Category Archives: Youth

Camp Noah is a camp for elementary-age children impacted by disaster

UMCOR805 a program of the California Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church is hosting Camp Noah. A free day camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. August 6-10th at Ojai United Methodist Church and August 13-17 at College United Methodist Church in Ventura.

Camp Noah is a fun, resiliency building and preparedness camp for elementary-age children whose communities have been impacted by disaster. Camp Noah fills a unique need focusing on recovery and resilience it also offers new hope and greater awareness to the continuing needs of the community. Camp Noah celebrates every child as special. In a safe, supportive setting children are encouraged to face their fears, grieve their losses, identify and share their unique gifts and talents.

Camp Noah originally began as a response to flooding in the Red River Valley in 1997, developed by Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, Camp Noah has grown into a nationally acclaimed resiliency and preparedness program for children whose communities have been impacted by natural and human-caused disasters.

Camp Noah is open to all elementary- age children living in Ventura or Ojai.

Online Registration @ Question Heidi Amundson 805-850-3969

Ballet Academy Ventura student walks away with top honors

Olivia Roman was awarded a full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School.

Olivia Roman, a 12 year old student at the Ballet Academy Ventura (BAV) was awarded a full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School at the recent California Classics ballet competition. She was selected by a panel of judges and given the award by Yoko Katsumi a member of the San Francisco Ballet School faculty member.

Olivia will attend in July for a three week program. Jasmine Duncan, another BAV student was awarded a partial scholarship to Harid Conservatory. Olivia Roman is a 7th grade student at Cabrillo Middle School where she also plays saxophone in the wind ensemble and jazz band.

San Francisco Ballet’s School is one of the most prestigious professional ballet training centers in the U.S.A… Full scholarships are given rarely by the school and only to promising young dancers.

At the California Ballet Classics competition twelve other BAV students received gold and silver awards and the school received a gold trophy award for their National Character Ensemble.

Kathleen Noblin, Founder and Director of Ballet Academy Ventura stated, “Olivia’s work ethic and exceptional talent have brought her to this place. She is most deserving and needless to say I am very proud of her work. It is also a reflection of the excellent training that Ballet Academy Ventura (BAV) provides here in Ventura. She began ballet training at 2 years old at Ballet Academy Ventura.” Olivia was coached by Marina Fliagina, Brett Weidlich and Allison Crilly, all members of the BAV teaching staff.

Ventura Family YMCA gearing up for the best summer ever

On June 21, the YMCA hosted the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, an event that seeks to break the record for largest Swim Lesson Worldwide. Photos by Michael Gordon

At the end of the summer, families want to hear their child had “the best summer ever.” To help make that happen, the Ventura Family YMCA is offering Sports camps, Specialty camps, and Day camps for campers of all ages.

This summer there will be a variety of sports camps including Splash camp, Hoops camp, Junior Sluggers camp, Soccer camp, and Sports of All Sorts camp. Sports camp will keep campers in grades 2-5 physically active and engaged, and also foster character development in the form of teamwork and sportsmanship. Sports camps are offered through August 17 at rates of $170 to $175 depending on facility member or program member status.

Specialty camps at Ventura Family YMCA will feature topics including Arts & Crafts, Cooking, and Dance. No matter each child’s interest, there is something for everyone. Specialty camps for campers in grades 2-5 will run from July 9 through July 27 at rates of $170 to $175 depending on facility member or program member status.

Day camp is also available for campers in Kindergarten through Eighth grade. Day camp will include Rainbow Camp, Voyager Camp, and Adventure Camp. In each camp, participants will have the opportunity to engage in learning experiences, and take day trips to destinations such as the MOXI Wolf Museum of Exploration and Mothers Beach. Prices for Day camp range from $160-$175 depending on facility member or program member status. Dates for Day camp are offered through August 17. For more information about Ventura Family YMCA summer camps please visit

Summer is the ideal time for kids to get up, get out and explore. But for some kids, summer means no access to recreational and educational activities to help them learn, grow and thrive during out-of-school time. As a result, some kids can experience learning loss and gain weight twice as fast than during the school year. Attending Ventura Family YMCA summer camp is a wonderful opportunity for kids to keep their minds and bodies active.

“It’s imperative that kids stay engaged socially, physically and academically throughout the summer. Summer camp is a wonderful way to ensure that,” says Julie O’Brien, Youth Programs Director for the Ventura Family YMCA.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Channel Islands YMCA serves over 46,000 individuals and provides over $1.3 million in financial assistance to families in need for child care, YMCA memberships, away and day camps, youth sports, and teen after-school programs. For more information about the Ventura YMCA, visit or call 805.642.2131.

