Lynwood Unified to Give Free Eyeglasses to Nearly 100 Students through Partnership with Vision To Learn
Nearly 100 Abbott Elementary School students will receive free eyeglasses through the District’s partnership with Vision To Learn, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating vision issues as a barrier to education
The students who will receive new eyewear went through free screenings in fall 2017. The recipients have chosen their own frames.
Abbott staff members will work alongside VTL specialists to distribute the glasses on the school’s campus.
Friday, Jan. 19
Abbott Elementary School
5260 Clark Street
Lynwood, CA 90262
VTL staff worked alongside school nurses to administer vision screenings earlier this year. Students who required further treatment were visited at school by the Vision To Learn mobile eye clinic. Optometrists conducted full exams, wrote prescriptions and fitted students for the glasses.
Contact Jahmal Corner for more information at 206-579-4432.
Lynwood Unified set to Inspire African American Students at MLK Leadership Conference
More than 200 Lynwood Unified African American students will seek to be inspired as they connect with successful leaders at the Martin Luther King Jr. “Against All Odds” Leadership Conference.Young Black Achievers Student Union Members from Firebaugh, Lynwood and Vista high schools will be joined by guest panelists as the group explores ways that students can make positive impact.
Ten presenters will guide panel discussions, including Lynwood Unified Board of Education Member Gary Hardie as well as YBASU coordinators from each high school.
Friday, Jan. 19
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m..
Firebaugh High School
5246 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Lynwood, CA 90262
The first-year event is being put on by Lynwood Unified’s Department of Equity and YBASU. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life will be used as a guide for discussion points as the group seeks inspiration from King’s ability to thrive against all odds.
The conference also will connect former Lynwood Unified students with current ones, including District alum Hardie, Rosa Parks Elementary Principal Dawn Green and Washington Elementary Principal Shamell Wilson. Lunch will be provided as well as special giveaways.
Contact Jahmal Corner for more information at 206-579-4432.
Lynwood Elementary School Celebrates MLK Day with Book Reading from Delta Air Lines Pilots
Nearly 60 Lugo Elementary School third-graders, inspired by talks from Delta Air Lines employees during a Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) celebration, studied the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and even wrote letters thanking the civil rights leader for fighting to obtain racial equality during the 1950s and 60s.
Lugo Elementary hosted two airplane captains, one flight attendant and four baggage handlers to the Jan. 11 event, when students learned about the importance of King’s message of racial equality during the Civil Rights era. The captains read “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Doreen Rappaport, then all the guests took questions explaining their careers.
“Our students’ eyes lit up when the saw the pilots walk into their class wearing their full uniforms and they really engaged in the story about Dr. King,” Lugo Elementary School Principal Dionne Garner said. “Our students asked great questions to the guests and one of the pilots was from (King’s hometown of) Atlanta, Georgia so he had some inspiring words for them about Dr. King and how his legacy touched his life.”
Third-grade teacher Maria Hernandez said the event motivated students to learn about the Civil Rights era and the idea of seeking nonviolent ways to solve problems.
“The book had a passage about using words and not fists in an argument, and the kids remembered that – it really taught students a good lesson about behavioral skills and how to act in the real world,” Hernandez said. “The kids loved the event because our guests were very enthusiastic about Dr. King’s message.”
After the book reading, the Delta Air Lines employees answered questions about their day-to-day lives working for the airline industry and how pilots remain calm while flying during scary situations. They also outlined the importance of education to the students, urging them to maintain good study habits and to consider higher education.
“We would like to thank all of the Delta employees for taking the time to visit Lugo Elementary to talk to students on a day of remembrance for such an important historical figure,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Events like this make lasting impressions on our students.”
Garner said the school is considering asking the Delta Air Lines employees to return and will also consider inviting local firefighters and police officers for future events.
“The DEAR Martin Day event proved to be a major success for our students at Lugo Elementary,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alfonso Morales said. “Beyond learning about the importance of Dr. King, our students also learned from our amazing guests the value of a good education and how it can lead to a meaningful career.”
Lynwood High Alumni Turned University President Aims to Inspire Students
Michael Tidwell, the newly installed president of the University of Texas at Tyler, still muses on the lessons he learned as a Lynwood Knight, especially from Donald Jones, the school’s former accounting teacher.
