Page 1

In Our Global Village West Hollywood Through the Eyes of Its Youth

A Project of the City of West Hollywood, the West Hollywood Children's Roundtable, and Our Local Schools Edited by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Resa Gabe Nikol, CBK Associates

In Our Global Village

In Our Global Village West Hollywood Through the Eyes of Its Youth

A Project of the City of West Hollywood, West Hollywood Children’s Roundtable, and Our Local Schools Edited by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Resa Gabe Nikol, CBK Associates

ABCD Books Los Angeles, California

Š 2008 by the City of West Hollywood

Printed in the U.S.A. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. For information: West Hollywood Social Services Division West Hollywood City Hall 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069 U.S.A. ISBN 0-9678072-6-3 Published by ABCD Books 13142 Lake Street Los Angeles, CA 90066 U.S.A.


Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v Greetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 City Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 What Our City Looks Like. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Who Lives Here . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 West Hollywood Friends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 What Housing is Like . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 What We Wear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 How We Earn a Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Living with Animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Staying Healthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Food We Eat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Dance! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Sports and Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Children Helping Community. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Concerns About Our Environment . . . . . . . . . 43 Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Dreams for Our Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

An Aerial View The City of West Hollywood, California, USA, occupies 1.9 square miles in the middle of the City of Los Angeles. Home to approximately 37,000 residents, it is the most densely populated city in Los Angeles County. EAST NORTH of the City of West Hollywood are the Hollywood Hills and Studio City. Further up the California coast are the cities of San Francisco and Eureka. North of California is Oregon.

of the City of West Hollywood is Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, and more cities until you reach the state of Nevada.

SOUTH of the City of West Hollywood are more cities – Culver City, Inglewood, Torrance, and San Diego. Keep going and you reach Mexico!

WEST of the City of West Hollywood are the cities of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and then the Pacific Ocean – next stop, Japan!


Introducing the City of West Hollywood through the eyes of our youth! What inspired

this project that collected thoughts and images from so many of our young people? It all began with another book – one written thousands of miles away. “In Our Village: Kambi ya Simba Through the Eyes of Its Youth” was published in 2006 by What Kids Can Do (WKCD), a nonprofit organization that began in 2001 with the mission to bring youth voices to the public stage. WKCD works closely with teenagers around the United States and globally, using a variety of media to publish their thoughts and experiences regarding community, family, school, society, and global issues. Barbara Cervone, President of WKCD, worked with Awet Secondary School students in the small village of Kambi ya Simba in Tanzania, to create this extraordinary collection of writings and photographs from youth who had never held a camera before the project began. In the book’s preface, the students reflected on their work by saying, “It stretched our imagination in so many ways. Before this, we had never seen a book with photographs. Few of us have journeyed beyond this town of Karatu, 19 kilometers distant .... It astounds us – and we remain unconvinced – that anyone outside our village would care about our stories and our challenges.”


In October 2006, Cathryn Berger Kaye of CBK Associates – International Service Learning Consultants – founded In Our Global Village (IOGV) with Barbara Cervone as a response, a message that others do in fact care about the lives and challenges of people near and distant. Since that time they have invited youth across the globe to write books about their “villages” and, as of March 2008, there are 26-plus IOGV projects underway around the world. In the Spring of 2007, Cathryn Berger Kaye, a longtime collaborator on many City of West Hollywood projects, suggested putting together an “In Our Global Village West Hollywood” publication with the members of the City’s Children’s Roundtable. The Children’s Roundtable is a group of educators, teachers, parents, and representatives from local schools and non-profit organizations who meet monthly to share and seek information, develop programming, and enhance community involvement for families with young children in West Hollywood. The response to the project was thrilling and hundreds of children from our local schools and children’s and youth programs contributed to the project by telling their compelling stories and sharing their vivid and beautiful photographs and drawings. We have done our best to distill an incredible amount of information into a book which we hope will inspire, enlighten, and enchant those who already know about our “village” as well as those who have never heard about West Hollywood. The village of Kambi ya Simba is a rural farming village of 5,000 residents spread over 40 kilometers, with one road in and one road out. West Hollywood is an urban village with nearly 37,000 residents in 1.9 square miles. Worlds apart in so many ways and yet the words,


photographs, and artwork from West Hollywood’s children reflect not only the differences, but many of the same underlying thoughts and feelings expressed by the children of Kambi ya Simba about home, school, environment, family, and much more. There is a word in Kiswahili, the language of the people of Kambi ya Simba, that says it all. “Karibu” – “Welcome, please enter, feel at home.” We couldn’t have said it better. For more information about In Our Global Village and to join this international project, visit For more information about the City of West Hollywood, visit


West Hollywood Fact! According to the most recent census, the largest subgroups in West Hollywood are Gays and Lesbians (37%) and Senior Citizens (21%). Most seniors are between the ages of 65 - 79 years old and rent apartments or duplexes.

Greetings By Laurel and Rosewood Elementary Students and Beverly Hills Montessori Preschool Students

We use different ways to communicate. We talk, use gestures,

smile, pantomime, point, hug, use sign language, high-five, cheer, shake hands, write letters and notes, give a thumbs up, clap, put up two fingers for peace, and call each other on the phone. People say, “Hi!” when they want to be friends. We are friendly to everyone. We greet people because we don’t want to be rude. We share our feelings. It’s nice to give a kiss on the cheek to a family member. We greet each other in many different languages, like Hebrew, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Farsi, Hawaiian, Filipino, French, and Russian. Even in English there are different ways to say, “Hello!” You could say, “Hi,” or “What’s up?” or “Howdy.” Some languages are similar, like “Hola” in Spanish looks like “Hello” in English. In Filipino you say, “Hoy” which is like “Hey” in English. In Hebrew you say, “Shalom,” and in Farsi you say, “Sala’m.”