Non-profit offers boys and girls fun, safe, supervised environment for volleyball

The United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL) today announced that registration for the 2018 fall program in Ventura is open. The instructional volleyball league will provide boys and girls ages 7-15 the opportunity to learn and play volleyball in a fun, safe, and supervised environment.

The eight-week developmental league provides participants instruction twice per week that is designed to teach basic volleyball skills in a positive environment. The program is structured around the principles of participation, teamwork, skill development, sportsmanship, and fun. Practices and games operate in a coed format and offer participants the opportunity to develop self-esteem and confidence.

USYVL’s Ventura league will begin September 12th and run through November 3rd at Arroyo Verde Park. Practices for the league will be held on Wednesdays 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM and games on Saturdays 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Registration for participants is currently available online at The registration price includes a volleyball, t-shirt, and end of season participation award.

USYVL is a volunteer organization that is built around community involvement. Under the direction of the USYVL National Office, Site Director, Clinician (Volleyball Instructor), parents, and volunteers assist with coaching, equipment set-up, and administrative duties. The league offers multiple opportunities for parents to be actively involved in the success of the program. Individuals interested in volunteering with USYVL can click on the “Get Involved” section of our website.

For information on registration, programs, locations, schedules or volunteer opportunities visit or contact 888-988-7985 or

Founded in 1997, the United States Youth Volleyball League is a non-profit youth sports organization that hosts more than 15,000 participants annually, nationwide. USYVL’s mission is to provide every child between the ages of 7 and 15 a chance to learn and play volleyball in a fun, safe, and supervised environment. One of the main tenets of the program is to encourage children to do their best with their abilities. With an emphasis on positive reinforcement, the program seeks to build confidence and self-esteem in each child.

Ventura Police Community Foundation takes 20 local youth to Dodger game

Ventura Police Officers are investing in local youth as Detective Marchetti, Officer Rodriguez, Officer Lopez, Detective Quiorz and Detective Henderson took 20 local youth to the Dodger game on June 15. The effort, funded by the Ventura Police Community Foundation, is part of the Ventura Police Department’s efforts at crime prevention through mentorship of at risk youth.

The next trip will be a surfing day on July 23, 2018. Those interested in supporting this effort through financial support or donations of lunch or experiences please contact the Ventura Police Department’s Community Outreach Specialist Ashley Bautista at 805-339-4317.

The Ventura Police Community Foundation aims to foster and support programs and initiatives that strengthen a safe community and enhance quality of life in Ventura.

Lake Casitas Rowing Light attends Regional Championships

Lake Casitas Rowing Light attended the Regional Championships May 4-6th to secure an invite to the Nationals Championships . The men’s varsity boat got bronze medals bringing them one step closer to an attempt at a National title. Over 2000 athletes competed in this 3-day regional event from almost 40 different teams from all over California, Nevada, Arizona Utah and Hawaii. Joe Wells and Alex Legaspi, both seniors, have been training all year with one goal in mind, to make it to Nationals to represent their team and they succeeded! Alex is graduating from Ventura High School and Joe goes to Excellence in Education Academy (Private School).With their placement over the weekend they will be racing against the best in the Nation in a 2000 meter regatta on Lake Natoma June 8-10th.

For more information contact Wendy Gillett 258.8622 or

Summer Nutrition is available for all community children

Each summer, Ventura Unified School District provides a nutrition program. This program provides lunch at no charge to children 1-18 years of age. Summer Nutrition is not based on income qualification. It is available for all community children regardless of their school year qualification for free and reduced price meals. Lunch will be served June 18th through August 3rd.

Ventura Unified School District is committed to providing nutritious foods during the summer months so that students may return to school healthy, energized and ready to learn!

Participating sites include the following:

Lunch served: 10:45am – 12:00pm

  • DATA Middle School
  • Anacapa Middle School
  • ATLAS Elementary School
  • E.P. Foster Elementary School
  • Montalvo Elementary School
  • Portola Elementary School

Lunch served: 10:30am – 12:00pm

  • Pacific High School
  • Ventura High School

Lunch served: 11:00amm – 1:00pm

  • YMCA

Lunch served: 11:30am – 1:00pm

  • Buena Vida Apartments
  • Encanto Del Mar Apartments

Lunch served: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

  • Westpark Community Center

Rotary Club Of Ventura South holds First Annual Speech Contest for Ventura high schools

The senior winners are Jonathon Saldana, Alaina Hooks and Aspen Levitt.

The Rotary Club of Ventura South conducted its first annual speech contest for Ventura high school students with the finals held on Thursday, May 17, at the Tower Club in Oxnard. At the event, the Club awarded more than $4,000 in scholarships for first place, second place, and honorable mention to students from Buena, Foothill, and Ventura High Schools. First Bank in Ventura contributed $2,000 to the project.

