header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 25
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
Mustang Drive-In

Josann McGibbon

Josann McGibbon

Josann McGibbon, writer and executive producer of the Disney “Descendants” trilogy, worked with the team at Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley to bring hope and excitement to local youth through the current stay-at-home order.

“Kids and writing are my two favorite things in the world,” McGibbon said. “After COVID-19 struck and everyone isolated, I was even more passionate about helping children process what they were experiencing through the written word.”

Beginning shortly after the stay-at-home order was set, McGibbon contacted the Club to plan a writing program that would get kids and teens engaged and creating art.

Together McGibbon and Club staff developed the “B.C.” Writing Contest (“Before Coronavirus”), a two-week writing workshop to help students write about their stay-at-home experience.

“(McGibbon) gave us insight on what skills were important for screenwriting, such as dialogue and formatting,” said Margaret Waggoner, Club art coordinator. “We worked with our staff to develop a few classes that practiced these skills in an informal, game-style format.”

Markie Cortez, Teen Coordinator at the Club, was one of the staff members who worked with McGibbon to develop the program.

“Working on this was an amazing experience and having the guidance of Josann along the way was a huge help. The staff benefitted greatly from her being on board and her efforts aided in quickly creating an engaging and challenging prompt for our kids,” Cortez said.

Creating a fulfilling program was a challenge for the team, who were just learning how to navigate their new roles in a virtual format while adapting to the new norm themselves.

“When the orders were first given in March, our team quickly adapted,” said Club CEO Matthew Nelson. “We redesigned our program model to accommodate a remote workforce and creatively meet our Club members’ needs from a distance. Our kids and teens need us now more than ever. Thanks to the generous support of SoCal Gas, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley is playing a critical role in meeting their social and emotional needs. Virtual programming, wellness check phone calls, letter-writing, and grab-and-go activities are all part of our new model. I am incredibly impressed with how well the team has adapted. Some of us are facing our own challenges at home.”

However, Club members had been through many difficult situations and the staff was determined to bring them something special.

“Our children have experienced a shooting, a fire and a pandemic within months of each other,” Waggoner said. “They deserved something extraordinary.”

“This was something we had never done before, in so many ways,” said Megan Martin Del Campo, Club program director. “Our typical teaching platform is not online. To see everyone come together recruiting kids in record time was amazing.”

At the “B.C.” Writing Contest’s final meeting, Club staff and members reflected on what members had learned, played games and celebrated their completed works.

Award recipients include:

· Perfect Attendance: Sophia Moreno

· Start Late, Finish Strong: Lacey Couto

· 1st Submission: Maryah Singelton

· Most Determined Writer: Isi Eichie

· Biggest Heart Write: Donald Smith

· Excellent Screenwriting Form: Acacia Smith

· Butterfly Participation Award: Donae Smith

Secretly, McGibbon was in the online waiting room dressed in her Emmy Awards ceremony gown.

“I’m pretty playful, especially when there are children to amuse,” she said. “I loved (the Club staff’s) enthusiasm and joyful approach to their work and wanted to show that goofiness is good for everyone!”

Martin Del Campo was watching the online waiting room during the event. While Club staff engaged with participants, she counted down the time before the grand unveiling.

After 15 minutes, McGibbon entered the room.

“The children were shocked and ready to ask all their burning ‘Descendants’ questions. They had never had an opportunity like this, and you could tell their eyes were lighting up and they were ready,” Del Campo said.

For the rest of the meeting, McGibbon talked to Club members about their submissions and imparted wisdom and encouragement. She answered questions about the “Descendants” series and talked about her personal experience as a writer.

Eleven-year-old Club member Lacey Couto, an aspiring actress and playwright, talked about how important this was to her.

“Josann’s words about my story made me feel confident in my writing,” Couto said. “(H)earing such positive feedback from a successful writer made me want to write more in the future.”

Isibhakhemhe Eichie, 13 years old, Club member and recipient of an art scholarship through the Hank Aaron “Chasing the Dream” Scholarship, was also touched by the surprise.

“I was greatly honored to be in the presence of someone so talented and also the creator of a series I admire,” Eichie said. “I can confidently say that I was positively impacted by every word that came out of her mouth and that she has inspired me to work harder.”

The students were not the only ones surprised. McGibbon noted how the students’ work was beyond her expectation and showed great literary promise.

“I can always find something good to say about someone’s work, but the quality of these entries was truly and profoundly terrific,” she said. “It was inspiring on every level.”

In true Disney fashion, McGibbon proved to the students that the world still is a magical place.

Founded in 1968, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley provides, academic support, a second home, and builds leaders for more than 5,000 local youth. Membership is just $60 a year for the first child and $45 for each additional sibling (scholarships available).

