SC Mag

SC Mag

We here at Community Publications all agree that one of the most fun perks of being part of the team is the ability to mix and mingle each month with our advertising partners at great venues in South OC! And our recent soiree at the beautiful all-new ReelTime showroom in San Juan Capistrano was no exception.

Guests noshed on light bites and wine - exploring each gorgeous, state-of-the-art room on display as ReelTime’s professionals shared their extensive knowledge of the latest in home automation (see editorial on page 20).

We know we’re lucky to have such great relationships with our amazing advertisers and that getting together is always a celebration each month! We feel lucky to do what we love, and hope that you enjoy reading each issue of South County Magazine and Sorbet - a SoCal Senior Publication as much as we enjoy putting them together each month!


July 1

Now through January 11, 2020 in the Cathedral Cultural Center on Christ Cathedral campus. Enjoy this immersive experience of museum quality and near life size reproductions of the iconic masters’ frescos that adorn the Sistine Chapel. For times and tickets, visit

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July 4

San Clemente
622 Avenida Del Mar
At the Pier, 9 pm

Dana Point
Dana Point Harbor, 9 pm

Laguna Niguel
Over the lake at Laguna Niguel Regional Park
28241 La Paz Road

Laguna Niguel, 9 pm
Laguna Beach
Monument Peak at Heisler Park
375 Cliff Drive, 9 pm

Ladera Ranch
Founders Park
28275 Avendale Blvd.

Montage Laguna Beach Afternoon Tea

July 7

Weekend Afternoon Tea at Montage Laguna Beach.
30801 Coast Highway
Laguna Beach
The deliciousness and elegance of Afternoon Tea will be served every Saturday and Sunday starting at 2 p.m. in the newly refurbished Lobby Lounge overlooking the Pacific Ocean with live entertainment. For info: (949) 715-6420.

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July 14

Festival of the Arts Family Art Day
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach
12 pm – 3 pm
Family Art Day at the Festival of Arts is the most fun-filled, art-filled and enchantment-filled day of the entire summer for Orange County families!

July 14

Dana Point Concerts in the Park
Sea Terrace Park
33501 Niguel Road
3 pm – 4 pm: Pyromania: the Def Leppard Experience
4:30 pm - 6 pm: Aeromyth – The Ultimate Tribute to Aerosmith

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July 20 -21

San Clemente Ocean Festival
The Greatest Show on Surf
The San Clemente Ocean Festival is celebrating 43 years of “The Greatest Show on Surf”! Come see the thrilling competitions of many ironman water and land events, including the ever-popular dory boat races, 5K beach run, and one-mile ocean swim. Register early for these and other events, including the Kid’s Dolphin Dash beach run, ‘Groms Rule’ Surf Contest, NEW Pier Bowl Surf Contest & NEW Tandem Boogieboard Contest! For info:

July 21

Dana Point Concerts in the Park
Sea Terrace Park
33501 Niguel Road
3 pm – 4 pm: The Reflexx
4:30 pm - 6 pm: Freedom – a Tribute to George Michael and Wham

Starting with this - the May 2019 issue - we are introducing a new MONTHLY Calendar showcasing Destination Dining, Entertainment, Music, Farmer’s Markets, Special Events and More! We considered a traditional calendar format, but discovered upon polling our readership that they preferred more detailed information than a simple calendar listing could provide … so please enjoy our first installment! We are always looking for ways to improve and would love to hear your feedback!

If you have an upcoming event you’d like to showcase, please send the details and any imagery/graphic our way to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We hope you enjoy this new ongoing editorial department!

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Old Capistrano Certified Farmers Market. Historic Town Center Park at 31852 El Camino Real. Every Wednesday at 3 pm - rain or shine! Come down to our weekly Farmers Market that is 15 years strong. Check out local produce, hummus, peanuts, honey and other local vendors. Weekly from 3 pm - 7 pm rain or shine. For info:


Fiesta de Mayo Celebration. 1pm - 3pm at the Outlets at San Clemente - 101 West Avenida Vista Hermosa. The free afternoon fiesta will feature local Mariachis, Ballet Folklorico and family-friendly fun, and more! Info:

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta: Max Berg Plaza Park - 1100 Calle Puente in San Clemente. Celebrate the Hispanic Culture for an afternoon of LIVE entertainment, delicious food, activities for the children and fun with family, friends, and neighbors! For info:

Dana Point Farmers Market at La Plaza Park at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway & Golden Lantern every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. In addition to local, organic produce and unique products from Dana Point businesses, arts & crafts vendors join in the fun every 2nd Saturday of the month. For info: (949) 573-5033.

