Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News – February 2005

On January 3rd, RAND released a comprehensive report:

"California's K-12 Public Schools: How are they doing?"
Not good.

According to RAND's press release:

       "California's public school system lags behind most of the nation on almost every objective measurement of student achievement, funding, teacher qualifications and school facilities..."

       "The study... chronicles how the state's K-12 school system has fallen from a national leader 30 years ago to its current ranking near the bottom in nearly every objective category."

       "The decline of California's K-12 system has paralleled the shrinking of per pupil financial support for education during the past three decades, according to the RAND report."

If you agree that excellent public schools are essential for our State, please inform yourself. Read the RAND press release, executive summary or full report which you can find online at

Due to a crowded January 25 agenda, the Santa Monica City Council delayed discussion on budget priorities for 05-06 until their meeting on February 8th.  For all the reasons documented in the RAND report plus additional research on the impacts of poverty and the critical importance of early childhood, after school, summer, family, and community experiences, I have urged (surprise!) that the Council continue to support education and lifelong learning as top civic priorities. You can still email the Council at with your budget priority input.

Many volunteers and professionals, private, public, and non-profit organizations contribute to our Lifelong Learning Community. Before I move on to events, I'd like to highlight and acknowledge these two very different organizations and contributions:

       The Santa Monica Daily Press runs a full two page spread every Tuesday entitled "Santa Monica Parenting: A Weekly Look at Events and Programs for Santa Monica Parents and Parents To Be." Regularly featured is an article by an early childhood guest expert and also "Dear Dorie," a Q& A about issues for children 0-5 with Dorie Meeks. (Dorie is the Director of SMMUSD's Infant and Family Support Program, funded by Saint John's Health Center. For more information on the Infant and Family Support Program and community activities they sponsor for parents and caregivers with children from 0-5, call 452-6132 or email your questions directly to Dorie at Thank you to The Daily Press for this weekly feature.

       The YWCA Santa Monica/Westside in partnership with the SMMUSD Adult Education has an ongoing Evening High School Diploma/Childcare Literacy Program which provides educational services to young mothers motivated to complete their high school education but not able to do so without free childcare services. The YWCA is now also adding an evening child literacy program for elementary and middle school children. This educational program includes academic assistance (available for all subjects) and a nutritious snack in a safe environment with individual attention.
  • YWCA Evening Academic Enrichment For Elementary and Middle School Children
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m. or 6:30-8:00 p.m.
    Classes are on-going. Sessions are 6 weeks. 
    Choose either one or two times per week.
    Classes are held in the YWCA's cozy Kiwanis Cottage
           2019 14th St. Santa Monica
    COST: One class per week (6 classes)- $50
           Two Classes per week (12 classes)- $90
           Scholarships are available!
    Call (310)452-3881 to register. Limited Enrollment!


Motion by the Ocean BICYCLE WORKSHOP
Do you have ideas how to make Santa Monica a better place to ride bicycles? Do you have safety concerns when bike riding? As part of the process for updating our City's Circulation Element, please bring your great ideas and join in the

  • Motion by the Ocean BICYCLE WORKSHOP
    Saturday, February 5, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
         Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th Street
         Secure bicycle parking provided 
         Youth are welcome and children's activities will be provided
         Please RSVP to 310/458-2204 or

Interested in tutoring children in reading and writing? An experienced Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District teacher (Master's Degree, Literacy Education) covers strategies for tutoring reading and writing to children grades K-5.  Nicole Mulkern shows how to build children's confidence and make learning fun. This lively class gets highest evaluations from enrollees. Volunteer tutors, parents, grandparents, students of education, and friends of education are encouraged to enroll. 
Offered by WISE America Reads, Volunteer Tutor Program

  • "Tutor Children in Reading/Writing"
    Free 4 Session Course!
         4 consecutive Wednesdays: Feb 9 to March 2
         4:45 - 6:45 pm
         Santa Monica location
         Please call 394-9871 x 452 for address and to enroll.
Valentine's Dance at the Santa Monica Pier
  • Saturday, February 12, 7 to 10 p.m.
    The Pier will roll out a huge dance floor for Johnny Polanco y su Conjunto Amistad. Extremely popular on the Los Angeles Salsa scene, this is a rare opportunity for Johnny Polanco fans to see him live in concert at a large outdoor venue.

Santa Monica Historical Society News & Special Event:

  • Thanks to a grant from the Kiwanis Club, Santa Monica students are now participating in the "Free School Trip and Tour of the SMHSM Program."  According to the SMHSM newsletter, "Tours highlight the history of the Gabrielino and Chumash Indians, Santa Monica's founding and development, and the importance of community involvement."

