Laura and Aldous Huxley pic

"But when it comes to living, when it comes to understanding people and helping them, I feel myself growing more and more sensitive and skillful."

~ Aldous Huxley




Children: Our Ultimate Investment

1st Quarter Newsletter

Latest News

With Your Vote, COUI Could Win 25K!

State Farm's Neighborhood Assist program is offering $25,000 to a cause with the most votes. We have submitted COUI as one of their causes. Voting begins at the end of April, and at that time we will be sending you a special letter containing a link where you can vote for COUI. Please look for this special email from us. With one click of a button, and no money out of your pocket, your vote could offer COUI the financial support necessary to pay for two Teens and Toddlers programs. Continue to help us make positive change in the world!

Huxley book Release!

Let's Die Healthy, by Laura Huxley, has recently been published for the first time and is available for purchase only on Lulu and the COUI website! All proceeds will help support COUI!

Check out our Bookstore now! We have added more books.

Executive Director's Note:
Karen Pfeiffer, Executive Director

Thank you for all your support!

As we continue to collaborate with the LAUSD and LAPD to establish more programs, and affect positive change in more lives, I wanted to share my deepest gratitude to you all for the outstanding success of our 2013 year end COUI fundraiser.

Thank you so much to ALL our 2013 donors (including our silent auction and raffle donors), and to all the wonderful people who were able to attended our year end 2013 COUI fundraiser this last December. A special thanks to everyone who helped make the event possible including our incredible volunteers, Christopher Knight, Linda Hanada, Yvonne Westbrook, Chimera Duncan, Bradley Hanada, Bobby Hanada, Jose Uribe, Leah Manning and C-J Conklin, as well as our lovely staff, Cecilia Mendez, Lupe Ramos-Silva. In addition, thank you to our Board of Directors for their guidance and to everyone who offered their last minute support. Finally, a big thank you to Rosemary Macedo for offering her magical home, "The Huxley House" as our event venue! In the end, the truth is that without every one of our supporters, the event would not have been possible. Our deepest gratitude to you all.

The event was a great success, the most succesful we have had! COUI raised over $10,000 from the fundraiser alone (after event expenses), for a total of over $25,000 total in individual donations for the 2013 fiscal year in order to continue our mission of educating and preparing our youth to reach their full potential!

Thank you so much for all your support in 2013, and we hope your continued support will help us to reach our new goal of $100,000 in grants and donations for 2014! Please find links to donate on the lower right of this newsletter, or send checks and money orders via snail mail: 13300 Victory Blvd. #357, Van Nuys, CA 91401. Remember, all donations are 100% tax deductibe!

My best wishes always!


Karen Pfeiffer, Executive Director

More News...

Teens Speak

How Teens and Toddlers Changed My Life
By Phillip, T&T Graduate
Jose Pic
I learned in Teens and Toddlers some of the complications to having a child as a teenager are one, most teenage pregnancies are unplanned, so some girls don't get prenatal care at all or delay going. Also, because her body is still growing, she will need more nutritional support to meet both her needs and her baby's. And people will stare at school which might be emotionally damaging.

The program has influenced me to be more conscious of making healthy choices and thinking about the consequences to my actions. It made me more aware of STD's, and made me more sure of my decision to use protection every time I engage in intercourse. Volunteering at the preschools has influenced me to wait to start a family. I think the ideal time for me to start thinking about starting a family is when I'm 26 and have a stable job and relationship.

The program has helped me with communicating with my mother and keeping a happy and peaceful environment for us both to come home to. Volunteering at the preschools has prepared me for a working environment because it was very similar to one itself. We had a task to do, there were rules and we were representing an organization.

This program has really made me want to be the best dad I can be someday so that my children can have as many extra opportunities as I can give them as a father. It made me want to learn more about scientific facts on the positive things you can do to be a better parent. If I had the option to participate in this program again the one thing I would do is arrive earlier so I can have more time with my lovely teachers, Karen and C-J.

T&T Success Stories

Behind Our Success
By Elizabeth Crawford, COUI President
Elizabeth Crawford Pic

One of the unique methods we use in our Teens & Toddlers curriculum is teaching our students “parallel play” – that is, sitting next to a toddler or young child in order to engage them in relaxed play, rather than directly across from them – which can feel too direct, inquisitive, or overwhelming to a sensitive, impressionable young child, who is developing a sense of self and “other.”

