Playa Vista hosted nearly 130 fifth-grade students from Braddock Drive and Grand View Avenue Elementary Schools, along with their families and friends, during culmination ceremonies at Fountain Park in Playa Vista Wednesday and Thursday, June 21st and June 22.

Scholarship recipients from Braddock Drive Elementary included Kaycee Ching, Jennifer Castillo, Araceli Mateo and Eduardo de Jesus.

Recipients from Grand View Avenue Elementary included Leticia Chavez, Sharon Bartolo, Alex Hernandez and Gabriela Curiel.

Both schools are part of the Playa Vista Education Trust (PVET) program, which currently supports 11 public and private schools near Playa Vista in the Westchester, Playa del Rey, Venice, Marina del Rey and Culver City areas. This is the fourth year that commencement exercises were held at Playa Vista.

“We are very proud to honor these students’ wonderful accomplishments,” said Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff. “Playa Vista is thrilled to support area schools, not only by helping students appreciate the arts or learn about the [Playa Vista] Freshwater Marsh, but also by directly serving as tutors and mentors. These kids are what it’s all about.”

The Playa Vista Education Trust was created in 1998 through Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Adopt-A-School program, to fund everything from library books and computers to playground equipment. Both Braddock Drive and Grand View Avenue Elementary Schools have participated in the Playa Vista program since 1999.

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

Additional programs include a freshwater marsh curriculum, 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.

“Playa Vista has truly created a partnership with our school and the culmination ceremony is an extension of that partnership,” said Braddock Drive principal Sandra Coffey.

“I have been particularly pleased with the personal interaction their employees have dedicated to our students over the years, such as when I see Steve Soboroff walk through the doors every week to assist with reading.”

“We are very grateful that Playa Vista has created such fantastic educational opportunities for our students,” said Grand View principal Ruben Valles. “They have also provided a wonderful outdoor venue for us to honor our students here today.”

In addition to hosting the culmination ceremonies, Playa Vista provided $4,000 in scholarships to students at these schools, awarded on the basis of academic excellence, outstanding citizenship or overall achievement. Students were nominated by each school’s principal and faculty.