ritaschool.orgWebsite: 

Sierra Madre Elementary School

141 W. Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-1428 Principal: Lindsay LUISE-mail address: 
Sierra Madre Middle School 

160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 836-2947 Principal: Garrett NewsomE-mail address: 
Walden School 

74 S San Gabriel Blvd 
Pasadena, CA 91107 (626) 

Weizmann Day School

1434 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, Ca. 91107(626) 797-0204Lisa Feldman: Head of School 

Wilson Middle School 

300 S. Madre St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 449-7390 Principal: Ruth EsselnE-mail address: 
Pasadena Unified School District 

351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Ca. 91109

(626) 396-3600 Website: 
Arcadia Unified School District 

234 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Ca. 91007 

(626) 821-8300 Website: 
Monrovia Unified School District 

325 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, Ca. 91016 
(626) 471-2000Website: 

Duarte Unified School District 

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010 

Meeting our Children’s Needs during Distance Learning

Here are some suggestions for things we can do to help our children. 
Some of these activities meet several needs! 

1. To feel safe… 
• Model safe practices (wearing masks, washing hands) so that children 
don’t worry about you getting sick
• Limit/monitor children’s access to news and conversations about 
problems in the world so that children are not overwhelmed
• Make a safe space for children’s emotions- listen, reflect back, don’t 
make it about you, don’t overreact, share own feelings from when a child, 
share things other families are doing to stay healthy, calm, happy
2. To feel in control… 
• Have a dedicated space for children to do their school work; own 
school supplies
• Give kids choices you can live with whenever possible- broccoli or 
peas, blue or red socks, walk around the block or go for a bike ride?
• Teach them to make simple meals, have a snack drawer they can 
serve themselves 
3. To have fun things to look forward to… 
• Friday movie nights, Taco Tuesday, drive through birthday parties 
• Sunday family outdoor time 
• Free time after schoolwork is done to hang out virtually with 
4. To stay socially connected… 
• Talking to grandma, cousins on Zoom 
• Distanced playdate at the park 
5. To get enough exercise… 
• Walks around the neighborhood 
• Hiking, dance party, TikTok videos, online kick-boxing or other 
exercise classes 
Parents Shared: 

This has been going on for a really long time…

• With a 4.5 and a 6.5 year old, we've often felt like we're running 
a Lido deck on a cruise ship!
• At the beginning (last March and April) we did all kinds of 
fun family activities – a backyard Olympics, scavenger hunts – but 
with both of us (parents) working full-time, we just couldn’t keep it 
• Getting a dog met a lot of our family members’ needs: routines, 
exercise, someone to play or cuddle with who is never too busy 
and is never online. 
Fun family activities
• Family does “Fun Friday Nights” - we dance, sing, do art. We 
got board games.
• We got a microphone for Christmas and sing along to songs 
we all know :)
• Having regular times when we all turn off the electronics 
(for the kids after school or for the whole family at other designated 
times) and engage with each other
• Getting outside: hiking, watering the plants outside, riding 
bikes, taking the dog for a walk
• Cooking and eating together: baking (letting kids pick 
something special to make), having lunch together.
Being intentional about how we connect with each other
• We share meals together and have meaningful conversation 
of what goes on around us while we are home. 
• Most nights at dinner, we go around and each of us say three 
things we're grateful for. This helps our “gut-check” with the kiddos.
• Family meetings, as they teach communication and create a 
support system.
• Reading with your children 
Preparing Children for Going (Back) to School

In many ways, preparing our children for the reopening of schools 
is similar to the way we get them ready for back to school – or, in 
the case of kindergarteners, their first day of school – at the end of a 
normal summer. Basic tips include:

• Start a daily routine, including bedtime and morning routines 
that will get everyone dressed, fed, and out the door on time
• Practice the route to school, whether on foot or in a car 
• Find the backpacks and the lunchbox 
• Remember that students will be taking their Chromebooks 
back and forth to school! 
• Listen to what your children are thinking and feeling about 
• MOST IMPORTANT: your attitude as parent/guardian will 
set the tone for how your child feels about going to school! Focus on 
the positive – you will see/make new friends! 
Some aspects of our preparation are going to be different, of course, 
so it is important to talk about what school will look like when they 
get there: including mask-wearing, lots of hand-washing, and physical 
distancing. PUSD put a video together to show what return to 
school will look like:, and will be 
putting out a new video and virtual orientations for students and 
parents/guardians prior to return to campuses. 
Once the student return date is determined, families will have two 
weeks to prepare:
2 weeks before students return: 

• There will be three days of asynchronous (remote) instruction 
for children while teachers prepare their classrooms for social 
distancing requirements.
1 week before students return: 
• Teachers will be teaching from their classrooms, getting oriented 
to campus safety procedures and using new equipment (set up 
to accommodate in-person and remote teaching at the same time), 
while students continue learning from home.
• Orientation sessions will be provided (virtually) to students 
and parents/guardians to prepare them for return to in-person 
Questions that came in pre-program:
How do we know when to push our kids to focus/keep trying with 
school, and when to take a break? – For anyone, but particularly 
for elementary age children, remember that mental health and wellbeing 
comes first. Everyone is going to come back with some learning 
gaps, and the school district is preparing for helping all children 
pick up whatever they missed during distance learning. That said, 
“taking a break” (to breathe, to run around outside, to snuggle with 
the dog) is different than just disconnecting completely. If your child 
is not wanting to participate at all, it may be time to touch base with 
the teacher, and – if it continues for more than a week or seems to be 
getting worse – to seek mental health support. 
I feel like my daughter is suffering from a little depression and I 
don't know what to do. Who do we ask if we have concerns about 
our children’s mental health? – You can call the Mental Health agency 
that serves your school site (see list). You can also contact your 
school principal, as they are familiar with the resources available to 
their families. If you have trouble connecting, you can contact Lara 
Choulakian at PUSD:, or mentalhealth@ 
How can I deal with my child's hopelessness and unhappiness with 
current situation? Connect with your child. Use empathy to really 
make a connection with what they are feeling. Give them purpose/ 
something to look forward to. Having something to look forward 
to at the end of the day or the end of the week is helpful for them to 
have short goals. Additionally, creating a vision board or a "Happy 
Board" is nice for children to have positive reminders and help with 
challenging a negative mindset.
How can I help my child cope with isolation (only child so no siblings 
to interact with)? Try to set up zoom play dates if possible. 
Also signing up for fun classes such as lego building or things your 
child enjoys doing can be helpful. When your child doesn't really 
have anyone to interact with we can help by being more present with 
them and getting outside if possible to get out of home. 
Is isolation “normal” right now? My 6 yr old is fearful of leaving the 
house to do anything! To a certain extent, isolation is normal because 
of everything going on. However, if it gets to the point where 
the child refuses to go outside or leave the home, it would be best to 
reach out and ask for help. 

Talk to your child about what it is that they are scared of and how 
you can help. It could be a fear of getting sick but it is a good opportunity 
to talk about making healthy hygiene choices. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
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