Sitting alongside a toddler allows them to ‘escape’ from too direct a gaze, any sense of confrontation, and so on, and to relax and open up, while playing with an object with the student. The student is thus able to interact more openly and engage with the toddler, while observing the toddler’s rapid intellectual and sensory development, growth of rationality and decision-making. This is one of the many ways we show the importance of quality interaction with babies and toddlers, proper stimulation and engagement, for proper growth.

At the end of each semester, our teens are amazed to have witnessed such growth in their toddler buddies; watching our teens, sitting “parallel” to them, we see every semester, every year, every student, that the teens themselves have grown in critical human, intuitive, discipline and professional skills, and we see before our eyes teens mature and bloom into compassionate, sensitive, just, balanced adults.

Their successes -- in completing their academic studies, attending higher levels of education, job training, and often seeking jobs in child care and child development – are evident to all the adults who surround them. The joy in this work for us is being able to provide this learning forum, and watch as young person after young person matures and blooms before our very eyes.

Decades change – music changes – fashion changes – but the success of Teens and Toddlers has not changed since our current program began in 1998.

We provide the opportunities and guidance, and you provide the resources. Together, we change lives, and we change the future.

Thank you, for all you do.

Elizabeth Crawford


Teens Speak


"The program has influenced me to be more conscious of making healthy choices and thinking about the consequences to my actions..."

Read more on the left...

President's Corner

Elizabeth Crawford Pic

Dear Friends:

I’ve been thinking about something we teach in Teens & Toddlers, as part of the fetal-neuropsychology in our curriculum. This research (taught at leading universities) shows that a fetus shares chemistry and neurological interactions with its mother. In addition to nutrition and hormonal interchanges, a mother and her fetus share the same endocrinology and even, in some circumstances, neurological impulses and experiences.

Studies have shown that a fetus shares moods, emotions, sensations and feelings along with its mother; they have even been shown to share the same dreams, during deep sleep periods.

The importance of this information is key to the success of the Teens & Toddler programs; when our students learn facts like these, they immediately understand the importance and delicacy of interactions with babies, toddlers, with their future partners when they are pregnant. The information we provide our students, like this mother/fetal connection, is continually updated, relevant, and profound; the lessons that our students learn change their sensibilities and outlooks, literally for good.

We can’t fully convey what Teens and Toddlers does for our students, and for the future – nor what your support means to us. Every dollar counts, extends our work and allows larger donations to come in. Your gifts are a measurable impact on the world.

Thank you for tangibly sharing our dream – from Aldous, to Laura, through Teens and Toddlers, and towards a new way of being.

Elizabeth Crawford,

COUI President

Thank You Column

A special thanks to the following Teens & Toddlers graduates who have written wonderful essays for us to share with you:

Phillip N.
Anna D.
Domonique G.
Cecilia M.
Jose U.

Thank you to our 2013-2014
In Kind Donors:

Rosemary M.
Carolyn K.
Chris K.
Yvonne W.
Face Forward
3rd Street Dance
Karen P.
Charity Fundraising

Thank you to our 2013-2014 Golden Circle of Friends:

Bobby and Linda H.
Carolyn K.
Jackie B.

Thank you to our 2013-2014
Silver Circle of Friends:

Leah M.
Butch S.
George and Peggy D.
The Men's Wearhouse
Elizabeth C.
Karen P.
Marcella M.

You have ALL made an incredible impact on our continued success!

Support Us!

Teen using conflict resolution skills with toddlersFind out what T&T educators and graduates are saying!

We are looking for new Board Members! Find out more about how you can become a Volunteer.

Join our circle of friends donor membership program today and donate via PayPal, Network for Good or Razoo!

Books you buy on our website help support our programs!

Write a review for us on Great Nonprofits!

Donate Now!

Please consider automatic monthly credit card donations through PayPal.

Online fundraising for COUI's Teens & Toddlers Campaign

Donate to COUI through our Razoo campaign.

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Donate to COUI via Network for Good, a thrid party organization. Please consider automatic monthly donations.

Give teens faith in their future

Send a donation today!

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Children: Our Ultimate Investment is a non-profit 501c3 organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Please remember COUI in your estate planning.

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Children: Our Ultimate Investment | 13300 Victory Blvd. #357, Van Nuys, CA 91401 | p: 323.461.8248 | f: 323.461.8470