Kids Can TEACH!


Children love to share what they know. It’s clear. My children are constantly excited to tell me things they have learned every single day. Sometimes it goes on, and on, and on… “One time in Minecraft…”

What if we could channel this excitement to share, into a classroom experience where your child could build on these story-telling skills. In our new class, Kids Teach, we will do just that! Kids will take an idea, passion, or skill and find a way to outline how to teach someone else how to do it! In return, your child will learn how to create outlines, organize their thoughts, gain public speaking confidence, and how to effectively communicate! At the end of the class, your child will teach a class to their fellow classmates and also have the option to run a small workshop that is free and open to the community!

Maybe your child wants to be the next Rachel Ray, YouTube sensation Evan, or just have a platform to gain confidence while sharing what they are excited about! Whatever the case may be, this unique enrichment opportunity can help foster your child’s love for learning while giving them valuable real world tools in a fun and supportive environment.

The class will be taught by Adnan Iftekhar, founder of our exciting new RWCEA – Redwood City Entrepreneurial Academy.

Here are the deets!

Kids Teach
Age 10-13
Thursdays, February 5 to April 9, 2015
4:00 – 5:30pm
at the Community Activities Building, 1400 Roosevelt Ave, Redwood City
Register Now! Space is limited to 10 students

Take Part in the First Redwood City Teen Entrepreneurial Academy – Guest Blog


We are extremely excited about this!!!

How many teens get the opportunity to start their own business, learn the ins and outs of social media (in a good way) and set a foundation of entrepreneurship that they can use in practice for the rest of their lives? Please help us welcome, Adnan Iftekhar, the man who may singlehandedly help to cultivate the next innovator of the century! (you never know, right?)

Why Choose Actionable Entrepreneurship?

by Adnan Iftekhar

One of the major buzzwords in schools and education these days is, 21st Century Skills. We’re already fourteen years into the 21st century, and in my humble opinion, that buzzword should already be retired. What we really should be focusing on is 22nd Century Skills; we have 84 years to get those right!

Some of the biggest challenges the children growing up will face are those of a more global economy. There are some jobs that will just not be applicable to the US anymore, like taxes. Did you know that in 2013, 2 million Americans had their taxes done in India, whether they knew it or not? Or basic graphic design. Just take a look at a site like where you can get a logo, business card, illustration, even a website design for just $5. Yes, the quality may not be as good as that of a professional graphic designer based in the US these days, but then again, passable may be just what you need to at least get you started and on the road to creating awesome content. Comparing $5 to $25/hour (low-end hourly rate of a graphic designer) is not something to scoff at, especially as many of the designers on these sites have pretty high reviews and actually have very decent designs. I’m not saying Accountants and Designers will be obsolete in the next decade, but the climate is changing, and students need to learn to be resourceful and flexible with their goals.

teen_ideaComing back to the Entrepreneurship class, the real focus is to create quality, meaningful content that can be shared and delivered to an audience that will find value in it. This class will give students the opportunity to find the resources they need to create a simple online business. More importantly, it will give them an avenue to implement all that they learn (most of the learning will be in their own time) into concrete action. The “class” time will be focused on the actual doing of the work, rather than the theory of it. As one example, I will give a blueprint of how I gained 6000 followers on Twitter in three months. Students may choose to follow that blueprint, or create their own. Twitter may not be the audience and their business ideas may be focused on some totally different strategy. I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I guide students where to find them.

In addition to the concrete creation of a business, the process that they will go through will leave them some multidisciplinary skills that are not being taught in any schools – at least not “formally”. One of the most important ones will be that of effective communication- in person and via internet. I cannot stress the importance of communicating with people who offer products and services all around the world and the value that they can add to a small budding business. Having to hire your first professional freelancer, whether it be a virtual assistant or a graphic designer is something that every student will go through. How many high school graduates can say that they have hired (and/or fired) someone? Figuring out how to clearly communicate ideas, whether it’s by Skype, Google Hangout, email or commenting on a blog post will be a major focus in the class. Also, as these students apply for college, will they stand out if they have on their resume “Founder of an online business”?

