Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - JANUARY 2011

Happy New Year! I hope that you and those you love enjoyed the holidays. Please note that you are receiving the Lifelong Learning News from a new sender (still me!) – Please do what you have to do to make sure the LLC News (as sent by doesn’t end up in your spam box.

Every year, I include “write the Lifelong Learning Community News” as one of my New Year’s resolutions. I began writing this newsletter, and continue to write it, to promote the concept that so many efforts and activities that appear disparate are part of a common community-held value and commitment to learning. We humans are learning machines, and the quality of our lives is greatly defined and enhanced by our opportunities and enthusiasms for learning; and both the opportunities and the enthusiasms are profoundly shaped in early childhood.

Learning is for everyone, always.

The Lifelong Learning Community Project’s purpose is to for our community to work together, individually and collectively, to improve and embrace the environment, the experiences, and the attitudes that support learning. Our community’s demonstrated and expanding commitment to lifelong learning is one of the things that makes Santa Monica so special.

Santa Monica has dramatically increased our lifelong learning infrastructure and opportunities since this effort first began. Our schools, city, and college all work much more closely together, collaboratively and synergistically, than they had. And technology has greatly improved communication. Still, there always seems to be something to write about so.... on to 2011!
Congratulations to our newly installed elected officers: Mayor Richard Bloom, Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis, College Board Chair Andrew Walzer and Vice Chair Margaret Quinones-Perez, and School Board President Jose Escarce and Vice President Ben Allen. Thank you for your willingness to serve and to lead our major local institutions. May the force be with you!
School District News:

Superintendent Tim Cuneo is retiring in June. At their last meeting, the School Board approved a contract with a firm to begin the search for a new superintendent. My understanding is that the Board will schedule some meetings in January for the public to provide input to the search firm re our ideal superintendent. These meetings have not yet been scheduled so, if you are interested, please check back with the district website – – for details about upcoming meetings.
Speaking of superintendents, the LA Times reports that our former school superintendent John Deasy will be the new LAUSD Superintendent. We know John as a passionate and determined mover and shaker; it will be very interesting to see how much and how far he can move LAUSD... Congratulations to John and good luck!
Openings on the Financial Oversight Committee: The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is seeking applicants for its Financial Oversight Committee (FOC). There are currently four vacancies on the FOC. The district is seeking qualified candidates who will bring a depth of business and/or financial expertise to the committee. Meetings are held monthly.

The application form is available at Applications can be mailed to the district office (1651 16th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404), faxed (310.581.1138), or scanned and emailed to All applications are due by January 28, 2011.
Olympic High School Recognized as a 2011 Model Continuation High School!
SMMUSD’s Olympic High School was named one of twenty-seven 2011 Model Continuation High Schools by State Superintendent Jack O’Connell in December. These schools were so recognized for their programs designed to help struggling students stay in school. Congratulations to Principal Janie Gates, staff, students, district, and our community! Please take a moment to read about this achievement at

Santa Monica College News:

SMC still #1 in transfers to UCs and to UC & CSU combined!

For the first time, more than 1000 SMC students transferred to the University of California. SMC transferred a total of 1,053 students to UC, up 14.58 percent from the 919 students who transferred in 2008-09. This is the 20th consecutive year that SMC has been the No. 1 transfer institution to the UC campuses, a proud record we are always working hard to sustain. Congratulations to SMC, to the students and their families, and to our community. For more on this story, please go to

SMC student wins top science prize
For a more up front and personal look at excellence at SMC, the Lookout reports that former SMC student John Cook, in a competition with more than 900 students from across the country, won an award from the Department of Energy for his improvements to the lithium battery.

Read this story and feel good about the quality of our programs, professors, and students!
Global Citizenship mini-grants at work at SMC
On this same general topic of excellence at SMC, this article describes how professors are using mini-grants to enrich and deepen the curriculum and student/community experience. Please go to

For more SMC news, including video, please visit

News for older adults, those of us who have older adults we care about, and those of us who are quickly becoming older adults (much to our surprise!)

Wise Connections: Wise & Healthy Aging has been working with community members to develop an exciting new service for our community – WISE Connections. Modeled after a successful grassroots community effort in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, WISE Connections is a membership program for residents age 50 and older that supports safe, healthy and quality living in your home. Wise Connections is a neighborhood resource for aging well. For more information on Wise Connections and to attend an introductory meeting, please see the event listed below on January 25 (RSVP due by January 21) or call 310-829-5699.
State Budget News:

In a press conference on January 6, new State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson declared a state of financial emergency in California’s schools. “Torlakson noted that 58 percent of school districts have cut instructional materials; 35 percent have increased class size; 35 percent have reduced their teaching force; 48 percent have cut nurses, counselor, and psychologists; and almost half of local educational agencies have reduced the pay of their employees, according to a CDE survey conducted last year.” To read the full press release, please go to

