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March/April 2009 Volume 2, Issue 6

The New City School Noticias

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Our Mission We will provide a thoughtful, healthy, intimate environment in which community building is valued over competition. Through a curriculum enriched by the arts, technology, and the natural environment, we will teach students

to develop into independent critical thinkers who demonstrate expertise in reasoning and problem solving, English and Spanish literacy, creative expression, and historical perspective. Toward these goals, the families and staff of the New City School will work together as partners to understand the needs and interests of the students, to act in the service of justice, and to extend learning opportunities into the home and community.

New City Pine Avenue Makes Plans For KaBOOM! Playground Individual Highlights: NCS Calendar


Family Spotlight


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Ways to Get a Playground 3 A Note from José


Carnival Photos


NCS Student Page


Philosophy in the Schools 6 NCS World Kitchen


Pine Ave Calendar


ATC Posters On Sale


Wishlist and Reminders


You've probably been hearing and seeing a lot around the school about KaBOOM! What is this KaBOOM and why are we getting involved with it? It is a non-profit organization that provides communities with the tools and resources they need to build their own playgrounds. New City Public Schools has already built a playground with the assistance of KaBOOM! in October, 2007 at our Long Beach Boulevard Campus. Recently our Pine Campus was chosen as a recipient of their help. They will provide us with

a project manager and a "toolkit" both of which guide us through the planning process from Design Day all the way up to our Playground Build Day on May 28th. It is happening very quickly.......that must be why it is called KaBOOM! The other very important and exciting part that KaBOOM provides us with is a funding partner. Our funding partner for this campus playground build is Home Depot! They are funding us $30,000 and we are required to

match that with a fundraised amount of $7,500. We have already begun our fundraising (and community building) at our campus' February Family Friday Fiesta "Salsa y Salsa" and at the Family Carnival hosted by LBB New City School Campus. Both of these events brought us almost half way through our fundraising goal already! Some of us got to "eat out" together at Super Mex and California Pizza Kitchen with profits going to the playground build as well as all --See Playground, page 3

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NCS Multi-Cultural Book Club April Selection

The New City School Noticias

NCS 2008-2009 Calendar! May 25 June 2 – 4 June 24 – 25

No school - Labor Day La Tierra Camp at De Benneville Pines June Conferences

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The Diaz/Lopez Family

Portriat in Sepia By Isabel Allende Next Meeting April 30th

This month’s New City Family Spotlight brings us an interview with Rosario, the matriarch of the Diaz/Lopez family, and a busy working mom of five. (How does she do it?) Tell us the names of the members of your family and about your children here at New City School. Efren (dad), Rosario (mom), Erasmo (our only son, who attended NCS for half of 5th and then 6th grade), Belle (5th grade in Armando's class), Itzel (Johana's class), Sasha (who is eager to start), and Leyla (A.K.A The baby). Where do you live now? We live by North Long Beach next to the cemeteries.

Where did you live before coming to Long Beach?

What does your family like do on weekends?

Dad has lived in Long Beach for most of his life but was born in Guadalajara Mexico. Dad is a computer programmer for L. A. County and Mom moved to Long Beach from Whittier Ca, and was born in Downey Ca. I work for the City of Long Beach as a Systems Technician.

We love taking "road trips" and eating out. I love to relax and watch movies.

How did you learn about the New City School and what made you send your kids here? We learned about New City from a coworker. What made us enroll our kids at NCS was their relaxed learning atmosphere, exposure to the arts, Spanish immersion, and the emphasis of the school on community building.

What's your family's favorite meal? Ahh, I would have to say Dad, Erasmo's, and Belle's is American enchiladas. I say American because they are out of a canned red sauce. Mine (mom) would be Mexican enchiladas that are made of mole. Itzel is Pizza and Sasha loves Doughnuts, and as for baby, Leyla, she loves Similac formula. Tell us something we don't know about you that might be interesting? I would love to someday quit my job and start my own business and have my kids work for me for free!

