July 10, 2017

Lynwood Unified Summer School Students Bolster Reading Skills during Scholastic Literacy Event


Students tugged at their parents’ shirt sleeves, pulling them through a colorful, mountainous collection of 2,300 books piled high all around them in the Lynwood Unified School District Office on June 28.

These Lynwood Unified summer school students – more than 250 of them – had full access to pick out three books to take home as part of the District’s inaugural Scholastic Literacy Event, where parents, guardians and District personnel encouraged students to always maintain strong literacy skills.

“It all starts with reading – it is the foundation for learning,” Lynwood Unified Director of Equity and Literacy Event coordinator Patricia Brent-Sanco said. “A child’s life can open up when they open a book, and you must learn to read to qualify for 21st-century careers. We want to get students and their parents excited for reading so that it will always be an integral part of their lives.”

Almost 200 parents and guardians accompanied their children to the event, taking pictures with Clifford the Big Red Dog and listening to stories from District staff about learning to read and the importance of literacy.

“I really love books, so it was fun for me and my family to come and pick up some new ones,” incoming Hosler Middle School seventh-grader Susana Zelaya said. “I was surprised at how many good stories there were to choose from.”

Librarians from Lynwood Unified school sites assisted students in selecting their books. Students were able to pick out one book that correlated with their grade-level learning curriculum, and two fun tales like the “How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night,” “Olaf’s Night Before Christmas” from Disney’s “Frozen,” and “Shake to Assemble” featuring Marvel’s Hulk.

All 2,300 books were donated by Scholastic, Read Lead, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lakeshore Learning and Feed the Children.

“This truly was a community-focused event, and we were all thrilled to see so many students and parents here,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “This was only our first time doing this event, so I know next year will be even larger and will spread the importance of reading to even more students in Lynwood Unified.”

Scholastic Literacy Events are specially designed to empower families to support their children’s academic achievement through interactive activities – giving them the tools and skills necessary to build a culture of literacy at home.

“It gives me the best feeling to see students get so excited about reading and learning,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “Reading is fundamental for all learning, and this is a very important step for younger students to start their successful educational journeys.”

July 6, 2017

Lynwood High Students Win City Art Contest, $1,000 Scholarships


Three Lynwood High School arts students caught the community’s attention with their inspiring designs and were named contest winners for helping design the city’s new “Welcome to Lynwood” sign.

Sophomores Bryada Overstreet, Beatriz Soto and Stephanie Martinez won for their individual sketches that encompassed the history, atmosphere and values of Lynwood. The students were recognized and received $1,000 scholarships at a City Council meeting.

“I recently moved to Lynwood from Louisiana and I was a bit intimidated at first,” Overstreet said. “For my sketch, I drew two hands shaking because it reminds me of when I first moved here, and how I was grateful to have other students and teachers embrace me with open arms and show me this new place.”

Lynwood Mayor Maria T. Santillan-Beas invited all students from the Lynwood Unified School District to participate in the contest and help create a new design for the city’s welcome sign. The winning pieces will be used as inspiration for the city-hired professional graphic designer.

“We are proud to have our students’ talent recognized on a citywide scale,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “As a District, it is important for our students to gain experience in their desired professions while they are in high school and we are excited that our community has given these students this opportunity.”

The competition was judged by Santillan-Beas, city officials, two community members, a local artist, a representative from a Lynwood art gallery and Lynwood High School art teacher Luis Vega.

Overstreet and Soto used pencil, pen and colored pencils to compose their sketches while Martinez used her graphic design experience to submit a computer-generated piece. The students worked on the pieces for a few weeks before submitting on March 27.

“Competitions like this one allow students to apply the skills they learn in class to real-life situations. They play the role of a graphic designer or architect, and they have to read guidelines, research, brainstorm, design and present,” Vega said. “It helps them realize the importance of the art skills they learn, and it builds confidence and motivates them to participate in similar projects.”

Mark Flores, Lynwood’s director of recreation and community services and lead organizer for the contest, said the city received more than 60 entries. Criteria included use of the phrase “Welcome to Lynwood,” images or words that depict the city promoting cultural, economic and educational opportunities and capture general community appeal.

The city is looking for a graphic designer to complete the construction of the design and determining how many signs it will place throughout the city. The new signs should be installed in about four months.

“As a District, we strive to encourage creativity and passion in everything our students do,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “This was the perfect opportunity for the students to give back to the city and to further foster mutual support between Lynwood schools and the surrounding community.”

July 3, 2017

Lynwood Unified Educators, Admin Teach One Another Technological Tools of the Trade


One hundred educators learned how to create lesson plans using Google Slides and implement collaborative testing with Kahoot! and Quizzizz on June 16 at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies for Lynwood Unified’s second annual Lynwood Educators’ Technology Summit (LETS), where LUSD instructors and representatives from global technology companies presented methods for integrating technology into the classroom.