  • As part of Black History Month, the SMHSM is offering a special program: The Brunson Brothers: Shaping Santa Monica's Community
           Sunday, Feb 13th, 2pm
           Santa Monica Historical Society Museum
           1539 Euclid Street
    (parking available in back of the building and at Santa Monica Seafood parking lot on Colorado at 12th.)
    Regular museum hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10-4:30; 2nd & 4th Sundays, 1-4pm. For more information, please call 310-395-2290 or visit

  From the Santa Monica Public Library, especially for teens:

  •     Rock the Pier!
           Friday, February 18, 6-10pm
           Arcadia on the Pier
    Come hear teen bands perform on the Santa Monica Pier. High school ID required. Sponsored by the Teen Advisory Council.
  • Anime Drawing Workshop
           Saturday, February 19, 10:30am-noon
           Montana Avenue Branch
           1704 Montana Avenue
    Learn how to create your own characters in the style of Japanese anime/manga.
    Sign up at the desk. For kids in grades 9 and up.

Santa Monica College

  • SMC's ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES LECTURE SERIES: Simple Sustainable Concepts for Individuals, Organizations, & Communities
    Thursday, February 24, 6:45pm 
    SMC Science 145, Lecture is Free. 
    The staff of Sustainable Works shows how students, businesses, and residents can increase efficiency and sustainable practices in our everyday lives.
  • SMC's Center for Environmental and Urban Studies invites you to come find out what the experts have to say about today's environmental and urban issues.
    Seating is on a first-arrival basis. For information, please call (310) 434-4743, or visit

  • SMC's Spring Jazz Concerts presents:
    Interior Flight: A Tribute to "Bird"
    Friday, February 25, 8pm and Saturday, February 26, 8pm
    Tickets are $10.00
    Morgan Wixson Theatre
    2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica
    "Interior Flight" is a series of dances inspired by the music of Charlie "Bird" Parker that explores how memory shapes and dictates relationships. Kindra Windish, Choreographer, presented by the New York City Co-op Dance Ensemble.
    This popular concert series brings the best of America's jazz music to SMC and sells out quickly. For tickets, call (310) 434-3000, or stop by the SMC Events Office.

    SMC's Weekend Concerts Program
    Emeritus College Band Concert, Wallace Umber, Conductor.
    Sunday, February 27, 3pm
    SMC Concert Hall
    Please call (310) 434-4323 or (310) 434-3000 for details. Tickets may be purchased at the SMC Events Office, or by calling (310) 434-3000. Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis.

  • SMC's The Mary Pickford Speakers Series
    Explore how writing, directing, producing, music, special effects, and other elements are used in film and television to bring a story to life, featuring James (Jim) Pentecost.
    Entertainment executive and distinguished producer, director, and stage manager for theater made his motion picture debut as producer of Disney's animated feature "Pocahontas." Also coproduced "Homeward Bound II" and was executive producer for the musical "Geppetto."
    Monday, February 28, 7pm
    SMC Academy of Entertainment & Technology Screening Room
    Featuring James (Jim) Pentecost
    1660 Stewart Street,
    Call (310) 434-3777 for details.
Gang Violence Prevention Conference
  • Saturday, February 26, 9am-noon
    John Adams Middle School
    2425 16th Street
    Sponsored by the City of Santa Monica and State Senator Sheila Kuehl, this is the first step in a focused community effort to reduce gang activity in the city and associated crime in the Pico neighborhood, as outlined by City Manager Susan McCarthy in a December report to the City Council.

Saturday Afternoons with Los Angeles Opera

  • Saturday, February 26, 2:00pm
    Senor Recreation Center,
    1450 Ocean Avenue
    All ages are welcome.
    This annual series begins its fourth year with a multi-media presentation: The ABCs of Opera: Aida, La Boheme, and Carmen. 

If you are a film buff, don't forget that the Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Blvd. is now open and home to the American Cinematheque. To find a listing of their screenings, please go to

And, (almost done) a few more helpful resources from the Santa Monica Public Library:

  • Homework Help available at the Youth Tech Center!
           Mondays through Thursdays, 3 to 8:30 pm.
           Fairview Branch Library
           2101 Ocean Park Boulevard
           We have eight laptops with high speed internet access and word processing.

  • is an online homework help service available at all Santa Monica Public Library branches except Temporary Main. Designed for use by students in grades 4-12, has tutors around the country standing by to help you with your Math, Science, English or Social Studies homework.

Lastly, please remember to check out and bookmark the new Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community website at
On the pull down menu, LLC Links (Lifelong Learning Community Links) will take you to the websites of the major lifelong learning opportunity providers here in Santa Monica; you can find the RAND report on California's K-12 Schools under the heading "Important Research," and anyone interested in receiving this monthly Lifelong Learning Community e-Newsletter can subscribe online by clicking the "Subscribe" heading. You are welcome to forward this newsletter to friends and neighbors.

Thanks, Cheers and Onward!

For more information about the Lifelong Learning Community, contact

Louise Jaffe





  Jan. 05 Newsletter







January 2005 Newsletter