Chris Green's passion for basketball has led him from the courts of his high school to the major arenas where he played with the ABA West All-Star Team. Though he was bestowed with many awards and accomplishments throughout his career, Green realized that his life's calling was not with basketball, but with helping people improve their lives through fitness. Eager to use his athletic talents to make a difference, he graduated with a degree in kinesiology and became certified in personal training through the International Sports and Science Association.
Today, Green combines the athletic prowess he cultivated on the basketball court with a positive, yet intense style of training during six-week boot camp programs, personal training sessions, and motivational coaching sessions. Dedicated to propelling students towards their fitness goals—whether those goals include losing weight, toning muscle, or squeezing into child-sized giraffe costumes—he supplements training sessions with regular motivational videos. Green also conducts regular self-improvement seminars on nutrition and body image.
Alfonso Ayala, who's been snapping photos for more than a decade and has professional graphic-design experience, loves to capture life's happiest moments, which is why he specializes in wedding and family photography. He also loves the technical aspect of photography and spends his free time experimenting with lights, equipment, and accessories, such as lens toupees, to figure out what steps he needs to take to capture the best image. Artful close-ups, classic portraits, and candid kisses pepper his portfolio, which represents a range of wedding vignettes.
By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement—when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.
Children’s Lighthouse of Mag Creek fosters a safe and creative learning environment for kids aged 2–12 to effectively absorb academic lessons while developing emotionally and physically. Led by a dedicated staff of caregivers, youngsters strap on a backpack before settling in for a one-week trial of schooling activities taught with the A Beka learning curriculum. Like tree forts plastered with Einstein’s high-school doodles, the age-appropriate classrooms cater to each level of learner, ensuring minds are comfortable but challenged. As 2-year-olds focus on developing independence, kindergarteners hone reading and writing skills and kids aged 5–12 master their homework as well as their inside voices before burning energy among arcade games or within a creative art arena.
Over his 25-year career in snapshottery, Jimmy Loyd has accumulated an impressive list of skills as freelance photojournalist for the Houston Chronicle, portraitist, and studio owner. An early adapter to the digital-camera revolution, he can capture digital or analog family portraits, professional headshots, and in-the-moment sports images with ease. Loyd also employs his expertise in intermittently scheduled classes and photo tours, which might occur on-location at the Houston Zoo or, for more candid shots, out in the wilderness where animals don't have access to stylists.
The jungle would be a safer place if the chin-high grass, towering trees, and wild animals were painted on the walls and everything three-dimensional was inflatable. This dream of a danger-free nature preserve comes to life at Jump N Jungle. Voted the Best Kids’ Party Place in the Bay Area Citizen Reader's Choice Awards, the jungle lets kids leap toward the rafters on inflatable jumpers, test the bounds of gravity on giant slides, and navigate an unending labyrinth of mazes and obstacle courses. Both locations play host to weekend birthday gatherings by supplying invitations, plates and plastic cutlery, as well as staff supervision in the party room and play areas. Additionally, its childcare services include an educational curriculum for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as before school and afterschool activities for older children.