Beverly Hills Montessori Preschool Spotlight! A parent came to our class. She taught our class how to greet each other in Japanese. We learned to say good morning, “Ohayo,” and good afternoon, “Konni chi wa,” all in the Japanese language. It is very important when you greet someone from the Japanese culture that you remember to always bow your head forward.


Here are some greetings in English, Spanish, and Russian:




Hello Good-bye Good morning Good afternoon Good night Nice to meet you

Hola Adiós Buenos días Buenas tardes Buenas noches Gusto de conocerte

How are you? I love you I like what you are wearing

¿Como estás? Yo te amo Me gusta lo que tienes puesto

Russian Привет! До свидания! Доброе утро Добрый день Спокойной ночи Приятно с Вами познакомиться

Как дела Я тебя люблю Мне нравится твой наряд!

City Government By West Hollywood Elementary Students

Students from West Hollywood Elementary interviewed Hernan Molina, Deputy to Mayor John Duran, to find out how the City works. How does the Mayor get to be Mayor? Mr. Molina: Every year the five City Council members choose who

is going to be the Mayor for a one-year term. It’s a largely ceremonial role. Basically, the Mayor doesn’t have any executive powers or more powers than the other City Council members. Any decision requires a majority vote, a simple majority vote, which is a vote of three. What services does the City provide? Mr. Molina: West Hollywood is a contract city, unlike the City

of Los Angeles, which is a full service city. Instead of having a large bureaucracy (having a lot of people working for the city), we contract the services out. This means the City of West Hollywood pays the County of Los Angeles to provide us with Sheriff’s and Fire Department services. We provide other kinds of regular services, like tree trimming, street pavement, and road maintenance.


How many people do you work with in the Mayor’s office? Mr. Molina: The Mayor’s office, like each of the City Council member’s

offices, has one support person, plus the elected official. Then we have the support staff in City Hall. We have about 200 staff in many different jobs in City Hall. How is the City government different from the City of Los Angeles? Mr. Molina: The City of Los Angeles has 15 City Council members. It’s

a much larger city. Our city is only 1.9 square miles, with nearly 37,000 residents. The City of Los Angeles has more than 3 million residents. Los Angeles has 15 districts and each has about 300,000 residents. This means that one Los Angeles City Council District has a population about eight times that of our city. In the City of West Hollywood, we don’t have districts. The five City Council members are elected at large and together they serve the entire city. And that’s how it’s different. Also the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles has executive authority because it’s truly a three branch government, like the federal government: 1) the legislative body, which is the City Council; 2) the executive – that’s the mayor’s office and all the bureaucracy, and 3) the city attorney’s office, which is basically the judicial branch. What are future plans for West Hollywood? Mr. Molina: Next year the City of West Hollywood will turn 25 years old.

We are engaged in a major capital improvement campaign, which means that we are going to improve some of our public facilities including Plummer Park and West Hollywood Park, build a new library, add 700 4

spaces of parking, and double the size of our City Hall to create more space for community meetings. The cost is $150 million dollars for phase one and about $48 million dollars for the library. What is the City Council’s job? Mr. Molina: The City Council establishes policy. The City Council, as the elected officials,

determines which direction the City should go. Staff implements the direction that the Council sets. Do you spend most of your time at your desk or out in the City? Mr. Molina: I spend time everywhere. Whether I’m at my desk, in a

meeting, in the community, or at home, I keep getting emails and calls on my phone, a Blackberry, so it’s kind of a 24-hour job. What is your average day like? Mr. Molina: I get a lot of calls from constituents, the residents in

our City. When constituents do not know who else to call, they call the Mayor’s office. We are called constituents because we are part of a constitutional system, a democratic system. Basically as a resident, if you exercise your constitutional right to vote and be part of the democracy, you are a constituent. So I deal with a lot of phone calls, and then situations that happen on a daily basis that are within the operations of the City.


What is the most exciting thing that has happened at work? Mr. Molina: Exciting can mean many things. I find working for this City exciting because we are

pretty innovative. We call ourselves the “Creative City.” We are a City that spends $3.3 million dollars for social services, which includes supporting education and the local schools, even though some are not in our City boundaries. These schools are a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and children who live in our City attend these schools. I consider that exciting. We recycle and we have taken leadership in innovative recycling programs. We have taken positions that are considered “cutting edge,” and that’s exciting. For instance, we voted to have accessible Internet for everybody on a stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard, one of our busiest streets, so anyone can go with a laptop and spend time on-line at a café when having a latte. That’s exciting for me. What is it like being Deputy to the Mayor? Mr. Molina: It’s good, but it’s a lot of work. People call the Mayor more often than a

City Councilmember, or if they don’t like the response they get from a City staff person they say, “Oh, I’m going to call the Mayor’s office.” These calls get transferred to me and my responses will make someone upset or happy. It’s basically a lot more work when the Councilmember you work for is the Mayor, but it also brings more opportunities to get to know a lot of people.


When you were a kid, did you want to work for the City government? Mr. Molina: No, but I was very civic minded. My father and his

father were very, very political and politically involved. In my house, politics were discussed quite a bit. As a teenager, I was involved in my neighborhood and in politics. But I never really thought I was making a career in government, because it’s one thing being civically minded, and something else looking for a job in the City bureaucracy. But this just happened, really. It wasn’t something that I was looking for. It just happened. What is your life goal? Mr. Molina: First of all, to be a good person and to be good at what

I do. I also want to live in balance. I’m a journalist on the side, so I’m really aiming for my next job to be full-time on television. Do you have any pets? Mr. Molina: I did for many years, but then he was very sick. He was

a 20 year-old cat. He was like my baby.


West Hollywood Fact! The City of West Hollywood hosts a variety of community events throughout the year that foster community building such as the Kids' Fair, Gay Pride Festival, Senior Health Fair, and West Hollywood Book Fair.


