100th Day of School Virtually Flies By!
All around Walnut Valley USD, classes marked the 100th day of instruction on January 25 with counting activities and dressing up as adorable centenarians. C.J. Morris and Castle Rock Elementary students and teachers donned wigs, curlers, bushy eyebrows and mustaches, glasses, walkers, and even painted-on wrinkles for the special occasion. Samantha Trejo’s third-grade students at Maple Hill Elementary celebrated the milestone-learning day by joining a virtual 100-second Jumping Jack challenge. Over at Quail Summit Elementary, Alex “Grandma” Surdam and her fifth-grade class dressed up as white-haired grandmas and grandpas, while also marking their 1,000th day as elementary students. Even the new student-teacher, Joan Lim, commemorated her first day on the job by jumping right in and dressing up to celebrate!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Walnut Elementary Celebrates Lunar New Year
Although Walnut Elementary was unable to host the annual Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Lunar New Year assembly, students still enjoyed activities conducted in virtual classrooms with teachers and parent volunteers. Children celebrated the Year of the Ox creating puppets, calligraphy, and paper cutout projects. Stories of the zodiac were shared and many wore red for good luck. Several DLI students also joined the San Gabriel Valley Chinese Cultural Association in lion and dragon dances broadcast during a virtual Chinatown Parade.
Black History Month Collaboration
In celebration of February’s African American History Month, the City of Walnut has collaborated with a group of Walnut High School video production students to produce a mini video series about the Black Experience in America. Walnut Valley’s very own Board Member Helen Hall and Superintendent Dr. Taylor are among the special guest hosts! Videos may be viewed at: www.facebook.com/cityofwalnut .
Creating a Culture of Kindness
Westhoff Elementary students are growing a culture of kindness during The Great Kindness Challenge. Students were asked to complete 40 kind acts from the official checklist and send a photo to document socially distanced activities that also included art, drawing, and writing. Those who participated each week received goodie bag and an official certificate. During virtual Family Nights, students had the opportunity to share their kindness acts with each other and earn a “Westhoff Believes in Kindness!” t-shirt. Third grader Gio Sandoval acknowledged essential workers with treats and a thank you sign for delivery drivers and by delivering a thank you sign to Sprouts grocery employees. First grader Jacob Latapu wrote “I gave my toys to other kids that don’t have toys” and third grader Alicia Latapu donated money to the American Heart Association. “It feels good to help people in need,” she said. (WEST Delivery, WEST Grocery, WEST Kindness 1,2)
Heroes Among Us!
During the Great Kindness Challenge, Quail Summit Elementary created kindness videos to encourage hero first responders and frontline workers during the pandemic. Students did a beautiful job of pouring their hearts out into personal and unscripted messages of hope. The videos have been shared with hospitals, fire departments, police departments, and anywhere that people need encouragement. They may be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3don8FU and https://bit.ly/3u7joyd. Castle Rock Elementary students dressed up as essential workers, started a Kindness Wave by donning beach attire, and making kindness signs. C.J. Morris Elementary students and staff kick-started the week by celebrating “Kindness Never Grows Old” on Jan. 25 for the 100th day of school and wearing yellow to “Stand for Kindness” on Jan. 29. Walnut Elementary students created beautiful Valentine’s Day cards that were delivered to local senior citizens. Chaparral Middle School students joined “Kindness is Contagious” activities, with raffle prize winners receiving surprise Spirit Pack deliveries by Principal Dr. Ron Thibodeaux and Assistant Principal Denise Loera. South Pointe Middle School students took on the week of Kindness Challenges wearing pajamas for “Dreaming of Kindness”, tie-dye for “Tied Together by Kindness”, yellow and black for “Be(e) Kind”, and attending live Wellness Wednesday and ASB events. At Ron Hockwalt Academies (RHA), Linda Woods’ HARTT students wrote letters to National Guard members to thank them for their service. Marla Rickard’s RHA Leadership class dressed in wacky clothes, sent messages of joy, and donated bags of clothing. Several Walnut Valley schools earned 2021 Kindness Certified School titles!
Essential Staff Shout Out
Our dedicated MOTF Grounds Crew is working hard to keep Walnut Valley USD schools looking sharp during COVID-19 closures. Thank you!
South Pointe invited to perform at Lincoln Memorial Centennial
The South Pointe Middle School Band has been invited to represent the state of California in the upcoming Lincoln Memorial Centennial Celebration. The historic program to be held in 2022 will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial and will take place in Washington, DC with an “All American Massed Band Salute.” In addition, Band Director Susan Willmering has been recognized by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association with the Gold Award of Recognition.
L’Mio Edwards Wins MLK Humanitarian Honor
Diamond Bar High freshman L’Mio Edwards has received the 2021 Social Justice Award for humanitarian service performed through her 5KaDay4Food charitable project. The nationally ranked track star ran a 5K for 30 days, raising over $10,000, to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pomona Inland Valley Martin Luther King Jr. Project hosted the virtual recognition ceremony on Jan. 17.