A Message from the CEC's Program Director 10-17-17

ShakeOut Participation


Each year, the CEC participates in the The Great Southern California ShakeOut. This year, the ShakeOut will be held on Thursday, October 19 at 10:19 am*. This earthquake preparedness event is designed to raise awareness and encourage Californians to prepare for large earthquakes in their homes, schools, businesses and public places to prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes (you can read more about this event at http://www.shakeout.org).  

For the Infant-Toddler and Preschool Programs, our participation will include a drill and evacuation which will likely last approximately 20 minutes. The School-Age children at LCE, PCR, PCY, Westridge and St. Bede will be participating in their school’s drills. Children enrolled at the School Age Program at Caltech or the School Age Program at Oak Grove, will practice in the afternoon. Our goal is to make this as relaxed and stress-free for everyone as possible while providing children and staff with valuable practice in what will happen in the event of an earthquake.

This year, we will be revising the Center’s Earthquake and Emergency protocols and distributing them to parents so that there is shared knowledge of the Center’s plan of action and what parents need to know in order to feel secure regarding the Center’s plans, supplies, and practices. We anticipate the revision will be ready for distribution before the end of the year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a program director.

*Please arrive and sign in before 10:10 or after 10:40. We will not be signing children in during the drill.

Lisa Cain-Chang

A Message from the CEC's Program Director 10-10-17

x-ray of what can happen when a child swallows a whole grape

x-ray of what can happen when a child swallows a whole grape

Children’s Health: Choking

Many parents ask us why we require foods like raw carrots, grapes, or hot dogs be cut in specific ways. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), choking is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, especially those aged 3 years or younger. The foods that I mentioned above, plus many more foods, toys, and household items have been determined to be choking hazards by notable health organizations, including the AAP. Our own extensive experience with children shows us that they can and will choke or have difficulty chewing and swallowing certain foods, even into the preschool and early elementary school years. While we know it may be time-consuming to cut food into small pieces, eliminating opportunities for choking is paramount for children’s wellbeing.

Please see the following video in which Philip Gendreau, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences—Naval Medical Center San Diego, identifies the risk factors and common items associated with choking. He also explains what parents should do in a  choking emergency.

Lisa Cain-Chang

A Message from the CEC's Program Director 10-3-17

Sunday night, we learned that there had been yet another horrific act of violence in our country and we are asking, once again, "How does one make sense of this tragedy?" With numerous events and natural disasters in rapid succession, many of us may be experiencing upset, worry, and a sense of being overwhelmed. If adults are challenged to comprehend the enormity of human suffering that has resulted from violence and the forces of nature, how can our children understand, let alone feel that they are safe?

Having been a teacher and Program Director for many years, I have had the opportunity to talk with parents and staff about research and developmental theory and how they inform us about what children need to know about these types of events or natural disasters. Thankfully, there is ample information to help guide parents, teachers, and caregivers as we strive to help children feel secure, as well as find support for ourselves.

According to Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor at Wheelock College, child advocate, and author:

"One of the most important things for healthy development is for children to feel safe and secure. Violent images in the news can scare children even if they are far away, and undermine their sense of well-being. Therefore it's important to protect young children as much as possible from these images... If young children are exposed, remind them that they are safe at home and provide concrete examples using age-appropriate terms..."

In agreement with Levin, many experts recommend keeping young children away from repetitive graphic images, dialogue, and sounds that may appear on television, radio, social media, computers, etc. These images only magnify the sense of worry or fear children may feel.

Fred Rogers Quote.jpg

Another recommendation that I have found beneficial and wise is that of Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" At the CEC, we strive to remind children of the power of goodness and the importance of offering and accepting help from their family and community.

The following resources provide additional perspectives and specific information about talking with children about violence and disasters. If there is anything I can do to assist you, please feel free to contact me. 

Lisa Cain-Chang

Parent Resources:

The Fall Used Clothing & Toy Sale is Here!

Do you have a growing pile of outgrown children's clothes in decent condition? Now that the weather is changing, are you finding that your child actually needs hoodies or a jacket? Then pencil the CEC Used Clothing Sale into your calendar!

The clothing sale has become a popular CEC tradition where donated children's clothing and shoes (infant sizes on up), as well as maternity wear, are sold for bargain prices of $1 (or $3 for exceptional items). 

Please bring your gently-used children's toys, clothes, shoes, and maternity wear, sorted by age (not gender), to the CEC starting Thursday, October 12. Items may be dropped off at the CEC office or in the Whale Room near the stage.


Sale Dates:

• Thursday - Saturday, October 19, 20, and 21 at Oak Grove Site (140 Foothill Blvd. La Canada)

Sale Times:

• Thursday and Friday: Early morning (7:00 am - 9:30 am) and late afternoon (4:15 pm - 5:45 pm)

• Saturday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (This is open to the public so invite all your friends and colleagues who are soon-to-be parents or have children!)

Parent Participation:

Earn parent hours by sorting clothes, doing pre-sale set up, staffing during the sale hours, and/or post-sale clean-up.