PS #1 Elementary School in Santa Monica dedicated its newest campus building with a special ceremony Tuesday, September 2nd, during its annual all- school family picnic, a 36-year-old tradition that marks the beginning of a new academic year.

The two-story, 3,000-square-foot structure, which stands adjacent to the independent school’s play yard, known as the “Field of Dreams,” houses a new classroom and an aftercare enrichment facility.

“In education, our work is never done, but luckily for us, in building the new arm of the school, we almost are,” said Joel Pelcyger, PS #1 co-founder.

“Our educational philosophy embracing clusters is finally fully supported by the building of our eighth classroom,” he added.

During the dedication, Pelcyger and Jeff Dinkin, chairman emeritus of the school’s board of directors, addressed the nearly 200 students and their families in attendance. Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Richard Bloom presented a special commendation to the school.

The new classroom, located on the second floor, features a loft space that offers a panoramic view of Santa Monica. Located on the first floor of the new structure is the after-school enrichment facility, which includes a full kitchen and a project room. This facility will enable the school to enhance the activities it provides to its socially and economically diverse student population, many of whom remain at school after the formal school day ends.

PS #1 uses the cluster approach, where each classroom is paired with another classroom of children in a similar age range. This helps foster a greater sense of community at school and enrich the educational process, as each child belongs to his or her class as well as a cluster, and each cluster then interacts with the other three clusters in the school, officials said.

Information on PS #1, visit the school’s Web site, www.psone .org/.

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