Lake Avenue Community Foundation’s STARS Elementary Program is undergoing some exciting changes. After almost twelve years, it is time for a good tune-up to meet the changing educational demands of our students. A redesign planning committee comprised of staff, volunteer tutors, parents and educational experts has been meeting over the course of several months and compiled a huge amount of information, suggestions and ideas. We are still meeting and finalizing plans, but we want to share some of the new things the elementary program will have in the 2012/13 school year. If you are interested in participating in any of the new programs, please let us know by contacting Beth at email@example.com of 626.817.4507.
New Reading Program
Marcel Ponton, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist and Lake Avenue Church member, is creator of the web-based reading program. It is a state-of-the-art program where students participate for ten weeks, three to four times a week. The program has proven to be effective in helping all participating students, regardless of age, attain the ability to read at grade level by the end of the ten weeks. We are very excited to be able to help our students excel in reading with this new program. To learn more about Dr. Ponton, his website is http://www.personagroup.com/drponton.htm. If you are interested in volunteering for this program, please let us know!
With money that was raised at the 2011 Stars for Tomorrow benefit, along with another generous donation of twenty five lap tops donated by Discover the World, we are very close to our goal of having one laptop for every two elementary, middle and high school STARS students. Working alongside one of our PUSD teachers and LAC members, Reimer Rojas of McKinley Elementary School, we are developing a program to provide students with computer time to participate in various learning websites that range from spelling, reading, math, and vocabulary. These websites give us the opportunity to track the work students are doing and help them improve specific skills. This technology also provides students an opportunity to learn and improve their computer skills. If you are interested in helping supervise the computer lab, please let us know.
Pictured on the Left: Dr. Douglas Millham, Co-founder and President of Discover the World, showing STARS students the new laptops
Through an examination of our programs, we realize that it is not about extending the school day with traditional education, but through providing students with opportunities to experience new ideas and learn while participating in fun projects. Cognitive development occurs through a multi-layered approach. Students will be exposed to various skills ranging from cooking, tennis, martial arts, painting, music, dance, woodcraft, creative writing, video editing and other activities. Instead of having one enrichment activity daily, there will be multiple options giving the students opportunities to learn skills that can help them discover their individual gifts and talents. If you are interested in participating with or leading a particular enrichment component, for four weeks, please let us know by contacting Beth.
We’ve received two significant grants that we will be implementing this summer! First is an $85,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the City of Pasadena. This grant will allow us to become ADA compliant with new entrances and exits, an upgrade to the heating and air conditioning system, two new restrooms (woohoo!), a brand new roof and a new floor, as well as a much needed alarm system for our Villa 500 Community Center. Additionally, we will then be coordinating special projects with parents and volunteers to repaint the interior and perhaps make improvements to the landscape. The second grant from the Pasadena Community Foundation will allow us to purchase new, age-appropriate furniture for a complete room layout change, including tables and chairs, reading areas, rugs and book cases. We’d love to stock our bookshelves with accelerated reading books and magazine subscriptions to accompany our renewed focus on literacy.
Many thanks to the Elementary Redesign Committee and their hard work! In the photo on the left, listed from left to right: Raimer Rojas (PUSD Teacher), Anna Ochoa (STARS Elementary Manager), Nancy Stiles (LACF Mentor Coach), Mary Anne Cunningham (retired teacher and STARS tutor), Jenny Mattesich (teacher), Teri Griffith (PUSD parent), Rosa Urena (PUSD and STARS parent). Not pictured: Lily Cardenas (PUSD parent and STARS Parent Committee President), Sandra Perez (PUSD parent), Beth Winton (LACF Volunteer Coordinator).