October 22, 2021 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Everything counts at Everything Counts for Kids

Culver City camp combines all aspects of child development into programming

By Susan M. Payne

As Culver City went into lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, television writer and producer Chris Atwood saw many parents wandering around with a slightly terrified look on their faces. Without the support network of teachers, other parents and babysitters, parenting would assumingly be harder, right? 

Near his Culver City home, Atwood saw a colorful day camp happening at a park: A group of 5- to 7-year-old children running, climbing inflatable obstacle courses, and having the time of their lives. Seeing children away from electronic devices stunned Atwood, especially during a pandemic, he said. 

“Where did this camp come from?” he asked. “More importantly, why wasn’t it around when my children were toddlers?

The camp — also known as Everything Counts for Kids (EC Kids) — is ran by a husband-and-wife team J.T. and Debbie Moyé, who strive to combine all aspects of child development in their programming. By combining movement, music, dance and nutrition, with reinforcement and motivational self-talk, EC Kids encourages children to turn that positive mindset into a habit.

J.T. carries over 35 years of experience in acting, dance and movement, and has performed in “Miss Saigon” on Broadway, the movie “Hook” as a pirate, and “Sesame Street Live” as Grover. Debbie, a mother of three, has spent much of her life organizing community events for children that are focused on self-expression, inclusion and teamwork. The couple shared an immediate bond over their shared interest in child development and education.

In between acting gigs, J.T. taught gymnastics and movement in the Los Angeles area. During that time, the couple met a young man named Edwin who was struggling with weight loss. As they modified Edwin’s exercise routine and diet, he lost over 140 pounds in a seven-month period. Because of that experience, the Moyes bore the idea for EC Kids: a children’s program that taught not only movement, but nutrition and developmentally appropriate topics such as overcoming obstacles, respecting yourself and others, and cooperation and teamwork. 

An essential part of EC Kids and child development, play contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of children and youth” and “helps them develop new competencies that lead to the enhanced confidence and the resiliency they need to face future challenges,” according to research from the American Academy of Pediatrics (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182). 

Since EC Kids’ inception, J.T. and Debbie have taken a holistic approach toward child development, combining both physical and psychological elements that reinforce each other. For example, if you want your children to do jumping jacks, why not include a song about left vs. right, or about believing in yourself and respecting others.

When coming up with a name for their program, J.T. and Debbie kept coming back to “everything counts for kids” and decided that was a perfect name for their company, Atwood said.

Learning about EC Kids, Atwood said he knew J.T. in passing outside of his office in Mar Vista, above the Broadway Gym where J.T. taught gymnastics. 

“J.T. was always smiling, upbeat and enthusiastic — just a very positive presence,” Atwood said.

Throughout the years, J.T. and Debbie have seen children who participate in EC Kids programming come out of their shells, learn to push themselves and take chances, Atwood said.

“From what I can tell, EC Kids is an amazing program taught by two enthusiastic and capable teachers. They provide a much-needed resource for getting your children off the devices and more active, as well as a support system for parents,” Atwood said. “J.T. and Debbie truly love their jobs and it’s evident in how they interact with the kids.”

For children with special needs, parents can expect them to be fully integrated with other children as it can be beneficial for both parties to learn how to be respectful of everyone’s different abilities.

Now, most EC Kids classes are held outdoors for the safety of children and staff, but soon, the company will open a permanent indoor space, a goal that was sidetracked by the pandemic.

In addition to regular classes, EC Kids offer birthday parties, summer camps, partnerships with schools and community organizations, or private classes for families who prefer a smaller gathering.

For more information, visit ECFKids.com or call 310-993-6802. 

Related Posts

Breaking Barriers Through Sport

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Ex-Navy Rescue swimmer and triathlete, Jordan Hunter is changing the statistics of African Americans not knowing how to swim and...

Culver City’s Fiesta La Boo-Lona is Coming!

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

October 29-October 31 at Veterans Park in Culver City By Staff Writer For this year only, Fiesta La Boo-lona will...

Five Months Into Opening, Jonah’s Kitchen Is on Fire With Casual, ‘Made From Scratch’ Dishes

October 14, 2021

October 14, 2021

By Susan Payne  Having a seat inside of Jonah’s Kitchen, an elevated, yet fast casual restaurant in Santa Monica, is...

Groundbreaking Culver City Mixed Media Sculpture Exhibition Extended

October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021

A groundbreaking mixed media sculpture created by Los Angeles-based artist Nate Mohler, has been extended for a second year of...

Pali High Debuts Fall Musical Avenue Q Live on Stage

October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021

Pali high students bring the musical Avenue Q to the stage for a limited time. Video brought to you by...

UCLA awarded $1 Million Dollars Towards Enabling Safer Bike Commutes

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

The Civic Bicycle Commuting team along with partners is one of six competitors for the Civic Innovation Challenge backed by...

Ready, Set, Create: Calling All Culver City K-12 Students to Submit Original Art for Annual Reflections

October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

From the Culver City Unified School District The 2021-2022 Reflections Arts Contest has begun. This year’s theme is “I WILL...

Barn Owl Nesting Box Program Comes to The Westside.

October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

The barn owl nesting box program from Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife is helping these birds create a network of...

The Rich History of Prehemptive CBD Creams

September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

The following is a question and answer with Paul Herve, founder of Prehemptive CBD creams, based on the formulas of...

Normalize Kindness at La La Land Kind Cafe

September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

La La La Land Kind Cafe focuses on hiring and mentoring foster youth who have aged out of the foster...

Canstruction Fights Hunger Through Art

September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

International hunger relief fundraiser Canstruction makes an appearance at the Westfield Century City mall and we have the highlights. Video...

Weekly Skate Meetup Cultivates an Inclusive Community

September 21, 2021

September 21, 2021

L.A Skate Hunnies was born during the pandemic as a way to connect with others through exercise, in just over...

Heroes Golf Course Supports Veterans Through Play

September 14, 2021

September 14, 2021

Heroes Golf Course is Dedicated to Helping Veterans Recover from Illness and Successfully Assimilate Back into Society all while providing...

Students Helping Students Level Up Their Education Resources

September 14, 2021

September 14, 2021

Level Up LA is a Westside based organization started by high school students at Pali High to help provide essential...