From October 2010

Safe Routes to School Grant Award

Principal Susanna Furfari, the Micheltorena PTA, and the Micheltorena School and Community Garden Team, in collaboration with City Council President Eric Garcetti, Council District 13 and the Department of Street Services are proud to announce the award of a $350,000 state-sponsored “Safe Routes to School” grant.

Safe Routes to School is an international movement that seeks to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.  Awarded grant funds are used by the City to improve safety and accessibility in the areas surrounding schools, as well as reduce traffic and air pollution in the surrounding neighborhood.  As a result, this program will make bicycling and walking to Micheltorena safer, as well as creating a more walk- and bike-friendly Silver Lake.  California began awarding Safe Routes to School grants to neighborhoods in 1999.

Our grant plans involve the construction of “bulb outs” in the intersections adjacent to the school, the creation of a bicycle corral and bus stop shelter, and the installation of trees and landscaping that will beautify the neighborhood and encourage walking and biking to school.

Please click here to read our grant proposal.  Click here to read more about the California Safe Routes to School grant program.

King Middle School Magnet Program Tour Schedule

Thomas Starr King Middle School will be having tours for parents and students who are interested in enrolling in their magnet program.   To sign up for a spot on the tour, call (323) 644-6700, press #1, and ask for the magnet program.

The tour dates are 10-28, 11-4, 11-18, 12-2 and 12-9.  Hurry, spots are filling up fast!

Read more about our King Middle School and their magnet program here.

Join us for dinner at CANELÉ on October 18

…and support the Micheltorena School and Community Garden!  CANELÉ restaurant, located at 3219 Glendale Blvd in Atwater Village, will be serving a prix fixe dinner for $35 from 5 – 9 PM, with proceeds going to support the construction of the Micheltorena School and Community Garden.  Takeout is available for $12, and a vegetarian option is available as well.

Closed on Mondays is a recurring dinner event designed to support local food initiatives.  At each dinner, a three course, fixed price menu is served with monies raised going to sustain creative, food-related community projects.  Closed on Mondays takes place during typically closed-for-business hours, allowing the hosts to make use of the restaurant’s space & equipment, and and free them to donate their superb cooking skills to support a fundraiser!   Closed on Mondays is hosted by Aliza MinerSavita Ostendorf and Marjory Garrison. Thank you also to SEE LA and the Atwater Farmer’s Market for donating vegetables to our dinner!

The school year is off and running!

The school year was officially ushered in with our Back to School night on September 28.  Students and their families mingled and met with teachers on this balmy fall evening.  Principal Furfari gave a presentation in the auditorium detailing the many exciting changes coming this year to Micheltorena.  Here they are, in no particular order!

New school library: Micheltorena will have a new library built in rooms 20 and 21, in the Primary Building.  This library is the product of many years of fundraising and grantwriting, and is made possible by the organization Wonder of Reading and generous support from LAUSD boardmember Yolie Flores.  Our new library will boast new computers, media equipment, a “story steps” mini-amphitheatre, and an updated book collection, featuring books donated by the Friends of Silverlake Library.  Planned groundbreaking on the library is scheduled for October, with the finished library set to open its doors in December.  The Friends of Micheltorena continue to host their “Adopt the Library” fundraiser; click here for more information on how to participate.  Would you like to volunteer at the new library?  Volunteer positions include reading books to children, tutoring children in reading, and assisting the librarian with library and book organization.  Please send an email to Marilyn Missoni, School Coordinator, at to apply.

New school and community garden: Starting later this fall, construction will begin on the corner of Micheltorena Street and Sunset to turn the parking lot into a garden that will serve both the school and community.  As noted in previous posts on this website, the Silverlake Neighborhood Council generously donated $10,000 to our effort in a gesture towards promoting education, sustainability, the ‘greening’ of our neighborhood, and community involvement. Please see the Garden page of this website for more information.  Fundraising also continues for the garden!  In particular, the Atwater Village restaurant Canele will be hosting a fundraiser for the Micheltorena School and Community Garden on October 18 as part of their “Closed on Mondays” fundraiser series; read more about this event here.  Please click here for more information about contributing to our school garden.

New fruit tree orchard on campus: The organization Treepeople has made the Micheltorena campus a target for a fruit tree orchard planting as part of their Trees for a Green LA program!    This very exciting program includes training school and community volunteers on the basics of tree care as part of their “Citizen Forester” training, digging up asphalt, and planting dozens of fruit trees on our campus.  The program will involve the volunteer participation of students and their families to help plant and then care for the trees.   Our tree planting event is scheduled for the middle of January, and will see close to 40 trees go into the ground, with Treepeople also donating 150 bare root fruit trees to be given to student families. The trees on campus will provide fruit for the students during their school day, as well as the community as they pass by the school.  The following teachers have signed up to receive training help act as stewards for the new orchard: Charles Kimzey, Geralyn Buschelman, and Lisa Lewis.

Micheltorena Arts Community: Since the arts are such a part vital part of the Silver Lake community and an important part of our school, Micheltorena is partnering with Blue Palm Art Culture Education, a Silver Lake-based nonprofit arts education organization, to design a sustainable, comprehensive arts plan for Micheltorena Elementary School, called the Micheltorena Arts Community (MAC).  This plan will include not only Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, and Music, but also Culinary Arts, Media Arts, and other Creative Professions.   MAC will draw on the participation of creative individuals from the local neighborhood who will share their expertise to prepare local students for the creative workplace.  Would you like to be a part of MAC?  Send Principal Furfari an email at!

PTA: The PTA is not new, but it’s always exciting!  This year the PTA will continue to sponsor our annual Haunted House, Leprechaun Leap Dance, and Cinco de Mayo Festival, and publication of the school yearbook.  New events planned for the 2010-2011 school year include a Pancake Breakfast with the Fire Department, Micheltorena Fun Run/Walk, and Healthy Food Family Cookoff Contest.  Our meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of the month at 5pm in Room 4, just inside the school entrance.  Membership in the PTA is open to all stakeholders of Micheltorena, including future student families and community members, and is $6 for the year.  Please contact Rebecca Crane at for more information.

School lunch reform: Micheltorena is a Title 1 school, which means all students receive free lunch during the school day.  While LAUSD makes attempts to serve lunches that follow USDA nutritional guidelines, many people feel that the school lunches could be much healthier, particularly in serving more unprocessed, locally sourced foods for lunch.  A few parents at Micheltorena are working to impact long-term change in the healthfulness of lunches served in the LAUSD school system, as well as more immediate change in the school lunch served at Micheltorena.  Stay tuned for more updates!  If you would like to be involved in LAUSD school lunch reform, please visit the Food for Lunch website for more information.