SC Mag

SC Mag

I wanted to share my latest family photo to remind us all of what is important, our family and health. I hope all of you are staying strong physically and mentally during this time.

The recent economic challenges and governmental changes remind me why I have a practice that is centered on taxation, investments and financial well-being.

Access to information is easily available…however, it takes a professional with experience to interpret, direct and provide perspective on these changes to provide clarity, calmness and a path to success.
Hopefully, you find my articles of benefit. Here are some current thoughts on a variety of topics.

  1. If you are a business owner or sole proprietor, you can apply for a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. Although the first pot of money has already been committed, I anticipate the SBA Loan Administration will provide future borrowing opportunities. We can prepare your loan applications and guide you through the constantly updated changes in this loan program.
  2. Once you receive your PPP loan amount, pay careful attention to the eight weeks after receipt so you can take the necessary steps for your loan to be partially or fully tax-free and non-reimbursable. More guidance on how to do this will be forthcoming.
  3. If you are forced to access your IRA or pension account, new rules are in place so you can avoid the IRS 10% premature penalty if you are under age 59.5 as a Coronavirus Related Distribution. Pension plan loans have now been increased from a maximum of $50,000 up to the lesser of $100,000 or your plan balance. The 3 year loan payment schedule starts on the day after the distribution was received.
  4. For Sole Proprietors and Business Owners: Contact us to see if we can help you access these pension loans by transferring your IRA accounts into a newly created pension plan account. Remember, a loan might be more beneficial than a taxable IRA distribution especially since you are paying the interest into your own pension account.
  5. Visit the IRS website at to click on “Get Coronavirus Tax Relief”. Get answers to the Economic Impact Payments ($1,200 for adults and $500 for children) including a link to “Check your payment status”.
  6. Use this idle time to pull your tax information and get it to your CPA who is still hard at work. There are many tax planning opportunities available with the recent tax changes and your CPA can only plan when he/she has your information.
  7. Consider funding tax-deductible IRA and pension contributions for tax year 2019 when you are in a higher tax bracket. You can always distribute these funds via a taxable distribution or a loan at a lower tax bracket, if applicable, in tax year 2020. IRA and H.S.A. contributions must be made by July 15th and pension contributions by the extended deadline for the return.
  8. Individuals with a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from their IRA or pension account can skip the distribution for tax year 2020. Additionally, new rules allow individuals who have already taken out their 2020 RMD to roll the money back into the account within 60 days of the distribution to eliminate the taxable event and allow your money a chance to rebound from the recent market decline. If the distribution was made April 1st or later, you now have until July 15th to roll your money back.
  9. The IRS recently decreased the time frame you can stretch out income recognition out of your IRA account. This change, coupled with the strong prospects of increasing tax rates in the future, can alter your tax planning. Consideration should be given to purchasing life insurance to cover the increased tax burden being passed down to future generations.

CALL NOW OR GO ONLINE TO SCHEDULE YOUR TAX Preparation or Planning APPOINTMENT AT (949) 248-9815, Ext. 1.

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Securities and advisory services offered through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. PTWM and IFG are unaffiliated entities. Peter D. Prescott CA Insurance License #0733213.

For general informational purposes only. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualize tax advice. Please note that individual situations can vary.

Summer is upon us! Like many parents, you may be wondering if this time off from school should be spent on family vacations, planned activities at home, or summer camp. While family time spent together is extremely valuable, summer camp also offers many benefits that kids don’t necessarily get at school. The summer camp experience gives kids the opportunity to improve their “soft skills” and hard skills, meet and befriend new peers, and develop new interests. If you’re on the fence about sending your child to summer camp, here are a few things you need to know.

Kids break out of their school labels

Kids tend to get branded with labels in school: nerdy, athletic, popular, loud and funny, quiet and shy. By going to camp with different peers, your child has a chance to break out of their supposed categorization. They might feel less pressure to conform to their school label. And they’ll remember that who they are at school isn’t necessarily who they have to be all the time. It’s refreshing.

Kids can explore existing interests and develop new ones

One of the best things about summer camps is that there are so many of them that offer unique activities. There are over 14,000 day and resident camps in the United States, and they continuously adapt to the evolving interests of campers. Most camps offer traditional outdoors activities like recreational swimming and camping skills. New programs that have been introduced recently include adventure camps or programs, college planning, health and wellness, and more. If your child is interested in STEM hobbies like coding or robotics, going to a camp that specializes in these activities allows them to pursue their interests in a new setting. They’ll also encounter new ones at camp that they may not have considered before, like horseback riding or rock climbing.

