The Editor’s Notebook contains fun things to do, important things to know, ways to get involved and events to put on your calendar.
Dr. Diana McConnell, an instrumental music teacher at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park, has been named a “Teacher of the Year” by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The award, bestowed on only 22 of the district’s 25,000 teachers, recognizes a teacher’s expertise, success, creativity and devotion. “Knowing how many brilliant, amazing, dedicated and equally deserving teachers work at LAUSD, I was completely surprised, humbled, and honored when I learned I had received the Teacher of the Year Award,” Dr. McConnell told the Boulevard Sentinel. Dr. McConnell, who is also a professional classical and Mariachi musician, has taught at Nightingale since 2011.
Roberto Flores, a teacher of agricultural science at Sonia Sotomayor Arts and Sciences Academies in Glassell Park, has received a $500 grant from the California Credit Union to support the school’s Urban Farm to Table program.
Led by Flores, students in the program prepare healthy meals with locally raised ingredients and serve them to residents of Ascencia Lifting People Out of Homelessness, a provider of housing and social services in the greater Glendale area.
The award for Flores is one of up to 20 grants made each school year by the California Credit Union, which is headquartered in Glendale and serves school employees, businesspeople and community members throughout the state. Any full-time classroom teacher in Los Angeles County and San Diego County can apply for a grant. For details, visit ccu.com.
Comprehensive Community Health Centers (CCHC), with locations in Eagle Rock, Highland Park and other nearby areas, has received a $75,000 “Navigator” grant from Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace. At Covered California, individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce health insurance premium costs.
CCHC is one of only 100 agencies in the state to win a Navigator grant, which is used to educate consumers about their health care options, offer in-person help with enrollment and renewals and provide ongoing support for getting the best value from a health plan. The effort focuses on hard-to-reach, uninsured populations that are eligible for financial help through Covered California. CCHC will reach out to eight ethnic groups in Los Angeles County: African, Armenian, Caucasian, Filipino, Hispanic/Latino, Korean, Middle Eastern and Russian.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been named a finalist for ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award and Reggie Bullock of the L.A. Lakers is a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.
The awards honor teams, athletes and others who have used the power of sports to make a difference in the world. Highlights from the award ceremony, to be held on July 9 in L.A., will be televised in a one-hour special on ESPN on Thursday, July 18 at 7 p.m.
The extended deadline to submit a film for the 6th annual Highland Park Independent Film Festival is Tuesday, August 6.
The festival, to be held October 3 to October 5, showcases the work of local, national and international filmmakers, both emerging and established, with the aim of engaging local audiences, attracting industry attention and celebrating, honoring and enjoying the art and craft of filmmaking. For details, visit: hpifilmfest.com
Street Food Cinema, the Eagle Rock-based event company that combines outdoor movie screenings with tasty food trucks and good music, will screen Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope, at Eagle Rock Recreation Center on Saturday, July 20.
Advance tickets for general seating are $14 for adults and $6 for children ages 6-12 (free for children age 5 and under). Reserved seating is available for $5 more than general seating. Eagle Rock Recreation Center / 1100 Eagle Vista Dr. / Doors open at 5:30 p.m. / Music by DJ Splyce starts at 6:30 p.m. / Movie starts at 8:30 p.m. / Dog friendly / For tickets and details, visit: streetfoodcinema.com
The critically acclaimed Occidental Children’s Theater will celebrate its 24th season with an original story, The Adventures of Christopher Robin Hood, and three adventurous adaptations of traditional folktales.
A seven-week run of performances starts on Thursday, July 11 and continues on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Actors perform without props, sets or special costumes, relying only on their acting and acrobatic skills. / Remsen Bird Hillside Theater at Occidental College / 1600 Campus Rd. / $9 to $12 / Discounts available for groups of 15 or more / For more information, email email@example.com or call 323- 259-2771.
Poetry, Open Mic, Coffee
Bill Cushing will read selections from A Former Life, his new volume of poetry, on Saturday, July 13 at Zweet Cafe in Eagle Rock.
The book, to be published by Finishing Line press, will also be available for purchase. Before the featured reading, the mic will be open for audience members who want to read their own work. The open mic is first-come, first-served. The event is free and open to all. / Zweet Cafe / 4682 Eagle Rock Blvd. / Saturday, July 13 / 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. / Free and open to all
Books and Supplies: Getting Ready for the School Year
Kids can read along with a cop at three local libraries where LAPD officers read to youngsters during designated story times. The read-alongs promote literacy and give kids a chance to interact with police officers.
Here’s where and when:
Arroyo Seco Regional Library (6145 S. Figueroa St.), Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cypress Park Branch Library (1150 Cypress Ave.), Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Eagle Rock Branch Library (5027 Caspar Ave.), Mondays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Eagle Rock Elementary School will take donations of supplies and backpacks during the summer to share with needy students when school resumes in the fall. The drop off location for donations is Eagle Rock City Hall (2035 Colorado Blvd.) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition to backpacks, needed items include markers, colored pencils, composition notebooks, binders, pencil pouches and dry erase markers. For more information, contact Amanda Matt at 323-287-7398, Shandra Aguiar at 323-907-5139 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at EagleRockBackpackSupplyDonation.
New at the Highland Park Farmers Market
Starting on July 2, the Moon Canyon Healers, a group of alternative-healing practitioners, will have a booth at the Highland Park Farmers Market where you can learn about acupuncture, Bowenwork, Reiki, music therapy and other modalities — and receive mini hands-on demonstrations of some of the techniques. There will also be handcrafted jewelry, essential oil blends, crystals and vibrational art for sale at the booth. Highland Park Farmers Market / Avenue 57 and Figueroa / Tuesdays / 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.