On Monday, January 10, Governor Jerry Brown will release his proposed budget. While earlier predictions were that the budget would be an excruciating “just the facts” budget, it now appears that, although it will still be excruciating, it will include some hoped-for additional revenues such as extensions of the temporary (and due to expire) tax increases. Word is the Governor is hoping to present these for the voters to renew in a special election. Basically, due to time constraints, we are skipping the first act (setting up just how terrible the existing financial situation really is) and going right to the second act (here’s what happens if voters approve some revenue enhancements). The third act will be what happens in a special election and (it’s at least a four act play), act four will be implementing and living with the consequences. So, switching metaphors, kick-off is January 10th.
Now for some special January lifelong learning community events. (I’m going to keep cutting down on the number of events I highlight since this information is much more accessible now than it used to be.)

Saturday, January 8, 10am & 11:30am
Saint-Saëns The Carnival of the Animals

Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center
The Broad Stage
1310 11th Street
Tickets: $20

Any kid (or adult) who thinks classical music is uncool, will be changing their tune. The Broad is turning the classic childrens’ concert into a multi-media mix of spoken word artists, virtuoso musicians and interactive surprises with Saturday Morning Mash-Ups @ The Broad. First up: Saint–Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals with conductor Rachael Worby, the Angeli Ensemble, cellist Lynn Harrell and narrators Steve Connell and Sekou Andrews.

To get your tickets or for more information, call 310-434-3200 or

Also please save the date for these upcoming Saturday Morning Mash-Up performances: Saturday, February 12, 10am & 11:30am, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Saturday, March 12, 10am & 11:30am, Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
Monday, January 10, 7pm
Wayne Bergeron and the Santa Monica High School Jazz Band

Santa Monica High School, Barnum Hall
601 Pico Boulevard
$10 for adults, $5 for students and older adults

The SAMOHI Jazz Band is going to The Berklee Jazz Festival in March! In preparation for that festival, they are putting on a show with Special Guest Artist, WAYNE BERGERON!

WAYNE BERGERON is an internationally renowned trumpet player and a Hollywood Walk of Fame musician who has played with hundreds of recording artists including Ray Charles, Earth Wind & Fire, Buddy Childers, Brian Setzer, Harry Connick Jr., Quincy Jones, The Offspring, Tito Puente, Keely Smith, Green Day and can be heard on soundtracks ranging from Toy Story 3 and The Incredibles to Star Trek, Dreamgirls and Hairspray as well as the Academy Awards and the ESPN theme song.

This is an amazing opportunity to hear one of the truly great trumpet players in the world. Please come out, hear some great music, support jazz and enjoy WAYNE BERGERON and the SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BAND.
Wednesday, January 12, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Women, Girls, & Finance: A Money Makeover in 7 Steps
Prioritize Your Life and Make Your Money Work!

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside
2019 14th Street
$25 for each session (includes materials and light dinner)

This is the first of three sessions in this Santa Monica YWCA series on Women, Girls and Finance with Moderator, Hollis Harman, PFP CASL, Emmy-Award Winning Author of Money Sense for Kids. To register, please go to or, for more information, please call the YWCA at (310) 452-3881. The second two sessions are on January 19, and January 26.
Friday, January 14, 7:30-9:00am
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

Featured Speaker: Omar Haroon
Calvary Baptist Church, Carter Center
1502 20th Street
Tickets: $25

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is January 17th and the Westside Coalition has planned a series of events to celebrate Dr. King. There is something for everyone and every age. This is the 26th Anniversary of MLK Day. The Westside Coalition reminds us: “Democracy is not a spectator sport: We must act now!”

Events on January 14, 15, 16, & 17 are co-sponsored by the City of Santa Monica, Rand Corp., Santa Monica College, SMC Associates, and SGI-USA.
Saturday, January 15, 9am – noon
MLK Kidz Party

Featuring: Michael Cladis
Virginia Avenue Park
2200 Virginia Avenue

I believe this is the first year the MLK Day Celebrations has included this program for children. The MLK Kidz Party will provide an introduction to the life and teachings of Dr. King with music, art, face painting, storytelling & fun.
Saturday, January 15, 1-5pm
“Peace In”

The Talking Stick
1411 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice

This MLK Day event is for teens. Co-sponsored by the NAACP SM/Venice Branch, the SM Human Relations Council, and the Pico Youth & Family Center, “Peace In” will celebrate Dr. King’s struggle for civil rights & social justice with music, poetry, spoken work, art, & a diversity workshop.
Sunday, January 16, 3:30
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Santa Monica Symphony Commemorative Concert

SGI-USA Auditorium
525 Wilshire Boulevard

This is the 5th Annual Commemorative Concert for MLK Day, performed by the Santa Monica Symphony featuring Danielle Belen on violin. please go to for more information on the concert.
Monday, January 17, 9am
26th Annual Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Guest speaker: Val Zavala
SGI-USA Auditorium
525 Wilshire Boulevard

A multi-ethnic, interfaith program including inspirational readings, speakers, musical performances, and scholarship presentations.