Summer camp can help prevent summer learning loss

Summer learning loss, “summer brain drain,” or “the summer slide” is real: many students lose two to three months of reading and math skills during summer break. There are a few ways to prevent summer learning loss, and one of them is attending summer camp. Summer camp pulls double duty, not only keeping kids mentally stimulated, but physically active as well. There’s a myth that campers attending STEM camps or tech camps stay indoors and on a computer all day, but that’s an old stereotype. A good summer camp will provide kids with a well-balanced variety of activities, both mental and physical.

Camp teaches skills like independence and responsibility

Kids encounter the ultimate test of independence when going to camp: being away from their parents. They make small decisions for themselves: what to eat, what activities to do in their free time, who to talk to if they have a question or problem, and so on. These new experiences can be hard, but they’re ultimately worth it because of the boost in self-esteem and confidence.

In addition, camp can teach kids many other essential life skills: teamwork from working on projects, respect, and openness when meeting new peers, and resilience from navigating something new on their own.

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Kids can make lifelong friends with other campers

In a study by the American Camp Association, an overwhelming number of campers said positive things about their camp experiences with other kids. A whopping 96% of campers said camp helped them make new friends, and 93% said camp helped them get to know kids who were different from themselves. Kids can bond over living together at resident camps or participating in the same hobbies at day camps. Kids who go to the same school may become friends out of proximity, but kids who become friends at camp have deeper connections rooted in similar interests.

Explore Stratford’s summer camps

Sending your child to summer camp clearly benefits them, and it benefits parents, too. Giving kids time away from their home, family, and belongings can help them appreciate what they have when they return. In addition, spending time away from each other can be revitalizing for both kids and parents. If you are looking for a STEM/STEAM summer camp that offers an enriching experience, take a look at Summer@Stratford. Stratford School’s summer camps tailor activities to each age group, providing campers with hands-on learning projects and real-world problems to tackle in a fun way.

By Anthony Cupo

What Parents Need to Know When Preparing Their Children for Camp

In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness on the need to expose children to camping activities. Exposing children to camps increases their sense of self-reliance, ambition, adventure, optimism, and self-esteem. Camps offer unique opportunities that enable children with varying abilities to distance themselves from daily stressors.

Such a favorable environment enables children to explore their individuality. Gaining in-depth insights about themselves increases their sense of autonomy and responsibility. Children often spend most of their formative years in the same neighborhoods, reducing the diversity of their daily interactions. Camps provide children with a suitable platform for forming bonds and interacting with new peers. Due to the intricate nature of children, parents should prepare for their camp in a systematic manner.

When preparing their children for camp, parents need to know about a number of preparations. These include the need to involve the children during formulation of decisions, safety measures, sharing rules, as well as talking about the formation of new friendships.

Involvement of Children in Formulation of Decisions

To enhance the efficacy of the camping experience, parents should involve their children in essential decisions. Parents should inform their children about camp. Parents should gather in-depth insights of various types of camps in order to determine their children’s eligibility. Parent have discussions about camp assessments with your children. Adoption of this strategy helps in calming fears about camp. Parents should seek their children’s opinion in relation to the camping activities. Establish an interactive environment that allows children to raise pertinent questions in relation to camp activities. Children may experience high levels of anxiety when it comes to camp. Addressing these fears and anxieties beforehand will enable children to assume active roles during camp. Parents should role play various camp activities with their children. Role-playing is essential because it familiarizes the child with the anticipated conditions and activities of camp. During discussions, parents should encourage their children to form goals that will boost the relevance of their stay at camp.

