Newsletter - CISLAW
June 2009 Newsletter as a PDF
December 2008 Newsletter as a PDF
September 2007 Newsletter as a PDF
Message from the Executive Director
The Holiday Season is traditionally a time of celebration and thanksgiving, but this year the economy of the state and school district has put somewhat of a damper on our holiday spirits. However, students are still coming to school each day filled with hope for the future, and we are all working hard to do all we can to move them toward graduation.
Communities In Schools Los Angeles West (CISLAW) Is very happy to be at both Hamilton and Venice High Schools in this second year. Through the support of individual donors and local businesses and agencies, we can provide a little something extra for the students who have fallen behind in their first two years of high school. Under the leadership of Dana Henry at Hamilton HS and Tomás Licea at Venice HS, we have been able to impact over 300 students in the first four months of this school year. Together with the counselors and administrators, we have given the 9th and 10th graders in our program the following: 1) monthly counseling and guidance; 2) increased parental contacts regarding student progress; 3) after school tutoring and mentoring; 4) enrichment field trips to the Museum of Tolerance and the Skirball Museum in January; 5) college and career field trips to Creative Artists Agency; and 6) fitness and wellness activities after school.
As we move through the budgetary challenges of the new year, we will do all we can to support the schools and provide enrichment to a wonderful group of young people who need all our assistance and support. Thank you all for your hard work with the future of our city and may the holiday season be joyous and restful for you.
J. Lloyd Bud Jacobs
Through a partnership with the Museum of Tolerance LA and with the support of City Councilmembers Bill Rosendahl and Jack Weiss, students were treated to a day of tolerance training in November at the museum. For many, it was their first trip to a museum, and since all the exhibits are highly interactive and media rich, the responses were all favorable and enlightening. Angelica from Mrs. Thrashers Venice HS class commented that she never thought herself much of a history student. However, after entering the Holocaust exhibit and picking the card of a child in the camp, she worried about her childs fate throughout the exhibit. Upon leaving and learning that her child was a survivor brought new insight and sensitivity to a period of history she had only read about in books. The Hamilton HS students with Mrs. Press especially enjoyed the Finding Family Finding Self Exhibit. They were able to walk into the living rooms of Maya Angelou, Carlos Santana, Joe Torre and Billy Crystal to see and hear from a video presentation how the family and culture shaped the character and achievements of these celebrities.
Having a quiet and safe place to study and complete homework after school has become a popular choice for many students at both high schools. The Study Hall at Hamilton HS with upwards of 60 students each night is filled with UCLA tutors who guide students through higher levels of math as well as English and History concepts. Through a partnership with Centinela Youth Services at Hamilton HS and the Boys and Girls Club in Venice, hundreds of young people are able to complete their homework in a supervised setting and get academic assistance. Several UCLA students, as well as some talented high school students, have been hired by Communities In Schools Los Angeles West to staff these centers along with faculty. Parents are finding the program very attractive and are helping increase participation each month. When students spend their time wisely after school completing homework and studying, grades go up and problems go down.
High School students dont often visit a place of business, but through a partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Communities In Schools Los Angeles West students from Hamilton HS and Venice HS were able to meet and interact with assistants and agents. Young CAA assistants, not far removed in age from the high school students, stressed the importance of working hard in school and pursuing a career path that is interesting and personally satisfying. Students were then treated to lunch and a movie. The Venice HS students enjoyed Secret Life of Bees in November with Mrs. Singh. The Hamilton HS students will see Four Christmases with Ms. Warner from Hamilton HS and Ms. Shepherd from Venice HS in December.
In the spirit of the holiday season, dinners for CISLAW parents were held at Venice HS on December 9, 2008 and Hamilton HS on December 11, 2008. At this festive time of the year, each principal, Lonnie Wallace at Venice HS and Gary Garcia at Hamilton HS, encouraged the parents to continue their support for their children and the high schools. Each of the coordinators, Tomás Licea at Venice HS and Dana Henry at Hamilton HS decorated the school cafeterias to capture the holiday spirit. Dinners were provided by Casablanca Restaurant in Venice and by culinary donations from the kitchens of the parents. All the parents expressed their sincere appreciation for the opportunity to break bread with the staffs from the school and CISLAW, and to be honored and recognized for the support they provide their children.
Communities In Schools Los Angeles West has recognized six local agencies where students can give back to their community through service learning. CISLAW students will choose from one of these organizations to provide valuable service to needy families, the environment, or abandoned animals. The six organizations are: One Voice, Heal the Bay, Tree People, Amber Watch, Karma Rescue, Habitat for Humanity.