St Mel Preschool

★★★★☆
  • 5130 Serrania Ave

    Woodland Hills, CA 91364

    Map & Directions
  • 818-340-3180

About St Mel Preschool

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The first thing I noticed when I visited was their amazing cleanliness, without the sterile feeling. Adorable, cozy classrooms. Beautiful back yard playspace/garden. The second thing I noticed was their great security. From the outside you can not see the kids unless you are definitely on school campus.

Upon meeting the director, Phyllis Schneider, and listening to their "mission statement" I knew they would be a perfect fit for us. Seven months in I still feel their philosophies are an extension of what we do at home. Learning happens through experiences and play, not sessions and lessons(boring to a toddler). At this age I feel it's important to make learning fun so the child will want to continue the process. That's what SM does.

Their policies may feel stringent to some: no candy, no juice, no sweets, not even on birthdays. There is a protocol to dropping your child off and saying goodbye which is set to ease the children without mom and dad and establish a routine. To me, all this has been such a relief. There is a system in plan and a strong director to execute it. Without a strong director there is no strong program.

I took Phyllis' STEP parenting class. It was amazing. It's made my relationship with my child much much better. Phyllis is strong but she also gives us parents the tools to be strong parents with happy toddlers/children.

I've seen my child blossom at SM. There are days I see it from the time I drop her off to when I pick her up. The teachers are kind, helpful and attentive. The couple of times we've had bumps or bruises (bc kids will be kids) the teachers have a report ready and can tell me how it happened. I've never felt that my child is not looked after.

We've really enjoyed the faculty and families at St. Mel Preschool.

5
★★★★★

The first thing I noticed when I visited was their amazing cleanliness, without the sterile feeling. Adorable, cozy classrooms. Beautiful back yard playspace/garden. The second thing I noticed was their great security. From the outside you can not see the kids unless you are definitely on school campus.

Upon meeting the director, Phyllis Schneider, and listening to their "mission statement" I knew they would be a perfect fit for us. Seven months in I still feel their philosophies are an extension of what we do at home. Learning happens through experiences and play, not sessions and lessons(boring to a toddler). At this age I feel it's important to make learning fun so the child will want to continue the process. That's what SM does.

Their policies may feel stringent to some: no candy, no juice, no sweets, not even on birthdays. There is a protocol to dropping your child off and saying goodbye which is set to ease the children without mom and dad and establish a routine. To me, all this has been such a relief. There is a system in plan and a strong director to execute it. Without a strong director there is no strong program.

I took Phyllis' STEP parenting class. It was amazing. It's made my relationship with my child much much better. Phyllis is strong but she also gives us parents the tools to be strong parents with happy toddlers/children.

I've seen my child blossom at SM. There are days I see it from the time I drop her off to when I pick her up. The teachers are kind, helpful and attentive. The couple of times we've had bumps or bruises (bc kids will be kids) the teachers have a report ready and can tell me how it happened. I've never felt that my child is not looked after.

We've really enjoyed the faculty and families at St. Mel Preschool.

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I have spent the last 3 years at St. Mel Pre-school and I have 1 daughter now in elementary school and I think that St. Mel is very safe and the teachers are educated, creative and caring. Parents that communicate their needs to the teachers are heard. My daughters have blossomed at SMP and the teachers have listened. Also, the STEP parenting classes are amazing. What great tools.

5
★★★★★

I have spent the last 3 years at St. Mel Pre-school and I have 1 daughter now in elementary school and I think that St. Mel is very safe and the teachers are educated, creative and caring. Parents that communicate their needs to the teachers are heard. My daughters have blossomed at SMP and the teachers have listened. Also, the STEP parenting classes are amazing. What great tools.

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The school is super clean, organized and friendly. I feel 100% safe leaving my children there and I know they are benefiting from the developmental style of teaching. I took my daughter out of another school to enroll her in this preschool and have been very, very pleased.

5
★★★★★

The school is super clean, organized and friendly. I feel 100% safe leaving my children there and I know they are benefiting from the developmental style of teaching. I took my daughter out of another school to enroll her in this preschool and have been very, very pleased.

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St. Mel Preschool offers a great experience for our toddlers. The teachers are great and loving. It has the best playground, great for children's development.

5
★★★★★

St. Mel Preschool offers a great experience for our toddlers. The teachers are great and loving. It has the best playground, great for children's development.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

Hands down the best pre-school in the West Valley. I recommend it heartily. The environment is clean, fun, safe and inspiritional. The teachers are experienced, kind, gentle and tuned into your toddlers needs. Excellent.

