To the Friends & Families of FOCUSfish~
Thanks to the generosity of our Angels and Student Families, FOCUSfish is growing into a viable, sustainable non-profit. With new expansion into the East Side of Los Angeles, and talks with Children’s Hospital about bringing our aerial program to children in need of HOPE, Year 8 is looking UP.
FOCUSfish was able to continue its partnerships with YACHAD (families of children with Autism and other special needs) and COACHART (families of children with terminal illness). Because of these long-term, successful partnerships, we are able to more frequently serve these families, taking both programs to a monthly schedule.
FOCUSfish is adding yet another Title I school to its roster mid-year, keeping student bodies MOVING in their school day.
This Winter-Spring, FOCUSFish continues to bring its performance fitness culture to our local youth. Kristy Beauvais, Executive Director, will be choreographing aerial feats for Pippin with the Topanga Youth Services, and Aladdin for Class Act and Topanga Elementary School. Kristy will also be directing and producing the Oakwood and St. James Circus Intensives, again this year.
Our exciting star-studded fundraising gala is in the planning stages for a September debut. Look out for more exciting news about the musical line-up set to ROCK THE TOWER!
FOCUSfish is so grateful to touch the lives of over 5000 families in the Greater Los Angeles area. But, there is still so much to do and so many more people in need of inspiring, healthy programming.
We know you have so many options for charitable giving, as there are people in need all over the world. But if our growing, little charity has flown into your world and changed the lives of your family, think of what we could do to change the world for the better… TOGETHER.
Please help us buy more equipment to outfit our school programs, purchase quality mats for our circus tent and camps, bring our circus tent out of storage and drop into a community in need, and reach 2000 more families in 2015!
If your company does matching grants, just let Kristy know and she will provide the necessary paperwork for your end-of-year giving.
Click on the options below or write a check to FOCUSfish before the end of the year to get your tax-deductible donation in for 2014.
Thank you for all that you do and for believing in the FLYING FISH!
With Love and Gratitude,
Board President, FOCUSFish
…a performance fitness culture
and 501c3 for public benefit
Contact Kristy Beauvais at email@example.com
Mail checks to: FOCUSFish 1107 Cherokee, Topanga CA 90290
CHECKOUT THIS FEATURE ARTICLE AT SCRUMPTIOUS MOMS: http://scrumptiousmoms.com/givingtuesday-charity-spotlight-sharing-the-joy-of-flying-with-focusfish/
The first ever FOCUSFish FLYathon has already raised over $5000 for our public school physical education programming. The event was a spirited success, as kids took their skills testing seriously, while managing to smile the entire time as their challenge culminated in harness flying with our very own C. Derrick Jones! Special FOCUSfish friends participated, like trapeze artist Tia Didden. And FLYERS even brought their own fan clubs to cheer them along. Thank you to everyone who participated and donated. xo
Happy Tuesday, Scrumptious!
Today is a special day… It’s my birthday!
I woke up to a steady stream of good wishes and homemade breakfast by my lovely Alexandra, with a little help from Sabrina who fooled me into thinking she was sound asleep when I got up this morning…
It’s already been an abundant day and it’s barely mid-day!
Today I want to share with you one of the most beautiful gift I received this past weekend… the gift of knowing that I have touched the life of someone else in a special way.
And because one of my favorite things to do on my birthday is to shower those I love with gifts of my own, I have a few gifts for you as well.
May you have a magical day!
Life is Scrumptious, Savor Every Moment!
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
~ Winston Churchill
The Gift Of Giving Back
by Valerie Remy-Milora
Today is my birthday and I have already been showered with blessings and well wishes from friends around the world.
My 17 year old got up at the crack of dawn to prepare a special birthday breakfast for me before heading out to her baby sitting job – a perfectly cooked egg for my morning protein with a gluten free raw cacao and coconut pancake served with an extra dose of love.
I am so grateful to be surrounded with loving, beautiful, giving people… and to be vibrantly healthy! At 48 I feel stronger and more confident than ever. I have three gorgeous daughters and a loving husband, my business is blossoming and I have the opportunity to serve moms and their families daily.
One of the things I particularly cherish is my ability to give back … To share my gifts, my time, with people all around me – men, women, and especially children.
This past Sunday I had the privilege of doing just that with my daughters, as we participated in a truly magical event – introducing chronically ill children and their siblings to the art of FLYING with the amazing FOCUSfish!
I’m not sure I have the words to adequately describe how exhilarating it was to feel the intense joy that filled these precious children.
Their entire beings just radiated with pure, unfiltered, overflowing JOY!
I am so grateful that my 17 year old daughter captured these beautiful moments!
This event took place thanks to a partnership between FOCUSFish and CoachArt, two amazing nonprofit organizations dedicated to enriching the lives of children of all ages and abilities. This was my first time volunteering for this event with my daughters and we cannot wait to do it again.
Eighteen children joined us – half of them living with an illness or special condition that makes physical activity challenging. The children or their parents told us what restrictions we needed to be aware of so that they could have a positive experience.
As the children experienced movement in a completely new way, I saw tears of joy… Smiles so big they reached far beyond the moment at hand … I saw the pride that comes with overcoming fear … The exhilaration of defying gravity… The thrill of doing things that are supposed to be “impossible”.
I saw children free to be children, to move, run, dance, spin, and fall to the ground laughing so hard!
We lifted, supported, cradled, cheered and celebrated.
Those two and a half precious hours filled me to the brim. Through their unbridled happiness these children gave me the most beautiful and lasting gift of all. The gift of knowing that a small gesture can have such a profound impact. Their enthusiasm was contagious! Their love wrapped itself around my heart and made it soar!