The ideas, although important, are really not the ultimate goal for the class – it’s the choosing of one idea that resonates and that you are passionate about and putting it into action. And that idea may not be the best one, but that’s okay – once you have learned to implement one idea, moving on to the second one will be a lot easier. The growth and learning experienced in this class will be unlike anything these students have experienced before. That is a money back guarantee – I will personally give you your money back if you are not 100% satisfied by the end of this course.

So, what are you waiting for?

Registration Information:

Redwood City Teen Entrepreneurial Academy
Age 13-17

Meets Thursdays 5:30-7:00pm
September 25 – December 4, 2014
Community Activities Building

Click this link to view course information & requirements
Follow Redwood City Entrepreneurial Academy: Twitter &  Facebook

428945_10150511889067816_1808340469_nWho is Adnan Iftekhar?
Adnan has founded a non-profit, four businesses (two of which were profitable from day one) and a school. He has studied and taught biology, french, math, dance, yoga, design, acrobatics and productivity on three continents to students ranging from age 2 – 82. He speaks 5 languages and still strives to make sense of the vagaries of the english language. Most importantly, he wants to transform the way we educate our children and redefine the words learning, educating, teaching and school. Questions? Email:, Follow @adnanedtech

Meet Edna English! Preschool Teacher, Camp Director and Obsessive Collector!

edna_miniEdna English” sounds like some sort of Superhero Teacher. If you knew Edna, you would agree that this name fits her perfectly!  We were so fortunate that Edna answered our cry when we set out to find a new preschool teacher for our Lil’ Learners Preschool Program. Since she began 3 ½ years ago, our preschool has evolved into a very successful morning & afternoon program. She has also introduced an afternoon Spanish Immersion Preschool program, then, last summer, she launched Camp High-5!

solar-kidsHigh -5 is a recreation/enrichment camp for kids between the ages of 5 1/2 – 7. She wanted to do something special for this age group. Her goals were simple: to give the “big kids” a designated space to have an enrichment camp infused with the recreation camp experience; for them to have a ton of FUN; and of course, an excuse for her to spend some quality time with some of her recent Lil’ Learners graduates whom she had been missing.

Edna is amazingly passionate about her job, her kids… and some of her personal interests ( to which I lovingly refer to, as her ‘geeking out’, in a good way). I had interviewed her this week and had her answer some basic personal questions. She answered them in a very matter-of-fact way, somehow thinking that she had to “tone it down” for professionalism’s sake. I told her that our audience would likely prefer her overflowing enthusiasm, as we sell ourselves as purveyors of experience and fun! You see, Edna LOVES her job. I mean…she REALLY LOVES her job. Hopefully this is apparent in her response.


How many years have you been teaching preschool?

You mean, how many years have I been doing exactly what I want to do and have had the best job on earth? 13.

What is the best part about teaching preschool?

The best part about teaching preschool is being around amazing kids. I love how preschoolers get excited when they try something for the first time. I love watching them build confidence as they master a new skill. I have the best conversations with preschoolers.  Also, this is my happy place. No matter what is going on in my life, I will ALWAYS come to work. This is where I feel normal, and honestly, how could you be anything but HAPPY in  this classroom!

Now onto camp. You decided to depart from Preschool Camp, What inspired you to create High-5?

012High-5 is way for older children to experience the preschool technique of “learning through play” & hands-on activities. Children don’t realize they are learning when they are having fun and creating awesome things. Also, I wanted to create an environment where we were really theme-rich and gave kids more time to explore a concept, expand their imaginations and finish a project. Sometimes in Recreation Camps things move quickly, so you don’t get a chance to really delve into a topic. We give them time to not only work on their creations, but expand on it as the days move forward.

It’s Clear you LOVE Camp, so what is your favorite camp memory?

One of my favorite camp memories is having a huge water fight with all the campers, staff and LITs where not ONE person was left dry.   

Camp Nick Name

Campers have been calling me “Turtle” for over 10 years… you’ll have to sign up for camp to find out why!

Favorite Camp Song

Yo’ mama don’t wear no socks.

Fun Fact About Edna

I collect Lego Mini-Figures*. When buying the series mini-figures, I can even feel through the packaging to find specific figures. 