Safety Measures and Dietary Habits

Before enrolling their children to camps, parents need to know about the available safety measures and dietary accommodations. Parents should gather in-depth insights on whether the camps have safety features and measures that align with their children’s unique needs. The camp should have a license of practice from the relevant authorities. Parents have a key role of ensuring that their children undergo through physical examinations to determine their ability to participate in diverse activities during camp. Parents should ensure that camps have appropriate safety measures that protect children from engaging in negative activities such as drug use, violence, and bullying. Parents should coordinate with the camp organizers to discuss they ways they protect the children. Parents should speak with their children on the importance of protecting themselves. Such healthy discussions between parents, children, and camp organizers increase the efficacy of the camping activities. In addition to gathering insights of the available safety measures at camps, parents should also consider the dietary accommodations. Some children may require well-prepared and nutritious diets in order to enhance their wellbeing. Parents should ensure that the diet at camp does not increase their children’s susceptibility to contracting lifestyle ailments such as diabetes and obesity.

Sharing Rules

Parents should enlighten their children on sharing best practices. With so many new people around many infectious ailments are likely to spread within camp due to sharing of personal items. Sharing personal items such as handkerchiefs, clothes, and towels is likely to enhance the spread of lice and skin diseases. Children should avoid sharing personal items such as toothbrushes, combs, and earrings. Sharing of make-up brushes and wipes is likely to cause eye infections. It is important to enlighten children on the adverse effects of sharing manicure tools and nail polish. These tools are likely to spread germs that may cause toe and finger infections. Children should, however, be encouraged to share other items such as toys, books, and painting brushes.

Formation of New Friendships

Forming friendships is a vital part of children’s emotional and social development. Friends increase a child’s ability to develop high self-esteem, altruism, self-confidence, and social competence. Friendships among children helps develop their own identity as well as learn about themselves. Friends help to reduce camp stress and help navigate developmental experiences. Parents should also consider the camp’s ability to enable the children to form new friendships. It is important to consider the child’s social skills. Parent should inform the camp organizers of any existing challenges in their children’s communication abilities and social skills. In order to prepare children for the camping experience, parents should help them understand the importance of sharing, respecting the feelings of others, and autonomy. In addition, parents should increase their children’s awareness on how friendships work. During preparation for the camping exercise, parents should teach their children about conversation breakers and role play conversations they will engage in at camp. Boosting the children’s confidence will calm their fears and increase their ability to relate with others in a suitable manner.

Camps offer unique opportunities that enable children to form collaborative relationships with their peers from diverse backgrounds. Camps equip children with skills that enable them to cope with daily stressors. In order to enhance their children’s camping activities, parents should involve children in the derivation of essential decisions that relate to camping for the best outcome.

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Anthony Cupo is a trained mindfulness facilitator (TMF) from the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is a co-owner of Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC and has been meditating for over 30 years.

By Mark Freedkin, Southern California Regional Director, theCoderSchool

With technology moving faster than any time in human history, it’s becoming increasingly important to expose and encourage our next generation to learn the fundamentals of coding.

Coding for kids is becoming a standard offering at many public schools, with more advanced teachings available at an increasing number of private after-school businesses.

Most offerings for learning to code can be divided into three categories:

Curriculum Driven – by far the most common style, refers to the traditional pre-defined or static curriculum teaching model, typically in a many-to-one ratio.

Software Driven – uses a software system to teach kids, where students are exposed to concepts via online guidance and quizzes.

Coach Driven – revolves around a direct mentor-mentee relationship, where students are taught in a more custom, immersion style.


While Curriculum and Software Driven styles have an advantage of scalability and repeatability, Coach Driven instead focuses on a more custom and enhanced experience for the student.

In a Coach Driven format, learning concepts in a curriculum course isn’t the focus. Rather, the focus is simply to create custom apps, demo the apps, and repeat (at a slightly higher difficulty level). By doing so, students learn the concepts required to create apps by the act of coding them, and are given time goals by setting demo-day deadlines.

Because this format requires a very small student-to-teacher ratio (typically 2:1 or better), it allows Code Coaches® to individualize the teaching by creating apps that interest and engage the student, at the appropriate difficulty level.

theCoderSchool uses Code Coaches® to guide each student to progress and grow their own unique Coder Tree®. With roots as fundamental concepts, the trunk as base coding, and the branches as advanced technologies, students create apps in an immersion style while learning concepts that grow their own tree. Like real trees, each student is unique and grows in a unique way. Like real trees, more practice in roots is required to grow a larger trunk, and more practice in the trunk is required to grow bigger branches.

Today, kids and parents alike have many choices for learning to code. Remember that whether Curriculum, Software, or Coach Driven, most important of all is that our next generation of kids is prepared for the coming onslaught of technology. Register online for a FREE 30-minute sample lesson.