12th Annual Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation - Montage Laguna Beach featuring Australian Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone. Small bites and desserts will be prepared by some of the region’s top chefs, including host chefs Benjamin Martinek and Lee Smith of Studio; Xavier Solomon and Alexis Palacios of Montage Los Cabos; Eric Samaniego of Michael’s on Naples Ristorante; Bryant Taylor of Chianina Steakhouse; Brother Luck of Four by Brother Luck and Bryan Brown of Bourbon Steak, A Michael Mina Restaurant. All proceeds benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry. $250 general admission; $275 VIP admission. Info:

San Clemente Farmers Market. Come out and find the finest purveyors and farmers of local produce every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the 200th block of Avenida Del Mar - rain or shine! For info:

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Laguna Niguel Farmers Market. Every Sunday from 8 am to 12 pm. Organic fruit, vegetables, Kombucha, juice, meat and seafood, raw pet food, tropical trees, pure honey and more. Info:

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MAY 11
Mother’s Day Weekend Brunch - The Tea House on Los Rios in historic San Juan Capistrano. Traditional Mother’s Day High Tea (also on May 12th). Brunch seating 9 am; Lunch seatings at 11:30 am and 2:15 pm. Info:

MAY 12
Mother’s Day Brunch (multiple locations):

Ramos House Cafe - Los Rios Historic District in San Juan Capistrano. Down-home Southern-inspired New American cooking. Info:

Mar 25, 2019

Summer Camps



Daily classes for kids ages 4 to 13 in an authentic performing arts experience. The week-long camps are each guided by professionals and culminate in a student-centered production - complete with sets, costumes and lighting! Seven distinct week-long programs run from June 10th to August 16th. Weekly themes include Greatest Showmen, Is Mary Poppins Returning?, Harry Potter, Aladdin’s Magic Lamp and Annie - Rags to Riches. Sibling and Multi-Camp discount options available.

For info, visit

camp discoveryCAMP DISCOVERY 2019

Exciting coding challenges, wild animal discoveries and science wonders await your kids this summer at Discovery Cube’s hands-on camps! We offer several different programs that give kids of all ages the chance to investigate science through fun, one-of-a-kind experiences.

Visit our website for camp details and registration at


002summer campCAMP JAMES

Orange County Tradition for 27 years and located near the scenic Back Bay at Newport Dunes in Newport Beach. Awarded “Best Day Camp” for 2013 by ParentingOC Magazine. Offering ages 4-17 adventures & happy memories: archery, Stand-up-paddleboards, STEM, watersports, zip line, drama, climbing wall, inflatable water park, mini-golf, laser-tag, dance, karate, fishing, crafts. Children love our caring award winning staff, theme weeks, variety of activities, and crazy special events. Parents love our flexible scheduling, outstanding reputation, extended hours, & that we are ACA Accredited.

Camp Starts June 23 and ends August 29, 2014. Go to or call (949)729-1098 for more info. Open House Dates: March 23(11 a.m.–2 p.m.), April 8 (4-6:30p.m.), April 26 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)


In Capistrano Acting Academy Summer Theatre Camp, experience the fun of playing pretend…but in a real play. Each Monday is a new theme so every week you become a new character! A combination of theatre games, rehearsals, costume fittings and Improv activities has you performing in a real theatre with music, stage lights and your friends and family in the audience by 2 PM Friday afternoon! The director of our youth division, Christine Dickinson, is an Accredited Teacher. 7 weeks – limited enrollment.

Hours 9AM – 2PM (Optional Preshow hour 8AM). Camino Real Playhouse is located at 31776 El Camino Real in San Juan Capistrano. Register: For info, call (949) 489-8082.

