"Angela Russ-Ayon was the highlight of our San Juan Unified School District Early Childhood Professional Development this year. Her dynamic energy and enthusiasm are contagious. In attendance was our entire crew of home-based teachers, infant toddler teachers, and Head Start preschool educators. The teachers were up moving and grooving right along with Angela, a great sight to see. She presented "Body Shakes and Brain Waves," and we were very impressed with how she tied in the educational components, child development, and smoothly transitioned into uplifting musical activities. Her break-out sessions also encouraged the attendees to get creative and active, and practice age-appropriate "CLASS" principles. Angela is not only an exciting motivational speaker, she brings in a positive, energetic musical experience. Most definitely, a two thumbs up training for our staff. The evaluations they sent back were terrific too. One infant toddler teacher commented on how she is going to bring her CD on her home visits and share it with the families. We are desirous of having her back in August to present to our kindergarten and first grade teams."
Jennifer Berdrow, TOSA, for San Juan USD.
"I just wanted to say it was a pleasure meeting and working with you today at the Family Child Care Conference. Although I was there to help facilitate your morning session, I walked away with a plethora of new knowledge relating to math, music, and movement. In my career, I've attended many conferences about the same topics, but never presented as you did. It was an awesome feeling to walk away feeling inspired with new ideas (and it was fun)! Although I don't directly teach anymore, I feel that I've received so much from you that I can directly share with my providers to ultimately enhance learning opportunities for children."
Ashley Warren, Indianapolis, IN
ChildCareAnswers.com / IACCRR.org
"First off I would like to say thank you for all the information you shared with us at the training. You made it fun and interesting. We wanted more of your part of the training. I felt it was too short."
Veronica Armiento-Ruz, Family Advocate
Cottonwood Head Start
"Angela's presentation was excellent. She made it relevant and hands-on. She linked everything she said with brain development. If attendees expected a concert, they were pleasantly surprised to have received so much information that was applicable to their daily work with children. She kept the audience engaged and interested by expertly weaving songs and activities throughout her presentation of the research. Her books and CDs are also great. Angela Russ-Ayon is worth promoting and inviting back."
GAYC Board Member Conference Sub-committee Chair
"The 'Birth and Beyond' CD has been great working with mothers coming out of drug addiction who are learning how to parent their infants. The lyrics give them concrete ways to physically and emotionally interact with their children in an appropriate way. The mothers feel awkward at first and are hesitant, but the short length of songs, and varied themes, make it fun and the fun becomes contagious!
The 'Smart Moves 1' CD has been great for a 2-4 year old social skills group that starts out with the parents in the room, then the parents are excused to their own support group and the children have more focused interaction with each other. The CD helps the parents interact with their kids in a fun way. Favorites: 'Build a Bridge' and 'Pass the Ball.' - Thanks so much!"
Kathryn Holden Klingler, MFTI, Clinician
Enki Youth and Family Services
"Angela just gave a keynote presentation for the annual Redwood Empire Association for the Education of Young Children winter workshop in Ukiah, and I was totally fired up by her teaching. I am a teacher of many many years and wanted something different to bring back to Mendocino coast. She delivered! I am excited about presenting fun ways of learning to my Rainbow children and I just wanted to thank her for this!!! She has my e-mail and I am hoping she will keep me up to date with her latest creative news."
Robin Marie Matlin, Mendocino County Network
"Are you looking for some new music for your youngster that will entertain them, get them moving and also teach them something at the same time? If you answered yes, then you should check out a CD called "Smart & Yummy 2: Good Food Moves Tots thru Preschool" from AbridgeClub. I popped this CD in at home for my daughter and she really had a good time jumping and dancing around to the music. She may not have followed the steps perfectly, but she was up and moving and enjoying the music."
"My associate and I use your CD’s all the time as part of our training. We are wanting to order several of them in a 'Smart Moves 1 & 2' and 'Smart & Yummy 1 & 2.' The project she works on is providing training to early care and education providers and then following up with technical assistance on site. We are looking at giving participants in our technical assistance department the CDs. They have been popular tools when Diane works with groups of children. Thank you so much!
