Culver Currents, News

Photo Courtesy of Culver Currents Pictured from left to right Leslie Adler, Ken Smith, Lisa Skelley, Grace Elliott from Grace Lutheran Church. Grace Lutheran presented the $1,000 check for Culver Closet, the district’s program designed to help less affl

G.A.T.E Parent Information Night set for Feb. 19

CCUSD will host a G.A.T.E Parent Information Night for parents of third- through fifth-grade students. This informational meeting will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19 at Culver City Middle School’s Multi-Purpose Room. CCMS is located at 4601 Elenda St.

The topics to be discussed will include: qualification for the program, what the program looks like, and future plans for the program. Persons interested or with any questions, can contact Diane Randall at (310) 842-4220 ext. 4229.

Time to nominate a teacher, classified employee of the year

In collaboration with the Culver City Education Foundation, CCUSD has revised its annual teacher/classified employee of the year process with the goal of celebrating and recognizing more members of the incredible CCUSD team. Each school site will have its own teacher and classified employee of the year, and those selected at the site will make up the pool to be considered for the CCUSD Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year.

Site recipients (and their guests) will be provided two tickets to attend CCEF’s incredible Tribute to the Stars celebration to take place on Saturday May 2, where all site recipients will be recognized and the district-wide recipients will be announced.

To nominate a teacher or classified employee, persons interested can visit:

La Ballona initiates school-based mentoring program

La Ballona Elementary School is the first school in the district to launch a school-based mentoring program in conjunction with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The program, which could soon be replicated at other CCUSD schools, provides consistent, individualized time and attention to at-risk kids in public elementary and middle schools throughout L.A. County. Volunteers make a one-year commitment and meet with their “Little” for one hour during lunch, once a week at the child’s school.

Although this program takes place at school, the mentoring program isn’t limited to the classroom. While some Littles talk with their Bigs about class or do homework together, others shoot hoops in the gym or play on the playground. At the end of the day, it’s really about starting a consistent friendship, providing guidance and inspiring students to become what they never dreamed possible. It starts with you.

La Ballona is currently recruiting Littles in need of a Big. For more information, persons interested can contact the school or visit

Collins Foundation renews support for Front and Center Theatre Collaborative

The Culver City Education Foundation (CCEF) thanked the Carol and James Collins Foundation for renewing their $15,000 grant for the Front and Center Theatre Collaborative. The Collaborative provides comprehensive theatre arts programming for grades K-12 throughout our CCUSD. 

Theatre arts education is alive and well in Culver City schools thanks to supporters like the Collins Foundation who understand the importance of arts education in enhancing academic achievement and in educating the whole child.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre shares program with seventh-grade P.E. students

In December, just before the holiday break, the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre (HDDT) brought their Duck Truck Residency program to Culver City Middle School’s 7th grade physical education classes.

The Duck Truck gave the students a specific dance environment. Teachers from the HDDT introduced students to the elements of performance and taught them to re-imagine the world through creative decision-making. The program ended with original choreographed performances and included related professional development workshops for the P.E. teachers.

CCEF procured funding from the Drown Foundation which when added to funds from Sony Pictures Entertainment and the school district, made the P.E. dance experience possible. The district thanked Sony and the Drown Foundation for their support, and thank the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre for bringing their impassioned expertise to our students.

Providing this dance program at the middle school is part of CCEF’s support of CCUSD as an “Arts for All” school district. “Arts for All” is the Los Angeles County arts education initiative dedicated to making the arts core in K-12 public education. CCUSD’s participation in the program reflects our district’s long-standing commitment to an engaging and inspiring arts education for every student at every grade level. CCEF’s fundraising efforts are making this participation possible.

Frands Contribute $5,000 for Backpack Program, Culver Closet

Lois and Jason Frand, long-time CCEF donors, have once again shown their ardent support for CCUSD students with their most recent gift of $5,000. The donation will be evenly divided between the Backpack for Kids Program, which provides weekly backpacks full of food for students who otherwise might not have sufficient healthy meals over the weekends, and the Culver Closet, which provides new or gently used clothing and other items for students in need.

CCEF thanks the Frands for their continuing support of all CCUSD students. Their generosity is an example to us all.

Grace Lutheran Church donates $1,000 for Culver Closet

The Grace Lutheran Church has donated $1,000 to CCEF for the benefit of the Culver Closet. These funds will have a meaningful impact on the lives of CCUSD’s less affluent students. Providing them with some needed clothing or toiletries so that the students can stay focused on their schoolwork and activities.