Because they believe books should be available to everyone, Ready, Set, Read! hosts parent education programs and classroom lending libraries to get children reading at home. During bilingual workshops, parents can learn techniques such as the dialogic method, which uses open-ended questions and discussions to engage children in content, making reading aloud fun for young children at home. The program focuses on demonstrating how influential the parents’ role is in developing literacy skills and self-confidence. Since 2000, volunteers and educators with Ready, Set, Read! have built more than 160 classroom lending libraries, taught more than 27,000 local parents to read with their children on a regular basis, and distributed as many books to those families.
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Tucked into downtown’s Little Tokyo neighborhood, The Lexington Bar treats its patrons to a wealth of beer, wine, mixed drinks, and classic pub snacks. And while the packed drink menu may delight its visitors, the bar’s laidback atmosphere—credited to founder and comedian Tim Mars—might entice them to make themselves at home in the chic environs. Black-and-white murals by local artist Kevin Hernandez cover the walls, the renderings of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe looming above customers as they sip sake while contemplating standing over a subway grate during rush hour.
The Granada LA is a party school. Part dance studio, part nightclub, it's a place where students can learn the steps of West Coast swing and merengue one night and put them into practice while enjoying bottle service and eats from the on-site restaurant the next. If they do venture out onto the dance floor of the 1930's Spanish Revival-style nightclub, they'll be treated to live music that leans heavily toward salsa. The nightclub, like whatever village The Village People were from, attracts a variety of people: casual dancers looking for zesty nightlife, and also students of the attached dance studio.
The staff at Rock It Workouts strive to fight the perception that getting fit has to mean getting stuck in a gym routine and committing to doing the same thing over and over again. So they invited live DJs to spin high-energy music for their classes, then filled the schedule with innovative workouts. The airy white studio pops with graphic black stripes and red mats, keeping eyes invigorated during workouts, as well.
After workouts, exercisers can stop by the juice bar to rejuvenate, update their style at the VIP Beauty salon, or peruse the fashion boutique to find a look that ensures they have the sharpest-dressed scarecrow for the fall season. The studio's Rock It Forward program—cofounded by Laurieann Gibson, a choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof—aims to combat childhood obesity with dance programs that bring celebrities in to help get kids excited about healthy living.
Blind 9 Golf equips duffers with clubs from elite makers including TaylorMade, Mizuno, and Adams, along with course-ready duds that owe their sporty collars to the stitch masters at Adidas, Puma, and other top brands. Along with a wide selection of putters, wedges, irons, and drivers, the golf emporium sells useful golf accessories, streamlining golf trips with travel bags and informing golfers of their exact distance from flagsticks and territorial forecaddies with GPS units and rangefinders. Clients can also sign up for a loft/lie fitting session with Blind 9’s recently acquired club-fitting equipment, which measures players' current sticks and swing path to determine optimal loft and lie.