"Dept. of Human Dev. And Family Studies, Univ. System
Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood
“I used the CD that I won at the CAEYC conference in Denver. The kids absolutely loved the music & movement that we did for circle time... I find the kids humming & moving to the music while interacting with each other. I was using music until my director said that there was a new study out the expressing that music should not be used for background only when doing songs that the teacher interacts with the children. I haven't used music for the past month. The kids & I do not seem to be as chipper without our music. Any new studies that I can pass along to my director?? Thanks again for a wonderful time of learning with music. I had a blast!! Keep up the awesome job.
"The presentation you gave on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, on Music & Movement was excellent. Our professionals learned a great deal and enjoyed your hands on approach. The material you distributed will be most helpful. We look forward to sharing it with several of our collaborators who were unable to attend.There is a definite need among families to become more involved with their children. Your presentation provided an excellent resource for our providers to teach the parents a hands-on “fun” method on working with their children. Thank you again for your pleasant presentation."
Long Beach Family Resource Center
Miller Children’s Hospital
"Nice to hear from you...we have distributed the CDs to our staff and they have shared with the families that they work with. I also shared a few with the Miller Children’s Hospital Family Resource Center. I have only heard positive remarks. We will be using one in an info seminar/training for parents of children with special needs later this month in Torrance. Once again, thank you for sharing!"
Infant Family Services Program, Long Beach, CA
"I would like to thank you for preparing and presenting your workshop. Your expertise and knowledge provided quality instruction for the teachers in your audience. Their response indicated that your presentation produced valuable information and ideas that could be used immediately, and that by involving them, they felt more confident in engaging their own students."
Joan A. Perez, ECE Program Specialist Orange County Department of Ed.EISS - Early Intervention for School Success
"Angela, I promised I would send you comments from your presentation at Santiago Canyon College on January fourth for our staff. I just re-read them, as I had reviewed them quickly that evening, but where did January go? We asked staff to rate the daily activities from 1 – 5 – best being best…your section received all 5s! You were a hit! Thanks for coming and getting us moving!"
Dee TuckerExecutive Director, Child Development ServicesRancho Santiago Community College District
Santa Ana, CA
"We have recently completed our 'Reading & Feeding, Moving & Grooving' WIC Enhancement Grant and we are writing to thank you for all of your hard work making the 'Have Fun and Be Active' DVD. Our clients love the video and we are most appreciative of the opportunity to make it available to them. Thank you from your MO WIC staff."
Carolyn, Diana, Connie, and Rose
Randolf County Health Dept., WIC - Moberly, MO
"I had the pleasure of attending your work shop for Head Start in Merced yesterday, everyone is still talking about how wonderful you were. I looked on line at Kaplan in the music area but I can not find them. I want to order several for my children. Your right I can do some without the music....but I'm not as exciting as the music that goes along with the song. You are Phenomenal! Thanks again for the inspiration. I even started a new diet program with my girls and some friends. We met last evening and I said, 'Do I have some new moves for ya'll.' Thanks again."
Debi Latu, Master Teacher
Campus Head Start, Los Banos
"My name is Lorraine Carmona and I am the director of the military child care home program @ Port Hueneme. About a year & half ago (2004) you came to the base and did a wonderful workshop for our childcare providers, so....I was wondering if you would be willing to come again and present for us. you were awesome and everyone really enjoyed it!"
Navy Child Development Home Program, Pt. Mugu
"I have been sharing all your CDs with my student teacher for the past 7 weeks and we have been having such fun with them! I use yours more than any other CDs. Your songs are not as wordy as others like Charlotte Diamond or even Greg and Steve. For kindergarten (and for 2nd language learners) that is what I need. Keep up the great work!" Muchas gracias- Faith Croswell
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
"I just want to say that your workshop was more than excellent. It was funny, engaging and interactive. I feel lucky that I attend your training. I want to say that I play music with my children at school and in short I love teaching and music."