The Coder School - Irvine
14200 Culver Drive, Suite 200
Irvine, CA 926204
(949) 655-0388
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The Coder School - Mission Viejo
27660 Marguerite Parkway, Suite G
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
(949) 525-9332
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Feb 26, 2020

CAMPS Guide 2020


camp jamesOrange 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.)


Capistrano Acting AcademyIn 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, Ryan Fredericks, is an Accredited Teacher. 7 weeks – limited enrollment. Hours 9AM – 2PM (Optional Preshow hour 8AM) + Encore Camp from 2 PM - 5 PM. Camino Real Playhouse is located at 31776 El Camino Real in San Juan Capistrano. Register: For info, call (949) 489-8082.


CUI SOBEThe 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 Irvine. 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 held the last day of the summer camp academy. For info:


Evolution Sports Academy includes daily exposure to archery, soccer, volleyball, basketball, arts & crafts, and fun pool activities including introductory swimming, water polo, and fun relay races. We have full & half-day options as well as drop-in rates for 2-days per week or more. We offer lunch for purchase and a set lunch menu for each day as well as extended camp hours for families needing to drop-off before 8:30 am and pick up after 4:30 pm. Info: evolution


JP's Surf Camp offers children through adult the opportunity to learn how to surf or better their surfing ability in a small group environment. Small group instruction provides students with more individual attention and a safer environment in which to learn surfing. Emphasis is on ocean awareness, surfing instruction and technique, surfing etiquette, wave selection and judgment, proper surfing equipment and overall physical fitness. Soft surfboards are used for instruction. Rash guards are provided. Requirements: Classes are offered for those ages 6 years to adult. Each surfer needs to be able to swim the length of a swimming pool with confidence. Intermediate and Advanced Surfing: For those intermediate to advanced surfers, we provide hard surfboards and instruction to meet their level and improve their surfing experience. Info:


PastedGraphic 8At the Julie Foudy Soccer Camp we aim to expose as many players as possible to our great role models and coaches. We have chosen a curriculum that integrates a mixed-ability teaching approach. Even though we have some staff members that have played at the very highest level in women's soccer, we have broken down their training regimen into workable modules for all ages and abilities. Summer 2020 dates: July 13 - 16, 9am - 12pm. Location: The “Potocki Center” 27301 La Paz in Mission Viejo. Info:


(Ages 8 -11)

South Coast Conservatory Logo BlackCyanThis 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. June 8 - 12; July 6 - 10; August 3 - 7. For info, call (949) 367-0099.


logoStorymakery’s Young Author Spring and Summer Camps are the first creative writing camps that not only teaches the foundation of plot development, but also allows kids to publish their own book series. Our program extends children’s creativity, writing, self-expression & cognitive thinking with a unique approach. Camps are 5 days long.


Explore...Excel...Engage...Discover Summer@Stratford!

SummerStratford 2019EEE HeadlineLogo SquareStratford 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


Summer Social Skills Camp

TCS logoChildren diagnosed with ADHD, ASD or experiencing related challenges and their siblings. Campers ages 8 - 11 years old. Social Skills • Sports • Literature to Life • Drama • Art • Science Projects • Nature Trail Walks • Boomers and More! A summer enrichment program supported by licensed clinical professionals, including behavior specialists, licensed clinical social workers and clinical psychologists. Session 1: July 6 - July 24, 9 am - 1 pm. Session 2: July 27 - August 14, 9 am - 1 pm. Drop off between 8:15 am - 9 am. For info: (949) 812-6222 or

logohoriz blacktagbrightIn addition to our regular year-round after-school coding lessons, theCoderSchool also offers a variety of Summer Camps covering different subjects and programming languages. Each of our week-long summer camps are Monday-Friday. Students can bring their own sack lunches and water bottles and we'll take care of the rest! Students code throughout the week then demonstrate their creations to parents and families at the end of the last day. With school locations in Irvine, Mission Viejo, Yorba Linda, Cerritos/La Palma, and soon in Huntington Beach, there’s no better way to keep your kids' brains active this summer. And we're offering an "Early-Bird" discount of $100 off if you register early. These camps fill-up quickly, so be sure to sign up now! For info: Mission Viejo:; Irvine:


volleyball sport photoRanked 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 Ryan Burris, Chief Communications Officer, Capistrano Unified School District

There were tables with all manner of gears and sprockets, Rubik’s cubes and other dimensional puzzles. Imaginative submissions for the OC Maker Challenge were on display from our elementary students.