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Beatrix Potter Spring Camp
5 - 10 years

A special multi-age camp to share the store of Beatrix Potter’s life and achievements. Participants will enjoy a special picnic, packed with homemade goodies and all will take home a charming Peter Rabbit Reader’s Theater. Yummy scones and a bunny salad await you! Instructor: Tracey Frank Pringle.

34085 PCH, Suite 105, Dana Point.




If you are a parent of a kid (grades 5, 6, 7 or 8) who is interested in business or wants to be in business, then the Kid Entrepreneur Academy (KEA) summer day camp is an essential learning activity. KEA helps kids develop the business skills that will make them smart, savvy and successful in all areas of their lives. Kids are naturally creative, have amazing ideas, and are born risk-takers; all positive traits for creating successful businesses. At the Kid Entrepreneur Academy, we share skills and practical knowledge to facilitate your child’s business journey. Enroll your child in KEA and they will enjoy an interactive one-week business program of learning the principles of entrepreneurship and starting and running their own real-world business. KEA students also participate in a business plan competition. For high school students, we offer a Teen Entrepreneur Academy.


Established in 2011, the Teen Entrepreneur Academy (TEA) is a hands-on, learn-by-doing, one-week residential business entrepreneurship start-up summer camp for high school students. It is held annually in July at Concordia University in Irvine, California, USA. TEA teaches high school students real-world entrepreneurship, best business practices, principles of free enterprise and “how to” start and launch their own business. Teenagers (TeenPreneurs), working in groups of 3-to-4, work as entrepreneurs by preparing start-up business plans for their own real businesses. The team with the best start-up business plan wins $1,500 in the entrepreneurship business plan competition sponsored by Citi and held the last day of the summer camp academy.


This camp is held in our state-of-the-art tumbling room with trampolines, silks, aerial hoops, tumbling mats and other equipment to help students focus on tumbling and aerial skills. Students will work on handstands, cartwheels, backbends, splits, silks, rope climbing and other basic tumbling fundamentals. T-shirts and crafts included.

SCC Laguna Niguel Studio is located at 27652 Camino Capistrano. For info, call (949) 367-0099.


An adorable camp that introduces students to the lead characters and stories of our favorite fairy tales. Students will have daily ballet class and should wear leotard, tights, and ballet shoes. Crowns, shirts, and crafts included. Costumes will be provided for end of camp showcase.

SCC San Clemente Studio is located at 400 Camino De Estrella -C. For info, call (949) 367-0099.

Crest CMYK finalSummer at St. Margaret’s

31641 La Novia, San Juan Capistrano
949-661-0108 /

Be inspired, explore interests and have fun this summer at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. Camps are open to all students preschool through grade 8. Weekly camps include outdoor adventures, athletic skills and play, performing arts, academic exploration in science, engineering, computer science and humanities. Led by St. Margaret’s renowned teachers and coaches on our beautiful 22-acre campus in a nurturing and small-group environment. Some outdoor camps take place at local beaches and off-campus locations.

Registration open now! For more information, visit

Summer Stratford 2019EEE HeadlineLogo Square


Explore...Excel...Engage...Discover Summer@Stratford! Stratford School offers an innovative and enriching summer camp experience for students from Preschool through 8th Grade (2.5 –14 years old). Younger campers - Preschool – Kindergarten - learn, explore, and engage in a combination of hands-on learning projects and interactive play. For the Elementary age group, each two-week camp session is built around a project-based learning theme, where students collaborate to tackle a real-world problem by utilizing cross-disciplinary academic principles and new concepts in a fun and engaging way. At the Middle School level, individual subject-based enrichment classes are offered and tailored for each grade level.

For more information go to

volleyball sport photoTstreet Volleyball Club

Ranked as the #1 Volleyball Club in Orange County Tstreet is centrally located in Irvine Spectrum Area Tstreet offers a full range of position specific, general skills, sand camps and clinics throughout the summer. Training is open to boys and girls and our program caters to experienced as well as introductory level athletes. Last summer, the improvement of our inexperienced ‘Day Campers’ was phenomenal.Participants went from no volleyball experience to making school teams and earning roster spots on high-level club teams. Owned by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist coach and player, Troy Tanner brings his philosophy of “achieving one’s highest potential” to the club. Proper movement patterns & mechanics, repetitions, feedback and fun are emphasized in our state of the art gym.

