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In This Issue:
Focusing on Focus
Study Tip: The Lion on the Leash
Coach Profile: Kate Cella
Quick Links
Academic Success Partner 
of the Month
This month we're delighted to introduce a new partner helping teens and young adults in Southern California, 
Crystal Lee
Dr. Lee is a licensed psychologist with a passion for supporting teens and emerging adults in their transition to adulthood. In her private practice, LA Concierge Psychologist, Dr. Lee provides "house calls" to her clients on the Westside of Los Angeles. She blends coaching and talk therapy to help her clients get unstuck and progress in their lives. Dr. Lee is an esteemed member of the mental health community, serving on the board of directors for the Los Angeles County Psychological Association and presenting at local trainings and conferences. Most recently, this October she took the stage at a conference and presented on successfully transitioning teens to college. For more information about how Dr. Lee can contribute to your child's treatment team,  email her at  424.272.6650.
Looking For A Student 
Community Service Opportunity?
Meet Rickey Smith, social entrepreneur and owner of the sustainable food business Urban Green. He's started a community education venture called the Urban Green Kids Row program, creating opportunities for kids from diverse backgrounds to participate in many activities related to food sustainability, from planting seeds  to learning about how organic food is grown and harvested. For more info on a terrific
community service and volunteering opportunity for kids,  email  Rickey, 

or call (800) 200 3320.

Check out Our  YouTube Video!
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Academic Success is very proud of the two-minute video we recently produced to give you a feel for who we are, our philosophy and the way we approach our work
How Academic Success Can Support You
At Academic Success we take great pride in finding the right coach to support the unique needs of each student we help.  Please check out the areas where we work on our   web site  and let us know how we can support you.

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Looking for a College Counselor or Ed Therapist?
We work and partner with excellent Educational Therapists and College Counselors throughout the L.A. area.  Give us a call and we can recommend the right fit for your child.

Can You Read This Article Without Checking Your Phone

If you're like most adutls in 2017, the answer is probably no. 
And it only gets worse if we're talking about our kids; ask most teachers and they'll tell you how hard it's becoming to capture and keep students' attention. 
In this month's issue, we're tackling one of the biggest challenges facing our kids in the digital age: the ability to focus
Times have shifted and in today's understanding of learning differences, and many professionals have been looking at ADD and other diagnoses to describe our kids' focus problems. Additionally, experts in the field have also begun to to point at our kids' constant use of technical devices as possibly problematic. 
In this edition, we'll look at the causes of our kids' attention-span deficits. We'll also offer strategies that will hopefully give parents and students hope for sustainable, healthy solutions to this global problem. 

At Academic Success, we never allow any obstacle to stand in the way of our children's academic and personal success.

Please call with any questions at (310) 823 4398 or

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All the best,

The Academic Success Team

"Concentrate all your thoughts on the work at hand. The sun's rays do not work until brought to a focus." 
                                                           - Alexander Graham Bell

Education News 

May Be A Question Of Sight
The issue of focus has long been about possible chemical imbalances and psychiatric issues; however, medical professionals are now realizing that the problem for many kids may simply be physiological. 
This international report offers a study showing that the majority of parents aren't aware that poor vision can be a major contributor to short attention spans. 

Sleep Deprivation Another Cause
For many kids, their struggles with paying attention could also come not just from unhealthy eyesight, but also their eyes not closing for long enough overnight. This article, hot off the presses from US News & World Report, makes the case for sleep evaluation being a key part of doctors' analysis of attention-span problems.
Good Conversation 
Can Increase Focus
Whether parents or educators, adults are clearly struggling to come up with strategies that limit kids' usage of devices. This inspiring article from an award-winning historian and former teacher exhorts adults to move beyond  flat rules and instead begin conversations that appeal to kids' intellectual and emotional centers.  

Clever Technology To Reduce Technology

While most of us suspect that device use is a huge factor in focus issues, some tech developers are trying to turn this monster against itself in order to help students. 
This report details the emergence of an app that incentivizes greater focus in the classroom- and does so in an ingenious way. 

Being 'Out There' Can Transform 
Our Inner Space

A new study out of Barcelona may offer a sustainable, concrete answer to our kids' focus challenges: get back to nature.
The study's results show that children who live near abundant green spaces tend to have longer and stronger attention spans. Those spending more time engaging in physical activity in quiet areas without over-stimulation may find it far easier to turn their mind to schoolwork. At the very least, more green spaces must be a net positive for our kids, whether or not they struggle to focus. 

Study Tips 

Keep The Lion 
On The Leash

It's all well and good to say students need to focus more; the question is how on earth can any of us strengthen our focus on a daily basis?
Our focus can feel like a huge lion that we have on a leash. We want this lion to use its considerable power to serve us, but most of the time it's snapping the leash and following whatever whim carries it away in the moment. So how do we begin to train this lion to stay focused on us and help us in our tasks?
The answer: slowly and in tiny steps. 
Focus is built in small chunks and consequently we have to be highly alert and ready to take action when it begins to drift. 
Give yourself tiny time frames  during which you can practice absolute focus. Build on these small victories with incremental increases. 
The moment you feel you can't focus anymore, change your activity! This may mean getting up from study and exercising, or engaging someone in stimulating conversation. 
If you want to continue in your current task, break it into even smaller pieces and only focus on achieving the next small step.
In this way, you're actually maintaining focus but using it in a way that allows your lion to stay in the room and not snap the leash. Done often enough, you'll be amazed at the extent to which your ability to focus grows over time. 

Coach Profile 

Meet Kate Cella,
Coach Profile Of The Month

This month we're introducing another outstanding new member of our Academic Success coaching team, Kate Cella. Kate developed a passion for teaching after instructing dance at a studio in her hometown in Connecticut. Since then, she has continued to pursue opportunities in teaching, from leading summer school programs in underserved communities to volunteering in local classrooms. Following this path, Kate earned her BA in Psychology and Education from UC Santa Barbara and continues to pursue her Masters in Education at UC Los Angeles. Naturally, Kate's interest in teaching lead her to tutoring. From her experience working with students of different backgrounds, she recognizes that everyone learns differently and believes that through tutoring she can better adapt to each learner's needs. Her philosophy is that through encouragement and a positive attitude, she can motivate students to achieve their highest potential. Kate finds great pleasure in watching her students realize their ability to succeed. In her spare time, she likes to read, hike, and spend time at the beach with her family. 
We consider it a privilege and an honor to support students and their families throughout the Los Angeles area.  Please call us at any time; we welcome your thoughts and input.  We are available at 310-823-4398.

Jamie Altshule
Academic Success, Inc.