5
★★★★★

Hands down the best pre-school in the West Valley. I recommend it heartily. The environment is clean, fun, safe and inspiritional. The teachers are experienced, kind, gentle and tuned into your toddlers needs. Excellent.

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They pushed my child out for having a IEP
he is a good quiet little guy. They do not want any children there with special needs.
They will probably end up getting sued for not following the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

1
★☆☆☆☆

They pushed my child out for having a IEP
he is a good quiet little guy. They do not want any children there with special needs.
They will probably end up getting sued for not following the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

First of all I'd like to say that St Mel preschool is a developmental preschool. that's one of the first things that they tell you before you enroll your child. So if you want a more academic preschool, then send your child somewhere else. I send my daughter there because she gets lots of love from her teachers, she gets to explore all sort of things from learning how to garden to baking, and this year they got to put caterpillars in a tent and watch them turn into butterflies. The children get to make a lot of interesting art projects. One of the things I like the most is that they really look after and care for each child under there watch.They make sure they have sunscreen on and wear hats outside. All and all my husband and I are very happy that we were lucky enough to send our daughter there.

5
★★★★★

First of all I'd like to say that St Mel preschool is a developmental preschool. that's one of the first things that they tell you before you enroll your child. So if you want a more academic preschool, then send your child somewhere else. I send my daughter there because she gets lots of love from her teachers, she gets to explore all sort of things from learning how to garden to baking, and this year they got to put caterpillars in a tent and watch them turn into butterflies. The children get to make a lot of interesting art projects. One of the things I like the most is that they really look after and care for each child under there watch.They make sure they have sunscreen on and wear hats outside. All and all my husband and I are very happy that we were lucky enough to send our daughter there.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

Wow - interesting blog. Although I don't usually chime into these types of blogs I felt that I do have some interesting information on this topic to share. My 2 children attended St. Mel Preschool for a total of 6 years. Although I will admit the first year the school opened was a little rough, Phyllis Schneider has really whipped this school into shape. The teachers are first rate, knowledgeable, caring, supportive and very loving towards the children. Both of my kids were more than prepared for kindergarten and I have experienced no problems in a very academic private grammar school. However, the school has a very developmental focus so if you want an academic environment for your child this is not the place for you. In my opinion, the purpose of preschool is not to have them do worksheets - there is plenty of time for that (trust me). The thing I loved most about St. Mel is their focus on learning through play. That is not to say that my children only played and didn't learn anything - in fact my oldest learned to read in preschool but this was because he was ready. For those who are complaining that their children were un-prepared for school, I would suggest that maybe their kids weren't ready to go to kindergarten yet or maybe there are organic issues that remain undiagnosed. Also, a word to the wise, if someone be it a pre-school teacher, grandparent or friend are suggesting that you should have your child tested don't be defensive 9 times out of 10 there is something there. Last few issues, I found security on the campus excellent, nutrition a priority and I never once felt uncomfortable checking up on my kids - which I did frequently. I checked many other preschools out before choosing St. Mel and honestly this one is first rate.

5
★★★★★

Wow - interesting blog. Although I don't usually chime into these types of blogs I felt that I do have some interesting information on this topic to share. My 2 children attended St. Mel Preschool for a total of 6 years. Although I will admit the first year the school opened was a little rough, Phyllis Schneider has really whipped this school into shape. The teachers are first rate, knowledgeable, caring, supportive and very loving towards the children. Both of my kids were more than prepared for kindergarten and I have experienced no problems in a very academic private grammar school. However, the school has a very developmental focus so if you want an academic environment for your child this is not the place for you. In my opinion, the purpose of preschool is not to have them do worksheets - there is plenty of time for that (trust me). The thing I loved most about St. Mel is their focus on learning through play. That is not to say that my children only played and didn't learn anything - in fact my oldest learned to read in preschool but this was because he was ready. For those who are complaining that their children were un-prepared for school, I would suggest that maybe their kids weren't ready to go to kindergarten yet or maybe there are organic issues that remain undiagnosed. Also, a word to the wise, if someone be it a pre-school teacher, grandparent or friend are suggesting that you should have your child tested don't be defensive 9 times out of 10 there is something there. Last few issues, I found security on the campus excellent, nutrition a priority and I never once felt uncomfortable checking up on my kids - which I did frequently. I checked many other preschools out before choosing St. Mel and honestly this one is first rate.

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My 2 children attended St. Mel Preschool and both my 2 children are doing well academically.

I was fortunate enough to have found St. Mel Preschool 5 years ago.

I have recommend, and will continue to recommend St. Mel Preschool to family, neighbors and friends. Of those who have attended all are equally satisfied.

They have a great curriculum. Phyllis Schneider the director and all the teachers all have the whole child??s spirit in mind.

