Oilily, GenLux Magazine and LA Celebs "Chiming" in for CHIME Institute
Typically when I am invited to an event, it’s not always the typical "LA/Hollywood" celebrity gathering for an awards show. One of the most fun events I was invited to recently was at the Beverly Hills Oilily Store (9250 Brighton Way –between Camden and Rodeo, Beverly Hills, 310.859.9145) co-sponsored by GenLux Magazine — a regional LA fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine– in mid- December. The event was a daytime "read-a-thon’ featuring local celebrities who were reading stories to children attending this event.
Ok.. wait. You are wondering "why is she going to a children’s bookreading?"
First, Oilily is a beautiful clothing store showing gorgeous fashions for kids from infant to pre-teen and moms– it’s the perfect pre-holiday and post holiday location to find well-made gorgeous clothing that’s ideal for handing down to younger family members as well as holiday gatherings.
Second–and more important- the book-reading event was sponsored by Oilily and GenLux Magazine to raise funds for The CHIME Institute. I had never heard of The CHIME Institute and went to find out more about this organization– and I got a great education from celebrity host, Laura San Giacomo (star of Just Shoot Me television series).
According to Laura San Giacomo, The CHIME Institute is an innovative educational program for children from infant/toddler, pre-school/kindergarten through elementary and middle school. The CHIME Institute programs are so unique that educators from around the globe visit the schools to see the program in action. What is so special about it? The CHIME Institute provides educational resources for all types of children– i.e., developmentally challenged, gifted and normal students–together in the same grade-level classroom. Think of it as "embedded learning" for those who need more help mastering subject matter; need more challenging subject matter; and those who are ‘on target’ with their grade level. The dhild with dyslexia is given assistance desk side another student who might be at grade level or someone else who might be working at more challenging school work. It’s an interesting and innovative way that goes way beyond the concept of ‘mainstreaming’ special needs children (regardless if they are experiencing deficits or need more challenges). The curriculum is taught by master teachers with assistance from several aides to decrease the student to teacher ratio so that students can learn at their pace with assistance or guidance if needed. Each classroom is a carefully balanced blend of students needing remediation, students who need more challenge (gifted) and those who are at grade level–so there is a balance in concert with the general population. No one group is singled out and thus children learn that everyone has a place in school (and society) regardless of ability. The results are phenomenal– as shown by test scores that show a remarkably high achievement rate across the board in comparision to other California schools.
Hah! You might be mulling this over and thinking " special needs+ special school + master teachers + lots of aides + unique curriculum + great test scores + celebrities = private school + $$$$$$$"
The Chime Institute is a PUBLIC school and tuition-free! The popularity of the program has grown due to the parents of children attending the program talking about the program via community outreach and simple grass roots type communication.
How does The CHIME Institute pay for all this? Through fund-raising efforts like the Oilily -GenLux Magazine read-a-thon where 25% of the purchases were donated to the school. The celebrity read-a-thon was really successful and local stars were steppping up to the plate to read stories to waiting children!
After speaking to Laura San Giacomo and comedian, Andy Kindler, it was obvious the commitment that many in Southern California make to keep this school alive and functioning. I caught GenLux Editor in Chief, Jennifer Disotell and we talked at great length about the importance of educational developments like those offered by The CHIME Institute.
Parents were happy to leave children to sit with celebrity story-tellers while they had cider or coffee and shopped for beautiful clothing and accessories to benefit this innovative school.
Celebrity readers that I saw at the store included
Other celebs that were visiting included:
MORGAN FAIRCHILD— well-known television and movie actress
SHAWN PYFROM — “Desperate Housewives”
GEORGE STULTS –series regular on “7th Heaven”
KARI MATCHETT– ABC’s “Invasion”
KAYLEE DEF –Michael Rappaport’s daughter on FOX’s “War at Home” (also in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film FLICKA)
COURTNEY HANSEN– former host of TLCs “Overhaulin” and now Spike Tvs new car girl, FHM’s “Garage Girl” columnist
MICHAEL PAGAN — “See No Evil” “Gridiron Gang” opposite The Rock
BREE TURNER –Linday Lohan’s best friend on Fox’s “Just My Luck”
Dr. RANDAL HAWORTH— Beverly Hills plastic surgeon on “The Swan”
RYAN MCPARTLIN– “Living with Fran” opposite Fran Drescher and “Hank” on “Passions”
For more information on –or to make a donation to– The CHIME Institute,visit http://www.chimeinstitute.org/chime_institute.html
For more information on Oilily clothing and shoes, visit http://www.oilily-world.com/
For more information on GenLux Magazine, visit http://www.genlux.com/
That’s the LA Story.