Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - September 2005...
The most immediate and overwhelming news now has to do with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Here are a few ways you can help:
The Red Cross is calling for volunteers, donations, and blood.
The Santa Monica Red Cross will offer "fast track" disaster orientation classes during the next few weeks. Two classes will be held this Saturday, Sept. 3, at 10am and 1pm, at the Santa Monica chapter, 1450 11th Street. Additional orientations will be scheduled in the near future. To contact the Santa Monica branch, call 310-394-3773.
Blood Donations are needed by the Red Cross and will be accepted on the first and third Mondays of the month from 2pm to 8pm, as well as the second and fourth Mondays of the month from 12:15-7pm. To schedule an appointment, please call 800-974-2113.
To make a financial contribution to the hurricane relief efforts, please send your check made out to the American Red Cross to 1450 11th Street, Santa Monica, 90401. Donations can also be made online at
Franklin Elementary School parents Debra Young Krizman and Tom Browne hail from the New Orleans area and have joined together to collect any items you might care to donate to the victims of this disaster.  Tom has provided an 18-wheeler trailer and they will be outside of Franklin this weekend to load the trailer with your contributions. Debra writes:
"These displaced families are in desperate need of:
     Food (non-perishable)
     Clothing (all ages)
     Shoes (all ages)
     Toys & Games
     Stuffed Animals
     Household items
and so much more.  It's a great time of year to clean your closets of those outgrown clothes and what better reason than to offer them to victims of such a horrifying disaster.
PLEASE, if you have anything you'd like to donate, drop it by the trailer which can be found on Idaho near the Franklin playgound.  (Franklin Elementary School is located at 2400 Montana Avenue. The trailer is on Idaho, behind the school between Wilshire and Montana.)
Our hours will be as follows:
     Friday               1 PM til 6 PM
     Saturday            9 AM til 6 PM
     Sunday               9 AM til 6 PM
     Monday              9 AM til 3 PM (when the trailer is leaving for New Orleans)
If these times are not convenient, phone me (453-4649) and I can meet you at the trailer. PLEASE PASS THIS EMAIL ALONG TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT WANT TO CONTRIBUTE."

On a brighter note, there continues to be plenty of Lifelong Learning Community News in Santa Monica. Here are a few highlights:
The first day of public school is this coming Wednesday, September 7th and SMMUSD staff and parent volunteers have been busy preparing for a smooth opening.
The Santa Monica Malibu School District still has some openings for preschool children aged 3 or 4 at several sites.  Program costs range from free to low cost to full cost.  The preschool programs are of high quality, with experienced teaching staff who focus on appropriate developmental activities to prepare children for success in kindergarten.

