Voots “Get Kids Growing” Garden Grants Celebrates the 2013 Grand Prize Winner

Washington Elementary School in San Gabriel, Calif. is the grand prize recipient of the Voots Veggie-Fruit Tarts and National Gardening Association’s (NGA) “Get Kids Growing” Garden Grants program. The school was selected as the grand prizewinner out of 650 nationwide applicants and to celebrate their receipt of $2,000 in gardening supplies including raised beds, tools, and more, the school hosted a Voots “Get Kids Growing” gardening event on Thursday, June 27 with Voots Veggie-Fruit Tarts and the NGA.

This patriotic-themed event helped to get kids outside in the sun and interested in learning more about gardening and the value of nutritious fruits and veggies. Students, parents and staff, along with Jessica Mitchell of Pharmavite LLC (makers of Voots supplements) and Mike Metallo, President of the NGA, snacked on nutritious red, white and blue fruits and veggies while participating in gardening activities and learning more about the importance of growing our own food to help the environment and our health and wellness. A healthy yoga session designed for kids also took place and Independence Day decorations themed the event in honor of the upcoming holiday!

About Pharmavite LLC

For more than 40 years, Pharmavite LLC has earned and maintained the trust of healthcare professionals, consumers, and retailers by manufacturing high-quality vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements, and all-natural foods under its Nature Made® and SOYJOY® brand names. For more information, please visit Pharmavite.com.

About The National Gardening Association

Kidsgardening.org is a resource of the National Gardening Association. For 40 years, the National Gardening Association (NGA) has been working to empower every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities, and encourage environmental stewardship through education gardening programs. As a nonprofit leader in plant-based education, the NGA’s vision is A Garden in Every School®. In support of this goal, NGA provides grants, free educational plant-based materials, and resources that speak to young minds, educators, youth and community organizations, and the general gardening public in five core areas: education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, community development, and home gardening. For more information, visit www.garden.org and www.kidsgardening.org.

Our SEF Summer has begun!

On Monday and Tuesday, with the help of cheerful volunteers, we welcomed close to 700 students from our community to the campuses of Washington Elementary School, Jefferson Middle School and Gabrielino High School. The students were eager and excited to participate in our program.

Celebrate a Healthy Independence Day—Public Relations Garden Event

National Gardening Association Grand Prize Winner
Celebrate a Healthy Independence Day – Public Relations Garden Event

Location: Washington Elementary School
Washington Community Garden
300 N. San Marino Ave San Gabriel, CA 91775

Date:    Thursday, June 27, 2013
Time:  8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Attendees: All interested families, students, community and media

Washington Elementary School was chosen as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the Voots® “Get Kids Growing” Garden Grant. Washington was selected by the National Gardening Association (NGA) out of a total of 650 applications.  As a grand prize winner, Washington has received over $2,000 in garden tools, supplies and planting funds.

Voots® chose Washington Elementary School because it represents the perfect combination of school, community, and local organizations working together with one goal in mind: to create healthier lifestyles for children in their community. The school was selected by the NGA as the grand prize winner for four main reasons:

  • The high number of students (nearly 50 percent) who receive free or reduced lunch rates
  • The high surrounding community poverty rate (19 percent)
  • The major efforts that have already been implemented to install a garden. The school established raised beds earlier this spring and has a garden class this summer through the San Gabriel Education Foundation (SEF). In addition, students and their families have a place to make a connection to healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables
  • This highly motivated school has a high likelihood to continue the garden program for years to come because of strong community support (with assistance and expertise from the Rotary Club of San Gabriel, Canna Co., Neighborhood Garden Exchange, School District, Garden Angels donor group and many more).

Voots® “Get Kids Growing” Gardening Event Summary

To help honor and recognize the educational gardening efforts of Washington Elementary School, and to celebrate their receipt of the grand prize, Voots® Veggie-Fruit Tarts will help the school host a special “Get Kids Growing” gardening event for students, staff, parents and media to enjoy!

Instead of fireworks, this event will start off with a yoga session in the garden to help students, staff, parents and media work up an appetite for their “fresh from the garden” Independence Day meal.

Immediately following the short yoga session, the school’s staff will serve up a “fresh from the garden” Independence Day meal including recipes made with red, white and blue fruits and veggies that are in season to showcase how gardening is not only a fun activity but one that produces a variety of colorful, delicious and healthy foods that are vital to maintaining our health and wellness.

Jessica Brown, the SEF’s Summer Academy garden instructor will lead a talk throughout this meal, and discuss what is currently growing in the garden, and what the kids learned throughout the program’s “Nutrition & Health Week.” Tom Chan (School principal), Julie Dickerson (NGA) and Jessica Mitchell (Voots) will say a few words about gardening and healthy eating.