What Our City Looks Like By Rosewood and Gardner Elementary Students

West Hollywood has friendly neighborhoods with lots of very interesting places to explore. There are schools, parks,

historic buildings, restaurants, and much, much more. Our city has a lot of nice schools. People who speak different languages in addition to English, like Russian and Spanish, go to our schools. Our community has clean and beautiful parks. Kids play soccer, tennis, and basketball at the parks. Plummer Park is full of trees and plants. Mariya says, “As soon as I enter Plummer Park I feel soothing warmth. I know I can never be left out at Plummer Park.� West Hollywood Park has the best Halloween party in town! The park also has a basketball court, swimming pool, tennis courts, and lots of flowers. There are two playgrounds, one for kids and one for toddlers with sitting areas all around. Kings Road Park is known for its miniature waterfall. The West Hollywood Library is right in front of West Hollywood Park. Students from neighboring schools go to the library to research information for reports and to read good books. The librarians there are very helpful. 9

Two fire stations are in West Hollywood, one on San Vicente Boulevard and one on Santa Monica Boulevard. All together 60 fire fighters help people stay safe. There is also a West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station on San Vicente Boulevard. Sheriff deputies protect and serve the innocent. They help stop crimes, such as vandalism and robbery, and risk their lives to help us feel safe and secure. One famous building in West Hollywood is The Schindler House & Studio, built in 1921-1922 by R.M. Schindler. Schindler designed modern homes using the California climate to influence his designs. Another famous building is the Pacific Design Center where there are many furniture showrooms and a restaurant. It’s a big blue building that is a landmark in the City of West Hollywood. Busy streets like Fairfax and Sunset Boulevard are part of West Hollywood. The Sunset Strip is best known for nightclubs, restaurants, and boutiques. Colorful billboards are everywhere advertising clothes and movies. People do their banking at Bank of America. People keep their money there and also sometimes take their money out of the bank. Hamburger Mary’s is a neighborhood restaurant that has a Drag Queen Bingo fundraiser and the AIDS Walk is another great event that’s fun and raises money to help find a cure. There are many places to enjoy here. Hope you can drop by and see what West Hollywood has to offer. 10

Who Lives Here By West Hollywood Youth Leadership Students and C.I.T.Y. x1 Youth Group

You can tell who lives in West Hollywood by the places you go.

When you walk in Plummer Park, you’ll see kids in the playground and hear them talking to each other in English and Russian. At the picnic benches you often see seniors playing dominoes and chess. You’ll see teens at the park meeting with friends and playing sports. There are a lot of things to do in West Hollywood if you’re a teen. There are great nightclubs on Sunset Boulevard, like the House of Blues. And thousands of people come to our city to go to the famous Halloween Carnival along Santa Monica Boulevard every October 31st. West Hollywood is a place where teens get a lot of support. The Teen Center is the best place. The workers there listen to what all the teens have to say and there are a lot of sports and activities like basketball, football, pool, and soccer. People that work there are generous, nice, and fun to be around.


Teens organize events, develop friendships, support each other, and have fun in C.I.T.Y. x1 (Community Intervention Through Youth). Run by volunteers, which include its members, C.I.T.Y. x1 provides free social events to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth ages 14-24. All events offer community resources, are alcohol and tobacco-free, provide free HIV/STD on-site testing, showcase youth performers and artists, and create a sense of community. Several hundred young people attend and get to socialize with peers and local community activists who volunteer as chaperones. “ThanXgiving” is one of the most popular events, where teens come to be with friends and share a free traditional turkey dinner. "Our attendees come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and zip codes. They feel welcome at our events because we have been able to create environments where they see themselves reflected – reflected in our performers, our volunteers, and their peers." – CARLOS SOSA, DIRECTOR OF C.I.T.Y. x1


Seniors in West Hollywood enjoy all kinds of activities. At Plummer Park they can play card games like Bridge or board games like Scrabble, take a life history writing class, or join a folk dancing class. For exercise, there are Tai Chi and yoga classes. Some seniors join the Movie Club, the Russian American Folk Ensemble, Russian Literature Club, or are a part of Project Rainbow, a group that sponsors activities for senior Gay men. There are monthly educational and health lectures and field trips, too. Of course, seniors, like all West Hollywood residents, enjoy all City sponsored activities. Seniors are a vibrant and important part of our community. Who lives in West Hollywood? David, a teen from the West Hollywood Youth Leadership, sums it up by saying, “All people here are friendly. You just walk down the street and someone will stop, say hello, and start a conversation. West Hollywood is a fun place.�


West Hollywood Friends By Laurel Elementary Students and West Hollywood Preschool Students

What do friends do together? We go down the slide together

on the playground. We share toys. We like to play games. We ride scooters. We dance with friends. We like to play! West Hollywood Preschool Spotlight! We visit friends at Partners,

We like to eat together. We help each other. We clean up the school with our friends.

Adult Day Health Care center located by our school on Santa Monica Boulevard. At Partners,

We listen to each other. We like to share. We play safely.

we play pretend with toys. Sometimes we have snacks. We decorate paper hearts together, because we are talking about sharing and caring. Our art is on the walls at Partners. We sing and dance for our friends on holidays, too!


My mommy, daddy, sister, and brother are my friends. A dog can be your friend!

Families By Laurel Elementary Students

We have all kinds of families!

My family is small. My family is from the United States of America. I have a mom, dad, and brother. We like to play games. My family is from Mexico. I have a mom and dad. My family is warm and snug. I love my family. My family is from Mexico, too, and we are big. I have a brother, sister, dad, grandpa, grandma, and a mom. I feel happy and safe. I have a family that is big and small. My family is from Iraq. I have a dad, a mom, and two sisters in my family. My family is from Japan. I have a mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, and sister.

West Hollywood Fact! Many different kinds of families live in the

My family is from Iran. I have a sister and brother and mom and dad and me in my family. I love to read and do homework.

City of West Hollywood. Some have a mom and a dad. Some have two moms. Some have two dads. Some have only one parent.