I have personally known the power of FOCUSFish’s unique approach to physical education and fitness for many years. I have witnessed it’s transforming power in my own life and now in that of my 7 year old. This summer I had the immense pleasure of starting to teach with FOCUSFish, which has been a wonderful, enriching experience.
After witnessing the real magic of FOCUSFish on children of all abilities this past weekend I am more passionate about their mission than ever.
This coming weekend, Sabrina and I will be participating in the first ever FOCUSFish Fly-A-Thon, a special fundraiser to bring the gift of PE to underserved schools who cannot afford any “enrichment” programs, be they art, music or physical education. I believe that every child deserves these programs as they are a fundamental part of their emotional and physical development, which is why I have set an ambitious goal for our family.
I invite you to support our fundraising efforts and touch the lives of children who deserve to feel vibrantly alive and free!
On Saturday Sabrina and I will each demonstrate 15 skills – 10 on silks and 5 on trapeze. You can make a flat donation or make a pledge per trick.
To pledge your support, please visit our page at http://flyathon.dojiggy.com/themilorafliers. Your support no matter how big or small will make a real difference in the lives of these children.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!
Register Here for Fall Classes Starting September 15th!
WHY CHILDREN FIDGET: And what we can do about it
by Angela Hanscom
June 05, 2014
A perfect stranger pours her heart out to me over the phone. She complains that her six-year-old son is unable to sit still in the classroom. The school wants to test him for ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). This sounds familiar, I think to myself. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’ve noticed that this is a fairly common problem today.
The mother goes on to explain how her son comes home every day with a yellow smiley face. The rest of his class goes home with green smiley faces for good behavior. Every day this child is reminded that his behavior is unacceptable, simply because he can’t sit still for long periods of time.
The mother starts crying. “He is starting to say things like, ‘I hate myself’ and ‘I’m no good at anything.’” This young boy’s self-esteem is plummeting all because he needs to move more often.
Over the past decade, more and more children are being coded as having attention issues and possibly ADHD. A local elementary teacher tells me that at least eight of her twenty-two students have trouble paying attention on a good day. At the same time, children are expected to sit for longer periods of time. In fact, even kindergarteners are being asked to sit for thirty minutes during circle time at some schools.
The problem: children are constantly in an upright position these days. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, and spinning in circles just for fun. Merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters are a thing of the past. Recess times have shortened due to increasing educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors due to parental fears, liability issues, and the hectic schedules of modern-day society. Lets face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem.
I recently observed a fifth grade classroom as a favor to a teacher. I quietly went in and took a seat towards the back of the classroom. The teacher was reading a book to the children and it was towards the end of the day. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kids were tilting back their chairs back at extreme angles, others were rocking their bodies back and forth, a few were chewing on the ends of their pencils, and one child was hitting a water bottle against her forehead in a rhythmic pattern.
This was not a special needs classroom, but a typical classroom at a popular art-integrated charter school. My first thought was that the children might have been fidgeting because it was the end of the day and they were simply tired. Even though this may have been part of the problem, there was certainly another underlying reason.
We quickly learned after further testing, that most of the children in the classroom had poor core strength and balance. In fact, we tested a few other classrooms and found that when compared to children from the early 1980s, only one out of twelve children had normal strength and balance. Only one! Oh my goodness, I thought to myself. These children need to move!
Ironically, many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today–due to restricted movement. In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time. Just like with exercising, they need to do this more than just once-a-week in order to reap the benefits. Therefore, having soccer practice once or twice a week is likely not enough movement for the child to develop a strong sensory system.
Children are going to class with bodies that are less prepared to learn than ever before. With sensory systems not quite working right, they are asked to sit and pay attention. Children naturally start fidgeting in order to get the movement their body so desperately needs and is not getting enough of to “turn their brain on.” What happens when the children start fidgeting? We ask them to sit still and pay attention; therefore, their brain goes back to “sleep.”
Fidgeting is a real problem. It is a strong indicator that children are not getting enough movement throughout the day. We need to fix the underlying issue. Recess times need to be extended and kids should be playing outside as soon as they get home from school. Twenty minutes of movement a day is not enough! They need hours of play outdoors in order to establish a healthy sensory system and to support higher-level attention and learning in the classroom.
In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.
FOCUSFish raised the roof and raised much needed operations funds at the Summer Carnival at Cali-Camp!
Thank you to all who supported this event. Here are some of the highlights below. If you have pictures or video you’d like to share from the event, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org- THANK YOU!
Rent a Circus Tent for your special event and DO SOME GOOD! Tell your guests that they are partying in a real Cirque Du Soleil tent donated to FOCUSfish for their aerial arts programming with under-served and underprivileged youth students and families. For rental details, please inquire at email@example.com
Basic Specs: 65 foot diameter, one king pole, round tent
Kristy Beauvais is October 2012 Scrumptious Mom
Read all about it here:
I’m thrilled to introduce you to our October Scrumptious Mom, Kristy Beauvais!
I met Kristy 10 years ago this month when she conducted the first Circus Camp at my daughters’ school through her nonprofit organization FOCUSFish.
As I watched our kids perform on silks, trapeze and hoop, I was thrown back to my childhood when I used to play circus in my backyard with my siblings. We lived in Paris, but had the magic of a real backyard with a swing set complete with trapeze and rings. My siblings and I performed hundreds of shows to our loving parents and an imaginary audience!
Kristy invited me to join her adult aerial fitness class… and after 4 months I finally mustered the courage to do it. And it was amazing! Not only did I learn how to fly but I got in the best shape of my life!
I also gained a wonderful friend who shares my passion for spreading the wealth of health to everyone.
Find out more about this truly scrumptious mom who changes lives each and every day through the magic of FLIGHT!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.