by Katie Corrie, directorIn the Limelight407-340-0920www.inthelimelightorlando.com
“I am shy” and “I need confidence” are two things that many aspiring young performers confess. Of course, being in a play or musical is the best way to build confidence. Acting, dancing and singing classes are excellent, as well. Young people interested in pursuing an acting career must realize that professional actors need confidence in many ways. It is a competitive business, and if they are not confident that they can compete with some of the very best young actors, then they may not be ready.Training is a key factor. When a child proclaims his desire to be an actor, his parents should enroll him in training programs that are reputable, supportive and offer multiple opportunities to hone talents while giving the student room to grow as an artist. A performer who is able to sing, dance and act (a triple threat) is going to be more marketable in the performing arts field. Competition is fierce, so a child must compete confidently.As a first step, young people must have confidence in their ability to introduce themselves to strangers. An actor has to network, and an important way of doing this is being able to introduce himself to people in the business, including other actors, teachers, directors, agents, etc. If they lack the confidence to do this, enrolling them in a class or production that will allow them to break out of their shell and build their confidence is vital to future success. Even the simplest gestures, such as looking a person in the eye while speaking or giving them a firm handshake, can make a big difference in how he is introduced and perceived by industry professionals.Finally, the actor needs confidence in his ability to be a self-starter and self-motivator. Acting is the kind of career that demands the aspirant to keep working on his career and training every day. It is a mistake to sit around and wait to be “discovered.” One has to go out and make it happen. Memorizing monologues, reading plays, enrolling in training opportunities, and auditioning are all important pieces to building an acting career.People often think that confidence is part of what is called “talent.” Being able to do the work well is just a part of being talented. Talent must also make itself known. And that takes confidence.
by Bonnie Rayman, branch directorJewish Community Center of Southwest Orlando at the Jack & Lee Rosen Campus407-387-5330www.orlandojcc.org
Quality after-school programs are convenient for parents, but they also have greater benefits, such as preparing children for adulthood.Research has shown that of the three ways children can spend their time — in school, unstructured leisure time and structured time — it is structured leisure time that teaches children the most and provides the most motivation for them to learn about the world.When seeking out an after-school enrichment program, parents should look for a center that provides multiple opportunities for instilling this motivation by fostering different types of skills, including social, emotional, artistic, athletic and creative.These opportunities can take the form of things like theater classes, sports leagues and community service projects, which are all activities that provide the opportunity for a child to take on a degree of responsibility and also create an emotional payoff.
by John E. Russi, CPA, P.A.407--345-1191www.russicpa.com
The American Opportunity credit is a modification of the Hope Scholarship credit and is available for tax years ending before Jan. 1, 2013. The credit amount is the sum of 100 percent of the first $2,000 of qualified tuition and related expenses plus 25 percent of the next $2,000 per eligible student per year. The credit is available for the first four years of a student’s postsecondary education. The credit is available to the taxpayer, taxpayer’s spouse or dependents. Generally, the credit cannot be claimed by married taxpayers filing separate returns.Up to 40 percent of the credit is refundable if the taxpayer’s tax liability is insufficient to offset the nonrefundable credit amount.The credit phases out ratably for taxpayers with modified annual gross income between $80,000-$90,000; and $160,000-$180,000 for joint filers.In some cases, it may be advantageous for upper-income parents whose AGI either partially or completely phases out the credit and most of the dependency exemption, to forego claiming the eligible child, who is a student, as a dependent. This would allow the child to claim the full amount of the education credit, assuming the child has a tax liability.
submitted by Mathnasium321-236-2842www.mathnasium.com
Just as parents should read with their child, they should also “math” with them.Learning addition facts is key to future success in math. Knowing the numbers that add up to 10 is a skill that helps students master addition facts. Parents can roll a die and ask the child the number that pairs with the number rolled to make a sum of 10. This activity can also be done with playing cards.Doubles are a fun way to learn addition facts. Once the double number facts are familiar to the child, questions like 4+5 can be asked. The child should think of these as “double plus one more.” For example, 4+5 is 4+4+1. This will help the child learn additional number facts and how to decompose numbers into their parts.Grouping things in equal numbers is a useful skill. It leads to an intuitive understanding of multiplication and division. Children can begin to learn how numbers are composed of other numbers (called factors). Children can pick numbers to group, such as 8, 10, 12 or 14. There are many ways to group 12 things. This is why items come in dozens like eggs and hours on a clock.Children do not hate math, but they do hate being confused and intimidated by math.
