With its award-winning book, My Body Is Special and Belongs to Me!, KidSafe Foundation uses easy-to-understand material to cultivate a discussion about sexual abuse and personal safety between adults and children. The book is designed as a resource for school guidance counselors and is worded to help students of any age understand the sensitive concepts. Topics include the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate touching, what to do when presented with a hazardous situation, and how to ask for help. A special section dedicated to caregivers and faculty helps broaden adults' knowledge of identifying and discussing abuse. The program has reached 20,000 children and more than 5,000 adults through its Southern Florida initiatives, and aims to expand distribution to more elementary schools within the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach areas.
Not many actors can say they've performed in a production directed by a 12-year-old, but Erin Coley has always had an instinctive sense of how to put on a show. Years later, she and her husband, J.R., founded Standing Ovation Performing Arts, assembling eight other experts in the field to encourage kids to get on the stage as early as possible. Improv comedy, puppetry, and playwriting help students express themselves while giving them the skills to deliver confident class presentations and rousing monologues on the futility of naptime.
The humor ambassadors of Fort Lauderdale Comedy Club stock their Oakland Park stage with snickers and snorts as audiences savor the jokes of headlining local and national comedians. Shirking the detached feel of stuffy theaters, smoky halls, and abandoned wells, Fort Lauderdale Comedy Club grants audiences an intimate standup comedy experience as fans catch every punch line and smell every punch breath. The ever-changing calendar features a solid crew of human antidepressants, such as lanky LA funnyman Eric Grady (March 23–24), who cooks up buffets of hee-haws with observational humor about marriage, stepchildren, and the perils of being 6 feet, 9 inches tall. Funny bones flee their ligaments as veteran standup comedian, television actor, and host at Tampa Bay Newstalk 820 AM Artie Fletcher (March 30–31) deposits hefty loads of jokes accrued from 25 years on the road. Groups of two or four can chase down meaty laughs with wine and beer (a $5 value each) or a refreshing, alcohol-free soda (a $3 value). Dress codes are comfortable and casual, and all hecklers will be shunned and turned into chum.
More than 130 cast members pirouette across a wintry stage to recreate the classic, fantastical children's ballet tale that has drawn sold-out crowds for the last 12 years to the Coral Springs Arts Center. From enclosed balcony seats inside the 1,471-seat theater, audiences follow Clara, a young girl who shrinks into a dreamscape beneath her family's tree on Christmas Eve. The enchanting score by Tchaikovsky whisks ears through flakes that flutter and zambonis that drive Clara and the Nutcracker Prince across the Land of Snow. Eyes chase the elaborate choreography as dancers leap over the stage during famed scenes such as the battle between the toy soldiers and evil Mouse King. When the Sugar Plum Fairy escorts Clara and her prince through her own kingdom in the second act, hearts will swoon and tongues will mimic doormats before the pixie monarch's sugar-encrusted slippers.
Servicing the local community for 30 years, the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center provides an outlet for fitness, cultural education, and childcare. Exercisers can get their fill of endorphins inside the gym or by participating in a group fitness class or sports league. Meanwhile, kids hang out with their peers and engage in fun, educational activities during summer camps and after-school programs. With an emphasis on Jewish heritage, the JCC also offers adult-oriented classes in the arts, as well as frequent musical and cultural events.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get in Shape for Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. Each of their small-group sessions are tailored to each exerciser. The trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating 30 minutes of strength-training drills—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each student's abilities. Then, they do 25 minutes of cardio—the trainers might start beginners with a walk on the treadmill or light elliptical training, and challenge more advanced exercisers to high-intensity interval-training sessions for increased results.
The trainers supplement group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To track ladies' progress toward reaching their goals, the trainers measure their weight and body-fat percentage every two weeks.