*Important to note, Edna more than collects “Mini-Figs,” she is obsessed.  Words cannot describe…. but a picture on the other hand…

Find our more about Camp High-5 for 5½ – 7 year-olds here.

Meet Edna and the rest of our camp directors at our Camp Fair this Saturday from 1:00-4:00pm at Red Morton Community Center! Bring your questions and your KIDS! There will be fun, hands-on activities and our inflatable playland!

 Camp Fair

A Redwood City Love Story

Arista and Jeremy

Once upon a time, there was a young girl named, Arista Frick.  Arista was a bubbly little girl who loved gymnastics and set off on a journey to make it her life. From age four she began flipping and tumbling, and by age six, became a full-fledged competitor. Gymnastics WAS the love of her life until an evil knee injury came along and retired the bouncy damsel from her sport.

She persevered, and Arista continued to dance and cheer throughout high school, all the while realizing that this is what made her the happiest. She knew early-on, that a life without movement and fitness, was no life at all. She decided to start her own gymnastics business (Arista’s Jump Start Gymnastics) where she could share this passion with young children and their parents. Arista came to Redwood City Parks & Recreation 10 years ago with her pitch to start this wonderful program. We emphatically accepted, which brings us to this current day.

Over the past decade, Arista has touched the lives of THOUSANDS of local children. She has helped them to embark on their own journeys of movement, fitness, and personal success. But now that she was all grown-up, it was time to focus on something else…finding a Prince (bear with me, it’s Valentine’s Day!)

Here’s the BEST part…

One lovely evening, on the beautiful Courthouse Square, in perfectly temperate Redwood City, our lovely Arista sat enjoying the Michael Jackson tribute band, Foreverland. The band name could not have rung truer for Arista, because moments after the show started, she spotted HIM. There he sat with some of his family members, a young man, destined to meet our story’s star. Their eyes locked and the courtship began.

Fast forward to May of 2011… The Prince, who we will now refer to as “Jeremy,” planned to marry the lovely Arista. How would he propose, you ask? Well, in the exact same place the magic began…on Courthouse Square on a Friday Night (see pic above).  And the rest is history!

And the moral of our story is…

Courthouse Square is truly the heart of our City…and you can find love, right here, in your own backyard.


Meet Angie Torres, Dance Machine

If you don’t have a little person under the age of 6 in your home, you may not have met instructor, Angie Torres. Angie has been teaching gymnastics with Arista’s Jump Start Gymnastics for three years and has recently added Children’s Ballet & Tap as well as Jazz & Tap classes for adults here at Red Morton Community Center. I met with Angie recently to go over Spring & Summer class ideas and was overwhelmed by the crazy amounts of energy she exuded. She can start a class at 9am and finish at 9pm, exercising the same amount of high-energy throughout the entire day!  I felt like I needed a nap after our meeting, but in a good way OF COURSE!  Here’s a little more about our beloved, resident Energizer Bunny!

When & Why did you start dancing?
I have been dancing since I was seven years old. I went to see the San Francisco Ballet perform the Nutcracker and I fell in love with the Sugar Plum Fairy. I wanted to be just like her, so I started taking lessons. Ballet was my first love, but soon I discovered my passion for jazz and tap as well.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was very young I wanted to be a school teacher. As I got older I wanted to be a dance teacher (and a broadway star!).

When did you start teaching?
I began teaching dance at age eleven. My mother had an art camp which she ran out of our house. She taught painting in the garage, and I would teach dance in the play room downstairs. We had about 40 kids a week. At the end of each week we would have a show for the parents. I have been teaching ballet, tap and jazz at Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance in San Mateo for six years as well as gymnastics with Arista for three years.

Fun Facts

Favorite Style of Dance: Jazz

Favorite Broadway Show: Guys and Dolls.

Favorite Performer: Bette Midler.

Favorite TV Show: Modern Family

Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake AND Chocolate Mousse!

If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be?: Betty Boop

Come learn to dance this Winter from a seasoned dancer who makes learning fun. Classes for kids adults are held at Red Morton Community Center.