The New City School Noticias

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Top Eight Ways to Get a New Playground 1. Volunteer for the KaBOOM! build day. We need at least 75 hands-on volunteers and several “build captains.” So sign up in the office and get ready to get dirty—and get a free work out. 2. Buy yummy snacks at The Little Store An additional after school store could be started on Tuesdays if there is any interest. Talk to Lisa or Pilar about how to help out. 3. Buy an Artist Trading Card Poster Made from art by New City students that commemorates the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama, you can stick this poster in the back of the closet, take it out in twenty years, and say, “Gosh, I remember when…”

Now go ahead and tell everyone you know to buy posters. They are available on eBay. 4. Search under the seats in your car and dig into the cushions of your sofa then send in a pocketful of loose change with your kids and ask them to drop it into the change bucket in their homerooms. 5. Write a Check. Don’t have time to get involved in fundraising activities? No worries. Pick up a form in the office to make a tax-deductible donation. 6. Recycle your bottles and cans There are containers in the back of the play yard just waiting to be filled. (Thank you to Hector Cepeda for turning them in for us!)

Playground (continued from page 1) the loose change that has been collected and deposited in jars at school. There are several other ways to get involved (read the Top Ten Ways to Get a New Playground article inside the newsletter). Yes, this new endeavor will be a playground planning and building process but,it has already become a community building process!! So, why would we want to change our yard?? Think about the outside spaces you enjoyed playing in as a child. If you didn't enjoy your childhood outside places or had none, think about what you would have liked. Here is a quote from

7. Canvas Businesses and Professional donors. We will need donations of food, tools, and other supplies on our build day so we need people to seek out assistance from local businesses and organizations. 8. Organize a personal fundraising event. Invite your friends to come over for dinner, cocktails, tea, or tapas and ask them to donate what they would have spent for such things at a restaurant, club, or café. If you tell them that they are helping to provide a safe and inspiring place for children to play, maybe they’ll tip you! These are all fun and easy ways to get involved to make our playground a reality. So consider how many you can complete in this upcoming month of KaBOOM! preparation.

KaBOOM's Manifesto on Play "Many playgrounds fail to challenge both a child's imagination and body..... Kids who play also play better as adults, since they build character as well as muscle on the playground.... we are advocates of the importance for each child to have a safe and engaging place, as well as the time, to play—knowing that this experience makes children happier, fitter, smarter, and more socially adept and creative in the here and now and in the future." If you have internet access please visit to get more information about what KaBOOM has provided other communities and what they can provide for us!

The best way to get information about our own playground build is to ask Jose or Lisa Miller how you can help. Design Day helped the students and planners to focus their ideas and imagination on what is possible for our future play-space. The children dreamed of monkey bars, gardens, climbing walls and art murals. You can see their drawings on display in the community room. Please, help make these dreams a reality. Let's build something that will benefit our students AND those who come after them!! --See Design Day Photos on page 8

The New City School Noticias

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Ask José and Friends What’s Going On With The New Reading Programs at NCS? Find Out About Two New Opportunities to Increase Learning with Our Children, Before and After School

We are so lucky to have a new reading club in the afternoons! Monday through Thursday, from 3:00 to 3:30 with Lisa, Leslie and José. This is a fun way to read with our children, so they can appreciate reading and realize how important it is in order to improve their learning, as their reading skills also impact their writing skills. Besides reading, students have the chance to play fun (and educational!) games like bingo,

where they can learn to recognize words, and, without even noticing it, learn a lot while having a great time with their friends and other grownups. Another fantastic reading club we have is on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:30 to 8:10, with Gabby. This is another chance to motivate our students. With Gabby they will be able to read one on one or in small groups with other students. While students are reading with Gabby, the others can practice reading alone or to another friend and also play word games using real or

invented words that they come up with, trying to apply the sounds they find in the “real” words. We invite you to take advantage of either (or both) of these opportunities for your children to improve their reading in an entertaining, engaging and fun way, right here at their own school. Once again The New City School works to respond to our concerns and improve our students’ learning, by designing new activities to motivate our children to advance their learning.