Sign up online:

By Olympians for Safer Swimmers!

When running through the list of activities we wanted to introduce to our then-little ones as they grew, my husband and I placed water safety and swimming at the top of our list for our son and daughter – way above dance class, soccer practice and piano lessons. So, when we found Evolution Swim in Mission Viejo several years ago, we were hooked. Swimming lessons, particularly for small children, aren’t just for mastering strokes with a goal of winning future swim meets. Learning to swim is a choice that is both smart and safe.

Water is all around us. Pools, spas, rivers, lakes and the ocean can be aquatic playgrounds, or they can be potentially dangerous. Beyond the obvious safety reasons, learning to swim can promote health and wellness for people of all ages, according to Felipe Delgado, founder of the Mission Viejo-based Evolution Swim Academy.

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Research is on his side. According to a study from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia, children who learned to swim at an early age were ahead of their peers in many developmental milestones, including oral expression, literacy, math and more. Considering swimming’s mental and physical benefits, it’s no wonder parents are increasingly interested in enrolling their children in swimming lessons early.

So what makes Evolution Swim Academy so successful? “Living the core values at Evolution Swim Academy is crucial to the success of our team members, clients and overall wellbeing of the company,” says Felipe. “Our team members go through extensive training before participating in lessons and demonstrating these five core values is part of the success that our team members must demonstrate before moving forward in the hiring process. These core values are centered on bringing value to our clients, bringing energy, passion and always engage, to be fun a little weird, promote teamwork and always be honest.”

Felipe adds that “At Evolution Swim Academy, learn-to-swim is more about the “experience” than just swim lessons. Our state-of-the-art swim center in Mission Viejo is the premier safety swim lesson location in Orange County. Our center offers our clients the ability to watch swim lessons from various vantage points throughout the center. Our clients have access to a warm, clean temperature-controlled pool, changing rooms and a playroom to entertain younger siblings.”

Olympic Partners

Swimming has been a part of Felipe’s life since he was very young. Growing up, his parents moved to Mission Viejo so that he and his brothers could swim for a world-renowned swim program. The move paid off. Through hard work and sacrifice, Felipe earned a sports scholarship to Arizona State University where he had the honor of being recognized as a 15x All-American. Internationally, he competed in multiple world championship swim meets and participated in 2 Olympic Games (Atlanta & Sydney).

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“During my tenure as a competitive swimmer, I learned the valuable skills that I am now able to share with the children enrolled in the learn-to-swim curriculum,” he says. “Additional research and practice have yielded the most effective teaching practices so that children can learn quickly and effectively. I am committed to your child’s success!”

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Evolution Swim’s core values are shared by all staff members and Olympic Partners, including Aaron Peirsol (2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games), Rebecca Soni (2008 and 2012 Olympic Games), Gabe Woodard (2004 Olympic Games) and Larsen Jensen, a decorated Navy SEAL and Olympian (2004 and 2008).

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Personal perspective

My kids have now graduated out of Evolution Swim Academy, and I can attest to the program’s merits personally as they both swim like fish. Our son, in particular, was so enthralled with the program that he continued to participate in the “Intro to Gators,” non-competetive swim team where he perfected all four strokes: the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

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For Orange County parents who are interested in training budding Olympians – or who are just looking for swim instruction for their own children – Evolution Swim Academy offers classes for every skill level, ranging from Parent & Me classes and swim lessons to Gators Swim Club, a competitive swim team that is inclusive of all swim and competition levels.

Swim school brings everything together in a single comprehensive indoor complex. Centered around a 20-meter pool, the location features a party room available for rental that has been a huge hit for birthday parties as well as changing and shower areas with stalls and changing tables for small children.