My family is from Russia. My family is big. I have a mom, dad, and brother. My family is from Russia, too. I have a mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma. We have food. I have a pet. We watch TV together. I have a brother. We have fun. We like to read. We go to the park. I am from Russia! I have a dad and mom in my family. I love my mom and dad. My mom keeps me cozy. My family has a pet. I like my parents because they are nice to me. I have a dad, mom, grandpa, grandma, three aunts, and two grannies. I am warm. They have money. They have food. They all sleep in beds. I have lots of toys. My parents are nice to me. My family is from Korea. I have a mom, dad, and sisters in my family. I am safe and happy. My family is big. I have a family from Russia. I love my mom, dad, sister, and brother. I have an auntie who is from Korea just like me. My family goes on a picnic sometimes when it is summer. My brother and I care for a dog at my grandpa’s because we do not have space in my house. My family is always there for me.


School By Gardner, Rosewood, and Laurel Elementary Students

In our village of West Hollywood our schools are important. Gardner Street Elementary School

We have excellent teachers at Gardner Street Elementary School. The teachers are unique in their own way. We go on field trips and it’s fun and educational at the same time. There are interesting facts about our school. The school was built in 1929. There were a few celebrities that went here. Michael Jackson was here when he was 11 years old and in 6th grade. In 1989, our school decided to name the auditorium in his honor, so above the entrance are the words: “Michael Jackson Auditorium.” He was very impressed so he contributed to the school by hiring a music teacher. He also wanted to make the school look beautiful so he planted rose bushes by the playground. You can see his autograph in his 6th grade classroom! We have a lot of classrooms which have bookshelves and sets of class books. We have computers and our own website. The website is helpful because if you don’t know what the homework is you can always look and sometimes our teacher, Mr. Sigler, puts things there for extra credit. 17

My school is very special to me because I started in 1st grade and now I’m in 5th grade. I have a lot of friends and we went through the grades together. I recommend all the children that I know to enroll in our school. – Julia Gardner Elementary School has “Entrepreneurs Day.” Kids and parents sell things that they don’t need anymore or have created. My friend Sergio and his friend sold action figures, cards, and toy cars. At the end, their total amount of money earned was $80.00. That was a lot! In our class, we sold painted paper bag hats. We called our company “Mad Hatters.” We painted and decorated recycled bags and earned about $20.00. At the end, our teacher Mrs. Robbiani gave away free bags to parents and kids. Mostly being an entrepreneur is about investment and how much you sell. Here in our village we invest to become entrepreneurs. – Ana Gardner Street School has lots to offer children and adults. Parents can join the Parent Teacher Association and help students by holding fundraisers. Students in our school learn the fun way! We constantly have educational projects, events, and field trips. We once had a field trip to Plummer Park! – Mariya


At Gardner Street Elementary, many students, like me, stay long after the school day is finished and go to after school programs. There are homework, math, literacy, and enrichment classes. In Literacy we learn grammar and how to write stories. In Enrichment we do creative things like drama, drums, and have people from the Eco Station bring saved animals to school to teach about how these animals live in the wild. Some fun classes to choose are Cooking Creation, Clay and Play, Hop on the Woodworking Bus, Build It!, and Rock Star. Friday is a movie day and we get to have popcorn! Teachers give their heart to make us very good students. – Valeria In my classroom, there are about 30 students. I sit at the very front of the class. We have a Computer Center, a Writing Center, and a Reading Center. My class is very big and is very awesome. Like all schools, we have a cafeteria. The 4th-6th graders eat outside. When we’re done eating we can play. On our playground there is a jungle gym, handball courts, grassy area, kickball area, the racing track, and the basketball court, which most boys play on when it is recess. – Dasha


Rosewood Elementary School

Students are in grades kindergarten through grade five at Rosewood. Our school is special because we have programs like Physical Education, Orchestra, Art, Chorus, and go on field trips. There are a lot of nice kids, teachers, and a good principal. All the teachers make learning fun! At Rosewood, we have a school garden full of plant life. We gave our principal, Janet Chapman, a bush for her sixth year anniversary at school. Laurel Elementary School

At Laurel Elementary we have a school garden with a lot of food. There are lemons, mint, pumpkins, and passion fruit. Lemons are spicy and healthy. You can make a salad with mint. We love our school garden! The students love to plant flowers in our school garden. We planted red, pink, and green flowers. When the flowers are all grown, the girls like to put them in their hair. They look even prettier! Having a school garden is a good idea at Laurel Elementary. The lunch area at Laurel Elementary is where students eat breakfast and lunch. Students clean the ground and the tables to keep the area clean.


What Housing is Like By Laurel and West Hollywood Elementary Students

We have houses of many shapes, colors, and designs in West Hollywood. What do some of the houses look like?

There is a beautiful dark peach house across from our school. It looks like a new house, but it may have been built in the 1980’s. It has a column and beams. It has two big windows, and it doesn’t have a flat roof. It is made from hard stucco. The front door has an arch. The house has a tall tree, a furry bush, and all kinds of flowers. Another is a tall house with lots of windows. It has a cantilever (a beam or support fastened at only one end) with little bumps. It has gutters that take out the rainwater. It has an arch and a chimney. The house is gray and white. The architect was imaginative! Some houses have big gates to enter. Some people live in apartment buildings. One apartment building has windows with curtains on the windows. From the balconies, people wave to each other. On the top it has three arches. It is a bit old. The garage has a long column and beam. 21

There is a tree and three bushes in front. There is even an apartment building with spots, like a Dalmatian (a Dalmatian is a kind of dog)! Some houses have flowers – lots of flowers. One house has roses, sunflowers, and daisies. Another house has a lot of green grass around it. Housing is important in West Hollywood because it protects you from earthquakes. There are different types of homes: apartments, houses, condos, and penthouses. If people come to visit they can stay in hotels. – Zoe People need homes. They have rooms, bathrooms, and windows of all kinds. I am happy for everything I have. – Clara My apartment is made out of bricks. My apartment has windows. My home has carpeting. I have a hard floor in the kitchen. – Kimberly Our bathrooms sometimes have bathtubs or hot tubs. Bathrooms also have sinks and toilets. – Dylan My home is big! It has four bedrooms. I also have a refrigerator in my kitchen for food. – Danielle I live in an apartment with my Mom, Dad, and my sister. Our home is made of out wood, glass, and metal. We have our own kitchen where we get to make dinner and get food. – Nathan

We have backyards that have flowers and grass and mud. – Teerajeh A basement is somewhere you store stuff. It’s underground. It’s a bit of a scary place. Some people think there are monsters down there. It’s a good thing most houses in West Hollywood don’t have basements. – Kai 22

What We Wear By Gardner and West Hollywood Elementary Students

In our village of West Hollywood people wear all kinds of different clothes depending on individual styles and trends.