Teacher’s Fundraising Carnival, March 2009

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New City Student Page

Book Review By Maggie Bennett

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Inkheart is an AWESOME book. It all starts when Meggie is reading a book in her room when she finds a mysterious man outside her window. Her father, Mo, opens the door to have a

La Tierra Student

chat with the man and as Meggie "accidentally" overhears them she finds a handful of keys to a whole different life. The next thing she knows, she’s in the evil Capricorn’s castle, trying to rescue her dad, recognizing her long lost mother, and running away from Basta, all at the same time!!!! During Meggie’s adventure, she encounters a few more friends. Dustfinger, the amazing fire-eater,

New City Students, Trixie Wright and Malia Fernandez, Get the Scoop on New Teacher Alicia When did you start teaching? I started in August 2008. Where did you go to college and do your student teaching? Cal State Long Beach and I did my student teaching here with Armando and Jose. Why did you want to work at the New City School? Because I did my student teaching here and I like the students and the school so much. How did you learn to speak Spanish? My parents were born in Mexico and they don’t speak English so I

Aunt Elinor, the human bookworm, and Farid, who is mildly interested in Dustfinger’s talent. In this book you will find tears, laughter, fear, happiness, and most of all, words literally read straight off the page, really, I mean it! I would highly recommend this book for fourth and fifth graders who love to find a good book, sit in a corner and just read, read and READ!

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learned from them.

What do you do over the summer? I go to Jamaica to work with kids that don’t have parents and are disabled. I help take care of them and we build schools and houses for them. And this summer I am going to go to Nicaragua to do the same thing there.

What do you think of the program and the students here at NCS? I like the program because I think it allows kids to be proud of who

they are and to learn in a different way. I think these students here are a lot of fun, and they are very, very smart.

What do you usually eat for lunch? I usually eat left-overs from dinner the night before. What do you do in your free time? I help out with the kids at my church and with the youth group.

The New City School Noticias

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New City School Welcomes Cal State Students from the Center for the Advancement of Philosophy in the Schools Another

The Center for the Advancement of Philosophy in the Schools (CAPS) is a program dedicated to introducing philosophical issues and critical thinking skills to students in classrooms from kindergarten to 12th grade--and they began bringing their program to the New City School right after the break. Starting on April 9, upper division and graduate level CSULB philosophy students, Erika Hernandez, Alejandra Gonzalez, Cynthia Farias, and Stephanie D’costa began coming in once a week to teach a one-hour lesson to the students of La Tierra. Since January, these four Cal State Students have been receiving teaching training on the subject of Philosophy in

This month’s World Kitchen recipe comes to us from one Madeline Holler, a frequent contributor to the Noticiás, and mom of three (including Trixie Wright, el mar student and aspiring writer). In high school Madeline lived in Switzerland as an exchange student with a wonderful Swiss Family. Her host mom was luckily a fabulous cook and one of her favorite meals, was this recipe for Birchermüesli. It's a simple, healthful, and delicious yogurt dish you can eat for dinner with a little bread and cheese or a salad on the side, or you could try it for breakfast or even as a snack. You might even try it in your kid’s lunch -it's a special favorite of Trixie’s.

Education, by their instructor Debbie Whittaker, who has a master’s degree in philosophy, three California teaching credentials, and twenty years of teaching experience (elementary school through university level).

that the activities have taught them to consider a variety of viewpoints. Most importantly, students learn to provide strong, consistent reasons for whichever position they hold on a particular subject.

The philosophical topics of discussion are expected to range from questions of right and wrong, to the meanings of love, life and art, to the nature of reality, and the fundamental value of human rights. The lessons often include role-playing, short video clips from contemporary films that raise these issues, or formal debates. Students are asked to reflect on the lessons in weekly writing assignments.