Sphero robots and electronic devices scurried around on the floor. There was a simulated airplane cockpit and “Kracken,” an award-winning competitive robot, showed off its skills.

As a banner at the entrance to Triton Center read, “Innovators, come in.”

This was all part of the third annual Innovation Showcase, held Monday, February 10, 2020, at San Clemente High School.

With a theme of “Moving Full-Steam Ahead,” the open house overflowed with hands-on activities, innovative learning labs and displays, and demonstrations intended to showcase local STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education and the district’s commitment to and successes in implementing programs across all grades on more than 50 campuses across the district.

Preparing for future careers

Stephanie Avera, the district’s director of education technology, said in these times of technical upheaval and revolution, teachers face the challenge of preparing students for “careers that have not been invented yet.”

STEM and STEAM education have been popular models since the early 2000s. They were developed in part as a way to address a perceived decline in the sciences in the classroom as well as to spur technological innovation.

CUSD offers 28 career pathways and has over 500 college and career partnerships offered through College and Career Advantage. EMT students were on site at the event showing off their skills by taking vital signs.

Editorial Photo 2Through STEAM programs, students have access to technology labs, Chromebooks, 3D printers, robotics programs, and gardens.

Avera said Capistrano Unified dove into STEM in a big way six years ago, when it distributed 35,000 Chromebooks to students. Since then, the district has continued to up its game, adopting new science and math curricula. “We want students to be prepared for a career right away, or the next step of their education,” said Avera.

All CUSD elementary schools have innovation labs. There are 12 Career Technical Education labs in the middle schools for career exploration and hands-on learning.

At the high school level, students have a wide array of specialty areas, with each school having concentrations in areas ranging from robotics, to programming and coding, to fashion design, to culinary arts.

Anthony Russomanno, coordinator of Futureology, the CUSD college and career counseling program, said the effects of STEM on his program have been profound.

“About 40 percent of the kids who come to us want to go into engineering,” he said. Advising students and parents about STEM-based opportunities is “a large part of what we do."

The world outside the classroom

The district has partnered with local groups such as the Discovery Cube, Inside the Outdoors, and Crystal Cove Conservancy to provide additional opportunities for students to learn and grow outside of the traditional classroom model.

Families evaluated the morphological characteristics of different species of plans in the Crystal Cove Conservancy plant morphology experience. Students had the opportunity to vote for which plants they think should be planted in a particular area of Crystal Cove State Park.

In a classroom near Triton Center, Kelly Ellis of Inside the Outdoors and her companion, a bearded dragon named Lucy, greeted students.

Inside, the Outdoors is on a mission to introduce students to a world of science outside the classroom. Ellis said there are plenty of instances where wildlife and science intersect. “Science has its place in our world,” she said, noting that it takes science to understand clean air, water and balanced ecosystems. “There are a lot of opportunities to help with wildlife by using science and technology.”

For more information on CUSD’s schools and programs, visit

We’re all pretty familiar with our favorite apps on the Internet or on our mobile devices - but someone has to write the code that makes them work.

More kids are getting exposure to coding earlier, and that’s the idea behind an exciting new after-school enrichment program from theCoderSchool. We teach young students (ages 7 through 18) how to write computer software -- including video games, mobile apps and websites. theCoderSchool started about five years ago in the Bay Area of Northern California.

Today, we are part of a nationwide franchise with nearly 50 locations around the country, and we have over 4,000 students attending our schools for one or more hours each week throughout the year.

There is great benefit to learning how to code - students learn logical thinking skills and problem-solving skills which will transfer into all other academic areas. In fact, many parents report that after a few months of attending theCoderSchool, their kids are demonstrating improvement in their overall academics. They also learn that they have the power to investigate and solve problems on their own, and they develop the self-confidence to help them overcome any obstacles.

Unlike many other after-school coding programs, we maintain an extremely low ratio of only two students with one instructor. This allows us to fully customize a unique curriculum for each and every student, based on their own experience, how they learn, and what they are most interested in learning.