Thankfully, my children love the water. Whether that is a genetic thing or because I put them in swimming lessons before they could walk – the jury is still out. What I do know, however, is that they are safe both in and out of the water and that makes everything more fun.

unnamed33Connect with Felipe, by visiting Evolution Swim Academy located at 23854 Via Fabricante in Mission Viejo, call (949) 388-4545 or visit

Belmont Village Senior Living Brings Top of the Line Design and Programs; First in Orange County

Building a Belmont Village community in Orange County has long been at the top of company Founder and CEO Patricia Will’s wish list. This February, that wish becomes reality with the opening of Belmont’s 29th community – its 13th in California – at 300 Freedom Lane in Aliso Viejo. The ribbon cutting takes place at Belmont Village Aliso Viejo Saturday, February 9, during a two-day Open House celebration that extends through Sunday, February 10, from noon to 4:00 pm each day. Guests will enjoy entertainment and refreshments, along with tours of the area’s newest senior living community. Both events are open to the public but RSVPs are requested at 949-643-1050. Complimentary valet parking will be available.

Founded in 1997, Belmont Village is known for its distinctive design, innovative programs and high operating standards. The Aliso Viejo community features breathtaking views of Saddleback Valley, in close proximity to Aliso Viejo Town Center and an array of other community facilities. The location was selected to make it easy for residents to continue to enjoy an active lifestyle and maintain valuable lifelong connections while starting this new chapter in their lives.

“When we choose our Belmont Village sites, we give a lot of thought to our future residents and the neighborhood,” said Will. “Many of the people who will make their home with us chose this community and Orange County as their preferred place to live decades ago. We want to create a place that allows residents to maintain the local connections they’ve built, keep daily contact with family members and lead purposeful lives. Our community and team provide added support and security, which gives peace of mind and a measure of independence.”

Belmont Village staff foster a “community-within-a-community” environment within the building through a robust schedule of programs, activities and service projects of specific interest to residents. Like other Belmont communities, the building will also serve as a neighborhood hub in hosting meetings for local organizations and educational and social events for the community.

Belmont Village Aliso Viejo, a Mediterranean-style three-story building, will be licensed as a Residential Care Facility that houses 149 private residences for Assisted Living and Memory Care. A leader in developing university-led, research-based programs, Belmont Village Aliso Viejo offers residents a range of programs to support a Whole Brain Fitness lifestyle that are tailored to their interests and needs.

According to Will, “We can build a wonderful building with warm ambience and innovative programs, provide well-trained staff who are both supportive and encouraging, but ultimately, it’s our residents who shape our buildings and turn them into the communities they become.”

For residents who are experiencing some cognitive decline, Belmont Village has pioneered a comprehensive therapeutic program to specifically address the needs and abilities of residents with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and early stage memory loss. Circle of Friends® provides 7-day-a-week, evidence-based group activities led by a dedicated, specially trained staff. The Circle of Friends® program was honored with the 2016 Best of the Best Memory Care Award at the 2016 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference and a George Mason University Healthcare Quality Improvement Award in 2011.

The building has been designed by Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh Architects and the general contractor is W.E. O’Neil. In addition to the beautiful views, residents will enjoy expansive common spaces indoors and out, including a heated salt-water pool. Services include chef-prepared meals, housekeeping and transportation services, a professionally managed fitness center for wellness programs and therapy services, enrichment and social activities, and support from a well-trained staff, including a licensed nurse on-site 24/7. Apartment selections include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom plans with a monthly fee structure - no large buy-in or long-term commitment required for move-in. To schedule a tour or for more information, please call 949-643-1050 or visit

I’ve had one recurring dream my entire life. It started when I was a teenager and in the dream I’m tuning the motor of a Porsche 911 Carrera. I can trace the root of my obsession with cars to my time in high school auto shop.

I loved to tinker as a teen, and into my twenties, being beneath the hood was what got me fired up. Over the years, I’ve worked on more old cars that I can count (including many that would be considered classics today). Perhaps most of them the polar opposite of the Porsche’s sleek lines and distinct-from-a-distance engine sounds, but rare is rare. Some kids like sports. For me, the real game was in a garage.

I used to think that the best I could hope for was to befriend benevolent Ferrari, McLaren or Audi R8 owners who were amenable to occasionally tossing the keys my way. But I can almost guarantee that they wouldn’t appreciate me driving their performance vehicles the way I was recently able to experience at Exotics Racing in Los Angeles.