by Susan Meyer, manager and aestheticianThe Meisenheimer Day Spa407-351-8885www.meisenheimerdayspa.com
Now is the perfect time to address acne problems. Acne and the care of acne-prone skin is a problem that is controlled, but not cured. Yet, with the right education, safe and effective products, and a caring, honest skin-care professional, acne can be managed without too much difficulty.There are four stages of acne. Some types of acne should be seen by a doctor for medication. But if acne comes and goes because of hormones and stress, then proper grooming; acquiring education about the how and why of picking; and other skin-care questions, such as different types of makeup, should be discussed with a skin-care professional.With some young people, self-esteem can be affected by their amount of breakouts. With all the school bullying that goes on, a parent should seek professional guidance from aestheticians who specialize in the treatment and care of skin problems.Sometimes all that is needed is to take an honest look at what is being used on the face and if an individual is being consistent with self-care. There are many new and useful acne treatments that have proven to be quite successful.
by Jason Sotto, D.M.D.Pediatric Dentistry407-347-5956www.drsotto.com
A. At-home care: Healthy eating habits are important as children go back to school. Like the rest of the body, teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet, followed by proper brushing and flossing. Children should be educated about choosing and trading healthy snacks with their friends. Snacks, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese, should be a priority.B. Battle of safety and sports: A properly fitted mouth guard is an important piece of back-to-school athletic gear that can help protect a child’s smile, and it should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth. Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face and jaw. A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while the child is wearing it, making it easy to breathe and talk. It can be custom-made by a dentist.C. Commit to professional dental check-ups biannually. As the school year begins, parents should schedule a dentist appointment for their child to maintain a healthy smile.
by Nora Yee, head of schoolMontessori World School407-239-6024www.montessoriworldschool.com
Every child progresses through a series of quantum leaps in learning during their preschool years, ages 0-6. It is easier to acquire certain abilities when a child is particularly sensitive to certain types of stimuli or interactions. Once the sensitive period for a particular ability passes, the development of the brain progresses beyond the point at which information can be easily absorbed. The child must then be taught this ability, resulting in expenditure of conscious effort and producing results not as great as he could have achieved.Each sensitive period refers to a predisposition compelling children to acquire specific characteristics or skills. From ages 0-1, random movements become coordinated and controlled, such as grasping, crawling and walking; ages 0-6, language acquisition takes place; ages 1-4, fixation on small objects and tiny details; ages 2-4, a keen sense for order characterized by a desire for consistency, repetition and established routines; ages 2-6, fascination with sensorial experiences; ages 3-4, writing and drawing; ages 3-5, spontaneous interest in letters and reading; and ages 4-6, spatial relationships and mathematical concepts.These are important developmental stages, during which the foundation of future learning will be built. Wherever this solid foundation is lacking, children will experience difficulty in learning and reaching their full potentials.
by Jason Rushworth, stylistSalon Dulay409-876-0015www.salondulay.com
As summer comes to an end, children begin preparing for the upcoming school year. Besides buying school supplies and new clothes, students should not forget about a new hairstyle to complement those new fall looks.Although summer may be over, beach waves are the trend for fall this year. Light, loose waves and braids are both fun and easy to style. People can use a curl enhancer and foaming mousse for a light hold. Also, if someone is wanting to cut down on morning prep time, a Brazilian blowout can do so by up to 75 percent — it is great for hard-to-tame hair.Boys can still keep their bed-head look, but update it by keeping it short on the sides and back and giving the top a longer, textured finished. A liquid pomade can be used for longer hair and a matte grooming clay for medium-length hair.
by John Nowell, O.D.Southwest Orlando Eye Care407-271-8931www.southwestorlandoeyecare.com
Studies support it and experts agree that children’s eyes have the greatest need for protection from the sun. Because their crystalline lenses have not yet matured, the eyes of children are much more vulnerable to ultraviolet ray damage. Children have wonderful, big pupils and a particularly clear lens inside their eyes that allows a large amount of UV light in. Without sun protection, damage can contribute to the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.Many parents take their children to the beach and slather them up with sunscreen, however, they do not make them wear sunglasses. Parents do not realize the importance of the protection. It is also important to provide quality sun wear — not the inexpensive drug store option — that provides full sun protection, as well as the durability children need and parents crave.
by Varsha Sant, ownerStarChild Academy407-877-0345www.starchildacademy.com
Choosing the right preschool requires parents to ask the right questions of the schools visited. A good preschool should have a good reputation; established ground rules; stimulating curriculum; and a qualified, caring staff.A good preschool should have a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere and be known for its nurturing environment and stimulating curriculum. Although it is important for a preschool to be flexible, it should also have clearly established written regulations for everything from operating hours to how to handle emergencies. If a preschool is poorly organized and has lax or nonexistent rules, it is not likely to be a right fit.The best preschools have daily schedules that include time for well-planned curriculum, which stimulates children’s development and makes daily life more fun. Most importantly, parents should look for a preschool with a staff that shares their philosophies about sleep, discipline, feeding and other care issues.Looking at these factors will ensure that parents find the right preschool for their children.
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