Val Zavala is VPof News and Public Affairs at KCET. She is also the anchor of KCET’s weekly award-winning newsmagazine, SoCal Connected.
Monday, January 17, 10:30am – noon
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Community Involvement Fair

606 Wilshire Boulevard

Refreshments, informational displays by a variety of community organizations and an opportunity to mingle and network!
Wednesday, January 19, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Women, Girls, and Finance: How Investments Work
Understanding Stocks, Bonds and Cash!

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside
2019 14th Street
$25 for each session (includes materials and light dinner)

This is the second of three sessions in this Santa Monica YWCA series on Women, Girls and Finance with Moderator, Hollis Harman, PFP CASL, Emmy-Award Winning Author of Money Sense for Kids. To register, please go to or, for more information, please call the YWCA at (310) 452-3881. The last session is on January 26.
Tuesday, January 25, 5-7pm
WISE Connections Open House

Santa Monica Place, Community Room, 3rd Floor
RSVP by January 21st at 310-829-5699.

Wise & Healthy Aging invites you to meet the Wise Connections network of professionals from the legal, financial and medical communities, including UCLA geriatricians, legal, longterm care, financial planner, and other experts at this free Open House. Wise Connections is a new venture, creating a village witnin our community that will provide neighborhood resources to support safe, healthy and quality living in your own home as you age. For more information, please visit
Wednesday, January 26, Noon - 1:30 p.m.
LUNCH & LEARN SERIES : Talking To Your Teen About Sex, Facilitated by Julie Kirk

Westside Family Health Center Annex Building
1711 Ocean Park Blvd.
Free, check in at front desk

When it comes to sex, there is increasing evidence that young people want guidance, information and support from their parents. Yet, many parents are unsure or uncomfortable about what to say. This workshop will provide valuable information and tools to help parents effectively communicate the information young people need to make healthy decisions. Lunch will be provided.

The Westside Family Health Center, a wonderful but somewhat below-the-radar resource in Sunset Park, is reaching our to the full community with a new series: Lunch & Learn. If you have a teenager, or will have a teenager, and/or if you’re interested in learning more about the Westside Family Center, please attend this first Lunch & Learn event, facilitated by Julie Kirk.

RSVP by Monday, January 24, 2011 to Lisa Esparza at 310.450.4773 ext. 253 or email
Wednesday, January 26, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Women, Girls, & Finance: You Can Raise Money Smart Kids!
10 Tips for Parents and Kids of All Ages

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside
2019 14th Street
$25 (includes materials and light dinner)

To register, please go to or, for more information, please call the YWCA at (310) 452-3881.
For more events, and local news, please be sure to check out Santa Monica Patch at, Santa Monica Patch is the newest electronic source for daily local news and it is interactive – use it to post your own organization’s events, and to keep up with local school news, or other news!
And please bookmark, visit, subscribe to the following:

The Santa Monica Public Library, ( and Santa Monica College ( have many, many engaging events scheduled every month. Please check these websites now and regularly for more information!

The Broad Stage ( is now in the midst of an exciting 3rd season. If you haven’t been to The Broad yet, what are you waiting for? It’s great!!
To receive weekly emails from the City of Santa Monica highlighting upcoming arts events, please subscribe to the Santa Monica Arts Palette at

At this same site, you can also sign up to receive emails about events at the Annenberg Community Beach House, at Miles Play House, at the Civic Auditorium, and Festivals. Please don’t rely on me. Sign up!

City Master Calendar: The City of Santa Monica now has a master calendar which is really useful! It’s sortable by locations, event type, and age group and includes a LOT of information. Please bookmark it and use it – use it to find out information for yourself but also to post your events which will make it even more useful!!! You can get to it from the City home page, upper right hand corner, or just go to

The Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau maintains a calendar and lots of information about events of interest to tourists and residents. Please check out their site at

SMMUSD press releases --- to keep up to date with at least a few of the many achievements of our local schools, please regularly visit . You can also sign up for Twitter announcements!

Santa Monica College special news items are regularly posted (including great photos) in an online newsletter, Info@SMC, that for the fourth year in a row, won first place in the statewide Community College Public Relations Organization competition. Stay abreast of SMC news at

The Lifelong Learning Community Calendar is posted at

Lifelong Learning Community Links provide additional useful websites including local theatrical companies – listed under “Local Museums and Special Venues.” To stay current on upcoming events and to keep abreast of these wonderful local organizations, please bookmark Links at


Thank you for reading the Lifelong Learning Community News. I hope that you and your loved ones have a happy and healthy new year.

Cheers, and Onward,
Louise Jaffe

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