Bob Davis, 2017-18 President of Rotary Ventura South, commented, “We’re excited to sponsor this first annual event as a means of supporting education in our community and encouraging students to develop their public speaking skills. We look forward to welcoming even more contestants in the coming years.”

Invitations to participate went out to all Ventura High Schools in March, and the initial round of competition was conducted on campus for students at the responding schools. The entrants were asked to prepare a four-minute speech on the American civil rights movement of the 1950s-60s.

The presentations were judged by panels of Rotary Ventura South club members using delivery, content, and their own discretion as criteria. They were John Weiss, Rosanna Colin, Bob Braitman, Mary Davis and Dante Honorico.

The winners are:

  • Kaitlyn Saldana – Freshman, Buena High School. First Place (Freshmen) – $1,500.
  • Angela Tang – Freshman, Buena High School. Second Place (Freshmen) – $750.
  • Joshua Cenzano – Sophomore, Buena High School. First Place (Sophomores) – $1,500.
  • Alaina Hooks – Senior, Foothill Technology High School. First Place (Seniors) – $1,500.
  • Aspen Levitt – Senior, Ventura High School. Second Place (Seniors) – $750.
  • Jonathon Saldana – Senior, Buena High School. Third Place (Seniors) – $300.

The Rotary Club of Ventura South is one of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs with 1.2 million members around the world. The clubs work together to promote peace; fight disease; provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; save mothers and children; support education; and grow local economies. Rotary Ventura South meets at noon every Monday at the Tower Club in Oxnard. Visitors are always welcome. For more information, visit

Students will present their Environmental Business Plans and will receive awards

On Thursday, May 31, over forty 5th-12th-grade students from six public schools in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties will be presenting their authored environmental business proposals to a judging panel. Students’ proposals focus on water conservation, energy efficiency, or waste reduction of their school campuses, or educate a community about ocean acidification. The event will take place at the Museum of Ventura County from 4 -7 pm.

In the first hour and a half, the 40 finalists will present to a panel of judges who will rank the project proposals based on merit and cost effectiveness. Then at 5:30 pm, the MERITO Foundation in partnership with NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary will award cash or in kind prizes to the young authors of top environmental business proposals.

Energy Efficiency to Mitigate Climate Change and Ocean Acidification “EECCOA” is a project-based science education program of the MERITO Foundation that provides energy, climate and ocean literacy services and products to 8th – 12th grade teachers and their students aligned to Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS1) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS2).

The EECCOA Awards Event is the culmination of the 9 month-long EECCCOA Program. The following schools will have students present or display their project proposals:

The Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans (MERITO) Foundation is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization based in Ventura dedicated to protecting the ocean by facilitating education, conservation and scientific research opportunities to multicultural youth and their communities. The EECCOA Challenge empowers students to be environmental entrepreneurs by providing them through their teachers, with the tools to understand climate change, ocean acidification, drought and wildfires and address these issues with money saving project proposals for their school campuses. Students are also given the option to develop awareness campaigns that inform and involve their communities.

The EECCCOA Program and EECCOA Awards Event sponsors include: NOAA B-WET Grant, Sea Forward Fund, Ventura Water, Arcturus Manufacturing Corp (through a settlement agreement filed by Wishtoyo Foundation), Island Packers and Montecito Bank and Trust.

Reaching future Ventura Breeze readers

Ventura Police Commander Rick Murray reading to kids at the Take 5 event at police headquarters. Photo by Michael Gordon

Take 5 and Read to Kids! is an annual effort by First 5 Ventura County to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood literacy.

On Friday, May 4, more than 55 celebrity readers read to young children throughout Ventura County to kick off the Take 5 and Read to Kids campaign! This year the Ventura Police Department hosted the effort at Police/Fire Headquarters. Police Officers and Firefighters took time to read and share important safety tips with local families.

· Take 5 encourages parents and caregivers to talk, read, and sing with young children ages 1-5 to support their early language and literacy development.

· Reading aloud, telling stories, and even singing builds pathways in the brain that will later be used to learn letters, read, and to think critically.

· Being introduced to books in the home and reading to a child before they enter school has been shown to be the strongest predictor of school success, especially for students at the greatest risk of falling behind.

That’s what Take 5 is about – take 5 minutes today for a child’s future.

A tour of the facility was also given.

The impressive lineup of readers in Ventura County to promote the importance of reading early to young children included Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Assembly member Dante Acosta, Supervisor Kelly Long, County Executive Officer Mike Powers, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen, Sheriff Geoff Dean, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth, CSUCI President Erika Beck and many more.

“For young children, early exposure to books – including being read aloud to each day – is critical for long-term academic success,” said First 5 Ventura County Executive Director Petra Puls. “And yet, in Ventura County, only 58% of children are read to daily.”