Click links to register for Angie’s classes!

Children’s Ballet & Tap – Ages 5-7
FRIDAYS 3:45-4:45pm
REGISTER (in progress 1/13-2/210)
REGISTER (2/24-3/30)

FRIDAYS 4:45-5:45pm
REGISTER (2/24-3/30)

Adult Jazz
REGISTER (1/19-2/16)
REGISTER (3/1-3/29)

Adult Tap
MONDAYS  8-9pm
REGISTER (1/23-3/26)

Moms Bringing the Heat to Red Morton Park!

Redwood City Baby Boot Campers
Mother Love Fitness Challengers flexing their hard work!

So… you had a baby. You long for the days of your high school figure – which you may not have even liked back then, but now wish you had it back!  This new little person in your life has trumped EVERYTHING, including your will and energy to get out and get your body back. You dread the idea of stepping foot into a gym and feeling like you wish you had a shirt that read, “I JUST HAD A BABY, OKAY!”

WHAT IF, there were a group of women just like you? WHAT IF, you could workout WITH your baby, and not stress about your baby in gym childcare during your entire workout. We know many gyms have great child care, but as a new Mom, it is stressful to leave your baby for the first time. Mommies, there is a solution. There are a variety of Stroller-based fitness programs to help jump-start your fitness regimen. Not only will they help you to achieve your fitness goals, but you will be surrounded with the support of other women who are sharing your same experiences.

Christy Doyle of Baby Boot Camp
Christy "Big Guns" Doyle

Christy Doyle, our resident BABY BOOT CAMP Trainer and Mommy Warrior, has been running this popular parent/child, strength training program in our own, Red Morton Park for several years. She recently recruited her own class participants to compete in a National Baby Boot Camp Competition entitled, MOTHER LOVE FITNESS CHALLENGE. Wait… didn’t these Moms have babies recently? YES THEY DID!

Mommies across the nation committed to 3 months of regular exercise, to then compete to become the nations “Fittest Mom” and win monthly prizes for their efforts. The outcome? Our own Kaycie Wall did 1,800 non-stop jump squats at Red Morton to take the National top spot! The Redwood City crew actually took the whole category with two other Redwood City Moms doing 1,758 and 1,600 non-stop jump squats!   We also had one Mommy win “Most-Improved” in the push-up category.  Day one, she struggled to do one push-up.  Thirty days later, she did 10 of them!  Red Morton Park has proven to be a fantastic park to work up a sweat! Congrats to our AWESOME MOMS! Come join us, your first class is FREE!

How can I participate?

Baby Boot Camp meets on Tuesdays & Thursdays in Red Morton Park (adding a Friday class at the end of the month!) and at Clifford Elementary School on Saturdays. All classes are at 9:30am. Click here for complete registration information.

What do I need to get started?

YOU NEED: Water bottle, mat or towel
WHAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS: Stroller, snacks, toys, sun block, diapers, hat, blanket

For More Information:

Contact Christy Doyle at 650.823.0119 or email:

Other Fitness Programs at Red Morton Community Center & Park:

Stroller Strides- website
Jazzercise- website
Broadways Fitness Fusion Workout & Personal Training- website

Arron’s Morning Boot Camp- website
Gymtone Fitness- see activity guide

He Sings, He Acts, He Teaches Kids! Meet William O’Neill.

Drama teacher Bill O'Neill

Who is William O’Neill?

When William O’Neill came to us, I thought, “could this guy be for real?”  Baritone Opera Singer, Actor, Drama Teacher, a performing arts Jack-of-all trades! Plus, his easy-going presence, playful demeanor and enthusiasm for the Arts was hard to ignore. Oh…and he also founded a very popular Theater and Singing program through the City of San Clemente PARKS & RECREATION! YES!  Thankfully, he decided to move up north and join us in Redwood City. He will be teaching After-School and Summer Theater programs this season (see below). We are excited to announce, that the Summer Camp will be held at the AMAZING Carrington Hall at Sequoia High School.

