Unique local learning opportunities for students to get ahead this next school year

Aug 25, 2019, 14:38 PM by Nuvision 

At Nuvision, we always want to help students succeed and go on to lead successful lives. Southern California has a lot to offer its students, so we wanted to share some of that might be able to help our members or their children. From college readiness programs to after-school extracurriculars, here some things students can get involved in this semester:

College readiness programs

Heart of Los Angeles

Featuring impressive stats including that 97% of their college students succeed, Heart of Los Angeles, or HOLA, focuses on providing underserved communities with the resources needed for their children to succeed in higher-education programs. This includes providing a broad array of enrichment programs that include not only sound academics but also arts, athletics, and even wellness. This non-profit offers all of these for free. A few of the services that HOLA provides for college students include academic advising, financial aid advising, scholarship programs, and numerous toolkits to enable success.


UNITE-LA is a Los Angeles based educational non-profit that recognizes that not all people have the same opportunities for career and college success that other people may have. They focus on children and teens from pre-school through high school to ensure that kids from all walks of life have the best chance to succeed and obtain equal job opportunities compared to those more fortunate. From scholarships, student preparation, to internships, this impactful organization has it all.

Get Me to College

Get Me to College is a free college readiness site and organization founded in Los Angeles that to this day, continues to provide a diverse set of actionable tips and resources for prospective college students. The site has many posts discussing how to create a stunning college application and essay, how to prepare effectively for tests, and how to be ready for the academic rigors of post-secondary education. The site even has resources for undocumented students, an extremely valuable resource.

Title I Career and College Readiness Program

The Orange County Department of Education offers this program to Title I students and features a robust set of online career resources for the high schooler getting ready to transition into college but who may not know where to turn. The program also features access to career counselors who can help qualified students plan their next steps. And for those who may not qualify for Title I, some of the online resources provided still have tremendous value to those getting ready for a new career and college.

Extracurricular activities

Acting Academy for Kids

With three locations and still growing in the Southern California area including Irvine, Acting Academy for Kids has transformed the local youth arts scene and is now one of the top youth performance academies in the area. They offer a variety of after school activities that no longer focus purely on acting and include other performing art disciplines such as film, vocal training, piano, and musical showcases. They serve small children up to 18 years of age and still pride themselves on their nurturing and personal relationships with their students.

AAA Sports Club

If athletic extracurriculars are more your child’s passion, then the AAA Sports Club in Irvine, CA, will be the perfect fit. This established club features a broad array of sports activities, including basketball, soccer, swimming, and dance. The organization also provides one on one coaching and group lessons as well.

Mission Renaissance

If your child is creative but has more of a visual eye, then Mission Renaissance is the program to choose. This after-school program is designed for students of all ages and provides one on one instruction from qualified, expert instructors. Students will learn how to draw and paint. If you call, they will even offer a free introductory lesson at no cost to you.

American Martial Arts Academy

The American Martial Arts Academy is a martial arts institution serving the greater Southern California area for years and has several programs that will fit all ages and needs, including a coveted after-school program which you can call and ask about to see if your child may qualify for it. The after-school program can even pick up your child and safely bring them to the martial arts studio for both homework and martial arts practice. As well as this impressive offering, they provide classes to kids of all ages from younger children to teenagers.

Blue Ribbon Saddle Club

Perfect for the budding equestrian, Blue Ribbon Saddle Club is Southern California’s premier youth-oriented riding club featuring opportunities for learning horseback riding to all ages and skill levels. They even offer an after-school specific program that runs on Mondays, from September—June, from 3:15—5 pm PDT. Additional features include private and group lessons, lessons for special needs children, summer and holiday camps, and not to mention their compassionate and patient team of instructors.

CodeREV Kids

Computers are the future, and CodeREV embraces the world of technology arms wide open. Here your kids can learn in a variety of after-school programs featuring such rapidly growing fields as coding, game-making, and even virtual reality. If that isn’t enough to spike their interest, they can also learn valuable coding skills while playing and having fun in the wonderful sandbox game Minecraft.

Play-Well Teknologies

Kids will have a blast in this program brushing up on their engineering skills while they work together with each other to build fascinating and fun projects out of Legos. While doing this, they learn valuable, life-changing STEM concepts that will give them the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing technological landscape.