Fashion is very important in West Hollywood because it is a popular town. I pretty much get my fashion ideas from magazines. – Maeve There are different kinds of clothes. We wear pants, dresses, skirts, and blouses. Not many people make their clothes. Most people buy them. We like to wear different colors and fashion styles. – Sarah In West Hollywood people always wear pretty clothing. Ladies shop and buy fashionable clothes. Guys buy hot (attractive) clothes for dates and stuff. Sometimes in the summer girls wear flip-flops and skirts. At night girls like to wear slippers. – Willow I see colorful clothing with pinks, blacks, yellows, blues, reds, and oranges. I see people wearing hats, sunglasses, watches, and more! – Ladonna What I wear depends on what the weather is like. If it’s hot, I wear shorts with a nice shirt or tank top. When it is cold, I wear skinny jeans and a nice, fly (stylish) short sleeve shirt. It’s really fun to go shopping with my friends and Auntie Kema, “like totally!” – Samir


Clothing is very important to all people. I buy some of my clothes at Target, a store in West Hollywood. I wear a uniform to school. Sometimes I wear dresses. That is why I like clothes. – Jammy We wear uniforms to school. They have to be blue and jeans, skirts, dresses, pants, or capris (short pants). I love my clothes! We have to wash our own clothes. – Elexis We have special clothes just for soccer and football. There are spikes on the shoes! – Cyrus If you don’t wear clothes people will laugh at you. So if you are a girl, and you have to go to a ball, you can wear a dress. At birthday parties you also wear a dress. – Genevie Clothes are important because if you don’t have clothes you would be cold. Blouses are good because they keep you warm and it is good to be warm. – Willow

After a day of wearing our clothes, we put them in the “dirties” where all the stinky clothes go. My Mom and Dad wash them so we can use them over and over again. We wear pajamas when we go to sleep. – Emily


How We Earn A Living By Laurel, Rosewood, and West Hollywood Elementary Students

In the City of West Hollywood there are many kinds of different businesses. There are restaurants, clothing stores,

photo shops, food markets, specialty drink shops, and pet stores, just to name a few. Pasta Pomadora is a great Italian restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard. The best thing is you can have as much parmesan cheese as you want! When you walk into Target you can see the different kind of toys, like board games, dolls, and action figures. There are clothes, a section for movies, books, video games, and cameras. You can hear clerks doing their job, people walking, and carts moving. You can taste popcorn, pizza, and have lunch. You may smell food and fresh air. You can touch clothes, greeting cards, pencils, shampoo, and all sorts of things. Stephen Lenehan, owner of Sunset Photo & News says, “I chose to start my business in West Hollywood because it’s a great city. I love it because it’s clean, the people are friendly, and it’s a great place for my industry because there are many celebrities that live here. We send out photographers to get pictures of celebrities. Then we fix the pictures on the computer and sell them to the magazines. All over the world, everybody knows exactly what’s going on in West Hollywood!” 25

Jonathan West owns a clothing store in Sunset Plaza that he describes as “fashion forward.” He says, “We sell clothes to a lot of people who work in film and TV studios. People from all over the world come in here!” KIN Boutique is another clothing store in West Hollywood. KIN means family. Owner Darrel Adams says, “We have all kinds of customers — young starlets, college students, middle-aged real estate brokers.” He started his business in West Hollywood because it’s near everyone’s homes and because of the entertainment industry located in the area. Payless Shoes is a good place to buy shoes because they don’t have high prices. There’s music playing in the store and the people who work there are really helpful and kind. There are many food markets in West Hollywood. Ralph’s Market sells all kinds of things: medicine, fruits, pies, milk, yogurt, toys, sushi, drinks, vegetables, meat, flowers, balloons, DVDs, wines, and all kinds of ice-cream and cakes. There’s even a salad bar where you can make your own salad or choose one of their soups, like chowder or chicken soup. Whole Foods is a food market that sells many healthy foods like salmon, chicken, tomatoes, carrots, and tangerines. Many of their foods are organic. After you buy something at Whole Foods and you’re done eating it, you might say that was the best meal of your life! This is one of the healthiest markets around town. 26

Living with Animals By West Hollywood Elementary Students

The City of West Hollywood loves its animals! They try to

protect them in many ways. West Hollywood was the first city in the United States to ban cat declawing, hoping to send a message to other cities. Mayor John Duran says, “We would encourage our neighboring cities to follow our lead.� West Hollywood also has a law that designates its residents as pet guardians, rather than pet owners.


PAWS stands for Pets are Wonderful Support. This group is comprised of self-funded rescuers and volunteer foster caregivers. Some of their tasks are to walk the animals and help lost or abandoned ones. Our city is very environmentally friendly! Do you know what a mutt is? Have you ever heard of a mitt? Well, put the two together and you have a Mutt Mitt! When you walk your animals, you can use a Mutt Mitt to help keep your neighborhood and city clean while you protect the environment! They are totally degradable, non-toxic, and they decompose with or without sunlight! As soon as you start to use the mitt, biodegradation begins. It is a simple bag that fits the human hand with a deep bottom pouch. So, we clean up after our animals! West Hollywood is very respectful and kind to all animals; it’s a great place for animals to live, and people, too!