Learn about the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley and how to enroll your child in virtual programming at www.scvbgc.org.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Tuesday, May 24, 2022
The Gibbon Conservation Center in Saugus has been challenged by two donors to increase membership by 100 new members by June 30 to earn an additional $6,500.
Monday, May 23, 2022
To honor the memory of longtime community leader Charlotte Kleeman, a celebration of life will be held Friday, June 3, at the College of the Canyons University Center, located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, beginning at 2 p.m.
Monday, May 23, 2022
Visit newly opened MB2 Entertainment at the site of the former Mountasia on June 5 to support Carousel Ranch. Purchase a play card and a percentage of your purchase will benefit Carousel Ranch. Visit and have fun while donating to a worthwhile cause, the clients of Carousel Ranch and the equestrian therapy and vocational training programs.
Monday, May 23, 2022
The city of Santa Clarita's Human Relations Roundtable speaker series “Community Voices” continued by celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month on Friday, May 20.
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Charlotte Kaup Kleeman, 1996 Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year, died Thursday, May 19, 2022 in Valencia. She was 85.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference Tuesday to announce a new initiative to keep the public safe while they ride the Metro system.
Sheriff Villanueva Begins Operation Safe Travel
The Los Angeles County Development Authority is pleased to announce that it has been awarded more than $1 million in grants from the California Public Utilities Commission, through the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing Program, which provides financial incentives for installing energy efficient systems on multifamily affordable housing throughout the State.
County Development Authority Awarded $1m in Grants For Public Housing, Including Valencia
Los Angeles County Public Works has announced a road closure near Lake Hughes late May.
Public Works Announces Road Closures Near Lake Hughes
The Valley Industry Association has changed the date of their upcoming summer BBQ party. 
June 23: VIA Summer BBQ Party Changes Date
As the nation observes Memorial Day and honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, travel to gatherings with family and friends will dramatically increase vehicles on roadways during the holiday weekend. 
CHP Reminds Public To Buckle Up For Memorial Day
After the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station will be working with all SCV School districts to ensure added safety through the remaining school year. 
SCV Sheriff Station Increasing Law Enforcement Presence Around Schools
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board unanimously approved the appointment of Bryan Wilson as the new principal of Golden Oak Adult School. He takes over for Donna Manfredi who announced her retirement in March.
Hart District Welcomes New Principal, Five New Assistant Principals
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Wednesday six new deaths and 4,202 new positive cases in Los Angeles County and 94 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID Roundup: Santa Clarita Total Cases Increases By 94
 Senator Scott Wilk  announces that Senate Bill 1089 has successfully passed out of the Senate Floor.
Wilk’s Better Vision Act Clears the Senate
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
Mustang Drive-In
The city of Santa Clarita is excited to announce the winners of the 18th annual Bike to Work Challenge, which took place Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20, 2022.
Santa Clarita Bike to Work Challenge Winners Announced
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday nine new deaths and 3,589 new positive cases in Los Angeles County and 100 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley. This new data brings Los Angeles County death totals to 32,095, county case totals to 2,945,669 and Santa Clarita Valley case totals to 76,205 since March of 2020.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: Nine New Deaths, 3,589 New Cases in County
The College of the Canyons women's volleyball program invites girls and boys ages 9-14 to participate in the 2022 COC Volleyball Camp, with two sessions beginning in July.
Registration Now Open for 2022 COC Volleyball Camp
Science students from The Master’s University gained valuable hands-on experience and bolstered their resumes for graduate school last month when they presented original research at the West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research conference in San Diego.
TMU Students Present Original Work at Biological Sciences Conference
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has released a new report, "Mortality in Los Angeles County, 2020: Provisional Report." The report compares the provisional number of deaths and associated death rates and leading causes of death among L.A. County residents in 2020 with what was reported in 2019.
COVID was Second Leading Cause of Death in L.A. County in 2020
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is expanding its type 2 diabetes prevention efforts into the classroom in response to an increased prevalence of the disease in the county.
Los Angeles County Partners With K-12 Schools to Prevent Diabetes
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with Frontier Toyota, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, is proud to sponsor the 2022 White Ribbon Campaign in the Santa Clarita Valley.
White Ribbon Campaign Reminds Students to Drive Safe
The Gibbon Conservation Center in Saugus has been challenged by two donors to increase membership by 100 new members by June 30 to earn an additional $6,500.
Fundraiser Challenges Gibbon Conservation Center to Add 100 Members
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station personnel participated in the annual Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Memorial Torch Relay Run honoring fallen officers throughout the nation.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Participates in Annual LASD Memorial Torch Relay Run
As aerospace and defense contracts started dwindling at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Volkmann, owner of VP Manufacturing in Canyon Country, made the difficult decision to close in August 2020 after 33 years in the aerospace manufacturing business.
At 72, COC Welding Graduate Donald Volkmann is Just Getting Started
The California Department of Public Health, working with Sacramento County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is investigating its first suspected case of monkeypox infection in Sacramento County in a person who recently traveled abroad.
Suspected Case of Monkeypox in Sacramento County, Public Risk is Low
Animation Career Review, an online resource site for those researching careers in animation, game design, graphic design, digital art, and related fields, has recognized California Institute of the Arts in six categories in its 2022 Graphic Design School Rankings, including two top spots for schools in California and the West Coast.
CalArts Graphic Design Program Scores High in Animation Career Review’s 2022 Rankings
The College of the Canyons men's basketball program invites girls and boys from third to eighth grade to participate in the 2022 Howard Fisher's Cougar Basketball Camp, with two sessions beginning in June.
Registration Now Open for 2022 Howard Fisher Cougar Basketball Camp
1860 - Colonel Thomas F. Mitchell arrives in Soledad Canyon [story]
T.F. Mitchell
%d bloggers like this: