Santa to visit Westchester on LAPD sleigh; Pancake breakfast raised funds for new Playa Vista fire station

BY GEOFF MALEMAN

Students, teachers and staff at Loyola Village Elementary School joined with the community to open a new Wonder of Reading library at the school Friday, December 7th. Through Wonder of Reading’s 3R Program (Renovate, Restock and Read), the library has been transformed into a vibrant learning center with story steps for group reading, individual workstations for tutoring, a cove for quiet reading, and a multitude of new books.

In addition, volunteers are being trained to read with students who are struggling with their reading.

The Playa Vista Educational Trust (PVET) partnered with Loyola Village Elementary School to raise the necessary funds for the initial program implementation. The educational trust program currently supports 15 public and private schools near Playa Vista in Mar Vista, Westchester, Playa del Rey, Venice, Del Rey and Culver City.

Excitement has grown recently, as colors were chosen for the walls and new carpets were selected for this educational space.

“We are very proud to assist Loyola Village in providing a premier new library facility for its students,” said Playa Vista President Steve Soboroff. “Reading is a key building block of education, and Playa Vista is thrilled to lend its support in a way that benefits children right here in our local community.”

The Wonder of Reading is a nonprofit organization that focuses on renovating public school libraries to make the space more useful and inviting to young students. Its mission is to inspire the love of reading in children and to subsequently impact child reading practices in Southern California schools.

Playa Vista has helped to improve the educational experience for thousands of local students through the Playa Vista Educational Trust.

Playa Vista created the educational trust in 1998 through the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Adopt-A-School program to fund everything from library books and computers to playground equipment and field trips for students.

The Playa Vista Educational Trust also welcomes Southern California artists into area schools for classroom instruction and dance, drama and music performances.

Additional programs include a freshwater marsh curriculum and field trips, student scholarships and school renovation projects. School staff members work directly with the Los Angeles County Music Center regarding the programming details to create an individualized program that best benefits their students.

“Without the Playa Vista Educational Trust, this library would only be a dream,” said Loyola Village principal Melinda Goodall. “In short, Playa Vista has provided the financial foundation for this project to become a reality. Because of Playa Vista’s generosity, the lives of our children will be forever enriched by the love of reading.”

SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN — Santa, Mrs. Claus and some of the elves will be making a special visit to Westchester with the help of the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Thursday, December 20th.

Santa will make his way through the streets of residential Westchester riding on his special LAPD sleigh, waving to children, handing out candy canes and posing for photographs. Santa will make one stop mid-block on each street, so look for the Santa stop signs that will indicate where Santa’s sleigh will stop.

This year’s Santa Tour will begin at 4:30 p.m. in North Kentwood. Santa will visit the following streets between 80th Place and Nancy Street: Kentwood, El Manor, Dunfield, Alverstone, Arizona, Stetson, McCool and Ogelsby.

Santa will then travel to East Westchester and, beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m., he will visit the following streets between Kittyhawk Avenue and Will Rogers Street: Fleetwing, Earhart, De Haviland, Croydon, Bleriot, Airlane and Yorktown; and the following streets between 79th Street and 85th Place: Kittyhawk, Barnsley, Belford, Ramsgate, Reading and Winsford.

Keep looking out your window, ’cause Santa Claus is comin’ to town!

The annual Santa Tour is sponsored by Playa Vista, Rundle Electric and Westchester Watch Works and is presented by the Playa Sunrise Rotary Club. Information, (310) 306-8525.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST — More than 1,000 pancakes were served up December 8th to help raise funds for firefighters’ living quarters at the new Los Angeles Fire Station No. 67 in Playa Vista.

While Playa Vista funded the land and construction of the facility at a cost of $10 million and the City of Los Angeles appropriated $1.7 million for the next fiscal year for staffing, firefighting equipment and a fire engine, the firefighters have little in the way of amenities such as cooking supplies, bed sheets and other essentials.

“We need kitchen supplies, small appliances, a couch, a TV,” said Capt. Vince Nixon, who rattled off scores of things the firefighters need to make the new station inhabitable.

The pancake breakfast, which included a silent auction, attracted more than 500 people and raised more than $15,000 for the cause, including a $7,500 sponsorship from Time Warner.

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