The CAPS program has been operating in schools around Long Beach for several years now including classrooms at Millikan High School, Los Alamitos High School, Marina High School, Fountain Valley High School, Willard Elementary School, and Lowell Elementary School. The New City School is excited about the opportunity to take part in this wonderful and thought-provoking program.

Philosophical progress is the goal of these lessons, and young people often comment


Birchermüesli Ingredients  One large container of yogurt (I use plain) -- lowfat, nonfat, soy, whichever your family prefers.  One grated apple  1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats (more if you like)  Your favorite fresh fruits chopped into bite sized pieces (or use frozen)  Your favorite nuts  Dried berries and other fruit chopped  Lemon or orange zest (optional)

Mix everything together. If you're using plain yogurt, add sugar and vanilla. Stir and serve. Feel free to vary the ingredients to whatever fruits, nuts and berries you like! This dish is loaded with vitamins and fiber and is very filling. Enjoy!

The New City School Noticias

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Did You Know? That the armadillos found in the United States: 1) Can jump 3-4 feet straight up in the air. 2) Can cross bodies of water either by inflating their stomachs and floating across or by sinking to the bottom and walking across using their sharp claws. 3) Can hold their breath for six minutes or more. 4) Give birth to same gender quadruplets from a single egg.

Pine Avenue Monthly Community Calendar Day


April 14

Academic Support Committee 3:45

April 15

Community Council Meeting 9:00 a.m.

April 17

El Mar Beach Clean Up

April 24

La Tierra Science Fair

April 24

Ice Skating for Washington D.C. Glacial Gardens, 6:00 p.m.

April 30

Multicultural Book Club 6:O0

Artist Trading Card –Posters on Sale Posters commemorating the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama are now on sale in the Pine Avenue office for $20.00. These beautiful posters were created from a selection of the hundreds of artist trading cards made by New City School students who, after watching

Children are one third of our population and all of our future. ~Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health

The After School Artist Trading Card Club will move from Tuesdays to MONDAYS The club meets from 3:30 4:30.

the Inauguration Ceremony in January, wished to send a message to the President. The poster has since been signed by all the students of the

New City School here at Pine and sent to the President and his family in the White House. All proceeds from the sale of posters will be dedicated to the fundraising effort for the KaBOOM playground.

**** Want even more posters? Check out the 2008 Peace & Human Rights Poster made from the Artist Trading Cards of New City’s Las Montañas students.

Wish Lists! Alicia: Bird Books in English and Spanish, Yarn for crochet elective.

1230 Pine Ave. Long Beach, CA 90813 Phone: 562-436-0689 Fax: 562-436-0898 E-Mail: amanda@

Do you have suggestions or comments regarding the NCS Noticias? Do you have a recipe to donate or a family that you think should be spotlighted? Email or drop us a note in the Newsletter Suggestion envelope in the binder in the front office.

Design Day

Debra: for class pet: romaine lettuce, carrots, pine bedding also: Volleyballs Pumps Curtains for the class

Claudia Writing paper Chapter books in English and Spanish Anything you think the class can use. José: Soccer balls Primary journal Romaine lettuce Rechargeable batteries Flash drives

Still Looking For Those QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) are needed to see thisdecompressor picture. Boxtops! Don’t forget to bring in your boxtops. There is a dropbox in the office. And if you haven’t yet, join us in supporting NEW CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS at the Box Tops for Education website. Our school has earned $165.00 so far this year, and you can help earn even more to reach our goal of $500.00.

Here's what to do:

Register your credit cards and atm cards.

Sign up to support our school When you register, the school online at will be credited everytime you shop at a participating store— Marketplace: like target and barnes&noble. Shop at the Box Tops It's easy and free! Marketplace in over 70 online stores. A percentage of Support our school and sign up purchases goes back to your now! school! http://www.boxtops4education .com.

Thank You KaBOOM! and Home Depot!

March/April 2009 - English  

Individual Highlights: A Note from José 4 NCS World Kitchen 6 Pine Ave Calendar 7 Toward these goals, the families and staff of the New City...

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