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California’s and Nevada’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Going back to school also means going back to The Rinks



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For many families, August is a month where back to school seems to be all that anyone can talk about.

Whether it’s doing back to school shopping, getting new supplies for the upcoming year, or trying to squeeze in every extra second of sleep, most Southern California kids are in some way preparing for that first day of school.

The Rinks homeschool families, however, know that when the majority of kids are headed back to school, it’s time they get back onto the rink. August 17 marked the official kickoff to The Rinks 2016-17 homeschool programming lineup with a session of Learn to Play at Lakewood ICE.

Both August and September have shaped up to be very exciting months for the homeschool programs as they will be starting three sessions of Learn To Play at Lakewood ICE, Huntington Beach Inline and Yorba Linda ICE, two semesters of Learn to Skate comprised of five different classes and two Spotlight Events featuring Try Hockey for Free Days, skating lessons, public skating, and street hockey.

In August, The Rinks hosted their first inline Homeschool Spotlight event at The Rinks-Huntington Beach Inline and saw right around 30 homeschoolers making their first trip out onto the rink. Since hosting their first Spotlight Event for the homeschool community in August of 2015, The Rinks has seen participation in their programs increase in popularity.

Recently, a second Spotlight Event took place at The Rinks-Anaheim ICE. This particular event featured a Try Hockey For Free Day, a free Learn To Skate group lesson and public skating. The excitement about hockey and skating within the homeschool community was palpable with over 65 participants taking part in the hockey portion of the event and over 100 skaters taking the ice for the Learn to Skate group lesson. These numbers only further reinforce the level of interest in hockey and skating within the Southern California homeschool community.

Jonathan Watanabe, The Rinks marketing coordinator, has been involved with the homeschool programming segment since its inception in late 2014.

“It’s been a learning process for us as we have continued to grow and expand our program offerings,” said Watanabe. “The Spotlight Events have proven to be extremely beneficial for us in terms of giving families a no-strings-attached opportunity to come to our facilities and get a taste of our programs. The relationships we’ve made and our unofficial brand ambassadors have been instrumental in the growth we’ve seen. In fact, it was the recommendation of a homeschool parent that caused us to host our first Spotlight Event.”

When asked to speak about the homeschool programs as a whole, Watanabe exuded excitement.

“Our homeschool initiatives have continued to grow and gain momentum,” Watanabe added. “As we continue to learn and grow, we have been able to better tailor our programs to this audience and help a new group of Southern California kids and families experience the sport of hockey and skating.”

Now an approved vendor for eight charter schools across Southern California and Orange County, families are able to use funds given to them by the school to participate in RINKS programming.

“Becoming an approved vendor has been great not only for The Rinks, but for our customers as well,” noted Watanabe. “We have numerous families that belong to charter schools we have been approved for. As we all know, hockey and skating can become very expensive sports to participate in, especially at the higher levels. Our approved vendor status really helps to alleviate some of the financial burden for those families.”

The Rinks 2015-16 season of homeschool programs was extremely successful, giving them the momentum to continue the growth seen in their first year. Since the segment’s start-up in Nov. 2014, The Rinks has seen over 1,000 participants take advantage of homeschool opportunities within The Rinks.

For questions about The Rinks homeschool programs, visit www.the-rinks.com/homeschoolprograms or contact Watanabe at jwatanabe@the-rinks.com.

For more information on The Rinks and all of their program offerings, visit www.the-rinks.com.

– Jonathan Watanabe

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