Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - APRIL 2007...

"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional." Gary Marx

Sometimes it's instructive to look at ourselves through the eyes of an outsider....

March 8th was "Flex Day" at Santa Monica College. Flex Day is a staff development day and the keynote speaker was Gary Marx, President of the Center for Public Outreach, an organization that provides counsel on future-oriented leadership, communication, education, community and democracy. Gary spends his time traveling around the world giving speeches and workshops about preparing for the future. Here's what he says about our efforts to become a model Lifelong Learning Community and about Santa Monica College:

"Thank you for sharing information about the Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community. It is a magnificent idea, based on sound principles and demographic realities, and recognizes the fact that the community is indeed a classroom. We learn across all disciplines and boundaries. Every person, family, and institution plays a role in teaching and learning. Our schools and colleges are a central part in breathing life into this type of community-wide education. I believe your concept serves as an excellent example for others across the nation and world.

I continue to draw strength and renewed hope for the future from what I experienced at Santa Monica College. It is truly one of the most outstanding collections of educators, dedicated to working together for the benefit of students, that I have seen. Commitment to student and community success is a deep reality."

Pretty strong praise, that!

And last Friday, March 23rd, I attended SMMUSD's 58th annual Stairway of the Stars, a concert featuring the top bands, orchestras, and choirs from all of our public elementary, middle, and high schools. Lawrence Stoffel was this year's guest conductor and he gave an impassioned speech about what an amazing and extraordinary music program we have here in Santa Monica Malibu public schools and how we need to take this model and help it spread throughout the region, the state, and the nation.
Following are a few special events that highlight some of the resources our community brings together to support lifelong learning....

Saturday, April 21, noon -4pm
Raising Readers: A Literacy Festival

Santa Monica College, Clock Tower Quad
1900 Pico Boulevard

Connections for Children presents the seventh annual Raising Raders: A Literacy Festival for young children and their families. Free Entertainment – Dan Crow and the Thunderwear Band, Flights of Fantasy Story Theater, Rhythm Child, Special appearance by Clifford The Big Red Dog! and a variety of fun activities for children, stressing the theme of literacy. Purchase books and visit with your favorite storybook characters at the Scholastic Books booth. Families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and sunhats.

Presented by Connections for Children, Santa Monica College, and North Bay Association for the Education of Young Children.
Sunday, April 22, 1pm-6pm
Unity Resource Fair: Creating a Culture of Success For All Community Youth

Virginia Avenue Park
2200 Virginia Avenue

Come to Virginia Avenue Park to learn about the rich array of services Santa Monica has to offer our community, and for fun and entertainment! Keynote speaker, music, poetry and dance on main stage, delicious food and snack carts! Sign up for the following workshops: Alternatives to Gang Involvement – next steps; Supporting/Strengthening Families; Transition from School to Employment; and Youth Empowerment.

Sponsored by the City of Santa Monica Virginia Avenue Park, Santa Monica College, and the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council.
Saturday, April 28 & Sunday, April 29, 11am-5pm
Celebrate the Arts

Santa Monica Pier
This annual two day arts festival on the Santa Monica Pier features hundreds of local public school students performing in small and large group musical, voacal, instrumental, theater and dance performances. Come hear and see for yourself our talented students and support the Education Foundation's For The Arts.

And while we're talking about the Education Foundation, congratulations to Linda Gross, President of the Ed Foundation and longtime education supporter who has been honored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley with the Assembly Woman of the Year Award. Congratulations, Linda!
Citywide Reads
Pick up a copy of Audrey Niffenegger's "The Time Traveler's Wife" and a resource guide at any Santa Monica Public Library. Join fellow community members for book discussions and special events held from April 18 through May 19. For a schedule of Citywide Reads events, please go to
Special musical productions!
Santa Monica College presents "The Scarlet Pimpernel" at the new Theatre on the SMC Main Campus, April 1, 6, 7, & 8. For more information, please go to

Santa Monica High School presents "Hello Dolly" at Barnum Hall, April 20, 21, 27, & 28. For more information, please go to

Check out the calendar for more special events!
As always, there are many more wonderful lifelong learning events listed on the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at (We will continue to add events throughout the month so please check back regularly!)
Lifelong Learning Community Links includes many local theatrical companies including The Santa Monica Playhouse, Powerhouse Theatre, Ruskin Group Theatre Company, the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, Virginia Avenue Project and Miles Memorial Playhouse – listed under “Local Museums and Special Venues” as well as other useful websites. Please use these links to stay abreast of these wonderful local organizations and their offerings. Links can be found at

Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,
Louise Jaffe

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