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My wife knows how much I love cars so for Christmas, I was gifted with five exhilarating laps behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Huracan. Giving folks a taste of what track driving is all about is one thing: Exotics is entirely another. Here you are able to race the supercar of your dreams on a closed track with a professional driver in the passenger seat encouraging you to push the car to its limits (with appropriate safety measures taken, of course). At first, I was just happy to be behind the wheel, but after the third lap, my fear of wrecking this incredible machine began to fade.

Since 2009, Exotics has been pumping its customers full of adrenaline on the track, by taking the wheel of one incredible machine or another, and pushing performance to its outside limits.

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Exotic’s professionally designed racetrack offers the best straights and double apexes over its 1.2 mile length. Many auto enthusiasts, myself included, have taken the risk on open stretches of highway and country roads a time or two, pushing the pedal down a little too far, watching for the red and blue lights as highway patrol catches on. Here, you can rip around the same curve over and over without fear of a ticket or getting arrested. And there is a team of incredible professional instructors to guide you through the true capacity of the cars, as well as the basics you thought you learned in Mario Kart, but never actually tested out on paved road. In fact, these professionals aren’t there to rein you in or hold you back in any way … just the opposite. They want you to experience the thrill of the ride to full effect. Understeer, oversteer, progressive throttle. What 640 horsepower really feels like.

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The largest fleet of exotic supercars awaits: from Italy, you’ve got Ferrari and Lamborghini - from Britain, the Aston Martin, and the cream of Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan’s crop as well. First in safety and service in the industry, Exotics Racing is the original supercar experience, designed to keep you dreaming about the drive far beyond your last lap on the track. Let’s be honest, we all have that vision of some valet accidentally tossing over the keys to a Ferrari 458 Italia after dinner out one night, but the chances of that actually happening are about as good as my first 911 winning a head-to-head with its 2019 counterpart. Plus, just handing over the keys like that is asking for trouble. The team of professional at Exotics take each driver through safety instruction, and then a side-by-side ride along.

Choose from a single ride, multi-car packages, even a 3-person drifting ride along, where the G-forces stack up. After inspecting all of the gorgeous marvels of automotive engineering on hand and sliding behind the wheel of the bright green Lamborghini Huracan I was going to drive, my 11-year-old son expressed enthusiasm (much to his father’s delight) about the opportunity to ride along when Formula Drift Driver Hiro Sumida would drift the Dodge Challenger Hellcat through two teeth-clenching, adrenaline pumping laps that would reach speeds in excess of 110 miles an hour and burn some serious rubber.

I haven’t had that dream in the weeks since my Exotics Racing experience. Perhaps because I now know I can get my “fix” anytime the need for speed strikes. I can still smell the garage, and the tire rubber and oil and grease. The feel of the towel in my hand and hard wax underneath my fingernails. But there is just something so satisfying about whipping around a track at close to top speed in one of the world’s finest supercars, or going 0-60 in three seconds flat. Having said that, I’m certain our experience will inspire recurring dreams for my son and I for years to come.

Exotics Racing is located at 9300 Cherry Avenue in Fontana (they also operate a second location in Las Vegas).
For information, call (909) 201-7679 or visit

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Samueli Theater

The Takács Quartet returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts on February 28, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. in Samueli Theater. The ensemble, considered to be one of the world’s greatest string quartets, welcomed second violinist Harumi Rhodes earlier this year following the retirement of founding member Kàroly Schranz. Quartet members include Edward Dusinberre and Harumi Rhodes, violins; Geraldine Walther, viola; and Andràs Fejér, cello.

The Takács Quartet, now entering its forty-fourth season, is renowned for the vitality of its interpretations. The New York Times recently lauded the ensemble for “revealing the familiar as unfamiliar, making the most traditional of works feel radical once more”, and the Financial Times described a recent concert at the Wigmore Hall: “Even in the most fiendish repertoire these players show no fear, injecting the music with a heady sense of freedom. At the same time, though, there is an uncompromising attention to detail: neither a note nor a bow-hair is out of place.”

