AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Listening and comprehension are essential skills that are too often thwarted by the plethora of electronic and print visuals that bombard a child’s life.
The CC Kids Audio Stories contain no illustrations so children can focus on what they hear and imagine everything else. In this way the Audio Stories can improve listening skills and stimulate and develop the imagination.
Each CC Kids Audio Story is accompanied by an Assisted Reader Script that highlights the words as they are being read for the purpose of enhancing reading and vocabulary skills.
The CC Kids Audio Stories are especially effective at bedtime and in the car when there are fewer distractions. That said, they provide great edutainment for children anytime and anywhere.
Ordinarily, girls and boys in elementary school do not hang out with each other. However, that is not the case with the CC KIDS. For one thing, they all live in the same neighborhood and attend the same school. For another thing, they all participate in an after-school program at the Community Center (aka CC). In addition, a set of unique circumstances predestined the formation of their friendships.
The girl and boy leaders of the group are cousins who live together, and each of them brought their own friends to the CC program. From the start, all eight kids got along really well and became fast friends. Before long, they named themselves the CC KIDS.
The wide variety of diverse personalities and family backgrounds, as well as the challenges and struggles that all kids face, form the basis for many exciting and entertaining CC KIDS stories. Additional stories are based on the lives and experiences of kids who attend programs at the CC as well as students who attend the same elementary school as the CC KIDS.
Lisa Connelly – smart, athletic, a disciplined achiever and a respected leader
Lisa’s father is the coach of the local high school basketball team. He inherited the job from his father (Lisa’s grandfather) who was the beloved basketball coach for over 10 years. Lisa’s father was the older of two children and was an all-around high achiever. He married his high school sweetheart who became a popular elementary school teacher in the community. Together they had Lisa and her little brother Case. Later they adopted Darren.
Darren Johnson – athletic, driven, competitive, charismatic, and a well-liked leaderDarren’s mother is the sister of Lisa’s father. But unlike her brother, she was always rebellious and out of control. Consequently, it was no surprise when she fell in love with the “bad-boy” superstar of the basketball team and became pregnant. The couple left high school early to seek fame and fortune in the NBA. But unfortunately their dreams were sidelined by a life of partying fueled by drugs and alcohol. When the couple landed in jail, they asked the Connellys to take care of their child, Darren. Later, because they were no longer together, they allowed the Connellys to adopt him.
Nicole Osaka – extremely intelligent, feminine, fashion-conscious and spoiled but loveable
Nicole lives next door to Lisa and Darren. Her father is a computer programming genius who made a fortune inventing innovative software. However, true happiness eluded him when his cherished wife was stricken with cancer and died. Mr. Osaka could have easily afforded to move his family to a more prestigious neighborhood. However, he did not want to leave the house that he shared with his wife for many years. Instead he built a spacious guesthouse in his back yard to accommodate a live-in nanny who could help him care for Nicole and her younger brother, Hiroshi.
Angela Ramirez – artistic, sweet, quiet, sensitive, and loved by all
Before Angela was born, her mother married an American who was working in Mexico. Soon thereafter the couple gave birth to Terrasita, Angela’s older sister. Eventually the family of three moved to the United States where Angela was born. Unfortunately, the girls’ father abandoned the family, leaving Ms. Ramirez to fend for herself and her two daughters. That’s when Ms. Ramirez became the Osakas’ nanny and moved herself and her girls into the Osakas’ guesthouse. Before long, Ms. Ramirez was competently running both households, thus bringing much-needed stability to both families. This is how Angela, like Nicole, lives next door to Lisa and Darren.
Jacob Levy – very smart, entrepreneurial, and enterprising
Jacob lives next door to the Osakas. His first memory of his father is of him sitting at the breakfast table reading about the stock market in the Wall Street Journal. While Jacob doesn’t remember exactly when he became interested in the financial world, he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t—which is why all matters pertaining to money and business are of interest to him. In fact, Jacob is always engaged in some kind of business scheme, like buying candy at wholesale and selling it to the kids at school.
Erick Franklin – brilliant, knowledgeable, articulate, with a sarcastic sense of humor
Erick is Lisa’s and Darren’s other neighbor. His father is a self-made, highly disciplined macho man who wants more than anything for his son to become a fearless man. Accordingly, Erick does not remember a time when he was not forced into martial arts classes and competitive sports. The problem is, he hates these endeavors and would prefer more intellectual pursuits. Fortunately, Erick has an ally in his mother who wholeheartedly supports and helps enable his true desires—even if doing so must be done clandestinely to avoid raising his father’s ire.
Maisie McGregor – enthusiastic, dramatic, outspoken, and a passionate performer with a vivid imagination
Maisie lives down the street from Lisa and Darren. Her mother is a hardworking seamstress and her father is a hardworking chef. However, making ends meet for a family of five remains a challenge and the financial stress is felt by everyone. Maisie escapes the tension by retreating to her bedroom where her active imagination and practicing her acting and singing kick into high gear. Another welcome escape for Maisie is hanging out with her friends who have grown accustomed to the drama that always seems to surround her.
Finian Parks – kind, gentle, go-with-the-flow, and liked by everyone.
Finian lives across the street from Maisie. When Finian’s truck-stop waitress single mother married a truck driver, Finian was glad to be getting a new dad. But his high hopes for a great father-son relationship were dashed when it became evident that his new stepdad was an alcoholic who became mean whenever he was intoxicated. While Finian knew that his two older brothers, Mike and Jeff, would protect him, he soon realized that his best defense was staying away from his stepfather as much as possible—which is why he spends so much time at the CC with his friends.