Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - MAY 2009

I've been writing this e-newsletter for years now and it seems like every month there is at least one event or decision pending that is critical to the vitality and progress of our lifelong learning community. Last month, the big issue was renewal of the Master Facilities Use Contract between the City and the School District. This agreement provides ongoing City funding to support high quality public education.  I am happy to report that, at their April 7 meeting, the Santa Monica City Council voted 6-0 to renew the Master Facilities Use Agreement.  Thank you Councilmembers!

This month, the BIG event is the May 19 election.
City Council and local voter support provide our schools with funding that supports excellence and also provides some buffer against the vicissitudes of the state budget. But public schools are funded by the state and the state budget and therefore all state programs – public schools, community colleges, health and social services, state jobs -  are in serious, serious jeopardy. The May 19 election is a chance to bring some stability and predictability to the state budget and school funding.

The measures on the May 19 ballot were agreed upon by the governor and legislative leaders in their efforts to pass a budget. Very few people are enthusiastic about any of the measures. They represent unpleasant choices and compromise. If they fail, the overwhelming likelihood is that there will be more and more deeper and deeper cuts to state services including and especially public education and health and social services. The stakes are very high.

Here are some recommendations on the initiatives:
The California State PTA: Yes on 1A, 1B, 1C, 1E; No on 1D; No position on 1F
The California League of Women Voters: No on 1A, 1C, 1D, 1E; Neutral on 1B; No position on 1F
The Community College League of California: Yes on All:1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F
Santa Monica Child Care and Early Education Task Force: No on 1D and 1E
Assemblywoman Julia Brownley -Yes on All: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F
Senator Fran Pavley - Yes on All: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F

Senator Pavley has written an opinion piece explaining her recommendation. You can read it at

As always, who actually turns out to vote will determine the outcome. Please make sure that you remember to vote on May 19th!
Upcoming Lifelong Learning Community Events:

Friday, May 1, 7:30pm
The Broad Stage
SMC Performing Arts
Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street
Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for students

Hiroshima - the Asian jazz group that seeks to use the power of music to bridge cultural divides - is the featured performer at Santa Monica College's 10th Annual Asian/Pacific Islander Month Celebration. Tickets may be purchased at (under "Special Events") or by calling (310) 434-3000.

Saturday, May 2, 8:30am-noon
Special Education Spring Forum: Transitioning
John Adams Middle School, Cafeteria
2425 16th Street

The PTA Council Special Education Committee and the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District will be holding a Spring Forum on Transitioning. The keynote speakers are from L.A. Goal - Executive Director Petitite Constantin, and Brad Silverman. L.A. GOAL's educational, vocational and recreational programs provide opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to increase their independence and employability.

Breakout groups will follow in which panels of parents and teachers will discuss what to expect as students transition from one school level to another. There will be sessions for preschool to elementary school, elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, and high school to post-secondary. For more information and to register, please go to

The Spring Forum is a joint effort of School District staff, the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council Special Education Committee, and the Special Education District Advisory Committee.
Saturday, May 2, Day long event (10am-5pm)
Santa Monica Public Library Living Room Project House Warming
Santa Monica Main Public Library AND Branch Libraries!

The Living Room project is designed to help adults rediscover the library as their community center, a place to connect, get active, and learn. The Living Room promotes the idea that adults can meet for lifelong learning and social connections in the comfort of the community library. Santa Monica Public Library is an environment where adults can keep learning, and where they can create and nurture an active lifestyle.

This House Warming celebration includes live music, hula hooping, yoga, a film screening, creative workshops, and a dance class with special events at all four library locations.

For more information, please contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600; or visit the Library's web site at
Saturday, May 2, & Sunday, May 3, 7:30pm
Folklórico de SMC: Global Motion
SMC Performing Arts Center, The Broad Stage
Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street
Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for SMC students with ID and senior citizens

Showcasing choreography from virtually every corner of the planet, Folklórico de SMC presents "Global Motion," a program of world dance. On the program will be African, Aztec, ballet, ballroom, belly dance, Chinese, flamenco, Guatemalan, lyrical jazz, Mexican, salsa, tap and Yiddish choreographic styles. For tickets, please go to or call (310) 434-3000.
Tuesday, May 5, 6:30-8:30pm
Wednesday, May 6, 2:00-4:00pm
Stroke and Heart Disease—The Cardiovascular Connection
Santa Monica Public Library
601 Santa Monica Boulevard
Free. Advance Reservations Required!

