Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - April 2006...

April begins with some major changes for two stalwart champions of lifelong learning in our community:

Joanne Leavitt, a long time community activist, past PTA Council President, League of Women Voters Board member, member of the Virginia Avenue Park Board and everything else having to do with the welfare of young people, has lost her home to a fire and suffered some burns and smoke inhalation. Joanne is recuperating now but she and her husband Michael will need to find a new place to live and could use some financial support.
The Church in Ocean Park has set up a fund so that people can help Joanne
and Mike with expenses until they are back on their feet. Please send contributions to the Church.
Checks should be made out to the Church in Ocean Park and should include a reference to the Leavitt Fund on the memo line.

Send checks to:
Church in Ocean Park,
235 Hill Street
Santa Monica, 90405

Joanne and Mike will also need a new place to live. If you have any leads on housing, please let me know and I will forward that information on.

Equally deserving of praise but thankfully not in need of assistance....
Kathy McTaggart
, another champion for justice and opportunity for all children, has retired from SMMUSD after serving in various capacities for 15 years. Kathy has worked tirelessly and passionately to support students and families and address problems that affect the whole person. In fact, it is hard for me to believe that with the extraordinary efforts of Kathy and others like her, we still have families and students in Santa Monica who continue to struggle. Kathy is a Santa Monica resident and I'm sure that she will continue to serve our community and actively support lifelong learning opportunities for all as she enters a new phase in her life. I just want to acknowledge her work and all the progress that has been made here with her support as a core member of our lifelong learning community.
Now on to some key events! (The following highlights are grouped thematically rather than chronologically. Please go to the LLC Calendar at for a more complete chronological listing.)

This Saturday, April 1st, from noon to 4pm is the now annual Raising Readers: A Literacy Festival at the Clock Tower Quad at Santa Monica College. This wonderful event, organized by Connections for Children, Santa Monica College and our local Association for the Education of Young Children, provides readings, entertainment, and information for young children and their families. It's a fun afternoon. Families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and sunhats!
Citywide Reads is here!
This year's Santa Monica Citywide Reads selection is "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. The mission of Citywide Reads is to encourage a culture of reading and to promote book-centered dialogue in Santa Monica. Citywide Reads 2006 runs from April 3 through May 6 and features a series of book discussion groups held at libraries, book stores, and coffee shops throughout the city. The first discussion group is Monday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
A culminating Citywide Reads event will be An Afternoon with Jonathan Safran Foer on Sunday, April 23, 3:00 p.m. in the Pavilion at Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd.
For a complete listing of free public book discussion groups and other events, please go to or call 310-458.8600.
"ANNIE" is now playing at Santa Monica High School on April 1st, 7th, and 8th in Barnum Hall. For details and ticket information, please go to, the website for the Santa Monica Civic Light Opera. SMCLO will hold auditions for their upcoming summer musical, "The Sound of Music" on Sunday, April 9, from 6-9pm for current students and Samohi alumni, and on Monday, April 10 from 7-10pm for all others (open call) for all roles. Again, please go to the website for details!
"MATTY: An evening with Christy Mathewson" – The Santa Monica Playhouse Benefit series, in association with the Mathewson Foundation, is presenting a special three performance home series of Eddie Frierson's widely acclaimed theatrical performance. A former Samohi Coach (1983-1990), Eddie Frierson, now a successful actor, is returning to Santa Monica with his one man show about the legendary baseball player Christy Mathewson. The play,which he began developing while at SAMO, went on to successful runs off-Broadway and around the country. In fact Coach Frierson was made an honorary inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York because of his portrayal. Additional information about the show is at

"MATTY: An evening with Christy Mathewson"
Friday, April 21, Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 2006 at 7:30 pm.
Main Stage at Santa Monica Playhouse
1211 4th Street (between Wilshire & Arizona)

Admission is $20.00 for the reserved level, and $15.00 for students and groups of 10 or more; all proceeds benefit the Save the Santa Monica Playhouse Campaign. Reservations are necessary. Call the Playhouse Box Office at 1-310-394-9779 ext 1 or purchase tickets online at

For more information on local theatrical performances, please go to, scroll down to "Local Museums and Special Venues" and begin exploring our local theatres and theatre companies!
At their meeting this coming Wednesday, April 5th, 7pm at City Hall, the Santa Monica Planning Commission will hear a presentation of a draft outreach program to receive further community input regarding Land Use and Circulation Element Goals. Meanwhile a new Information Item has been posted on the City's website that includes a discussion on differentiating among "goals," "objectives," and "policies" and presents goals for the Council to consider. The Information Item is available at
While education related concerns are mentioned as "common elements," the proposed list of possible goals does not include "lifelong learning opportunities and access." I hope that this will be remedied as the public process continues.
SMMUSD Our School Plan Facilities - Workshop 3: What does it look like?

Saturday, April 29, 9:30am-12:30pm
Santa Monica High School Cafeteria
601 Pico Blvd.

This is the final public workshop scheduled for this school year. Trading on prior workshop analysis, this meeting will focus on site level planning and strategic facilities issues within SMMUSD. For more information, please contact Project Coordinator, Ayde Gonzalez at, 310-428-5461. The website for Our School Plan is Please come and participate in this workshop.

Saturday, April 22nd and Sunday, April 23rd
12:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Santa Monica Pier and Aquarium
Fun, educational activities for the whole family, including:
Beach Clean-ups
Arts and Crafts Projects
Face Painting
Aquarium Ocean Pollution Workshops
Cost: Children 12 and under are FREE! Ages 13 and up: $2 admission.
For more information, go to
It is with deep regrets and even deeper admiration that I announce this closing event:
Farewell Reception for SMMUSD Superintendent John Deasy
Superintendent John Deasy assumes his new position in Maryland on May 1st. The Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation invites the entire community to this Farewell Reception for John. He has been an extraordinary, tireless, forceful, and visionary leader for our schools and our students. Please take this opportunity to thank Dr. Deasy and wish him good luck.

Farewell Reception for John Deasy
Monday, April 24, 5pm - 8pm
The Recording Academy
3402 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
$50 suggested contribution

At the request of Dr. Deasy, all contributions will benefit the Equity Fund.
RSVP 310-396-4557 or by April 14. This reception is hosted by The Recording Academy, First Federal Bank of California and the Education Foundation.

These and many other noteworthy events are posted on our Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at

The State of Our Schools: How are we doing?
Monday, May 8, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Santa Monica Main Library, MLK Auditorium
Community for Excellent Public Schools and the Santa Monica Malibu Council of PTAs are organizing this event. Details to follow but please save the date!

Thank you for forwarding this email to others who may be interested.

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Remember to check out the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at

That's all for now.


For more information about the Lifelong Learning Community, contact

Louise Jaffe











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