Single tickets start at $39 and are available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

At Stratford School, high expectations lead to extraordinary results. Our advanced, innovative, and intentionally balanced curriculum inspires, challenges, and nurtures the minds and hearts of every student. It also produces impressive results.

Stratford students outscore independent school students, are recognized for academic achievement, and contribute to their communities.

Our curriculum is created in a thoughtful and deliberate way to incite curiosity, nurture exploration, and encourage inquiry. Students develop a love of learning, study above grade level, and prepare themselves for the future.

We infuse our broad liberal arts curriculum with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). We combine traditional teaching styles with 21st century learning principles. We integrate technology with careful intention. We provide a variety of extracurricular pursuits, personal development activities, physical education, and play time. Our passionate teachers cultivate a physically and emotionally secure classroom environment. And we both welcome and listen to the feedback of our students’ parents.

The result is a rich spectrum of hands-on learning opportunities — provided in an energized classroom atmosphere where students are mentally focused and highly engaged — that enable students to learn, question, collaborate, and develop the diverse skills and talents they need to compete in today’s world.

Harnessing the collective power of over 6,000 students, 800 teachers, 100 administrators, and 300 classrooms, Stratford School is able to explore and rapidly implement new teaching practices to achieve our ultimate goal of preparing students to become the next generation of creative problem solvers, imaginative innovators, and confident, insightful leaders.

A study conducted by Google examined the relationship between employee hiring, promotion, firing, and a STEM background. Researchers wanted to investigate what the relationship between technology jobs and STEAM education was.

What the study concluded was that the top eight qualities that define whether someone is successful in their career, across all industries, was not only about a STEM instructional background. The top eight skills revolved around what they termed “soft skills,” which included coaching, communication skills and listening capability, empathy, and support.

Clearly, incorporating soft skills into your child’s education is essential to ensure they’re set up for success in the future. Below, we discuss soft skills and how a STEM/STEAM education helps foster this vital set of skills.

What are soft skills?

A firm grasp of soft skills gives the growing mind a foundation for success. Soft skills are things like:

  • check Communication: Written, listening, verbal, body language, and business etiquette
  • check Strategies: Problem-solving skills, critical thinking, the ability to use information appropriately, creativity, and decision-making skills
  • check Self-management: Emotional intelligence, time management, professionalism, being predictable, integrity, persistence, and attitude
  • check Teamwork: Collaboration and empathy
  • check Leadership: Conflict resolution, the ability to delegate effectively, and collaboration

Soft skills, essentially, are the social skills that a person learns to communicate effectively at school and in the workplace, show empathy to others, and to work independently as well as alongside others.

Although none of the above skills are a focus onto themselves in schools, the atmosphere of any STEM/STEAM instruction is rooted in learning essential soft skills through collaborative, hands-on projects.

Why should your child learn soft skills?

Outside of the study by Google highlighting the importance of soft skills in the workplace, your child’s academic career will also benefit due to soft skills. Being able to effectively communicate and work with others will ensure your child can complete group projects to the fullest of their ability.

Soft skills are learned through time and can be applied to every project or job that your child has, making them valuable even if they change career paths. From helping them shine in an interview to making them an essential member of a team, having a foundation of soft skills means your child is set up for success.

How are soft skills represented in a STEM/STEAM curriculum?

STEM focuses not just on science, technology, engineering, and math, but also on the child’s entire learning process, including the development of soft skills. Each class is designed to allow children to communicate their thoughts, be creative, and explore new concepts in teams.

Unlike traditional education, a STEM education fosters and requires collaboration and groupthink at every level, which allows children to ready themselves for a workplace where soft skills like leadership and teamwork are integral.

Additionally, when tackling a STEM/STEAM project, students are required to work towards a solution using a range of skills and creativity. Through these projects, your child is learning independent work, self-management, out-of-the-box thinking, and persistence.

STEM education helps your child to develop skills in technology and science, while also focusing on the soft skills in teamwork and self-management. As a result, your child graduates well-prepared to tackle the complex demands of the modern workforce and outshine the competition.

For more information about how Stratford School teaches soft skills to set your child up for success, schedule a tour at your local school today at