May is National Stroke Awareness Month and to "celebrate," Saint John's Health Center is presenting this free community education forum. Featured topics and speakers include:  Shephal Doshi, MD, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing; Peter Pelikan, MD, Medical Director Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory; John M. Robertson, MD, FACS, Director and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery; Daniel Wohlgelernter, MD, Medical Director of Critical Care (evening program); and Prabhtej Brara, MD (day program).

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and second leading cause of dementia in adults. It affects nearly 800,000 Americans. Even though 70% of strokes can be prevented, on average every 3-4 minutes someone dies of a stroke. Like a heart attack, stroke which is also called a "brain attack," is an emergency.

Advance reservations are required. Call (310) 829-8453.
Thursday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m.
Paul Cummins: Why Poetry?
Santa Monica Main Public Library, Multipurpose Room
601 Santa Monica Boulevard

Paul Cummins is the co-founder of Crossroads and New Roads Schools and the Executive Director of the New Visions Foundation. Paul will discuss his book Why Poetry? Reflections on Poetry, Writing, and Culture, an examination of the joy and discovery of culture and the arts.  He'll reflect on personal cultural experiences, as well as his professional experiences as an English teacher.  A book sale and signing will follow the discussion.

This program is free and open to the public.  Seating is on a first arrival basis.  For more information, contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600; or visit the Library's web site at
Saturday, May 9, noon - 4pm
Raising Readers: A Literacy Festival
Santa Monica College, Clock Tower Quad
1900 Pico Boulevard

Music, Reading, Children's Theater, Food, Fun, Family. FREE!

This is the 9th annual Raising Readers Festival, presented by Connections for Children, Santa Monica College, and North Bay AEYC. All are welcome!
Saturday, May 9, 11am-6pm
Santa Monica Festival: Revel with a Cause
Clover Park
2600 Ocean Park Boulevard

The City of Santa Monica presents this free visual and performing arts festival each spring to honor the unwritten ethnic history of Santa Monica as well as the rich environmental resources that sustain it. Each year the celebration features an eclectic array of traditional and contemporary music and dance on several stages, demonstrations of traditional crafts by local artists, and hands-on art and environmental workshops to engage people of all ages. For more information including a schedule of the day's events, please go to
Saturday, May 9, 6-9pm
Opening Reception: Bruria Finkel and Connie Zehr
Bergamot Station, Track 16 Gallery
Show runs from May 9 to May 30

Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present two concurrent exhibitions, Bruria Finkel: The Complete Aleph Series and Connie Zehr: Angles of Repose. Bruria is a Santa Monica resident, artist, curator, and long time arts and lifelong learning community advocate. For more information on the exhibition and gallery, please visit
Sunday, May 10, 4 p.m.
SMC Symphony Orchestra: An Afternoon of Russian Music
SMC Performing Arts Center, The Broad Stage
Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street
Tickets are $10

Under the baton of James Martin, this SMC Symphony Orchestra concert features Babajanyan's Nocturne for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, with pianist Yulia Kozlova. Works by Glinka, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky will also be performed.

For more information, please go to or call 310-434-3000. The phone number for the Box office at The Broad is 310-434-3200.
Thursday, May 14, 12-1pm
Cuerpo sano, mente sana
Virginia Avenue Park

This educational seminar, conducted in Spanish and held at Virginia Avenue Park, is presented by WISE & Healthy Aging and the Alzheimer's Association. No Reservation Required. For more information on this and additional seminars, please call 310-452-7802
Saturday, May 16, 2 p.m.- 5 p.m.
Sideshow at the Pier
Santa Monica Pier

One of many events this year honoring the Pier's centennial, this eclectic event celebrates the roots (and midway spirit) of the Pier with show stopping performances from the largest gathering of variety acts, circus artists, vaudevillians and buskers seen on the Santa Monica Pier in a hundred years.
Sunday, May 17, 4 p.m.
Ella Fitzgerald Tribute
SMC Performing Arts Center, The Broad Stage
Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street
Tickets are $10

The SMC Jazz Band, with Keith Fiddmont conducting, will be joined by the SMC Vocal Jazz Ensemble and a surprise guest artist for this special tribute concert.

For more information, please go to or call 310-434-3000. The phone number for the Box office at The Broad is 310-434-3200.
Tuesday, May 19
Election Day

Tuesday, May 19, 7:00- 9:00pm
Cliques: More Than Just Mean Girls
Franklin Elementary School Library
2400 Montana Avenue

Ganging up . . . leaving out . . . whispering and gossiping:  Welcome to the not-so-wonderful social world of girls.  And it's not just the typical "mean girl" who does the excluding.  There's a good chance your own daughter has engaged in a little emotional bullying of her own.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, or even just concerned, come hear Dorli Burge, PhD, speak about  cliques and "relational aggression," along with strategies that can help your daughter avoid the pitfalls of peer groups. 