Ms. Schneider is WONDERFUL. Ms. Schneider knows our/her children. She is a great, thoughtful and an educated lady. She has worked with young children for many years and she does know what she is doing.

I have only had pleasant encounters with Ms. Schneider. Even though my children are now in elementary school, they periodically keep in contact with their preschool teachers.
When I cross paths with Ms. Schneider, she always asks how my 2 children are doing by name.

As a parent, I could have not asked for a better preschool experience. My children were always happy going preschool. And they continue to carry their love of school onwards.

5
★★★★★

My 2 children attended St. Mel Preschool and both my 2 children are doing well academically.

I was fortunate enough to have found St. Mel Preschool 5 years ago.

I have recommend, and will continue to recommend St. Mel Preschool to family, neighbors and friends. Of those who have attended all are equally satisfied.

They have a great curriculum. Phyllis Schneider the director and all the teachers all have the whole child??s spirit in mind.

Ms. Schneider is WONDERFUL. Ms. Schneider knows our/her children. She is a great, thoughtful and an educated lady. She has worked with young children for many years and she does know what she is doing.

I have only had pleasant encounters with Ms. Schneider. Even though my children are now in elementary school, they periodically keep in contact with their preschool teachers.
When I cross paths with Ms. Schneider, she always asks how my 2 children are doing by name.

As a parent, I could have not asked for a better preschool experience. My children were always happy going preschool. And they continue to carry their love of school onwards.

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I have sent both my children through St Mel's Preschool, so I have effectively 6 years of knowledge and experience to support what I have to say.This pre-school rates very high in my opinion. The kids get lots of attention and support in the classroom and on the playground. There is a thoughtful curriculum prepared and carried out by the Director, Phyllis, and the teachers. My kids were never bored or disinterested at St Mel Preschool, in fact they looked forward to going to "school" everyday. St Mel Preschool prepared my children quite well for kindergarten and beyond.I read below that someone one claims the school isn't secure and kids wander out to the street...the person that wrote that obviously has never been to St Mel Preschool because the security there is outstanding...a real comfort for worrisome parents.The director of the preschool Phyllis Schneider is a wonderful, energetic, thoughtful and educated woman. She has worked with young children for many years, and she knows what she is doing. She is a busy woman who has many responsibilities in running a great preschool...so if she seems terse or rude, take a step back and admire what she is accomplishing...doing so can only paint Ms. Schneider as a professional educator of the highest order.One would have a very hard time finding a preschool that surpasses St Mel's.

5
★★★★★

I have sent both my children through St Mel's Preschool, so I have effectively 6 years of knowledge and experience to support what I have to say.This pre-school rates very high in my opinion. The kids get lots of attention and support in the classroom and on the playground. There is a thoughtful curriculum prepared and carried out by the Director, Phyllis, and the teachers. My kids were never bored or disinterested at St Mel Preschool, in fact they looked forward to going to "school" everyday. St Mel Preschool prepared my children quite well for kindergarten and beyond.I read below that someone one claims the school isn't secure and kids wander out to the street...the person that wrote that obviously has never been to St Mel Preschool because the security there is outstanding...a real comfort for worrisome parents.The director of the preschool Phyllis Schneider is a wonderful, energetic, thoughtful and educated woman. She has worked with young children for many years, and she knows what she is doing. She is a busy woman who has many responsibilities in running a great preschool...so if she seems terse or rude, take a step back and admire what she is accomplishing...doing so can only paint Ms. Schneider as a professional educator of the highest order.One would have a very hard time finding a preschool that surpasses St Mel's.

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It is a wonderful school with kids best interests in mind. Both my kids were ready for Kinder and are now top in their classes. This school was great for us but you should know your child well enough to decide what is best for them and for you as a parent.

5
★★★★★

It is a wonderful school with kids best interests in mind. Both my kids were ready for Kinder and are now top in their classes. This school was great for us but you should know your child well enough to decide what is best for them and for you as a parent.