Staying Healthy By Rosewood and Laurel Elementary Students

Keeping your body and mind healthy is very important. It makes you live longer and have more energy.

How you express your feelings and manage stress is important. It’s good to talk to friends so you won’t get stressed out, frustrated, and have bad thoughts. You can talk to friends at school, on a sports team, or even at your home. If you talk to your friends about your problems, you won’t take your anger out on other people and you’ll be more likeable and happy. People should make discussing problems with friends a habit. Having family meetings to talk about problems at school or sharing about a family member that has passed away can help you solve problems and feel better. West Hollywood has family therapists to help families with problems, too. Having good emotional health is an important part of life. Share and Care is a program at Rosewood Elementary School. Kids say or draw what makes them sad and the teacher helps them express their feelings without judging them. The teacher is a great person who cares about people. Stress and anger are not healthy and this program helps kids stay mentally and personally healthy. 29

Family and social health is how you get along with others. It includes being a caring, responsible family member and friend and showing respect toward others. We all need to take care of ourselves by eating healthy foods to get proper nutrition. Fruits, like apples, oranges, peaches, bananas, and vegetables, like carrots, cabbage, spinach, and cucumbers are good because they have a lot of minerals and vitamins in them. Eating fish helps your brain! It’s also important to brush your teeth every day so you won’t have smelly breath and cavities. Washing your hands before you eat so no germs gets on your food will also help you stay healthy. Being active and exercising is a big part of staying healthy. That means no sitting and watching TV or playing on your computers all day long! You can see lots of people walking and running in West Hollywood. It’s a good habit to do every day for at least 30 minutes. First, though, remember to stretch your muscles for five minutes. People stay healthy by playing sports, such as football, soccer, basketball, and baseball to have fun and stay fit. In West Hollywood there are parks that have community sports and even swim lessons in the summer.


We run in the park, and do push-ups and jumping jacks. In the playground we play on the swings, slides, and monkey bars. We like to walk and run with dogs. And when we tell our dogs something funny, we roll on the grass with them and laugh! There are so many choices of gyms in West Hollywood! There is 24 Hour Fitness. Inside the gym there is a cafÊ so you can have healthy drinks and snacks, too. Absolution Workout Complex is a gym where you can do yoga, indoor rock-climbing, and boxing. Another gym is F3 Bootcamp, which has an awesome indoor workout. Bomb Squad Gym has it’s own personal trainers and Train, Angel City Gym, and the Gym on Nemo are private gyms.


People who don’t exercise can become overweight. This can bring on a heart attack or stroke and you won’t be able to do the fun things you used to do. In West Hollywood (and all of California) it’s against the law to smoke in restaurants and public places. This is an important law that protects people from inhaling smoke and getting lung cancer. Like smoking, you shouldn’t do drugs because you can get hooked. Addiction is a terrible disease that can make you lose all your money, your home, everything. The City of West Hollywood has groups that meet to help people with drug and alcohol problems. If you do get a cold, some people eat chicken soup and drink lots of fluids to feel better. Or, you can go see a doctor. We have lots of good doctors in West Hollywood. Making healthy choices about what you eat, what you put into your body, talking about your problems, and staying active are great ways to keep your body and mind in shape!


The Food We Eat

Rosewood Elementary Spotlight!

By Laurel and Rosewood Elementary Students

At Rosewood Elementary the cafeteria food is balanced. For example, a breakfast meal would be a blueberry muffin, with a side of yogurt and a

Our nutrition is very important. Some foods give us energy.

Most of the energy is generated towards staying awake and playing sports. Some are brain foods. They can help you concentrate on work or a test. Some can even help acne. Some are good for you and help pump blood. In West Hollywood there are many places to get the foods we need. We can go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods that supply us with fruits, vegetables, and other delicious, healthful foods. Some markets sell organic, vegetarian, and vegan friendly products. There are places to get organic fresh smoothies and juices like Jamba Juice. There are also healthy restaurants like Subway and Quiznos. West Hollywood also has a Farmer’s Market with lots of different vegetables raised by local farmers. It is clean and fresh at the Farmer’s Market. The farmers also have fruit – apples, grapes, oranges, and peaches. There is so much produce there! They also have daisies, sunflowers, sweet flowers, and flowers that smell wonderful. At the Farmer’s Market there is a man who plays steel drums and sings good songs.

choice of milk or orange juice. We asked people who worked at our school what they like to eat. These are their responses:

“I like to eat mangos,” the school nurse said. “I try not to snack. I stick to my three main meals.” “I like to eat fruit in the morning,” said the lunch lady. “I love to eat a lot of fresh fruit.” Our Physical Education coach said, “I usually eat a lot of turkey, fish, and chicken.” Finally, we talked to our principal, and she said, “I eat a lot of things. One of my favorite foods is pork fried rice from my favorite Chinese restaurant. I also like to eat lasagna, spinach pasta, and pasta with parmesan cheese and butter.” Overall, people in our school eat healthy. Sadly, some people in West Hollywood are addicted to fast and greasy food.


We eat all different kinds of food. Healthy food is vegetables and fruit, which are good for your body. Junk food is bad, like chips, candy, and chocolate. They will make you junky. Keep on being healthy and don’t eat junk food. Be healthy! The best recommendation for a healthy person is to obtain vitamins and minerals by eating a well-balanced meal. A variety of foods can provide nutrients for a healthy body. West Hollywood has a lot to offer!


Dance! By Gardner Elementary and AVIVA Students

In our village of West Hollywood there are a lot of people who like to dance.