There will also be patriotic hats for attendees to wear and mini American flags. The school’s garden will also be decked out in Fourth of July-themed decorations and colors to help honor this national holiday.

The community is welcome to attend this fun-filled event, but we ask that all visitors check in at our office.  Visit us on Facebook at Washington Community Garden San Gabriel or www.washington.sgusd.k12.ca.us

Washington Elementary School Presents ARTfest 2013

ArtFest 2013 invite

To our Friends and Families in the San Gabriel Community!
You are cordially invited to ARTfest 2013 on May 17, where we will celebrate our district’s commitment to providing arts instruction in all San Gabriel Schools and where we will formally dedicate the new buildings on our newly upgraded campus! Bring the whole family and help us celebrate your children and the new Washington School!Hope to see you!

2013 Golden Apple Award Recipient

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 21, 2013 San Gabriel USD names Rafael Lua as the 2013 Golden Apple Award Recipient

San Gabriel, CA, February 21, 2013: The San Gabriel Unified School District awarded Mr. Rafael Lua as its 2013 Golden Apple Award recipient this morning at the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Golden Apple Awards Breakfast held at the Santa Anita Golf Course in Arcadia, CA. Each ACSA Golden Apple Award recipient is selected by the individual school district based on the following criteria, a person or persons who supportsthedistrictandstudentsandvolunteerscountlesshours. Eachdistrict presents the Golden Apple award during the annual breakfast, presented by the Superintendent or a district administrator.

Mr. Rafael Lua and his wife Griselda have raised their children through the San Gabriel school district since their first son attended Kindergarten at Washington Elementary School in 2003. He and Griselda have been married for 17 years. Their sons Daniel (13) and Adrian (12) are 8th and 7th graders at Jefferson Middle School and their daughter Bianca (9) is a 4th grader at Washington Elementary School. Mr. Lua is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and serves as a Minister for the Los Angeles International Church of Christ.

From the on-set, Mr. Lua has demonstrated a deeply held belief in parent involvement as a catalyst for student and school success and has exemplified this belief through his many hours of dedicated volunteering in the community, youthsports,andschools. AtElementaryschool,hehasservedontheSchoolSiteCouncilandonthePTABoard, including serving as president from 2008-2010. He also served as vice-president of the San Gabriel Educational Foundation from 2010-2012, helping to establish the successful annual phone-a-thon drive. He also assisted SEF with the recruitment of Spanish speaking families to donate and participate in SEF activities. Currently, Mr. Lua serves as president of the Jefferson Middle School PTA and is on its Site Council, as well as on the Washington Elementary School Site Council.

Mr. Lua also assists by facilitating monthly PTA Board meetings, community Association meetings, and other schoolevents. Heisapositivememberoftheteamandisaproblemsolver. Heworkswiththeschoolstopromote communitybuildingactivitiesforfamiliesandstaff. AsamemberofSchoolSiteCouncil,Mr.LuacontributeshisPage 2 San Gabriel USD names Rafael Lua as its 2013 Golden Apple Award Recipient

knowledge and experiences in order to help the schools develop new programs, monitor school programs, and oversee the site budget, in the area of student achievement. He provides input to the School Plans, and other school improvement initiatives.

Mr.LuaisapartneroftheSanGabrielUnifiedSchoolDistrict. Althoughhehasafulltimejob,hecontinuesto puthischildren’seducationfirstbybeinginvolvedattheschools. Heunderstandsthatparentsandthecommunityneedto supportourschools,andencouragesotherstoparticipate. Hemakeshimselfavailabletoanyrequest,bigorsmall,suchas being a parent member of the teacher interview panels, serving on the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, meeting with the school principals to plan PTA meetings, or just being a supporter of the school.

In the most recent years the school district has depended greatly on the graciousness of volunteers who provide their support in many different ways, such as hours in the classroom, preparation for special projects, reading programs duringclass,orsimplymonetarycontributions. DistrictsacrossCaliforniagreatlyrelyonthecountlesshoursgiftedby volunteers such as Mr. Lua and are greatly appreciative of those volunteers.

For more information regarding the Association of California School Administrators or the Golden Apple Award, contact (800) 608-ACSA or visit their website at www.acsa.org.

For more information regarding the San Gabriel Educational Foundation (SEF), contact Adela Angiuli, Executive Director, at (626) 451-5465 or email Adela.angiuli@sef4schools.org or visit the SEF website at www.sef4schools.org.

For more information regarding the San Gabriel Unified School District or schools, contact the Superintendent’s Office at (626) 451-5403, via fax (626) 451-5498, or email Bracamonte_c@sgusd.k12.ca.us or visit the District website at www.sgusd.k12.ca.us.