Learning Center Reopens September 11
The 2000-2001 school year began at the Orangethorpe Learning center on September 11th when 49 children arrived with homework in hand. We were glad to see some students returning for their fifth or sixth years with us and also to welcome many new children, including little brothers and sisters of our "veteran" students.
A big "thank you!" to our faithful volunteers from our three sponsoring churches who turned out to work with the students, especially to those who came in on extra days, and to Faye Perkins, our "pinch-hitter" who served several days without even being asked.
Another big "thank you!" to the parents of our children who helped out in OLC and made our first weeks go smoothly -- Margareta Iancului, María Bertilia Solares, Maribel Burns, Alís García, Gabriele Gilberg, Azziz Matti, Aydé Pacheco, Blanca Santana, Nancy Van, and Susan Villar, plus several others.
We congratulate the following Orangethorpe Learning Center students, who were awarded yellow belts in the karate classes sponsored by St. Jude Medical Center:
Brian Beltrán, Jaqueline Cerda, Luis Cerda, Luis Chávez, Danny Contreras, Joshua Dueñas, Ricardo García de León, Gabriela González, Christopher Li, Mao Kim Phan, Yesenia Quintero, Antonio Ramos, Carole Solares, Jesse Solares, William Solares, and Axel Valencia.
There are more examinations being held even as this issue of Fun Times goes to press. Watch our next issue for the names of more Learning Center students who have demonstrated their self defense skills.
For information about karate classes, please contact Cristina Martínez, Director of the West Fullerton Resource Center, at 441-3180.
In July, and again in September, groups of Learning Center students visited Disney Ice and a good time was had by all, thanks to the hospitality and courtesy shown us by the Disney GOALS staff. We hope to make this a regular event in which our best OLC students can participate. During the Summer, at the Dinosaur Park Day Camp program, Disney GOALS sponsored several hockey programs in Gilbert Park for our campers. A big "thank you!" to Dave Wilk, of Disney GOALS, for making all this possible. "Thank you!" also to the parents of our children for driving them to Disney Ice so they could enjoy an evening of skating, and to our Sunny Hills High School volunteers Amy Chan and Paula Birshan for skating with their little friends during our latest skating field trip.
The week before Orangethorpe Learning Center opened for the new school year, our families hosted an International Dinner to which volunteers and friends from our sponsoring churches were invited. We enjoyed tasty dishes from all over the world and the U.S.A. The children of the "Xochipitzahuatl" Folkloric Group danced for us. A big "thank you!" to all the moms who prepared food, to our party coordinator María Bertilia Solares, and to Lucy Ruiz, Director of the Folkloric Group, for making the evening a big success.
During the Summer, we learned that Nancy Howell and Karen Gardner wouldn't be able to return to work with our children in the Fall. Nancy has accepted full-time employement while Karen is attending Fullerton College. We wish both of them success in their new careers.
We were very fortunate to find two new employees in time for the new school year, Lidia Kowalczyk and Claudia Castillo. Lidia assists our Director, Norm Todd, with many of the administrative details of running the Learning Center and Claudia works with the K-1 children. Welcome, Lidia and Claudia!
We read with much sadness in the newspapers recently that Shalimar Learning Center, in Costa Mesa, had closed. Shalimar had opened a few months before OLC and was our inspiration. Some of Shalimar's leaders visited us and helped us plan for OLC's opening in 1995. Several OLC volunteers traveled to Costa Mesa to observe and learn from our brothers and sisters at Shalimar. We hope that they will soon resolve the problems that caused the closing of an important institution in that community.
We wish to remind our friends that Orangethorpe Learning Center is not controlled by any outside agency. It is sponsored by three local churches which have been a part of this neighborhood for many years. The volunteers who serve at OLC are all either parishioners of these churches who live nearby, or parents of the children who attend OLC, or students from local high schools. We welcome the participation of all people in our community who want to help our children receive a better education.
Fun Times is published in English and Spanish for the information of the families and friends of Orangethorpe Learning Center. If you would like us to send Fun Times to somebody, please give us that person's mailing address.
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