Fun Times - October 1998
Orangethorpe Learning Center

"Some of the news, once in a while"

2351 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, CA 92833
Vol. 4 No. 1 ----- October 1998
A Homework Center

What is Orangethorpe Learning Center?

About four years ago, the members of three local churches,

decided to take a more active part in making our Southwest Fullerton neighborhood a better place to live. After talking to many of the families who live in the Orangethorpe and Gilbert area, we decided that one way we could do that would be to provide a safe, friendly place where children could come after school to receive help with their homework.

People from each church volunteered to spend an afternoon or two each week working as mentors, or tutors. Some of them are former teachers, while others have worked in many different occupations. Most of them are parents or grandparents. Some are great-grandparents. They have one thing in common -- they all love children and want to help them not only be better students, but better citizens.

Orangethorpe Learning Center opened its doors on St. Valentine's Day, February 14, 1995. Only two children came that first day, but within a few weeks, 20 to 30 students were showing up each day. The word spreads quickly from one family to another. We feel honored that several of our students (Kristina Iancului, William and Jesse Solares, and Jaime Baltazar, to name just a few) who started attending OLC in its first days still come in nearly every day.

Fabulous Summer Program!

That's what we called it in our last issue, and just as we predicted, a great time was had by all at Dinosaur Park. About forty children assembled twice a week for a summer adventure at the Orangethorpe Christian Church and in Gilbert Park. We saw a lot of our Learning Center friends there, as well as a bunch of "new kids" who had just moved into our neighborhood. We all had a lot of fun and got to take field trips to Disneyland, the Santa Ana Zoo, an Angels' game, and the La Habra Children's Museum.

Dinosaur Park was sponsored by Saint Jude Medical Center and by the churches which operate the Learning Center. Cristina Martínez, our good friend in the Resource Center across from OLC, assures us that she and her friends from St. Jude had so much fun that they hope to do it all over again next summer!

Big Crowds Show up on Opening Day

When the Orangethorpe Learning Center reopened on September 21st, we were pleasantly surprised to have 35 children show up who were very eager to get help with their homework. A lot of our friends from last year are back and they've invited their little brothers, sisters, cousins and friends. We thank parents for their patience during that very busy day while we were signing-in their children. We also thank our volunteer tutors who worked an extra day for the help they gave us in dealing with this very big turnout.

New Learning Center Employee

We were very pleased to be able to hire Eleanor Sutalo as our Operations Assistant. Eleanor works at OLC every day and helps our Director, Norm Todd, keep things running smoothly. Many of our children's mothers already know her as the nice person who cares for their little ones while they attend exercise or English classes. Eleanor brings her own children, Andrew and Alexis, with her to our homework center, where they have already made many new friends. Welcome, Eleanor!

The Learning Center Helpers

There is much hard work involved in operating OLC and we are grateful to our many friends who have offered their time and talents to do these many small, but important, tasks. Here are some of their names:

If you would like to add your name to this list, please let Norm or Eleanor know.

Friends of OLC

The very existence of Orangethorpe Learning Center would be impossible without the support we've received from the following persons or organizations during the past school year:

The very generous financial support of:

Donations of computers:


Some Notes from Norm

I need to remind all parents that the whole purpose of OLC is to help your children with their homework. Please be sure that they bring homework with them if they have it. Children who do not bring homework with them will be expected either to take part in other educational activities such as reading, math drills, computer classes, etc., or to leave. OLC is a homework center, not a day care facility.

I must also remind parents that the Learning Center opens at 2:45 pm each day. Please remind your children not to come on Church property before 2:30 pm. One reason for this is that the preschool children are taking their nap at this time and OLC children who arrive early wake them up. Another reason is that there is no supervision until 2:30 pm.
Norm Todd

Win a prize!

Creative Writing Contest -- Write an article or a story for the Fun Times and win a prize. Article can be 50-500 words (only a suggestion) and must be original writing (no copying). So sharpen you pencil or turn on your word processor and get creative. The deadline for this contest is November 15th.

Safety First!

Orangethorpe Avenue is a very busy street that has claimed more than one life. Don't be the next victim. Cross only at the crosswalk -- NOT in front of the Church! It is illegal and you can get a ticket.

Many New Students This Year

We have many new students and returning students this year at OLC. OLC's average daily attendance is running 15-20 students higher than last year. We have 73 registered students. Here is the breakdown by grade:

The board of directors is actively recruiting new volunteers to help the students with homework. While we are a little short on help, everyone must cooperate and be on their best behavior so that the volunteers do not have to take time to deal with discipline problems. There is a lot of homework being done here -- and that is why we are here! Lets all keep the environment a learning one, not a discipline one. Since our first day, our attendance has increased and we're now averaging about forty children per day. We hope that we will never need to limit our enrollment, because we know that there are many more children in our neighborhood who really need help with their homework.

Orangethorpe School Overcrowded

This year, Orangethorpe School has approximately 940+ students. (905 was announced at back to school night). One problem this creates with the new 20 student maximum in grades K, 1 and 2, is the possibility of losing your place in a class if you are absent for a week or more without notifying the school. For extended absences such as 3 weeks, you can count on being replaced in your classroom with another student even with notification. The District policy is to find another school with an opening for you and arrange transportation to that school for you.

OLC Needs:

New Pencils, erasers, a meter stick, snacks for 48 kids daily, more volunteers and your prayers for our continued success.

Question of the month (4th grade):

Can you draw a quadrilateral with 2 pairs of equal length sides? Turn your drawing in with side lengths labeled. 1st 3 correct get a prize.

Este ejemplar en español

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