Backpack Notes

Weekly News from UCLA Lab School - February 14, 2014

Love of Learning

Our school cultivates lifelong learning, for faculty as well as children. With guidance and inspiration from art educator Malcolm Wray, teachers explored the use of art as a language for expressing and understanding ideas. Check out photos from their workshops at:

Take Action

Backpack Notes Submissions are due on Tuesdays by noon for publication on Friday. Send items to:

Submit Your Re-enrollment Forms

Re-enrollment forms for the 2014-2015 school year are due Friday, Feb. 28. Go to:

Family Read-Aloud Celebration

The Gonda Family Library and the FSA invite you to celebrate the joys and benefits of Family Read Alouds. From Feb. 21 - March 14, make a commitment to reading aloud to your children at least 20 minutes each day to build a read-aloud habit. Check out information and resources at:

New & Gently Used Book Drive: From One Reader To Another

Collection bins at Carpool and the Front Office

Join the 8th Annual UCLA Lab School Book Drive, March 3–14, to help stock Magnolia Elementary's new library. The Book Drive offers an opportunity to show our children how we work together to enrich our community and at the same time support literacy. We hope that even our youngest students will be able to contribute a book. Be a caring and sharing reader, and donate a book you love to another reader! Books may be new or gently used, and should be in good condition. No loose bindings, stains, coloring or torn pages, please. Children's books, PK-12, are welcome. Note the following exceptions:

* No encyclopedias

* No magazines

* No out-of-date reference materials

* No toys

We will also have collection bins at the Family Read-Aloud celebration on March 14, so clear those bookshelves and bring your books with you!

FSA Gently Used Clothing Drive

This effort will benefit families in need at LAUSD's Magnolia Elementary School and also students at UCLA who are homeless and/or facing severe financial difficulties. Collection will be in April. If you have questions or would like to help organize, email Christine Kim at or Eva Karelsen at

Next Two Weeks

Events are also listed on the Parents Page Calendar:

(Username: parent; Password: @labschool)

Monday, Feb. 17: Presidents' Day Holiday

School is closed in observation of Presidents' Day.

Tuesday, Feb. 18 - Friday, Feb. 21: Annual Fund Week

Tuesday, Feb. 18: Cub Scout Meeting

6:30 – 7:45 p.m. (Gregg G. Juarez Community Hall)

Wednesday, Feb. 19: Café y Conversación

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. (Gregg G. Juarez Community Hall)

Friday, Feb. 21: Family Read-Aloud Kick-Off Assembly

8:15 – 8:45 a.m. (Blacktop)

Help kick off the Family Read-Aloud Celebration, which highlights the fun and benefits of reading aloud to children.

Save The Date

Wednesday, March 5: FSA Meeting

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. (Conference Room)

Saturday, March 8: Viva! Dinner, Dance and Auction

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Ackerman Grand Ballroom)

Friday, March 14: Family Read-Aloud Celebration

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. (Gregg G. Juárez Community Hall)

Pizza, games, stories and more!

Thursday, March 20 & Tuesday, April 29: Parent and Principal Circle

8:15 – 9:30 a.m. (Conference Room)

Principal Norma Silva will meet with parents to check in on school issues, news and events.

Good To Know

Civil Rights Activist Joanne Bland

Students in Primary and Upper II had a wonderful opportunity this week to learn firsthand from a civil rights activist who began her work in childhood. Joanne Bland, co-founder and former director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama, shared her story during a visit to our school on Thursday. Bland's talk enriched Primary's study of People Who Make a Difference and Upper II's study of the Civil Rights Movement.

Growing up in the South during segregation, Bland became active in the Selma Voting Rights Movement in 1961, when she was 8 years old. She attended a freedom and voters’ rights organizing meeting presided over by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She marched on "Bloody Sunday," "Turn Around Tuesday," and the first leg of the successful March from Selma to Montgomery. By the age of 11 she had been arrested 13 times. Those early experiences led to a lifetime of civil and human rights work.

Bland told students: "When I look at this room I see a rainbow. When I was growing up this was impossible. It does my heart good."

And she reminded us all that "movements for change are like jigsaw puzzles. Everybody's got a piece to play."

Undergraduate Survey on E-books

Would you like to help a team of UCLA undergraduate business students develop their proposal for a startup company? The students' goal is to offer families access to unlimited read-along ebooks for children on desktop and mobile devices. A special feature would be a dual account where parents can pre-record their voices so that children can listen to them read even when the parents are away. If you would like to help out by giving your feedback, click on the link below. The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. All responses will remain anonymous. Go to: