Monday, June 27, 2011

Dinosaur Hall Teacher Preview Days

Be among one of the first to see the Natural History Museum's Dinosaur Hall on July 12 & 13, 2011!  Receive free admission for yourself with your teacher ID and 1 guest.  Bring up to 4 guests at regular admission and check out the new Dino lessons and activities.

Click here to learn more!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

An Educator's Walk in the Park

The California Africa American Museum, The California Science Center, and The Natural History Museum will be holding "An Educator's Walk in the Park" at Exposition Park on Saturday, August 20, 2011.  This Educators' open House will begin at the California African Museum at 8:30am with light refreshments followed by tours at each museum, raffles, giveaways for teachers, and activities for specific exhibits.  It will end at 12:00pm at the Natural History Museum.  The cost is free by RSVP is required.

Please do not miss out on this wonderful opportunity!  RSVP with the California African American Museum at (213) 744-2024.

Monday, April 25, 2011

LA Times Festival of Books at USC!

Join us as USC hosts the LA Times Festival of Books for the first time!

Dates & Location
The annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be held:
Saturday April 30, 2011 from 10am – 6pm
Sunday, May 1, 2011 from 10am – 5pm at:
University of Southern California
Click here for map.
To locate USC on Yahoo! Maps or similar mapping software, you may use the intersection of Exposition Blvd and S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90089.

Tickets & Admission
General attendance is free!
For information on attending, see our Attendee FAQ.

Parking at the USC campus will be $10.
Please go to the Getting There page for a detailed map.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

LA Math Initiative Recognition Awards!

Last year, the MIND Research Institute, a non-profit organization based in Orange County developed visual approaches to illustrating math concepts and building problem-solving skills as the basis for spatial-temporal approach to math education for elementary and secondary schools.

Here at ECCLA, we wanted to find a way where we could honor schools which were performing well in order to really push students to succeed and help bridge the gap in math achievement in central Los Angeles.  Our hope was to be able to not only recognize these schools for their exceptional work, but also for their collaborative efforts with MIND and ECCLA and root for future success.  The solution?  A monthly recognition award for the schools that out perform the more than 40 ECCLA schools currently implementing the ST Math computer programs!

Stay tuned for the announcement of the first MIND/ECCLA Recognition Award Winners!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Safety Alert: Train Testing to Begin on the Expo Line

Starting today, the Expo Line will be testing trains intermittently along the light rail alignment for several months.  Because the trains will be operating on an unpredictable schedule, please advise your teachers, faculty, students, families, and neighbors to stay off the railroad tracks!  Additionally, please consider the following safety tips: 

Safety Tips
  • Please obey all warning signs and traffic signals when crossing the tracks.
  • Always look both ways before crossing any street.
  • Never walk on railroad tracks.
  • Watch for trains from both directions.
  • Use the crosswalks. Do not jaywalk across the the tracks.

For more information, please visit or call 213.922.EXPO (3976).
Find ExpoLine on Facebook at or follow them on Twitter @ExpoLine

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ECCLA Launches New School Liaison Program

Jay Adams, Executive Director of 24th St. Theater, leads teachers
and administrators through a work place tableau.
ECCLA welcomed the first inaugural school liaison class on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at the Kick-off event which took place at 24th Street Theatre from 4-6pm.  

The kick-off event was the perfect way to welcome our 22 participating schools into the program.  There were over 50 people in attendance including Liaisons, Principals, Local Resource Providers and ECCLA Board Members and Staff.

The newly designated school liaisons and their principals had the opportunity to network amongst each other as well as take part in the mini resource fair with some of the local providers in attendance including California Science Center, Mouth Saint Mary’s College, Natural History Museum, the University of Southern California and our venue host, 24th Street Theatre.
Jacqueline Hamilton, ECCLA Executive Director, and museum
representatives brief attendants on current programs and resources.

Interactive icebreakers, and small breakout sessions to discuss the challenges each school faces and what types of resources the school  is lacking were a great way to create consensus on how to make this program most successful and beneficial for all those involved.

Teachers and administrators act out workplace

About School Liaison Program:
The goal of the program is to enriched classroom experiences for students and teachers by providing effective and timely communication:
·        between central L.A. educators and museums, colleges and community organizations in the nearby region;
·        about ECCLA’s programs and partnerships; and
·        regarding classroom, field trip, fundraising, and other programs to enhance instruction.

The complete list of schools includes who are participating include:
·        32nd Street Visual and Performing Art Magnet School
·        Bishop Conaty / Our Lady of Loretto High School
·        Douglass-Marshall Middle School
·        Downtown Value School
·        George Washington Carver Middle School
·        Gertz-Ressler College Ready High School
·        Holy Name of Jesus Parish School
·        Hooper Avenue Elementary School
·        James Foshay Learning Center
·        John Adams Middle School
·        Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
·        New Designs High School
·        Normandie Avenue Elementary
·        Para Los Ninos Elementary School
·        Richard Merkin Middle School
·        St. Thomas the Apostle Parish School
·        St. Vincent Parish School
·        Synergy Kinetic Academy
·        Thomas Jefferson High School
·        Tom Bradley Environmental Science and Humanities Elementary School
·        Vermont Avenue Elementary School
·        William J. Clinton Middle School

For additional information about the School Liaison Program please contact Vanessa Ramirez at or Jacqueline Hamilton at or call (213) 743-4516.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

School Budget Cuts Could Be Detrimental

The big if is lingering in the shadows for public schools if the June tax extension does not pass.  If the tax extension does not pass funding for K-12 schools will mean millions of dollars of statewide cuts amongst local schools.  This could mean detrimental cuts to teacher's salaries, loss of employees, and shorter school years/days depending on the district.  Surprisingly, K-12 education is the largest expenditure of the state's annual budget, but California has also not provided "funding for public education since 1981 above the national average," said Linda Luna, superintendent of the Millbrae Elementary School District.  During the great recession California spent thousands below to the national average, and it is simply getting worse.  "Teachers and students are doing incredible work with less," said Luna.  

To read the full article this blog post was derived from click HERE.

What are you thought regarding the tax extension? (Also, don't forget to educate yourself about the effects of how powerful your vote can truly be when casting it in June!) 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Apply Now to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Teaching with Testimony Summer Workshop with ALL Expenses Paid

Founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg the USC Shoah Foundation Institute is currently accepting applications for its 2011 Master Teacher Workshop, Teaching With Testimony, which will take place July 18 to July 22, 2011.  This five day workshop is an all expense paid experience geared toward secondary school educators. Successful candidates will receive a stipend, Certificate in Teaching with Testimony, and twelve graduate-level continuing education units (CEUs) at USC's Rossier School of Education.

During this workshop participants will actively engage in the power of visual testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses and explore the methodologies and practices for bringing these moving stories into the classrooms to help today's students think deeply about the implications of prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry in their everyday lives.  Through these powerful testimonies participants will then be asked to develop a testimony-based project and present it in their schools, communities or through their professional organizations.      

Do not miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!  Deadline is May 2, 2011...feel free to pass this along to educators you think may be interested!

For more information and to download the application click HERE! Or email Melissa Jones at

Friday, March 11, 2011

Keep Your Classroom Up-to-date About Egypt!

In an increasingly fast paced world, where new discoveries are made constantly and changes take place abruptly, it’s important to adapt your curriculum to current events. Recently, the Middle East was engulfed by rioting. Egypt has been an epicenter of this revolution and keeping students informed is of great importance. There are helpful lesson plans available online to facilitate these discussions. 

A beneficial resource is The Choices Program which you can find here. They have comprehensive lesson plans and curriculum guides explained in great detail.

The New York Times also has a great resource if you are having difficulty integrating Egypt into your lesson plans. It includes interactive examples, fun projects, and handouts to encourage sharing of thoughts and discussion.

PBS has also done its part to encourage awareness of the Middle East revolutions. They have created and complied a great amount of videos and other resources that are helpful in analyzing Egypt and the democratic government that is being established.

Garbage Dreams Trailer- Documentary about youth who pick garbage in Egypt for a living.

In addition to the videos, you can obtain more visual media, mostly maps and charts, from Thinkfinity. They have a great deal of information regarding Egypt as well that is readily available here.
Jessica Elsayed, 17-year-old Egyptian journalist.

To give students a youth perspective, you can show them Jessica Elsayed’s blog on Youth Journalism. She is a 17-year old girl covering stories about Egypt and giving her insight into the changes being seen in the country.

Beautiful Machine- artwork by students from USC Family of Schools

When: ~ Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Location: University Village Shopping Center
3375 South Hoover Street Los Angeles, CA 90007

Student artists from the USC Family of Schools portray machines that positively impact people or the environment.

Each academic year, the USC Fisher Museum of Art plans, curates and professionally installs four temporary student art exhibitions at the University Village Shopping Center food court for the Art in the Village program.

For this show, elementary school kids belonging to the USC Family of Schools (32nd Street/USC Magnet, Foshay Learning Center, John Mack, Norwood, Vermont and Weemes) and two parish schools (St. Agnes and St. Vincent) were asked to think about a machine that does something to impact their lives or the environment in a positive way and submit art matching the theme “A Beautiful Machine.”

Each exhibition kicks off with an opening reception at which the student artists are the stars. The children have the opportunity to speak with family, friends and community members about their artwork. They are congratulated on their achievements during an awards ceremony, at which they receive a certificate recognizing their participation.

Funded in part by a USC Neighborhood Outreach Grant, Art in the Village represents a partnership between the USC Fisher Museum of Art, the University Village Shopping Center and the USC Family of Schools. Visit Site

Monday, February 21, 2011

Calling All Teachers!

The Natural History Museum is looking for teachers to help create their activities and lesson plans for their brand new Dinosaur Hall.  If you are interested in helping with the creation of this new exhibit to develop lesson plans and field trips - follow this link and download the application under Calling All Teachers!  A stipend will be provided to all those who work on the project, as the museum recognizes that teachers are busy people.  

Opportunities are also available at the Page Museum.  Don't worry if you don't know too much about the museum, all teachers will be debriefed about the exhibits as well as other behind-the-scenes tours and discussions with scientists.  

California Science Center's - Ecosystems

The renovation that has been 10 years in the making at the most visited museum in Southern California finally arrived last spring at the California Science Center.  This new exhibit highlights the many thriving ecosystems of the world including but not limited to swell sharks, kelp forests, maggots and even live larvae.  This exhibit even allows for you to be put into the path (but out of harms way) of a flash floods and desert storms.

The $165 million Ecosystem Experience is completely free, but would not be possible without the donations of generous patrons (so don't forget to give anything you can).

Hope to see you there!        

Friday, February 18, 2011

2011 Teacher Recognition Award Nominations!

Is there a teacher you know who makes it possible for you to learn, study, or grow?  Is there a teacher that makes a profound difference in his/her school and goes beyond the call of duty? 

Every year ECCLA and USC-CCR partner to recognize teachers that make a difference!  Full-time teachers working in one of the designated ECCLA service area schools bounded by Olympic Blvd, Alameda Avenue, Slauson Blvd, and Crenshaw Blvds are eligible to win.  There can only be one nomination from each school per year.  All nominees will be honored at an awards ceremony at Natural History Museum on May 19, 2011.  

To nominate your favorite teacher download the Rules and Nomination form here.  The deadline is for nominations is Friday, April 1, 2011.  

Calling All High School Seniors!

Every Spring ECCLA and the California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA) award three graduating seniors - in the ECCLA service area - with Higher Education Scholarships of $1,000.00 each.  The selected winners will receive their cash scholarship in the fall of 2011 once proof of enrollment in a U.S. accredited college, university or trade school is received.

Students must submit a completed application, two original letters of recommendation, an original essay, and a copy of the applicant's senior high school transcript.

We look forward to reviewing your submissions!

To apply please click here and download the first Rules and Application form from the top of the page.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ECCLA Spring Essay Contest!

If you could spend one day with someone from the past who would it be and why?  What would you want to learn from them or speak to them about?  

ECCLA invites you to submit entries for our Spring "Person from the Past" Essay Contest.  Both Middle and High School students can enter to win cash prizes of up to $100.  The contest is open to 6th - 12th grade students enrolled in an ECCLA target school, located in the area bounded by Olympic, Slauson, Crenshaw, and Alameda Blvds.

Winning essays are those which are personal narratives depicting what this person means to the student, using examples and other descriptive attributes.

Good luck and we hope you will join us!


For more information regarding the essay and to download the application form - click here.  Follow the link and then click on the second contest rules link from the top.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Event Recap: A (First Friday) Night at the Museum

The Natural History Museum opened it's doors to the nighttime crowd yet again this past Friday, February 4, 2011 to continue their First Friday series...and I must say, it was fabulous. The mix of modern decor and intimidating stuffed animals in the animal hall, which was filled with the dance music, was a complete juxtaposition from the museum you saw as a child.

This past Friday the Nostradamus theme continued, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Johnathan Wiener discussed his thoughts about the future, and how human existence might one day be never ending.  It seemed only fitting on a night where you live out Peter Pan-like adventures in a museum.  

The museum itself was packed and better than ever, there were young hipsters, high school students, parents looking for a night out, and even a human size Tyrannosaurus Rex puppet made his way through the main foyer.   It seemed as though everyone was in search of a good time.  The music blared through the usually, quiet and stoic halls and I could not help but think that these wonderful nights will be a celebration of the past, present and (hopefully) the never ending future. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Fridays at the Natural History Museum

Once a month, the Natural History Museum opens its doors for the nighttime crowd and the adults come out to play!  This exciting event features live music, scientific panels and discussions, and behind the scenes curatorial tours.  First Fridays is a way to welcome back its old audience with a new adult twist.

First Fridays 2011 is called the Nostradamus Edition.  For this year the theme is the future - where are we going?  What is going to happen us?  Will be doomed to follow the ill fated path as the dinosaur?  Join the fun to discover and discuss the pathway of the future!

Save the Dates:
January 7, 2011
February 4, 2011
March 4, 2011
April 1, 2011
May 6, 2011
June 3, 2011

For more information about the event you can visit the site.  Tickets can be purchased here, or if you are a USC student or staff it is free!

Celebrating Black History Month at CAAM

Celebrate Black History Month with the California African American Museum! Celebrate the diverse influence and achievements of art, history and culture with a packed program full of performances and celebrity guests.  This very special Target Sunday starts at 1pm this Sunday, February 6, 2011.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

African American Youth Leadership Program

The African-American Youth Leadership Program (AAYLP), a division of the Research and Policy Institute of California, is seeking applicants for its African-American Youth Leadership Conference. California high school students who will enter their junior or senior year this fall are invited to apply.  The conference will be held the last week of July at CSU Sacramento.

Student will be immersed in: 
- Leadership training and skills 
- Understanding of the workings of state and local government
- Financial responsibility

- Living a healthy and balance life
- Career development 

...and attend:
- Thought provoking presentations on leadership
- Participate in workshops to learn skills on leading and healthy physical and fiscal life
- Gain understanding of logistical governmental issues in mock hearings at the State Capitol

MOST importantly: housing, meals, program materials and transportation to, from and during the conference site provided at NO COST to the participants!

Deadline to apply: April 1, 2011 here 

Monday, January 31, 2011

MIND Research Institute's LA Math Initiative!

Imagine looking at a math problem and seeing the solution as a picture.  Moreover, classrooms full of kids who are using a digital math program with the signature MIND Research Institute character, Jiji the penguin, to compute difficult algebraic equations.

Last year, the MIND Research Institute, a non-profit organization based in Orange County developed visual approaches to illustrating math concepts and building problem-solving skills as the basis for spatial-temporal approach to math education for elementary and secondary schools.  

From this sprung various Math Initiative grants in underrepresented communities throughout the West Coast to help local educators and schools to narrow the achievement gap.  Los Angeles soon followed suit and a community partnership with ECCLA in conjunction with other local entities was born.  Schools are given a $45,000 grant which include their award winning instructional software program, development trainings with principals, software updates and MIND support staff that help with implementation throughout the year.

You can read more about ECCLA’s partnership with the LA Math Initiative on the MIND Research Institute’s website, or feel free to submit a question to the blog and we’d be happy to read it and pass it on!       

Thursday, January 27, 2011

People in Progress' Los Angeles 1st Annual Youth Summit

People in Progress will hold their 1st annual youth summit in order to create a stronger community through empowering young people with robust knowledge and experience that will be obtained through a series of workshops on topics regarding gang violence, drug prevention, sex education, nutrition and many more!  The event takes place on February 12, 2011 at Los Angeles City College.  Call Genaro or Sylvia at (213) 413-9122 for more information.