January 29, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

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

Local Children’s Book Author Wins Award for STEM Empowerment Series

January 17, 2023

January 17, 2023

The “Look Up Series” created by local author Aubre Andrus just won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for non-fiction series....

Five of the Most Commonly Overlooked Car Maintenance Services

January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

From running errands on the Westside  to grabbing dinner with friends in Marina Del Rey, having a reliable car is...

Harry Styles Themed Night Comes to Santa Monica Ice Rink

January 11, 2023

January 11, 2023

Event set for Thursday, January 12 from 7 – 10 p.m.  This week, a Harry Styles-themed night will take place...

Public Art at Tongva Park Asks “What Do You Hope For?”

December 27, 2022

December 27, 2022

Artist Yeu Q. Nguyen public art installation, High Hopes bring the community together through the power of hope inside one...

SMC Planetarium to Host First ‘In-Person’ Show Since Pandemic

December 21, 2022

December 21, 2022

Season features a special hybrid presentation with in-person observing through on-campus telescopes Santa Monica College’s John Drescher Planetarium continues its...

Simple Ways to Protect and Support Local Wildlife in The Santa Monica Mountains

December 21, 2022

December 21, 2022

Animal activist and filmmaker Katie Cleary joins us for a hike and chat through the santa monica mountains showcasing easy...

Column – Superintendent’s Message: Farewell SMMUSD

December 21, 2022

December 21, 2022

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff, Students and Community Members, I write this last message to the community with both a heavy...

Simple Ways to Protect and Support Local Wildlife in The Santa Monica Mountains

December 20, 2022

December 20, 2022

Animal activist and filmmaker Katie Cleary joins us for a hike and chat through the santa monica mountains showcasing easy...

Holiday-Themed Locals’  Night on the Santa Monica Pier This Week

December 13, 2022

December 13, 2022

Thursday, December 15 event to feature art, dance, Santa and more A holiday-themed Locals’ Night is coming to the Santa...

SMC Marks 32 Consecutive Years as No. 1 in UC Transfers

December 13, 2022

December 13, 2022

College also keeps No. 1 spot for African American & Latinx UC Transfers, still tops in transfers to USC &...

Local Boy Scouts Host 75th Annual Christmas Tree Lot

December 9, 2022

December 9, 2022

Troop 2 hosts its annual christmas tree lot on 19th and Santa Monica raising funds for the troop while teaching...

Paint:Lab Hosts Toy Drive and Scholarships for Young Artists

December 7, 2022

December 7, 2022

The Paint:Lab in Santa Monica is hosting winter camps and a toy drive. Learn how to get involved in this...

Samohi Students Make a Splash With Plankton Science Experiment

December 6, 2022

December 6, 2022

There’s a big world waiting to be discovered. By exploring what’s in their backyard Santa Monica High School students learned...

Adaptive Clothing Line Launched by Local Teen After Life Threatening Injury

November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022

Young actress and local teen Lalia Susini suffered a traumatic brain injury after a freak swing accident. Her experience inspired...

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Celebrates the Holidays

November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

Head to the beach this December to experience the hotel’s seasonal family-friendly activities This year, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel...