October 10th, 2012 §
Congratulations to Ms. Vargas’ 6th grade class, whose GO SOLAR! video has made it to the finals in the Environment California’s LA Solar Video Contest! But the contest is not over. Online voting has started and will be open until October 16th. The class is trying to gather as many votes as they can before voting closes. The winning entry gets $1500, which the class plans to use to fund a kayaking trip on the LA River!
You may already know that Los Angeles enjoys 329 sunny days a year, yet less than 2 percent of the city’s electricity comes from rooftop solar. It is estimated that our school could save up to $50,000 a year in electricity costs by converting to solar energy. The winning submissions will be shown to Los Angeles city leaders to make the case for putting the sun to work for Los Angeles. Spread the word and vote today! Click here to view the videos: Ms. Vargas’ class video is in the upper left-hand corner (Go Solar!)
March 13th, 2012 §
Micheltorena Elementary is proud to offer an exciting educational opportunity for the 2012 – 2013 school year: Bilingual instruction for kindergarten in English and Spanish!
Research shows that students taught in a dual language program excel as compared to students in other educational programs:
- Achieved higher scores in English, Reading and Mathematics
- Earned higher SAT scores
- By 5th grade, participants were outperforming all comparison groups, and remained high academic achievers throughout their schooling
The key features of our dual language program are:
- Bilingualism and biliteracy as goal
- Classes with a mix of English and Spanish speaking students
- Sustained instruction in the target language of Spanish
- 50% of instruction is in both languages every day
- Starts in Kindergarten, and continues through grade levels
WE ARE NOW ENROLLING for 2012 – 2013 kindergarten class! Space is limited! Call 323-661-2125 with questions or to sign up for the program, or drop by our school office.
November 28th, 2011 §
The first Bluepalm parent dance class was held on November 18 at Micheltorena! Participants learned more about the Micheltorena Arts Plan, practiced the Bluepalm warm-up, explored why all cultures dance, and let loose with a wild and sophisticated series of moves to enhance cardio fitness, coordination, stretching, and joy!
The parent movement class helps to build parent advocacy for the arts. Parents were able to describe what dance brings to the body and mind – focus, energy, effort, rhythm, beauty – and why these components are essential in teaching to the whole child. The next Bluepalm Parent Movement class will be held on Friday, December 9 at 10 A.M. in Room 7.
Check out Bluepalm in action at Micheltorena in their video below!
September 20th, 2011 §
September is in full swing and hopefully everyone has adjusted to being back to school! Below are a few noteworthy events coming up in the next week. You can also see the school calendar at www.micheltorena.org/calendar for other happenings and goings-on.
September 27 Tuesday, 4pm: Friends of Micheltorena meeting, Conference Room
The Friends of Micheltorena is a booster group comprised of parents, teachers and community members. This is the first FOM meeting of the year, and is open to everyone! FOM’s committees include the Micheltorena School and Community Garden and the School Beautification Committee, which has spearheaded recent mural painting efforts, among others.
At this meeting, Tom and Jackie of Blue Palm Art Culture Education, a Silver Lake-based nonprofit arts education group, will speak about their partnership with Principal Furfari and Micheltorena to create a sustainable, comprehensive school-wide arts program at the school. We will also discuss upcoming Garden and Beautification plans and projects at the meeting.
September 27, 5 pm – 7:30: Back to School Night
After the FOM meeting, head over the auditorium to hear Principal Furfari speak about the upcoming year. Afterwards, head over to your child’s classroom for a discussion of activities with the teachers. Afterwards, the In and Out burger truck will be in the central courtyard to provide well-earned sustenance. Hurry, tickets must be purchased in advance! Tickets are $4 which gets you a hamburger or cheeseburger, chips and a drink. Last day to buy tickets is Thursday, September 23. Buy tickets from the office, or from Peter Valverde, Community Rep, before school.
The PTA and School and Community Garden will have tables at Back to School night. Learn about upcoming PTA events, become a member of the PTA ($7 per member) and pick-up a Micheltorena t-shirt! T-shirts are $10 for children sizes, $12 for adult sizes.
Members of the Garden will be at their table talking about our Wednesday classdays in the garden as well as upcoming Fall garden activities. Garden docent Leonardo Chalupowicz will be giving tours down at the garden and can answer all of your questions about our new solar panel, drip irrigation system, and composting set-up!
September 30, Friday, 8:15 AM and 2:40p: School committee elections There are two meetings on this date for persons interested in being on a school committee: 8:15 AM is voting, and 2:40p is the follow-up administrative meeting.
One of the best ways to get involved at the school is by serving as an elected member on a school/parent committee. Read more about our committees in the school handbook, or by visiting www.micheltorena.org/committees By serving on a parent committee, you will learn about how the State, District, and our school supports your child in their education. Most importantly, you will have a say as to how our funds our spent to support student safety and learning.
Of note, membership is open to everyone who lives in the local community, including potential parents and other stakeholders; you just need to show up on this date and present a California drivers license with your Silver Lake address. To be a voting member of these committees you MUST be at the elections on this date! Meetings are held monthly; see www.micheltorena.org/calendar for dates and times.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
Please mark your calendars for Micheltorena’s first annual Great Pumpkin Festival, to be held on Saturday, October 29, from 11a – 5pm at the school. This event is sponsored by the PTA and all proceeds will go towards supporting field trips and after-school classes. The festival will be open to the public and feature food, games, music, crafts, a raffle, workshops in the garden, pumpkin carving, kid costume contest, and a haunted house! Tickets are $1, kids 2 and under are free. We are in the midst of furious planning for the event, and have lots of opportunities for volunteering in all areas. Please contact PTA co-presidents Sara Healey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rebecca Crane at email@example.com to inquire.
January 11th, 2011 §
After a three-week winter break, school is back in full-swing!
We kicked off this past winter break with a celebration for the opening of our brand new Wonder of Reading Library. The theme of the event was “Lights, Camera, Library,” and the stars came out to celebrate! Guests included Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz (Principal Furfari!), Charlie Chaplin (coordinator Ms. Missoni!), Harpo Marx (student Jessica Guitierrez!) Marilyn Monroe (teacher Kathy Griffiths!), and real-life star City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, among others.
After the ceremony in the auditorium, the students and guests moved to take a tour of the new library, and where 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders received a free color picture dictionary, courtesy of the Wonder of Reading Foundation.
Our new library was finally finished after years of coordinated efforts led by Principal Furfari, and with the help of generous donors, including Silver Lake resident and Micheltorena alumna Roella Hsieh Louie, the Lakers Foundation, the offices of Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge, the Macomber Family Foundation, and dozens of community members who participated in our Adopt the Library fundraiser. Our new library is truly a dream come true!
Bailey Magaña, Tom LaBonge and Dorothy/Principal Furfari read the dedication of the library from the City of Los Angeles.
Perfectly behaved students getting ready for the ceremony!
Friends of Micheltorena founder and parent Dorit Dowler-Guerrero with Councilmember Tom LaBonge.
Dorothy Gale/Principal Furfari with Mr. LaBonge.
Marilyn and Charlie.
Charlie and Harpo!
Charlie (this guy's everywhere!) and Parent Al Guerrero.
Dictionary give-away from Wonder of Reading: brand new dictionaries for a brand new year!
November 25th, 2010 §
The next few months are going to be very busy here at at the school! We have reading, planting and more planting going on at the campus. Please update your calendars with the following dates:
December 9, Thursday Family Reading Night 5 – 7pm Come here your teacher read a favorite book! Did you know that there are 4 children’s books authors and illustrators among current Micheltorena parents? Candace Ryan, Peter Healy, Steven Weissman and Jordan Crane are all involved in children’s bookmaking.
December 13, Monday Fruit tree orchard planting, phase I Read more about our garden projects here.
December 17, Friday Wonder of Reading Library Opening Ceremony 9:30am To read more about our library, or to make a donation, click here.
January 13 and 15, 2011 Fruit tree orchard planting, phase II Join us on Saturday, January 15 to help plant our new fruit tree orchard, and bring home a fruit tree sapling for your own home! This tree planting event will be hosted by Treepeople.
November 14th, 2010 §
It’s official! Micheltorena has garden fever. On Saturday, November 13, 23 volunteers showed up at the school to dig up and replant the garden at the northside of campus (soon to be the new reading garden), and spread wheelbarrows and wheelbarrows of mulch and compost under existing bushes and trees. Volunteers consisted of Micheltorena students, parents, school parents to-be, teachers, and community members. Photos of the day coming soon!
Groundbreaking on the new corner garden will take place on Monday, November 15. Our next garden volunteer day will be Saturday, November 27, where we will start to build raised beds for the garden. Other garden volunteer projects include moving and planting the hanging Woolley Garden and an fruit tree orchard planting event on campus in January 2011.
October 30th, 2010 §
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.
October 3rd, 2010 §
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
September 1st, 2010 §
On September 1, Micheltorena Street School was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Silverlake Neighborhood Council to accelerate our garden project into PHASE 2 construction …and turn the asphalt to actual green stuff!
Please send them a <thank you> at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for updates and a volunteer role call!