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Laguna Beach

 Volume 14, Issue 78  |  September 30, 2022

La Playa holds drive-by Holiday Gift Event on Sunday for students and families

This time of year, La Playa students are usually busy getting ready for holiday events such as the Tamale Sale – as part of the annual Hospitality Night – however, they have all been canceled. 

La Playa’s annual Christmas party for parents and children won’t be possible either, but in its place, the organization held a Holiday Gift Event on Sunday at Lang Park where La Playa families drove by and received a gift package and greeted teachers and fellow students they’ve missed during the past nine months. 

35 families picked up gifts at Lang Park at the “drive-by” holiday celebration. La Playa teachers and students Krisztina and Ginny passed out the gift packages and greeted students only seen on Zoom for many months.

La Playa gifts

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Submitted photo

Gifts ready to be handed out during Sunday’s Holiday Gift Event

Bonnie Teder, co-director of La Playa, says, “With COVID-19 restrictions, we have gone online for as many class sessions as we can cover to help our students maintain their English skills, and to share information on community resources. Several of our teachers have developed Zoom skills, and we hope to expand the program as long as needed as we wait to resume the in-person classes and childcare.” 

La Playa truck

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Submitted photo

Family participating in Gift Event

La Playa Center is a free ESL school operating in the Boys & Girls Club on Laguna Canyon Road. Before COVID-19, the center operated during the regular school year Monday through Thursday from 9:30 until 11 a.m., offering three levels – Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced – of English instruction taught by volunteer teachers. Under normal circumstances, as an extra incentive and wonderful bonus, free childcare and free textbooks are provided to students.   

Since March the La Playa center has been closed for classes and childcare at the Boys and Girls Club. Teder says, “We’ve been able to offer free online classes English classes for Intermediate and Advanced students. Beginning in January we’re adding an online Beginning class. Anyone interested joining one of our classes can get information by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”

More information on the current online classes is available by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - [email protected]

Lana Johnson, Editor - [email protected]

Tom Johnson, Publisher - [email protected]

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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