Miss A Columnist

Rochelle Robinson grew up in the Pacific Northwest immersed in the performance, musical, and fine arts, as well as athletics – from skiing in the water to skiing in the sleet and snow, to cycling around the velodrome. While studying fine art and the musical genre of jazz at the University of Washington she put both her passion for and experience in the arts into helping to create the Washington State Academic Achievement Standards for the Arts by serving on both the Arts and Standards Revision committees. She later completed a Master of Arts in Teaching at The University of Puget Sound and Master of Arts in Liberal Arts at St. John's College Graduate Institute. As an aspiring artist, as well as an educator, she is still intrigued by the creative process and what ensues as a result. Currently, she is developing a poetry blog called A Writer's Space and has co-written both a children's picture book and pilot for a children's TV show. Rochelle also works as an elementary school librarian and advanced reading teacher for a small private school in the valley. She is in the midst of developing a new business named Watercolor Weddings by Rochelle and is developing a series of paintings and conceptual artworks, the first of which is currently on display at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood. She hopes to inspire Miss A readers to explore, experience and get involved, as she sets out to bring a touch of the literary, fine and performing arts that are happening here in Los Angeles to our readers.

Room To Read’s Global Yoga Benefit

Namaste World! Room to Reads Yoga Benefit 2013 logo (Photo Credit: courtesy of Room to Read)

Namaste World! Room to Read’s Yoga Benefit 2013 logo (Photo Credit: Room to Read)

On Saturday, June 1, 2013 you can take a donation yoga class from a plethora of studios in Los Angeles participating in Room to Read’s Global Yoga Benefit, Namaste World!, and you’ll be helping to support girls education around the world.

Room to Read kids reading together (Photo Credit: courtesy of Room to Read website)

Room to Read kids reading together (Photo Credit: Room to Read website)

Room to Read, selflessly started in 1999 by former Microsoft executive John Wood, has been building libraries and schools in villages across the continents of Asia and Africa in an effort to increase literacy rates and improve the lives of children and generations to come. Utilizing local talent and resources they even publish books in the kids’ local languages. Through the tireless work of Room to Read trained teachers, kids are becoming literate in both their native tongues and English to keep them connected and enabled to join a world-wide conversation. Room to Read also works closely with the communities to get them involved in the process; from getting on board with the concept, to constructing the “rooms to read” with hammer and nail, to developing self-sustaining programs that keep the libraries and schools running strong and successfully. And, the efforts are proving to fair well. Kids are not just learning how to read, but forming the habit of reading and becoming empowered to affect great change in their own right. With libraries going up faster than Starbuck’s opened outlets at their same period of growth, the work of Room to Read seems to be unstoppable!

Room to Read's Girls Program participants (Photo Credit: courtesy of Room to Read's website)

Room to Read’s Girls Program participants (Photo Credit: courtesy of Room to Read’s website)

This year the proceeds from Namaste World! yoga day will boost Room to Read Girls’ Education Program. Research has shown that educating girls has a profound effect on eradicating global poverty and improving people’s lives. Room to Read cites, “Finishing secondary school leads to smaller, healthier families, lower HIV infection rates, and higher wages. Educated women are more likely to educate their own children – ending the cycle of illiteracy in one generation.” The Girls Education program also provides close mentorship to help the girls work through cultural and emotional challenges they may face along the way, inherent in being part of the first educated generation in their developing countries.

Room to Read trained teacher working with child (Photo Credit: courtesy of Room to Read's website)

Room to Read trained teacher working with child (Photo Credit: Room to Read’s website)

Support the continuation of Room to Read’s momentum by taking an hour or so on June 1 to stretch, strengthen and lengthen your body, mind and spirit at any of the yoga studios in LA participating in Namaste World! Yoga Day. You might find a new fabulous studio or teacher and you’ll be investing in girl’s education in Asia and Africa at the same time! You’ll even get to indulge in lovely sips of tea donated by The Republic of Tea!

Nicole Sciacca-dancer, instructor and owner of Hustle & Flow Fitness (Photo Credit: courtesy of Hustle & Flow Fitness website)

Nicole Sciacca – dancer, instructor and owner of Hustle & Flow Fitness (Photo Credit: Hustle & Flow Fitness website)

Hustle & Flow Fitness, a new favorite of mine, is a boutique fitness studio that offers the hustle of high-powered drench-inciting spin classes with powerfully peaceful yoga classes. The studio on Abbot Kinney in Venice will no doubt be offering an incredible experience for all that participate in their 12:30-1:30 p.m. Vinyasa class.

Forward Fold yoga studio (Photo Credit: courtesy of Forward Fold website)

Forward Fold yoga studio (Photo Credit: Forward Fold website)

Forward Fold, a beautiful brand new yoga studio in Encino, will be hosting a level one to two class with owner and yogi extraordinaire Matt Bedrosian at 9:00-10:30 a.m. You might have seen the majestic picture of Matt in the Studio City Lululemon store while striking a pose in a beautifully lit outdoor landscape. It shows his inner peace and grace, which you can be graced with on June 1st, should you choose.

Black Dog Yoga studio (Photo Credit: Black Dog Yoga website)

Black Dog Yoga studio (Photo Credit: Black Dog Yoga website)

Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks will be hosting an incredible class in one of its multitude of tranquil studios from 12:00-1:00 by the dynamic duo of Natalie Bennett and Anne Clendening. The instructors at Black Dog Yoga guide their students with impecible skill and ease. This class will certainly raise your awareness and ability.

Yogis Anonymous studio (Photo Credit: Yogis Anonymous website)

Yogis Anonymous studio (Photo Credit: Yogis Anonymous website)

Yogis AnonymousAlly Hamilton will be teaching two full hours of yoga, complete with a silent yogi auction and healthy snacks. The “spirit of play” that this Santa Monica studio embraces may just bring forth an open smile as you twist and turn your way toward the fabulous center of you. Join this joyous community of yogis at Yogis Anonymous from 12:00-3:00 p.m.

The Hub yoga studio logo (Photo Credit: courtesy of The Hub website)

The Hub yoga studio logo (Photo Credit: The Hub website)

The Hub Yoga Studio will be hosting a whopping three classes at their multi-dimensional healing arts studio in West LA all taking place from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Offering an integrated approach through mental, emotional and spiritual modalities, The Hub is poised to engage all elements of you.

You can end your Namaste World! yoga day with perfection by listening to Hindu Monk and Huffington Post writer Gadadhara Pandit Dasa give a talk on “The Intersection of Science and Religion.” (Place and time to be announced.)

Kids participating in Room to Read program (Photo Credit: courtesy of Room to Read's website)

Kids participating in Room to Read program (Photo Credit: Room to Read’s website)

Learn about new studios joining Namaste World! Room to Read’s Global Yoga Benefit or get your own studio on board by joining the Namaste World! Facebook page, and plan to make a difference in the lives of children!

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