Category Archives: Education

Emerson Avenue Community Garden sets goal to raise money for capital improvements

The Emerson Avenue Community Garden (EACG) is readying to launch a capital campaign to raise money for improvements at the nearly 1-acre plot of land located at Wright STEAM Magnet. Through hard work and dedication, EACG volunteers have transformed what was once a neglected, weed-covered piece of land into a thriving green space with 38 garden/food plots that opened in 2011. The space is also home to a school garden that is used by Wright STEAM and WISH students and staff, a butterfly garden, a California native plant garden and over 50 trees. More than just a green space, the EACG hosts workshops, gardening days and the popular end-of-summer bash, the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party.

The EACG is able to use the space under a joint user agreement with LAUSD, which requires the nonprofit to make improvements to the property, including bringing the space into ADA compliance and adding new entry gates. To create a more park-like atmosphere, the group also plans to add seating areas, create better walking paths, install additional lighting and increase storage.

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Get ready to Rock Roll & Run!

Local elementary school students get ready to run in the 1K at the 2018 Rock Roll & Run for Education at LMU. This year’s race will take place on Saturday, March 9th.

Sign-ups are now open for the Second Annual Rock Roll & Run for Education presented by the LAX Coastal Education Foundation in partnership with Loyola Marymount University. The event will take place on Saturday, March 9 starting at 8 a.m. on the campus of LMU.

This timed fun run (with a music theme) brings together 18 local schools for a festive day of friendly-competition with the proceeds benefiting education. Last year, $60,000 was raised and organizers are hoping to surpass this number in 2019. More than just a race, the community event also features a race expo with community booths, free food,  giveaways, live music, a costume contest and more. Organizers also say there are a few new additions and surprises for the 2019 race. Continue reading

Rotary Club readies for February makeover of the Westchester Townhouse

After more than 70 years of serving the youth of the community, the Westchester Townhouse will finally get the makeover it deserves courtesy of the Rotary Club of Westchester.

Since opening in 1945, the Townhouse, located on Emerson Ave. next to Kentwood Elementary School, has been a hub for youth-focused nonprofit groups, including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, schools and theater group, Music West, who are able to use the space free of charge. Without the budget for upkeep, the Townhouse has had maintenance deferred, leaving the charming space in bad need of upgrades. Looking for the support of the community and to bring awareness to their situation, Townhouse board member and Girl Scout troop leader, Anne-Marie Ross, suggested the group hold its first fundraiser in recent memory last April. The open house style event brought out hundreds to support the Townhouse and as luck would have it, Westchester Rotarians also stopped by. After viewing the space, their wheels starting spinning– the Townhouse would make an excellent location for the club’s next Makeover Project. Continue reading

Applications sought for school arts & beautification grants

The LAX Coastal Education Foundation is offering its first round of grants to help support arts and beautification efforts at local schools!  The grants are intended to help enhance all forms of arts education and/or the beautification of campuses, classrooms, etc. Grants are in support of specific activities, projects and programs for the school year, including but not limited to: materials, new or ongoing curriculum, supplies and instruction.

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Sharing Westchester and Playa del Rey’s history

Westchester/Playa Historical Society supporters and volunteers including Christina Davis, Karen Dial, Jaren Rhodes, Darlene Fukuji and David Russell pose in the storefront located in the Westchester Triangle. Photo by Bill Ballerini.

Take a step inside the Westchester/Playa Historical Society Room located in the Westchester Triangle for a glimpse into the past of these two connected communities. The room, dubbed Westchester’s Jewel and Playa’s Treasure, has been open for just over a year and volunteers are encouraging people to stop by, share their memories, chat about the neighborhood and view its mementos. Continue reading

Rotary helps create mural at Westport Heights

Westport Heights Elementary School (WHES) has a new mural thanks to the help of the Westchester Rotary. The service club partnered with the Westchester elementary school for its fifth annual Community and Beautification Day on Saturday, May 5. Parents, community members, students and Rotarians helped beautify the school by painting doors and columns, gardening and cleaning up the campus.

Otis College of Art and Design instructor, David Russell, along with Westchester Rotarians, also facilitated two mural projects. The “We are Westport” interactive permanent mural now welcomes students in the front entryway of the campus and was painted and designed by the school community. The mural not only represents the mission and values of the school’s culture, but also the individual identity of the student artists.

The other mural, a movable art piece on six different panels, allowed younger students to participate in the project and show their creativity, while learning the values of the school which include trustworthiness, caring, responsibility, respect, citizenship and fairness.

Pictured: Russell (left) poses with Rotarians and WHES principal, Jacqueline Hughes (third from left), in front of the new mural. Photo Courtesy Westchester Rotary.

Best Of Voting starts May 11

Voting will open for the HomeTown News’ 7th Annual Best Of Readers’ Poll on Friday, May 11 at noon. Readers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite local restaurants, businesses, organizations and places in more than 90 categories.

The annual Best Of issue is a chance to highlight and recognize the best of the community of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina del Rey and surrounding areas.

Voting will end on Friday, June 29, and the winners will be revealed in our Thursday, August 2 issue.

VOTING IS NOW OPEN AT: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/htnbestof2018

Pictured: Cafe Solar took home the honor of Best New Restaurant in our 2017 Readers’ Poll.

Posted May 2018.

Rock Roll & Run raises money for education

More than 1,300 runners braved a forecast of rain and headed to Loyola Marymount University on Saturday, March 10 to raise money for local education at the inaugural Rock Roll & Run 5K. Hosted by the LAX Coastal Education Foundation in partnership with LMU, the event continued the tradition of the Race for Success, and brought 18 K-12 schools, community groups and local businesses together for a fun morning of exercise, rock and roll music and a little friendly competition.

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Westchester Parents’ Nursery School looks to the community for help to find new location

For almost 70 years, Westchester Parents’ Nursery School (WPNS) has been an integral part of the community for many local families. A cooperative, parent participation preschool, WPNS unites students, parents and teachers together in the classroom, providing an environment that encourages a love of learning, respectful communication and community. As a play-based preschool, importance is placed on creativity and flexibility, where playing and exploring are just as important as learning the ABCs and the learning environment is structured around the unique needs of each individual child. Continue reading