Because each individual is unique, we don’t have a fixed curriculum that we force every student through - some are visual learners, some are conceptual learners and some like to practice, experiment, explore and digest the knowledge, while others are eager to make as much progress as quickly as possible. This distinctive approach has helped to make theCoderSchool the #1 after-school coding program in Silicon Valley -- it’s where all the software engineers from Apple, Google and Netflix send THEIR kids to learn how to code.

Coding is the basic literacy of technology, and we are surrounded by technology everyday. theCoder- School can help your kids learn to use that technology with skill to accomplish whatever they are interested in doing.

Here in Orange County, we have locations in Irvine and a newly-opened location in Mission Viejo. We also have other locations in Yorba Linda and Cerritos/La Palma.

You can register for an absolutely FREE 30-minute sample lesson at any of our locations. That will allow you to see our facility, meet our staff, and see if your student likes our teaching methods.


Many schools and community organizations host after school clubs for local kids. Clubs usually include interests such as team sports, creative arts, performing arts, and further exploration into academic subjects. Parents know that extracurricular activities, like after school clubs, can look good on college applications and resumes. However, after school programs also come with a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional benefits for kids. After school clubs can help improve academic performance, allow kids to discover new passions and hobbies, nurture life skills, and so much more.

Afterschool3Improved academic performance

Kids who participate in structured after-school programs see improved academic performance, according to a study by SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Not only did students’ grades improve, but the researchers noticed better attendance, as well as higher grade point averages in some cases.

Higher confidence and self-esteem

Participation in after-school clubs can lead to better academic performance, which goes hand-in-hand with another benefit: higher confidence and self-esteem. Kids who join after-school clubs are often pursuing a hobby, skill, or subject that they enjoy. As they get better at this activity, they might see a boost in their confidence and self-esteem. That carries over into their outlook and performance in school.

Developing real-world skills

An after-school activity teaches kids so much more than the activity itself. Real-world skills, or life skills, are developed alongside the skills with a new activity. For example, your child might join an after-school soccer club because they love playing the sport. They’ll get better at handling a soccer ball and keeping up their physical health. Plus, they’ll learn essential life skills like teamwork, communicating with their teammates, and perseverance. They’ll also learn skills like time management: how to prioritize after-school club attendance with school, homework, chores, and family duties. The skills they learn in after-school programs can benefit them in their future.

Foundation for the future

Speaking of the future, we all know that a well-rounded student with extracurricular activities is often a more attractive applicant when it comes to college acceptance. That’s also true for jobseekers: hiring managers will sometimes assess a person’s abilities and work habits through their passions outside of their career.

Getting involved in extracurricular activities at a young age can help kids see the value in having regular hobbies, a value that will carry into their future beyond school.

Participation in healthy activities

We’ve discussed the emotional and mental benefits to after-school clubs. Let’s not forget the physical benefits of participating in after-school activities, too! Certain extracurricular programs like team sports, dance, or self-defense gets kids outside and physically active. Even if the extracurricular program isn’t considered a “physical activity,” participating in something like drama, robotics, or speech and debate is still good for physical health. Pursuing a hobby can reduce stress, lessen screen time, and encourage healthy lifestyle habits.

Good for the whole family

After-school programs are certainly great for kids, but parents can benefit as well. When working parents are unable to pick up their children after the school day finishes, after-school clubs provide a safe place for kids to spend their time. Rather than hiring a childcare provider for the hours until the workday ends, parents can have peace of mind knowing where their kids are and what they’re doing.

Instead of vegging out at home on the couch with a babysitter, kids can practice a musical instrument, or play basketball with friends, or write and read in a quiet room at school. Even better, kids can practice their skills and enjoy their hobbies under the supervision of an adult who can guide or help them if needed.

Choose from Stratford’s many after-school clubs

Looking for your child’s next after-school club? Stratford has a wide variety of programs for current students. Choose from academic-focused clubs like Math Olympiads or Jr. Tinker Workshop. Kids can explore the arts with Hip Hop Dance or Choir. Or, they can get up and get moving with tennis, cricket, or soccer club. You’re sure to find an after-school club that suits your child’s interests and age with Stratford School!

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said “who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you’re saying.” Keeping this quote in mind has served me well over the years, particularly in choosing friends … and when seeking out the services of professionals. In my opinion, integrity isn’t a word heard often enough in the business world. Competitive, certainly.

