The Westchester/Playa del Rey Education Foundation (WPEF) and Parents Achieving Results Together (P.A.R.T.) will host a forum of key experts in high school education to discuss options for Westchester High School students, including charter, Span and small learning communities.

The monthly community meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 4th, at the Westchester Municipal Building, 7166 Manchester Ave, Westchester.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Speakers will include:

n Ana Fernandez, charter school expert.

Fernandez is the manager of school development for the California Charter School Association.

As manager of school development, she administers the Charter School Start-up and Planning Grants Program.

She also supports the General Managers with outreach and charter developer recruitment.

Fernandez has worked as an assistant field deputy for Los Angeles Unified School District board member Mike Lansing for three and a half years.

As an assistant field deputy, she was responsible for administering the District 7 Grants Program, coordinating two annual award ceremonies and organizing advisory meetings.

n David Marsh, Span school expert.

Marsh is the associate dean of academic programs at the USC Rossier School of Education.

He currently serves on the new California High School Task Force and co-chairs the California High School Exit Exam Task Force for the California Department of Education.

In 1999, he and co-author J.B. Codding published The New American High School: Educating for the 21st Century (Corwin Press).

He co-authored Second to None: The Report of the California High School Task Force (1992).

Marsh specializes in curriculum and instructional leadership, the process of change in educational organizations, teacher education, and the continued professional development of teachers, program evaluation, qualitative research, administrators as instructional leaders, and the comprehensive reform of schools.

n Greg Vallone, small learning communities expert.

Vallone has more than 25 years experience in education, including teaching young children and now adult students at California State University, Northridge, in its graduate school of education.

He has spoken at numerous conferences on the benefits of smaller learning communities.

In 2003, the California State Senate gave him the Los Angeles Educational Partnership Excellence Award for his work in education.

For more information, contact Kelly Kane-Donnelly at (310) 288-6461.

YMCA PANCAKE BREAKFAST — The Westchester Y’s Men’s (and Women’s) Club will be flipping pancakes on the Westchester YMCA’s back lot Saturday, May 20th, to raise money in support of the Westchester Y’s youth, building and other worthy programs.

Join the club for a breakfast of pancakes, sausages, orange juice and coffee. The breakfast is $4 per person.

For more than 50 years, the Westchester Y’s Men’s Club has been a support group for the Westchester YMCA.

In the past ten years, more than $175,000 has been contributed to Youth in Government, YMCA youth and campership programs, scholarship funds and golf tournaments.

Y’s Men serve on the board of managers and as team captains for the Y’s annual fundraising campaign.

Additionally, Y’s Men (and Women) contribute time and labor to the maintenance of the Y’s physical structure, including roof repairs, parking lot resurfacing, interior painting and repair work at various camps.

Other contributions include the Airport Marina Counseling Service, National and International Y’s Men’s Clubs.

Information, Julie Judge, (310) 670-6589.

PHOTO EXHIBIT AT PLAYA VISTA LIBRARY — “Capturing the Spirit,” an exhibition of photos by world traveler and folk photographer Judy Nahman-Stouffer, will be on display at the Playa Vista Library through Friday, June 30th.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

“Capturing the Spirit” is a series of photographs taken over the past ten years in the Los Angeles area.

The main focus is folk art performance, including music, dance, storytelling and traditional activities.

These images extend beyond mere portrayal of a scene, drawing the viewer into the encounter between photographer and subject.

“My people-based photos portray the essence of the performer’s experience, the lack of self-consciousness of those lost in activity and the intimacy of understanding between audience and performer,” said Nahman-Stouffer.

A free opening reception is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 6th, in the Playa Vista Library Community Room located at 6400 Playa Vista Drive.

The event will include a lecture by Nahman-Stouffer beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The exhibit and reception are sponsored by Playa Vista and Friends of the Playa Vista Library.

MOTHER ON FIRE — The Westchester/Playa del Rey Education Foundation will hold a one-night only comedy benefit featuring comedienne Sandra Tsing Loh at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13th at the Westchester High School Auditorium, 7400 Manchester Ave., Westchester.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $25 per person and can be ordered on the Education Foundation’s Web site at

www.partfoundation.org

Loh bills herself as a formerly sane person who became a mother. Not just a mother, a mother in Los Angeles.

Suddenly, a relaxed, purposeless life-swilling cosmos has been transformed into an epic quest through such burning trials as skyrocketing real estate, epidemic peanut allergies and frightening public schools surrounded by chain-link fences within which rabid mountain lions roam (at least that was the first impression).

The fundraiser is a billed as a show for hysterical Los Angeles parents and those who must put up with them.

This show is not appropriate for children, and will be performed without an intermission.

No cameras, recorders, outside food or drinks will be permitted.

Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Education Foundation’s efforts to enhance and advocate for the seven public schools in Westchester and Playa del Rey and to provide funds, programs and volunteers where other funding falls short.

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