“Technology is a huge part of every career out there, so it is essential for our teachers to be knowledgeable in these latest tech areas,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Our top priority is preparing our students for college and careers, and they are showing us that they are leaving our campuses equipped for today’s workforce thanks to our teachers and administrators.”

K-12 teachers from Lynwood Unified schools discussed how they have implemented Google Suite, Web 2.0 tools and coding in their classrooms, while education representatives from Edlio, Newsela, Google and Apple shared about creative test-taking platforms, Google Slides and using iPads to teach students the essences of block coding.

“Our LETS conference really is a celebration of the entire teaching journey,” Lynwood Unified digital learning coach Kathleen Graham said. “It is important for us to share with the Lynwood community and the world what Lynwood Unified is capable of. Our teachers are making the learning process more enjoyable than they ever imagined through technology and online resources.”

Lynwood Unified spent an entire year planning for the LETS conference, gauging teacher understanding of technology and coordinating with industry professionals to host workshops.

“This conference is so valuable for our teachers and administrators, because we want to make sure all students are technology confident by the time they leave our district,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “This is the future of education, and I am so proud to see our teachers and administrators tackle these complex teaching methods head-on.”

June 27, 2017

Lynwood Unified to Host Scholastic Literacy Event for Families

More than 250 Lynwood Unified students and their families will engage in reading activities, photo booth fun and conversations with District administrators during the District’s first Scholastic Literacy Event.

Clifford the Big Red Dog® will join parents and guardians in encouraging children to bolster their literacy skills. All students will also take home up to three books provided by the District, Scholastic and community partners.

Wednesday, June 28
4:30 p.m.

Lynwood Unified School District Board Room
11321 Bullis Road

Scholastic Literacy Events are specially designed to empower families to support their children’s academic achievement through interactive activities – giving them the tools and skills necessary to build a culture of literacy at home.

According to teacher survey data released by Scholastic, 98 percent of teachers said greater “family involvement and support” has a strong impact on academic achievement.

For on-site event information, contact Lindsay Ivins at 480-335-3149.

June 26, 2017

Lynwood Unified Elementary School Celebrates Diversity with Multicultural Festival


LynwoodNearly 700 Will Rogers Elementary K-6 students strapped on cowboy boots and hats to do-si-do with their partners, dressed in flowery skirts the color of the Mexican flag and sported colorful wigs for their school’s seventh annual Multicultural Festival, where all students presented dances from around the world for their peers.

“This is our year-end celebration that brings our entire campus together,” Will Rogers Assistant Principal Aranzazu Garcia said. “It’s important for our students to experience these cultural differences and learn about the cultures through their own performances.”

Performances encouraged students, parents and teachers in the audience to envision they were in diverse locales like Africa, the old West, Colombia and Argentina.

“I loved watching the dances and seeing the different cultures being represented,” fourth-grader Areonna Hammock said. “The costumes show you where the dances come from.”

Third-graders also celebrated Women’s History Month with a lively dance to “I’m a Lady.”

“This Multicultural Day is so valuable for students to celebrate and honor a wide variety of backgrounds,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “I’m so glad Will Rogers has put this event on for so long and I hope all students take pride in their heritage.”

After the performances concluded, the school hosted its first carnival to raise funds for the school’s Parent Teacher Association. Guests tossed bean bags, flung their Velcro-covered bodies against a felt-covered wall, and knocked down pins with an oversize bowling ball to support the school’s library and end-of-year activities for sixth-graders.

“These events are a great way to support PTAs in their mission to support our schools, and we are fortunate to have such strong partnerships that support our students,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “The Multicultural Festival itself is a longstanding tradition at Will Rogers and offers a unique cultural insight for students.”

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Community News (Lynwood Unified School District)

Community News

District takes steps toward safer and more energy-efficient travel
Posted: July 27, 2017, 5:17 pm
Inaugural summer event engages fourth- to eighth-grade girls in scientific inquiry
Posted: July 27, 2017, 5:04 pm
Students received free books and met Clifford the Big Red Dog
Posted: July 11, 2017, 10:50 pm
Sophomores Bryada Overstreet, Beatriz Soto and Stephanie Martinez won for their sketches that encompassed the history, atmosphere and values of Lynwood
Posted: July 10, 2017, 5:13 pm
Second technology summit explores the future of education
Posted: July 3, 2017, 5:50 pm
Performances encouraged everyone to envision they were in diverse locales around the world
Posted: June 26, 2017, 6:10 pm
Abbott Elementary’s play will be performed by Rwandan children during the Ubumuntu Arts Festival
Posted: June 26, 2017, 6:08 pm
Students to receive free books, meet with Clifford the Big Red Dog®
Posted: June 21, 2017, 6:39 pm
The Class of 2017 Knights, Falcons, Eagles and Panthers are ready to take their next steps toward college and careers
Posted: June 19, 2017, 10:31 pm
Elementary and middle school students cheer on their cap-and-gown clad peers
Posted: June 13, 2017, 10:56 pm