But unfortunately phrases like “bottom-line oriented,” “unscrupulous,” even “cutthroat” have cropped up in the vernacular when hearing home improvement gone wrong stories from fellow homeowners. That’s why it was so refreshing to come across Jeff McCabe and his Orange County-based One Way Painting.
In business since 1976, Jeff and his team serve all of the OC and specialize in interior and exterior residential and commercial painting. They swear by the rules of professionalism: “no cutting corners. No cheap materials. We pay attention to every detail, and never call a job complete until the customer is completely satisfied.”

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Some might call it good Christian values. Others might say it’s simply good business. But for the last 42 years, working from the heart has earned One Way Painting such a respected reputation in the industry that the vast majority of their work comes through repeat customers or referrals from repeat customers. The company’s success isn’t merely rooted in customer service though. Boasting a superior knowledge of available product on the market and hiring the most professional crews in the business also goes a long way.

“Our reputation speaks for itself; but if it didn’t, we have 16 satisfied employees on our permanent payroll who would put a hand up in defense of the standards we set,” says Jeff. Standards which were born and bred through a commitment to ethical business practices and hard work. In 2001, Jeff teamed up with seasoned professional Ron Bartz as a journeyman, then took over the company when Ron retired, and has been growing it ever since.

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In 2009, Jeff took the pair of three-man crews and expanded the operation to encompass six crews, two office staff, and a project manager who oversees jobs, right alongside the man with the plan himself. “We currently have four trucks on the road and I’d like a full fleet someday. I’d like to leave a legacy for my daughters, and that means more than just cans of paint and a warehouse full of equipment and materials.” To Jeff, it means taking care of his employees, taking care of his family: taking care of business. The hope is that One Way Painting becomes a household name, for its quality of work and quality of values.

My husband and I can happily attest to both. When we moved into our home in San Juan Capistrano five years ago, we acquired quotes for exterior painting from several contractors, but were particularly impressed with Jeff and his crew. Prior to starting work at our home, Jeff came by in person to go over what the job would entail and answered all of our questions. His team showed up right on time the first day - and each subsequent day - and at the end of each day everything was cleaned up before they left.

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“We pride ourselves on working with a team of long-term employees - we do not hire off the street,” says Jeff. “We guarantee our work and do not require payment till the job is completed and the customer is completely pleased with our work.”

Jeff and his crew delivered on these promises and more than exceeded our expectations - the result was outstanding work, a job completed on time and on budget and defined by unparalleled customer service (Kelly in his office was hyper-responsive to our inquiries during the estimating process and followed up immediately upon completion of the job to ensure that we were satisfied with the results and our overall experience of working with One Way Painting). We were so pleased with the work that when we decided to update our kitchen by painting our cabinets and adding hardware (the job is scheduled to start two weeks from the date of this writing so look for a future testimonial feature), we were confident that One Way Painting would be the one and only call we would need to make.

Their attention to detail is found from start to finish. For exterior projects, they begin by power washing to clean and remove any loose paint, mildew or mold. Then the patching: with stucco, trenching around the foundations and priming with an acrylic. They’ll treat your wood siding, eaves, fascia, windows. Main doors, garage doors, trim. Even wrought iron, or other specialty surfaces like patio covers and fences. Most work depends on the client’s preference: semi-gloss, hi-gloss enamel, acrylic, or oil finish. Inside walls see flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi, or hi-gloss. If you have natural wood cabinets and they need refinishing, One Way’s crew will see to it that they look new again. Also licensed and bonded as commercial painters, Jeff’s crew has been making businesses and their buildings look new again for 42 years. With a free on-site estimate, your custom needs are sure to have a custom solution. No deposits required, and “no surprises along the way,” Jeff is quick to add.

“I think at the end of the day what sets us apart is taking our time with each and every customer that comes our way,” says Jeff. “We run a business like every person we interact with is family.” They may not be the cheapest out there, but then that wouldn’t fly in Emerson’s eyes, and not in Jeff’s either. “Our business is based on the Christian ethic of treating every customer with honesty and integrity. Every job is done ‘as unto the Lord.’ Does this mean we’re perfect? No. It does mean that we strive to do the best painting job possible.”

Connect with Jeff, Kelly and the One Way Painting team by calling (866) 986-9781, visit or YELP for reviews.

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30492 Rancho Mission Viejo Road
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA 92675