At Steps to Learning Preschool, kids grasp the concept of free choice at an early age. That's because instructors promote "freedom within a structure," stocking each daily schedule with fun, educational choices for infants and young toddlers as well as preschoolers. Throughout the day, children take their pick of structured activities, including arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor exploration, and story time. The structure fosters the development of individual talents and autonomy while allowing youngsters to practice social interaction.
Patrons step into the locally owned Patterson Self-Storage and Moving Box Supply Store, a winner of Santa Barbara Independent’s Best of 2008 and 2009 Self-Storage, to procure secure boxes and storage materials for bundling up household valuables. For added padding, patrons can wrap fragile figurines in large plastic bubble wrap ($0.40/ft.) or fill pools with packing peanuts ($6.55) to perfect jackknives during the winter. Customers can tuck prized possessions into small ($1.85) or large ($3.85) boxes, or send them in holiday shipping cubes ($1.20). For customers in a rush to get to the post office or to the pony express, sets of supplies are available, such as the quick pack ($26.32), which includes small, medium, and large boxes, as well as a roll of tape.
Drawing on traditions passed down through the generations before her, Nimita Dhirajlal prepares vegetarian Indian cuisine following the Ayurvedic philosophy. To that end, she cooks to promote health with a menu based on only vegetarian ingredients, as well as to nurture the community by using locally sourced ingredients. At Nimita's Cuisine, she shares not only her meals through catering services, but also her techniques for preparing the piquant dishes through cooking classes.
Dhirajlal?a culinary instructor since the mid '90s?leads classes that teach students how to cook intuitively with a knowledge of the spices and methods, rather than just how to follow a recipe. At the end of each three-hour class, she invites the students to sit down and enjoy their vegetarian creations together, after first promising to not incite a food fight.
She also offers catering for large groups and delivers weekly baskets packed with meals such as saag paneer, butternut squash garbanzo curry, and moong bean daal to subscribers' doorsteps each Monday.
The Channel Islands YMCA has been around for 125 of the greater YMCA’s 170-year existence. In that time, the volunteer-run, volunteer-led outpost—a branch of the six-location Channel Islands YMCA network—has been a stalwart steward of the nationwide organization, striving toward the overarching mission of fostering well-rounded individuals through increased self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, and an appreciation for the outdoors.
Three core tenets guide the organization's list of programs and events: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Whether visitors take part in a pickup game inside the basketball gym, take swimming lessons in the lap pool, or attend an overnight camp, they’re contributing to the sustainment of a strong community and celebrating a decades-old tradition.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
The Pantry SB makes wholesome home cooking easier by planning out weekly menus, compiling ingredients, and teaching members how to prepare scrumptious meals in their own kitchens. On Tuesdays, boxes show up on doorsteps complete with enough premeasured seasonings, locally sourced and organic ingredients, and humanely raised proteins for up to three meals. Boxes also include recipe cue cards and five-minute video demonstrations to make sure newbie cooks don't confuse the washing machine for the oven. And to ensure dinner tastes new and exciting, the service's menu changes weekly, offering items such as chili-lime chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli, lemon-ginger pork, and blue-cheese steak.
My Flash Photo Booth captures memories that might otherwise be lost in the excitement of a soiree. Its mini booths stand atop tables poised to snap candids, and freestanding booths freeze frames in the open air. Printers spit out photo strips on the spot, and hosts will also get a flash drive and DVD containing all images. These files can then be printed out and placed into photo albums or stuffed into a piñata that will be busted open at next year’s event.