We do all kinds of moves when we dance. In hip-hop we do splits and bridges, bending our bodies backward. In ballet we bend our knees doing pliés to warm-up, stand on tiptoes with hands on top or tondu, and stand on tiptoes while turning or sutunu. Some dancers go to competitions and some just dance for fun. In my school, some kids take dance class. My friend and I take a class together after school. The class is called COACH. My dance teacher’s name is Shiva. She is very flexible and she is a very good dancer. She teaches jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and break-dancing. Dancing is a very good energetic exercise. It frees your own mind! – Nicole I love to dance. It’s very active and gives you a chance to put your emotions into movements. I go to dance class and do salsa, ballet, hip-hop, and gymnastics. Dancing makes me feel comfortable and outgoing. – Daniella I like performance artists. Tray is a cool (excellent) drummer that uses buckets to play those beats that move us. Break-dancers are great movers. They twist, flip, and spin. – Rachel 35

West Hollywood Fact! Coined “The Creative City,” West Hollywood is a great supporter of the arts ranging from outdoor sculpture and exhibits to live performances in the park. Theatrical productions cover contemporary themes, children’s theater, and the classics of Shakespeare.


Sports and Games By Gardner and Laurel Elementary and AVIVA Students

We play the same sports in West Hollywood that people play in many different cities and countries around the world.

We play in our parks, backyards, schoolyards, and at home with our friends and family. A sport isn't just a thing you play. A sport is something that helps you build confidence. It is not easy to become a superior athlete or team member; it takes days and hours of training and hard work. Playing sports is fun because you usually play a sport that you like. Soccer is a game lots of people play. The purpose of the game is to kick the ball into the other team's net to score a point. Did you know soccer was originally invented in England? Chinese soldiers played a similar game to what we know as soccer. During their free time they would kick a ball around and try to kick it in the net. Kind of like soccer, right? Sometimes kids go to soccer camp over the summer. At soccer camp you can meet new friends and learn how to play. Kickball is a combination of soccer with baseball. You kick like soccer and have three chances to kick before you get out.


Handball is a fun and challenging game, but it’s not hard if you practice. You can do hard hits and super hard. Also you can play handball games that have different rules, like “black magic,” “babies,” and “dead killers,” when you hit the ball really low and no one can hit it back! Basketball is a very popular game in our city. In basketball you run around, dribble the ball, and make shots. James Naismith created basketball in December of 1891. A basketball team has 18 players trying to shoot the ball into their basket to score points. Did you know that if you don’t bounce the ball while playing you’re “traveling,” and you can be out of the game? Nowadays, every school playground in West Hollywood has a basketball court and almost all kids play on it. Everybody talks about his or her favorite team’s latest wins and most interesting moves or shots. People are even looking up scores from their cell phones! Some kids like to play a basketball game called Horse. You try to make shots into the basket; with each missed shot you take a letter from “Horse.” If you get all five letters, you’re out of the game. Basketball is fun because you run, play with friends you know, and meet new friends. Some people play basketball to compete against friends and to see who’s going to win. It doesn’t really matter if you win or lose; it matters how you play.


Baseball is another favorite sport. You pitch a ball to a friend who tries to hit the ball with a bat, and then you try to catch it. Some kids like to play football all the time outside with their friends. They practice sometimes as much as two hours a day. Playing football is a good way to keep from getting bored. Capture the Flag is an exciting track and field game that lots of kids like to play. It’s a team game with lots of running. Swimming is fun and a great form of exercise. It’s good for your muscles and body and takes perseverance to keep going. Skateboarding is a fun, cool, popular sport. Without a skate park, skaters do some crazy insane stunts like: “gaps,” “ledges,” and “grinds.” We also like playing tetherball and ping-pong. They both are played with a ball. A tetherball is attached on a pole with rope and is a large ball that you hit with your hand. Ping-pong is played at a table with a very small ball and you use paddles. With both you can hit the ball really hard!


There are many sport activities in the City of West Hollywood. Some people practice so they can play in leagues and become more prepared for games. In our neighborhood you can play in a public league. The leagues are separated by ages and by sports. At about age four, kids can be signed up for a sport activity like T-ball or soccer. Older kids have a greater variety of sports to choose from. They can play basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, or swim team. We also play games like hopscotch, which is played all over the world. Twister is fun. It’s a game with a mat, and you have to move and stretch your body. Some word games are challenging. We use lettered tiles to make words with Scrabble and letter cubes with Boggle. Card games, like Uno, combine strategy and luck. We can also play soccer on a video game, like Nintendo DS. Sports and games motivate us to get moving and thinking and keep us healthy and strong physically!


Children Helping Community By Center for Early Education Students

There are many ways people who live, work, or go to school in West Hollywood help in the community. These students tell

about two experiences – making sandwiches for people who are homeless and planting trees.

When we make sandwiches, we are glad

to be helpful! We are happy making healthy food for a person who needs it. We are proud to help others. Helping one person helps the entire community.

Planting a tree today was fun.

First we dug a deep hole. Then we spread out the tree’s roots. Next we put the tree in the hole. After that we filled it with dirt and sprinkled fungus on top. Then we watered the tree and named it “Otto.” We then welcomed the tree. The trees were held up with two stakes so they wouldn’t fall down. – Paris


Tree Planting by Nicky Out the gate On the sidewalk Nearing the helpers Digging the hole Measuring the roots Massaging the roots Putting the tree in Adding the soil Making a doughnut Placing the water Beside a newborn tree! A Tree by Willa Below the stars Thinks… What will I Do for the World? A million things Come to mind Create shade… Give oxygen, Give people beautiful Carved furnishings A whole lot of love A tree 42

I think planting the tree was a good way to help us bring more “green power” to our world. Planting the tree gave us a feeling of self-confidence. It was a great opportunity to learn how to plant a tree so that we can plant more trees to help our world. – Shea When I looked at the tree, a feeling of greatness swept over me. When we were digging the hole, I felt like we were doing possibly one of the greatest deeds that could be done. – Nico

Concerns About Our Environment By Rosewood and Gardner Elementary Students

West Hollywood is a pretty place. If we don’t litter, we can

keep it that way. Our City is trying to do many things to prevent pollution. They are putting signs up that say, “No Littering” and “No Smoking.” Also, our parks have trash cans. If we do litter, our environment will be full of trash and the air could be contaminated. Lots of people go to parks and pick up trash, bottles, and cans. The numbers of people recycling is going up, but we should recycle more often. By making a few changes, we could keep our neighborhood clean and pollution free. There are lots of cars traveling through West Hollywood. Cars produce harmful gases and release them into the environment.