William, aka “Bill” started doing theater when he was very young. His Church-Music-Director-Father encouraged him to try singing and acting.  Bill started singing in the choir at the ripe age of five years old, and ventured on to do his first musical when he was eight. He has NEVER STOPPED SINCE!  His love for performing brought him to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he graduated with a M.A. in Voice and Opera. Bill has performed in many productions at the SF Conservatory of Music. Some of his more noteworthy parts include: Bottom, in A MidSummer Night’s Dream; Sarastro,  in The Magic Flute; Don Magnifico, in the opera of Cinderella; and Colline, in La Boheme.

Check out his Pipes & Chops in this video of Bill performing in La Boheme:

Some Fun Facts About Bill:

Fave movie: I’d have to say it’s toss up between The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Harry Potter Movies. I’m a big fantasy buff!

Fave TV Shows: Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Iron Chef America

Fave Actors: Male: Matt Damon / Female: Natalie Portman

Fave Dessert: Gourmet Cupcakes! Especially from places like Sprinkles or Kara’s Cupcakes.

Fave place to see a show: Broadway in New York, OF COURSE! Second is Carrington Hall in Redwood City 😉

First acting role: A street kid in the musical of Cinderella when I was 8. My first speaking part, was Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol when I was in 7th grade.

Fave acting role: My favorite show I’ve ever been in is actually one I’m doing right now. It’s called a Year With Frog and Toad. I’m performing it with Bay Area Children’s Theater. I play the part of Toad.

First movie you ever saw: Hahaha… I think it was probably the original Tron in the early 80’s. I also recall seeing the original Clash of the Titans around the same time. So I’m not sure…

What does Music & the Arts mean to you?: I have advice for all of the kids out there, to never give up on your dreams. When I was a kid I had a lot of speech problems to overcome, but doing things like music and theater is what helped me to break though those problems and give me self-confidence. I wouldn’t be the adult I am today without all the training I had a as a child.

Camp & Class Information:

3rd-5th graders can enjoy…
Adventures in Theater Workshop
– Tuesdays, 3:30-5pm beginning April 5th for 8 weeks

5th-8th graders can enjoy…
Too Much Drama!
– Thursdays, 3:30-5pm beginning April 7th for 8 weeks

Summer Camp at Carrington Hall…
Summer Performing Arts Program – Monday through Friday, 8:30am-3pm, July 11-22. 

Meet Jennifer Williams, our Upcycling Goddess!

Featured in the January 5th edition of the Palo Alto Daily News.

When Jennifer Williams Came to us, her energy and passion for…yes, you guessed it…TRASH…was infectious! As a City trying to find ways to be responsible and get our GREEN on, we were elated to have found such an exuberant personality as Jennifer’s. A corporate trainer by day, Jennifer has found a way to mesh her passions for inspiring others with her talents of crafting and motivating people to do so! Here is a little more about how her side biz, Moonlit Circus, came to be!

Q: Jennifer, How did this all start?

A: Carnivals, festivals, Halloween…  These were my favorite things as a child.  The county fair took place every year during my birthday, and I thought it was my personal celebration! As an adult, my creative, whimsical right brain was atrophying from underuse.  How to add that childhood magic back into my life while still remaining gainfully employed?  And sprinkle a little fairy dust on others along the way?

I decided to create a craft business, but had concerns about the overseas resourcing of materials.  Influenced by the DIY, Steampunk, and sustainable living movements, I found my Idea. Upcycling thrift-store sweaters into F*ittens (fingerless mittens) and embellishing them with vintage buttons, beads, and felted scraps was on brand, and Moonlit Circus was born.

Q: Your stuff is so cute & innovative! Where can we get more? How do we learn how to do this?

A: Today I have a booth at art fairs, as well as teaching crafts to others through parks & recreation and private venues.

This session, Jennifer is currently offering:

  1. Let’s Make Wristlets in Half Double Crochet (sign-up) This class happens this Saturday, 1/22 @ 10am, deadline to sign up is Friday (tomorrow) by 11am!
  2. Make a Rug From Upcycled T-Shirts (sign-up)
  3. Transform Bottle Caps Into Jewelry & More! (sign-up)

Check for NEW classes every season from Jennifer Williams & Moonlit Circus!