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My 3 yo started SMP after a year at Woodland Hills Private. I won't go into specifics of why, but I found myself crying with relief after seeing behavior/temperament changes after just 2 mos at SMP Ms. Iyer and Ms. Moisan are genuinely wonderfully, sweet teachers at SMP. This is in contrast to the FABULOUS and truly talented, but completely burned out 'Ms. Cathy" at WHP. At WHP, I found myself picking up a child that had bruises, severe scratches and scrapes, bites, poopy diapers, shoes on the wrong feet, pants on backwards, and EXTREMELY dirty body parts, none of which particularly concerned me but for the fact that NO ONE could ever tell me how ANY of it (even the human/animal teeth mark on the cheek) came to pass?!?! Also, I don't mind that it seems like there is an invisible sign posted that reads "NO PARENTS ALLOWED" at SMP. IMHO, it's far better than the MULTIPLE times I was asked/pressured to help out at WHP, when in reality they had us parents doing EVERY possible thing they could get away with under the guise of encouraging us to be active and involved. Without a doubt, Phyllis Schneider is a tough cookie, and she can certainly come across as rude, terse, possibly mean, and even condescending at times (this from a woman who has, on ocassion also heard herself being described with similarly unflattering adjectives), but let's get real here; haven't most of us become parentzillas? Can you imagine just how many times a [day/ week/month/year] she hears about how 'uniquely special and particularly bright and gifted our angel' happens to be? Doesn't she have to keep us from running roughshod over the staff? Also, they cannot stop a parent from coming in for unannounced visits, it's the law no matter what they post or say they prefer. Who care if they seem paranoid, wouldn't you be if ANY ONE could randomly and unannounced walk in and check up on you at your job? So, if a parent is concerned, simply pop in and endure the looks and questions of why and just exercise your right to check things out for yourself. Finally, I don't know if my kid will be "ready for Kindergarten", but how should a kid be adeuately prepared for Kindergarten anyways? I mean, after all, wasn't Kindergarten created to adequately prepare kids for real school?

3
★★★☆☆

My 3 yo started SMP after a year at Woodland Hills Private. I won't go into specifics of why, but I found myself crying with relief after seeing behavior/temperament changes after just 2 mos at SMP Ms. Iyer and Ms. Moisan are genuinely wonderfully, sweet teachers at SMP. This is in contrast to the FABULOUS and truly talented, but completely burned out 'Ms. Cathy" at WHP. At WHP, I found myself picking up a child that had bruises, severe scratches and scrapes, bites, poopy diapers, shoes on the wrong feet, pants on backwards, and EXTREMELY dirty body parts, none of which particularly concerned me but for the fact that NO ONE could ever tell me how ANY of it (even the human/animal teeth mark on the cheek) came to pass?!?! Also, I don't mind that it seems like there is an invisible sign posted that reads "NO PARENTS ALLOWED" at SMP. IMHO, it's far better than the MULTIPLE times I was asked/pressured to help out at WHP, when in reality they had us parents doing EVERY possible thing they could get away with under the guise of encouraging us to be active and involved. Without a doubt, Phyllis Schneider is a tough cookie, and she can certainly come across as rude, terse, possibly mean, and even condescending at times (this from a woman who has, on ocassion also heard herself being described with similarly unflattering adjectives), but let's get real here; haven't most of us become parentzillas? Can you imagine just how many times a [day/ week/month/year] she hears about how 'uniquely special and particularly bright and gifted our angel' happens to be? Doesn't she have to keep us from running roughshod over the staff? Also, they cannot stop a parent from coming in for unannounced visits, it's the law no matter what they post or say they prefer. Who care if they seem paranoid, wouldn't you be if ANY ONE could randomly and unannounced walk in and check up on you at your job? So, if a parent is concerned, simply pop in and endure the looks and questions of why and just exercise your right to check things out for yourself. Finally, I don't know if my kid will be "ready for Kindergarten", but how should a kid be adeuately prepared for Kindergarten anyways? I mean, after all, wasn't Kindergarten created to adequately prepare kids for real school?

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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Your child will not be kindergarten ready after even two years at this preschool. I took my child out and enrolled in another Catholic preschool nearby. Much better.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Your child will not be kindergarten ready after even two years at this preschool. I took my child out and enrolled in another Catholic preschool nearby. Much better.

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0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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I visited many schools before deciding on my own parish's school. Woodland Hills Private, for one, lacked the security I need for my child. I was able to walk on campus into the school yard beyond the fence and sit there and watch other peoples children. Not one person acknowledged me. In order to even get into St. Mel Preschool there is a code for the door to open...then you have to pass the office staff to get to the children. Phyliss knows each and every parent and who they belong to...this is a good thing! The teachers are friendly and warm and yes...parents do have to hold back...but that is so each and every child gets the attention they deserve without the disruption. Two teachers to 12 kids...not bad! They encourage potty training and don't frown on it if they aren't ..like so many other schools won't even let you enroll your child if they are still in diapers! They have a no sugar policy, they serve healthy snacks and most of all they teach your children to be children! I like the school! If you had a negative experience with St. Mel then maybe you are one of the disruptive parents! Sure Phyliss is tough, she has to be...parents today are the worst! But when it comes to the children...she knows whats best!