Merwin CaizaFoundation for E.C.E., CAEYC Attendee
"I wanted you to know that I did enjoy your workshop. I have been blessed to be able to work in the wonderful profession of young children for over 42 years and I needed a workshop such as yours to renew and rejuvenate. I look forward to purchasing some of your CDs to use in my classes (I'm now teaching others - community college) how to enjoy and be filled with working with young children. In fact, I'm teaching a class for family childcare providers next Saturday and plan to use a song or two and the hat (I usually do the newspaper ones)May you continue to be blessed as you work with others, training them to love their profession."
Donna HowingCAEYC Attendee
We purchased a large quantity of Spanish and English "Have Fun Be Active" videos for use in our WIC Waiting Areas and in a company sponsored "Healthy Child Kit". The Healthy Child kits were designed to provide practical nutrition advice to families within Kern County. The video was included to promote fun exercises for families with children. We have received lots of positive comments from those who received the kits, especially about the videos."
WIC Administration, Bakersfield
"Riverside County purchased these "Have Fun and Be Active" videos to show them to the WIC participants at the WIC sites. The WIC sites have been showing them in the waiting room/lobby area. The staff has commented that the participants enjoy the video and it helps calm the restless children while they are waiting. I even heard one of the Nutritionists comment that her staff also enjoyed the video.
Those sites which used it as a waiting room video had more positive feedback. Here are some of those."
-- "It is an upbeat, creative video, the children enjoyed it."-- "Participants really enjoy the ideas the video gives in regards to activities they can do as a family."
Nancy Allende R.D.
Riverside County Department of Public Health
"I came to your seminar titled 'Just Don't Bore Them!'. I truly learned from you! Since the conference I have applied your songs to my classroom, and what a great tool it has been! The kids so far absolutely love 'Balance it on My Head'- we use bean bags and see who can do the song without cheating (holding on to the bean bags). 'Take that Rope' is their wind-down song! Moving and counting to 100 has completely changed calendar time for us. They beg for your CDs now! After almost two weeks, they have mastered 'Build a Bridge.' They chose 'Go Around the Village' as our clean up song. They try to finish cleaning up before the song ends! Little did I know that classroom management would improve simply by incorporating these two CDs that I purchased from you. Thank you for sharing these wonderful CDs with me! I look forward to the Family Day at Cerritos Performing Arts Center in June! I'll be letting all my students and their families know about it as well!"
Rolling Hills Elementary- Fullerton
"I was the teacher looking at the overhead projector clocks with you at the CTA South 'Good Teaching' conference.
I thought about what you said at your session on Sunday. You said, "Get the students to talk about vegetables and fruits when they go to the grocery store with their parents." I would like to share with you what I did when I went back to my students on Monday. I got my students to say Kiwi and Strawberry. We played "Duck Duck Goose" with Kiwi, Kiwi, Strawberry. It helps with their need to listen to me, so they had to say two fruits together like....Kiwi, Kiwi or Strawberry, Strawberry. The students got it and played a game of KIWI, a word for a fruit they never said in their life. 'A what teacher?' they asked. 'What is a kiwi?' Aaah, the sweet smell of success!"
Gail Murakami, CTA Good Teaching Conference
"Smart Moves 1, another "Parent's Choice Winner!" Angela's songs emphasize the use of fine and gross motor skills and can be played with props such as cones, balls, and ropes. The songs cover many preschool concepts such as body, movement, colors, and shapes. Spanish versions of many tracks are included. An additional CD, Smart Moves 2: Preschool thru 1st is equally as fun!
Holly Jin, Early Childhood Express,
Skokie Public Library, Preschool Services Coordinator
“This week at Double 'D' we are using the "Farmer's Market" song as our warm-up. The teachers are so into it. They love the beat. The kids are having fun, too. Everyone loved the music. The teachers at Double 'D' are playing the "Smart & Tasty 1" CD as background music for each class.
We are using "We Love The Company" as an ending for the two weeks of classes prior to Thanksgiving. And this past month we did "I Spy Shapes" and "I Spy Colors" with the gymnasts! We created laminated shapes and colors for the kids to find on the floor and hold up. Then onto the next search. It worked so well due to your great timing! Thanks so much for giving us such great material to work with,"