Lynwood Unified Teacher to be Honored by Los Angeles Clippers

WHAT
Will Rogers Elementary School sixth-grade teacher Stephanie Aguon will be honored as part of the Los
Angeles Clippers Teacher Appreciation Program, which recognizes stand-out educators for their exceptional
work.
Aguon, who has taught at Will Rogers for eight out of 13 years with Lynwood Unified, will receive a
commemorative plaque during an on-court presentation prior to the Clippers’ home game against the Utah
Jazz.

WHEN
Thursday, Nov. 30
6:45 p.m.

WHERE
Staples Center
1111 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

MORE
Aguon was nominated by Will Rogers because of her warm classroom environment and the leadership she
displays in her involvement in the school’s programs. Aguon is the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
coordinator at Will Rogers and is also involved with the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS)
program, which promotes a safe, inclusive and positive school culture.
Schools that participate in the “Read to Achieve” Clippers education outreach program are eligible to nominate
teachers for the Clippers Teacher Appreciation honor.

MEDIA
Contact Jahmal Corner for more information at 206-579-4432.

Lynwood Unified Students Perform Play Written by Youth in Rwanda

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Lynwood Middle School seventh-grader Jakin Anderson grieved, laughed and ultimately triumphed in his role as a Rwandan author whose literary account of his country’s 1994 genocide helped bring nations together.

Anderson wowed an audience at Lynwood Middle School on Nov. 16 during his pivotal part in “Arthur’s Diary,” a play written by Rwandan students that chronicles forgiveness and reconciliation amid the 1994 genocide. The production was a part of the District’s Building Relationships and Inspiring Dialogue through Global Exchange (BRIDGE) Theatre Project.

Through the program, Rwandan students performed a Lynwood play, “The Wall,” over summer.

“I thought it was pretty cool to get to interpret the words of someone all the way in Rwanda,” Anderson said. “The play was very meaningful and taught some important lessons that everyone can learn from.”

Through the BRIDGE Theatre Project, Lynwood Unified students in grades four through eight are learning to write short plays, perform plays and study other cultures. The program provides 19 workshops for nearly 500 District students over eight weeks to teach students the basics of improvisation, character creation, writing conflict and dialogue, and how to collaborate with other student writers.

“Students in the program feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when they see their work in action and feel an audience responding to it,” BRIDGE Theatre Project cofounder Joe Quintero said. “Each performance instills confidence in students that they can build upon in all areas of their lives.”

“Arthur’s Diary” was one of four performances by Lynwood Unified students on Nov. 16 during a night that included two original works and a presentation of the Ikinimba dance, a musical tradition in Rwanda that tells the stories of heroes and kings.

Lynwood Unified students will perform their own original works at their schools throughout the year. At the conclusion of each night, the students receive certificates as playwright and actors as well as a copy of the play to which they contributed.

“BRIDGE is allowing our students to pursue their passions while learning about the world around them,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “Learning fresh perspectives will help them to be more well-rounded as students and people.”

This is the fourth year that the District has partnered with the BRIDGE Theatre Project and the program is continually increasing opportunities to showcase work across the globe.

“We’re proud of our partnership with BRIDGE and all the students who work so hard to bring theater to life,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Our children are learning that art can teach lessons that transcend geography and culture.”

Lynwood Unified Announces Districtwide Art Contest with $1,000 Scholarship

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Lynwood Unified is channeling its commitment to the arts and a community spirit by launching a Districtwide art contest open to students from grades one to 12 that will reward the winner with a $1,000 scholarship.

The art contest, which will have no restrictions on style or size, is accepting submissions from now until April 1. The scholarship money will be drawn from donations provided by local Lynwood businesses.

“Lynwood draws upon a rich tradition of art to express solidarity, dignity and determination,” Lynwood Union co-founder Rowland Becerra said. “As we honor those who have left us, we want to begin a new tradition of championing art within our community, and encourage our children to develop their artistic skill as a way for their voices to be heard.”

Lynwood’s art community recently celebrated Día de los Muertos at a show held on Nov. 2-3 at the Lynwood Union Gallery. Elaborate ‘Day of the Dead’ altars decorated with flowers, candles and multi-colored skulls greeted more than 400 Lynwood parents and community members. The exhibit featured art created by kindergarten to third-grade students enrolled in the District’s Spanish-English Dual Immersion program at Will Rogers Elementary School.

The Dia de los Muertos show was inspired by Will Rogers first-grade Spanish-English dual immersion students who worked with their families to create altars to honor family, friends and pets. In addition to the altars, Will Rogers kindergartners made masks, second-graders drew skeleton recreations of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and third-graders made a poster filled with colorful skeletons.

“I liked making the altar with my dad because he helped me put glue on the cardboard,” Will Rogers first-grader Abbygail Hernandez said, through an interpreter.

Lynwood High School La Raza club members contributed an altar paying tribute to victims of the Sept. 19 earthquake in Mexico City. This same altar was awarded third prize during a City of Lynwood Dia de los Muertos altar exhibit held at Plaza Mexico on Oct. 28.

Parents of dual-immersion students brought traditional refreshments for those in attendance, including pan de muerto and champurrado. The exhibit also included an open mic for students to make presentations, traditional dancing, face-painting, music and community artwork for sale.

“Dia de los Muertos is a cherished and reverent holiday for Latinos that we proudly pass down from generation to generation,” LUSD Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “It is very exciting to see so many of our students, from kindergartners to high school seniors, honor their families by adding to the rich folklore of our heritage. Thank you to our dedicated teachers and advisors for helping to bring the Lynwood community together.”

 

The Lynwood Union Gallery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing civic pride through the arts and City of Lynwood history. Promoting art, film and photography, Lynwood Union works with local businesses and the District to unite local artists with LUSD students for art projects, which include a student-designed mural painted by Lynwood and Firebaugh High artists at Lynwood City Park.

“Thank you to the Lynwood Union Gallery and our local business partners for recognizing the magnificent creative talent seen throughout the District, and their efforts to empower our students through their art,” LUSD Superintendent Gudiel Crosthwaite said. “This art contest and scholarship, open to all Lynwood students, is indicative of the spirit of giving that makes the Lynwood community strong and prosperous.”