Category Archives: Education

Students share their “Reflections of COVID” to raise money for arts education in schools

Starting April 3, shop windows in the Westchester Triangle will be transformed into mini galleries to showcase the artwork of more than 100 local K-12 students for the LAX Coastal Education Foundation’s (LAXCEF) first annual Art Show and Competition. The drawings, paintings and collages on display were created with the theme “Reflections of COVID.”

“Everyone is feeling the impact of the pandemic, and obviously our school communities and students have been hit hard,” said LAXCEF vice president and event co-chair Lory Sarlo. “We felt that giving students an outlet to express themselves through art would help them process their emotions and start conversations with families and friends, as well as get them excited about the opportunity to share their work with the community.”

Seventeen of the foundation’s schools are participating in the competition. Schools were asked to hold their own contests and select the artwork that would then move on to the final round and be displayed at local businesses for the whole community to view through Sunday, April 18.

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Westchester teen creates nonprofit to help students succeed

The world may be crazy right now, but teens like Westchester resident Sophia Scott have stepped up to the challenge and are seamlessly adapting to create solutions.

Sophia, a 16-year old senior at Marymount High School, created Quaranteens, a pending nonprofit organization established to reduce socioeconomic disparities in education.

“The transition to online learning was pretty smooth for me. My teachers made themselves readily available and it was such an easy switch. But I started hearing from a lot of other students that they were falling behind and weren’t necessarily retaining things as well through distance learning. I realized that it must be a lot more difficult for those students who lack access to a lot of the same resources I had,” said Sophia.

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Adopt-A-Senior gives neighbors chance to celebrate local grads

Looking to make local high school seniors feel important and celebrated, Westchester resident Hallie Hawk, knew she wanted to act. After seeing an Adopt-A-Senior program started for her alma mater in Colorado, she decided to start one for neighborhood grads. With the support of fellow moderators Aisha Harris and Melissa Remer, she launched the “Adopt-A-Graduating Senior Westside Los Angeles” Facebook page and is encouraging those that want to help commemorate the occasion for students to join, pick a senior and find ways to make their day.

“Graduating is such an important time in young people’s lives and it’s special that they are being acknowledged by someone they don’t even know,” said Hawk. “It’s great that the community is welcoming them to the next steps in their lives.”

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Congratulations Class of 2020

With graduating and celebrating students’ accomplisments looking a lot different this year, the HomeTown News wanted to do our part to commemorate our local Class of 2020 and let them know the community is supporting them! We put out a call for families with graduating students to send in their photos and the following feature these grads from more than ten local high schools and middle schools.

We salute all Class of 2020 students and look forward to the positive change you will make in the world!

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Teacher Eddy 2020 Honorees!

The community is invited to attend the 2020 Eddy Awards virtual gala to celebrate the Outstanding Teachers of the Year on Thursday, May 14 at 5:30 PM!

The Eddys represent excellence in education, and the LAX Coastal Chamber has been giving out these awards since 1998 to honor teachers that are making a difference in their classrooms.

This year’s theme is #teachersinspire and salutes our outstanding educators that work tirelessly to make sure their students, the future leaders of our community, are receiving the best education possible.

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Local groups offer scholarships for High School Seniors

Check out these local groups offering scholarships open for Westchester/Playa High School Seniors:

Twelve $1,000 scholarships up for grabs from the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary.

High school seniors are encouraged to apply for scholarships from the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. The club is accepting applications through May 14 and will award 12 scholarships worth $1,000 each. Some of the scholarship categories include: arts, leadership, technology & media and women in STEM.

Each scholarship has its own criteria, so please visit playavenice.org/page/scholarships for more information and to view the requirements.

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Community Spotlight: Westchester/Playa Historical Society plans spring walk through neighborhood

The Westchester/Playa Historical Society is working on creating a new community event this spring featuring a historical walk through the communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista. The event will most likely take place over a weekend in May between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

Strategic historical sites will be mapped out, with a specific timeline to visit them, and the tour will focus on locations that have been acknowledged and recognized in the SurveyLA, Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey. The report was prepared by the city’s Office of Historic Resources in 2013 and is specifically related to our local community. The Historical Society Committee will also consider other research and investigative information supplementing the report as the final walking path for the event is created.

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Season of Giving: Local nonprofits share how you can get involved

The holidays are here and as our thoughts turn to family, parties and presents, it also turns to giving back. We recently connected with some of our favorite Westchester/Playa area nonprofit leaders to learn more about their organizations and find out how people can get involved to support these worthwhile causes. Below are our Q&As with the executive directors or board presidents of 7 groups that are passionate about their missions and supporting the community.


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The Book Jewel gets ready to shine in Westchester Triangle

This spring, Westchester will have its very own independent bookstore when The Book Jewel opens its doors on 87th Street. Having a bookstore in Westchester has long been the dream of Drollinger Properties owner, Karen Dial, who has made it her mission to help keep her hometown thriving by championing public art, supporting local causes and serving as the president of the business improvement district. This new space, that serves to connect the community and bring everyone together to appreciate literature, watch a cooking demonstration or enjoy some delicious eats is just another part of her vision for the area.

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Spotlight on Schools!

Welcome to our seventh annual Spotlight on Schools edition! 

The HomeTown News is proud to support local education, and every year we invite our Westchester/Playa schools to share with us what’s going on at their campuses.

 Check out our October edition for articles submitted by parents, teachers, principals and community members who are passionate about letting the community know what makes their schools special. Every year we learn that all our schools are full of success stories–new STEM curriculum is being added, eco-friendly initiatives are being introduced and social-emotional skills are being taught–so we hope the information provided helps give our readers a sneak peak on what’s going right on local campuses and a new prospective on local education. We often are asked, “Is that a good school?” and our answer is always, “Yes,” because every school has something magical to offer its students.

Visit our October online edition HERE at issuu.com.

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