4
★★★★☆

I visited many schools before deciding on my own parish's school. Woodland Hills Private, for one, lacked the security I need for my child. I was able to walk on campus into the school yard beyond the fence and sit there and watch other peoples children. Not one person acknowledged me. In order to even get into St. Mel Preschool there is a code for the door to open...then you have to pass the office staff to get to the children. Phyliss knows each and every parent and who they belong to...this is a good thing! The teachers are friendly and warm and yes...parents do have to hold back...but that is so each and every child gets the attention they deserve without the disruption. Two teachers to 12 kids...not bad! They encourage potty training and don't frown on it if they aren't ..like so many other schools won't even let you enroll your child if they are still in diapers! They have a no sugar policy, they serve healthy snacks and most of all they teach your children to be children! I like the school! If you had a negative experience with St. Mel then maybe you are one of the disruptive parents! Sure Phyliss is tough, she has to be...parents today are the worst! But when it comes to the children...she knows whats best!

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2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

.

Some of the teachers are fine but uninspired. Overall, the preschool is just a farm system for St. Mel elementary school. The director is rude; but just steer clear and you'll be fine. The one good thing is that the school is relatively new and the classrooms are clean and inviting. The yard is beautiful with lots of green space and new apparatus.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Some of the teachers are fine but uninspired. Overall, the preschool is just a farm system for St. Mel elementary school. The director is rude; but just steer clear and you'll be fine. The one good thing is that the school is relatively new and the classrooms are clean and inviting. The yard is beautiful with lots of green space and new apparatus.

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0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

Teachers and staff are often rude and out of touch with what kids really need. You NEED to advise before visiting your child's classroom or they will be VERY paranoid. Even if you just want to check in without actually going into your child's classroom. Things that make you go hmmm...Your child will not be kindergarten ready simply by attending this school. And for the price you pay, you get very little. No field trips for the older kids. No lunch program without paying extra, etc. There are plenty of other, better choices in the area.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Teachers and staff are often rude and out of touch with what kids really need. You NEED to advise before visiting your child's classroom or they will be VERY paranoid. Even if you just want to check in without actually going into your child's classroom. Things that make you go hmmm...Your child will not be kindergarten ready simply by attending this school. And for the price you pay, you get very little. No field trips for the older kids. No lunch program without paying extra, etc. There are plenty of other, better choices in the area.

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1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

.

Both of my children attended St. Mel (total of 5 years) and the teachers were the most loving, intelligent and interested people I've ever met. Parents were invited into the classroom when they politely asked the teacher ahead of time. The Director is awesome and finds articles and resources for any parent that asks her for help. She is great at protecting the teachers from bothersome parents that disrupt the classroom and the teachers from teaching by asking them to show courtesy and respect for the teachers. That is why the teachers stay there, and they win awards. I have been to other preschools and I can't imagine having sent my kids anywhere else.

5
★★★★★

Both of my children attended St. Mel (total of 5 years) and the teachers were the most loving, intelligent and interested people I've ever met. Parents were invited into the classroom when they politely asked the teacher ahead of time. The Director is awesome and finds articles and resources for any parent that asks her for help. She is great at protecting the teachers from bothersome parents that disrupt the classroom and the teachers from teaching by asking them to show courtesy and respect for the teachers. That is why the teachers stay there, and they win awards. I have been to other preschools and I can't imagine having sent my kids anywhere else.

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3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

.

Most teachers are mediocre and inattentive, because they are too busy running scared from the preschool director, Phyllis Schneider, who runs the place like a Third World military camp. They don't ever want parents around; they get nervous as soon as you walk through that door. The entire staff is quick to label kids and pretend to be quasi child psychologists. On advice of my pediatrician, I pulled my son out of there and within weeks at a new school he was behaving very well (he was awarded citizen of the month for good listening and being nice to his friends) and all of his potty issues were resolved! Most parents put up with the chaos at St. Mel Preschool (unsafe campus; kids can walk out the front door into the parking lot and into the street because it only has a push-bar to open) because they want to get into St. Mel Elementary.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Most teachers are mediocre and inattentive, because they are too busy running scared from the preschool director, Phyllis Schneider, who runs the place like a Third World military camp. They don't ever want parents around; they get nervous as soon as you walk through that door. The entire staff is quick to label kids and pretend to be quasi child psychologists. On advice of my pediatrician, I pulled my son out of there and within weeks at a new school he was behaving very well (he was awarded citizen of the month for good listening and being nice to his friends) and all of his potty issues were resolved! Most parents put up with the chaos at St. Mel Preschool (unsafe campus; kids can walk out the front door into the parking lot and into the street because it only has a push-bar to open) because they want to get into St. Mel Elementary.

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1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

 

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