This event is sponsored by the Learning Differences and Parent/Teacher Education Group, a committee of the Franklin PTA and a parent resource and support group that meets monthly during the school year to discuss and address the learning differences of all our children. All parents and teachers are welcome. 

RSVP for childcare by May 12th by contacting Co-chair
Sheila Spencer at or 310-863-8377
Wednesday, May 20, 4pm – Saturday, May 30, 2pm
"12 Angry Jurors"
Santa Monica High School, Humanities Center
601 Pico Boulevard
Tickets are $10 adults, $5 students, unreserved seating

For the schedule of performances and ticket sales, please call 310 395-3204 ext. 239 or visit
Thursday, May 28, 10:30am-12pm
"Understanding Communication and Challenging Behaviors"
WISE Adult Day Service Center
1510 Pico Boulevard

This educational seminar is presented by WISE & Healthy Aging and the Alzheimer's Association. No Reservation Required. For more information on this and additional seminars, please call 310-452-7802
Thursday, May 28, 5:30-9:00pm
Ronald Mah: Responding to Young Children's Challenging Behavior
Mount Olive Preschool-Santa Monica
1343-Ocean Park Blvd. (at 14th Street)
$25.00, free for current NAEYC members
Space is limited- Reserve by RSVP to:
Terry Lernihan at: or 310-207-8040

Ronald Mah is a renowned speaker and author. He'll be addressing the Challenging Behavior of Young Children at this presentation. Parents, providers of early childhood education and the general public are invited to attend this very special spring event!
5:30-6:15 Light Dinner/Introductions
6:15-7:30 –Part 1
7:45-8:45 -Part 2

Sponsored by the North Bay Association for the Education of Young Children, Connections for Children Childcare Initiative, and Child Development Consortium of Los Angeles

Friday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.
SMC Jazz Vocal Ensemble
SMC Performing Arts Center, The Broad Stage
Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street
Tickets are $10

With Cindy Bourquin conducting, the winner of Downbeat magazine's Outstanding College Performance Award in the Jazz Vocal Group category, the SMC Jazz Vocal Ensemble, will perform solo and ensemble selections.

For tickets, go to and for information, please call (310) 434-4323. The phone number for the Box office at The Broad is 310-434-3200.
Sunday, May 31, 4 p.m.
SMC Wind Ensemble: "Pops" Concert
SMC Performing Arts Center, The Broad Stage
Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street
Tickets are $10

Under the baton of Kevin McKeown, the annual "Pops" concert will include music from film, television and Broadway, as well as Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and a tribute to The Beatles.

For tickets, go to and for information, please call (310) 434-4323. The phone number for the Box office at The Broad is 310-434-3200.

Because there are so many amazing lifelong learning events going on every month in Santa Monica, I have highlighted just a few of those that are less "regular." More special events (but still by no means all) are posted on the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at

Since Santa Monica has many wonderful venues where something great is always going on, please bookmark and regularly visit these websites:

The Palette!
If you are interested in the arts and cultural events, please be sure to subscribe to the Santa Monica Arts Palette at
You will receive a weekly email telling you about visual and performing arts events for that week and weekend. This is a great service! Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,


Santa Monica College offers the community performances, lectures, exhibitions, Friday night planetarium shows..... you can find out what's happening each month by going to


The Broad Stage is a wonderful, still new, elegant, intimate, acoustically fine-tuned theater at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. The Broad Stage maintains a website (separate from the SMC website) for events featuring professional artists. Please visit The Broad and


Planetarium shows on Friday nights at SMC are listed at


The Santa Monica Public Library is a must-bookmark-site! Our libraries offer a great menu of interesting and varied programming for people of all ages and interests -- films, lectures, book groups, and other special events. The library events calendar is posted at


The School District website now has a useful color-coded calendar that includes special school events as well as Board meetings. Please check it out at


City of Santa Monica now posts upcoming events and some full calendars if you click on the appropriate headings in the top right hand corner of the home page at


Lifelong Learning Community Links lists these and many other useful websites including local theatrical companies – listed under "Local Museums and Special Venues." Please use these links to stay abreast of these wonderful local organizations. Links can be found at


That's all for now.
Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,

Louise Jaffe

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