Prep Stars

This organization is serious about chess and offers a Wednesday class for players new to the game. They boast a team of highly talented top-scoring chess instructors and a curriculum that will not only pit children against each other in practice matches but will also match them against computers for the ultimate challenge.

QD Learning

QD Learning can provide additional after-school homework and project support, but what makes them even more special is their offering of classes that focus on teaching soft-skills like public speaking and debate, second languages, and critical reading and writing.


Explore the Great Outdoors in Los Angeles County, California Art Contest

The National School Art Collective and Abercrombie Kids are offering a $250 Abercrombie Kids gift card and a copy of your child’s artwork framed and displayed in the Santa Anita Mall. The contest’s objective is to exemplify students’ abilities in the basics of fine art.

Students need to be in 1st—6th grade in a public, private, or homeschool program in Los Angeles County, CA. The artwork theme needs to be an outdoor adventure. Currently, the Los Angeles County contest is still accepting submissions and has extended their deadline per their site. You can find more information here: https://www.nationalschoolartcollective.org/los-angeles-county-california-student-art-contest-2019.html.

Water Replenishment District’s 5th Annual Art Contest

Southern California’s Water Replenishment District is holding their 5th annual student art poster contest which requires participants to demonstrate the importance of groundwater/conservation of water. It is open to students in grades K—6th. The 4th annual contest for 2019 has passed, but they are now accepting enrollment for this upcoming year’s contest. You can find more information here: https://www.wrd.org/content/annual-student-art-contest.


Fall Festival of Fun

On September 24, 2019, from 10 am to 5 pm the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine will be throwing their Fall Festival of Fun. Kids can come and enjoy art, games and activities all centered around fall and the changing of leaves, all while enjoying some delicious fall-themed snacks.

Crafty Kids Sunday in Newport Beach

Held on a semi-regular basis at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and put on by Orange County Parks, this youth-centered activity will have kids up to the ages of 12 enjoy a self-guided experience that may have them exploring exhibits or going on nature hikes in the beautiful preserve. The event is free, and parents and children are encouraged to show up to the Muth Interpretive Center’s Discovery Classroom at 10 am PDT on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019.

Orange County Children’s Book Festival

This massive book festival for kids of all ages is free to attend and features an all-star cast of authors and celebrities. This year the highlight is none other than Kobe Bryant, who will be headlining the mainstage to talk to the audience. With over a hundred authors attending last year and tons of activities to do, there is something for everyone here. Books can also be purchased, and there is a wide variety of activities for kids to partake in including face-painting, music, animal petting, dancing, balloons, and all sorts of other activities. Attendance is free. You can head over and enjoy all the fun at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, from 9:30 am to 4 pm PDT.

Spooky Farm Fall Festival in Buena Park

Geared to a slightly younger audience, this fun-filled event is perfect for kids up to age 11. Families can enjoy a safe and fun-filled day doing a ton of kid-friendly and spooky activities. Kids can get a free treat bag at the gate and go trick-or-treating through the theme park, create miniature jack-o-lanterns, and enjoy a spooky ghost story or two. Other features include their rides transforming into Halloween-themed adventures, like the Halloween Hootenanny log ride. The event goes on through October on select days at Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA, 90620. More information can be found at www.knotts.com.

Concerts on the Green at Newport Beach Civic Center

An all-ages event perfect for any kid and family, this concert series is going to feature Queen Nation, a Queen cover band on Aug. 25, 2019, from 6—7:30 pm at the Newport Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA, 92660. Admission is free, and people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and snacks, although a variety of food trucks will also be available. Alcohol is not permitted.

Final tips for students to succeed this school year

Besides all of the programs and opportunities listed above, there are many steps students themselves can take. Students should establish good habits early on. There is never too young an age to go the extra mile to demonstrate that a student is dedicated. Making sure to be on time to class, completing assignments well and on time and establishing strong relationships with teachers are all ways that will set up a student for success all the way through college.

They should also start thinking about their finances. With two-thirds of today’s adults unable to pass a basic financial literacy test, it’s even more crucial for kids and teens to learn the basics of money management. Students can find resources everywhere online, from free lessons at Banzai and the Biz Kids tv series to the tools and tips we post here on the Nuvision blog. They can also put what they learn into practice by opening a young adult checking account

We also encourage students to get involved in their community. With the options above there are tons of local opportunities in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas for students to find not just activities that are fun, but activities that will prepare them for success in both their academic and their personal life.