Tidwell considers Jones a mentor since even though he was never enrolled in his classes, Jones still took the time to provide him with guidance about his future.
“Mr. Jones was always so intentional about helping us students think about our future and helping us understand that where we are today is not necessarily where we would be tomorrow,” Tidwell said. “He never let us rest on our laurels and he constantly pushed us to think bigger and better.”
Tidwell is a product of the Lynwood Unified School District, having attended Abbott Elementary School and Hosler Middle School before graduating from Lynwood High in 1991. He even met his wife, Karen, in his high school biology class.
Tidwell said that after several years of working in the private sector, he realized he wanted a career in education – inspired by the amazing help he received from Lynwood Unified teachers. His career has included roles as an administrator and professor at Clayton State University, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Eastern Michigan University. He joined the University of Texas at Tyler in October.
He holds a bachelor’s in communications from Ball State University as well as a master’s in communication and a Ph.D. in organizational studies for management, communication, and educational leadership from Washington State University
“It’s a rewarding experience to see one of our former students accomplish so much in their professional career,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alfonso Morales said. “I think it’s fantastic that Michael Tidwell still looks back on our District as a means of guidance and uses those lessons to help his students.”
Tidwell was also known for his athletic prowess, playing on the Lynwood High basketball team for two years and volleyball team for four years. He said he developed strong bonds with his coaches, who encouraged him and other players to use their athletic skills as a means of obtaining a college education.
Lynwood High Athletic Director Bill McGinis, who coached volleyball and sophomore basketball while Tidwell attended the school, said he knew Tidwell’s strong work ethic and positive attitude would take him far. McGinis said that Tidwell’s legacy will encourage future generations of Lynwood High students.
“He was an amazing student; I’m very proud to have known him,” McGinis said. “Michael is a great role model for our students since his accomplishments show them that someone who comes from their background can achieve so much. He’s a shining example of what our students can do when they put their minds to a task.”
Tidwell said his goal as president of the University of Texas at Tyler is to be as accessible and encouraging to students as the Lynwood staff was for him. He said he hopes to be a role model for Lynwood Unified students.
Firebaugh Senior Accepted to Yale as Questbridge Scholar
Firebaugh High School senior Kimberly Wenceslao still remembers her first college visit to an East Coast campus three years ago when the unfamiliarity of a new environment left her in tears.
Wenceslao, who had rarely journeyed beyond her Lynwood community, said she was overwhelmed by culture shock. But she was also determined to see what the world had to offer, and would soon visit new colleges each summer as a part of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program, including Princeton, Skidmore College and Dartmouth College.
Wenceslao’s ambition recently paid off in a big way as she was accepted to her dream school, Yale University.
“Yale is an opportunity that I would’ve never imagined I would have when I was growing up,” Wenceslao said. “It means the world to me, and also to the community around me because it shows all of us that we can reach our dreams.”
Wenceslao will attend Yale through a QuestBridge scholarship, which will cover her full cost of attendance for all four years, as well as books and travel expenses. QuestBridge scholars are typically in the top 5 to 10 percent of their graduating classes and score 1310 or better on their SAT or PSAT.
Wenceslao, a first-generation college student, is determined to forge a path for her peers and younger sister.
“We are extremely proud of Kimberly and are excited to see what the future has in store for her,” LUSD Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Kimberly is a role model for our District and a reminder to all of us that we can accomplish anything when we work together.”
An I.B. student with a 4.38 GPA, Wenceslao is a well-rounded student who plays varsity tennis and is a part of the Firebaugh theater program. She plans to major in psychology but said she may ultimately pursue law to follow her passion for advocacy.
Wenceslao credits the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program for helping to expand her world. She visited the Nation’s Capital building last summer where she engaged in healthy debates, and took a biomedical class at Yale, where she fell in love with the culture and was impressed to find an authentic taco stand within the community.
“Kimberly represents the best of Lynwood Unified and, as she heads off to Yale, she takes with her the values of hard work and leadership that characterize our District,” LUSD Board President Alfonso Morales said. “Kimberly will be empowered by what Yale as to offer, but will also inspire those around her with the focus and drive she will bring to the campus.”
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Community News (Lynwood Unified School District)