If you know families who have 3 or 4 yr old children, please ask them to call CDS (Child Development Services) for details.  Call 310-399-5865 or come by the CDS office at 2802 4th St, Santa Monica 90405. Quality early childhood education (or lack thereof) is a significant factor in kindergarten readiness and school success. Please encourage families you know to take advantage of this critical lifelong learning opportunity. A good start makes a huge difference!
The results of last year's State standardized testing have been released and the big picture news is good: our schools have continued to improve. The Academic Performance Index (API) data for 2005 shows an overall district growth of 19 points bringing our school district to an overall API of 806, exceeding the State's target of 800. Eleven out of 14 SMMUSD school sites posted double-digit gains over last year with Santa Monica High School and Malibu High School both achieving growth of 21 points above scores from 2004. Santa Monica High School's API has risen 47 points over the past three years since Redesign implementation began. For more information on the 2005 API results, please go to click on "Press Releases" and read "Remarkable Gains on API for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified Results" and "Students Post Gains on 2005 STAR Program Results" or read "School District Passes State Test with Honors" at
Support from our local community including additional monies and volunteer efforts contribute mightily to the ongoing success of our public schools. Volunteer tutoring, with tutors trained and coordinated by WISE America Reads, is a one of the strategies for making all students successful.
WISE America Reads (volunteer tutor program) is sponsoring 2 trainings for volunteer literacy tutors for children grades K - 5.  The classes are free and open to all volunteers who would like to help children learn. To attend one or both trainings, PLEASE RSVP to 310-394-9871 x 452
        Workshop 1
        Tuesday, Sept 6, 9:30 am  - 12:00 pm
        Ken Edwards Center, between Colorado & Broadway
        1527 Fourth Street, Santa Monica
        Ground level, Rooms 103-105
        Workshop 2
        Thursday, Sept 22, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
        Ken Edwards Center, between Colorado & Broadway
        1527 Fourth Street, Santa Monica
        3rd floor conference room  
Parking is under the building. To avoid tickets park only at meters, or where marked "Visitors to the Ken Edwards Center." If parking is in short supply you might also park across the street at the Santa Monica Place Mall.
Also seeking volunteers...
Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center is looking for adults and teens who can help at least four hours per week. Volunteers are needed in virtually all areas of the medical center including the admissions office, emergency center, gift shop, information desk, surgery waiting area, and nursing units. The medical center is also recruiting volunteers to serve in special roles as patient liaisons and to fill positions in its newly created Ambassador Program. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, call Volunteer Services Manager Kris Merneau at 310-319-4614. For more information on the Ambassador Program, please contact Jean McNeil Wyner, Community Liaison, by email at or at (310) 319-4471.
New leadership for Saint John's Health Center: Lourdes (Lou) Lazatin is the new President and Chief Executive Officer 'of Saint Johns, replacing Bruce Lamoureux who recently retired after many years of dedicated service. Lazatin has been serving as Interim President and CEO since May.
Santa Monica Public Library eNews: It is now possible to download audio books onto any computer or portable music player from the Santa Monica library for free! (If you have a library card.) Downloads are erased from a user's account after three weeks. The library's digital collection can be found at and while you're there, also check out the wonderful new site for kids at
There are many more events posted on the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar which I hope you will visit but I'd like to highlight  the following new development for our older adults:
There are many more events posted on the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar which I hope you will visit but I'd like to highlight  the following new development for our older adults:
On September 8th, from 2-4pm, the Center for Healthy Aging will host a public forum on expanding transportation options for senior citizens with an Independent Transportation Network. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will be the keynote speaker. The issues of "when to stop driving" and "how to maintain an active and productive lifestyle if you cannot drive" are of major concern to many in our community. The Independent Transportation Network driving program has been very successful in Portland, Maine and is designed to provide dignified, responsive transportation that keeps older adults connected to the community. The September 8th forum is the first of three to gather public input, questions, and comments in a discussion about the feasibility, plans, and launch of the ITN driving program, scheduled to begin in Spring 2006.
Emeritus College - Room 107,
1227 2nd St. (S. of Wilshire Blvd.)
For more information, contact Ellen Blackman, 310-576-2550, ext. 223 or or go to
Before signing off, some very important local news broke in August: City Manager Susan McCarthy announced her retirement, effective November 1. Ms. McCarthy has been a participant and supporter of improving lifelong learning opportunities here in Santa Monica since well before we began discussing them as such. Plans for the new Main Library and the greatly expanded Virginia Avenue Park have occurred on her watch. She was fully committed to the Gang Violence Prevention Workshops held earlier this year. (As one outgrowth of those public meetings, the City of Santa Monica is providing a location at Memorial Park for the District's new Community Day School for high school students who have been incarcerated, expelled, or have had other disciplinary problems). Ms. McCarthy, on behalf of the City, negotiated the historic long term funding agreement which provides our public schools with a base of $6 million annually; this agreement and this level of additional financial support is critical for our schools to continue to improve and meet the needs and high standards of our students and our community, and she has always understood the importance of early childhood education and family support. Even as we speak, she is working with Santa Monica College and the City of Los Angeles to come up with an access plan for SMC's new Bundy Campus. I will miss having Ms. McCarthy as our City Manager. She has always been accessible, respectful, thoughtful, professional, and honest. Our City has continued to prosper and to expand lifelong learning opportunities under her guidance. I wish her well and look forward to seeing her as a "mere" fellow-resident at many Santa Monica lifelong learning community events to come.
There are many more calendar listings for you to see at
Please visit the calendar section now and throughout the month as we will add additional listings as we get them. If you have an event you would like posted, please email it to me at
Thank you for forwarding this email to others who may be interested.
If you would like to receive Lifelong Learning Community eNews, please go to Please also check out "Links" on the Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community website at

For more information about the Lifelong Learning Community, contact

Louise Jaffe











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