West Hollywood Fact! Recycling is mandatory for

Besides air pollution, there is another environmental issue that affects our city: water pollution. In West Hollywood there is nonpoint water pollution, which is polluted runoff. This is spread out and harder to regulate. An example would be motor oil that’s dumped on the street by people. Since the City is a popular tourist attraction and a residence for many people, environmental issues need to be taken seriously.

residents. All residents are given a recycling cart. Carts are picked up by the City's trash hauler and taken to a recycling company.

– JAN HARMON West Hollywood Environmental Programs Coordinator


West Hollywood Fact! An estimated 70,000 people descend on the City of West Hollywood each weekend to stay in elegant hotels, eat at restaurants, visit some of the hottest night spots in Southern California, shop, and people watch!


Transportation By West Hollywood and Gardner Elementary Students

Most people in West Hollywood travel in a car to get to school and work. Some people come to school on a school bus.

Other people ride bicycles, skateboards, or rollerblade. We also ride motorcycles. That is a two-wheeled motorized vehicle. If we need to go to another country or somewhere far, we take a plane or a train. We also run and walk to places that are nearby.

Gardner School Student Spotlight! In our village of West Hollywood, we have many different ways to

Transportation is important. My mom drives in a car. When we go to school some kids ride the bus. – Ilan There are many ways to get places. I get to school in a car. – Alex

get around. We have buses that run all over the city, taxi services, and taxi vans. Most people have opinions about saving money on

Kids and adults like to use roller skates, skateboard, and bikes sometimes to get places and sometimes just to have fun getting there. – Aiden There are many different kinds of cars in Los Angeles. The kind of car I have is a van, which is very big. Seven people can fit in a van. – Alexandra

fuel for cars to help our economy and help stop global warming.

– Mijoi


People drive everywhere they need to go. Most people drive their own cars. Others pay to take the bus. Some people ride motorcycles. People also walk to go shorter distances. – Casey There is a lot of traffic in West Hollywood because there are a lot of vehicles and people that want to go places. – Henry Traffic lights help control the traffic. There are three lights. The bottom one is green. Green means go. The middle one is yellow. Yellow means go slowly. The top one is red. Red means stop. – Alexandra If you cross a red light you will get a ticket and that means you did something wrong. A ticket also means that you have to pay lots of money and sometimes pass a driving test. – Kai I love to see really cool cars all the time. They make me happy. My car is so fast and my hair goes crazy. I like it. – Bryan


Dreams for Our Future By Rosewood Elementary Students

We want to help the community with our jobs. Many jobs

help the community, like these: Teachers help lots of kids learn. Vets care for our pets. Doctors operate on people and make them feel better. Chefs can help people eat food. Dentists can help people’s teeth get healthier. Firefighters can help people escape from fires. Baseball players can help people by winning the championship and giving the money to charity! What job interests me?

When I grow up, I want to be an artist. An artist can draw, paint, sculpt, and even make movies. Pablo Picasso has inspired me to be an artist. –Ethan I’m hoping to become a photographer and go to the forest and take pictures of animals in the wild. – Joanne I want to be a doctor when I grow up so I can help people. I like taking care of people when they are sick. One day, I will find cures that will save many peoples’ lives. – Leslie


I would want to be a teacher because teachers educate kids and sometimes they can be inspirations for kids not to do drugs, not to smoke, and not to drink. Also, teachers are important to the community because they help kids raise money for people who need help, like victims of hurricanes. – Oona When I grow up I am going to be a police officer. When there is a fire or an emergency, a firefighter can help me and we can work as a team. I could solve crimes. I would help West Hollywood be a safe community. – Arturo I want to be a stunt double. I will help West Hollywood by making a lot of money. All the money I make will go to the people living on the streets so there will be no people sleeping on the street. – Daniel I want to be a dentist so I can make teeth healthy and make people have big smiles. – Sooji I want to be a doctor because I can help people who are sick. I can help my family when they are sick and also I could earn a lot of money. I could help the people who sleep outside, and I could give some money to charities. – Ye-Eun



West Hollywood City Council

Mayor John J. Duran Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang Councilmember Sal Guarriello Councilmember John Heilman Councilmember Abbe Land

City Manager, Paul Arevalo Director of Public Information & Legal Services, Helen Goss Human Services Director, Lloyd Long Social Services Manager, Daphne Dennis Social Services Program Administrator, Leslie Isenberg Social Services Specialist, Corey Roskin

Participating Schools and Groups

Aviva S.A.F.E. After-School Program Beverly Hills Montessori Center for Early Education C.I.T.Y. x1 Gardner Street Elementary School Laurel Elementary School

Rosewood Elementary School West Hollywood Children’s Roundtable West Hollywood Elementary School West Hollywood Preschool West Hollywood Teen Center

Editors Cathryn Berger Kaye and Resa Gabe Nikol, CBK Associates Design Gretchen Goldie Goetz Cover photograph and Laurel Elementary School photographs Angela Brinskele


West Hollywood Fact! The City of West Hollywood allocates over $3 million per year to fund a variety of social service programs. The City works with these agencies to coordinate special projects and events throughout the year. This AIDS quilt photograph was taken at the City’s annual World AIDS Day event, a collaborative

project with many of the city funded HIV/AIDS service providers.

When students in Kambi ya Simba, Tanzania, wrote about life in their small village, they had no idea their words would inspire others to do the same. Students in West Hollywood, California spent time finding out more about where they live and share their stories in this book, In Our Global Village – West Hollywood. Even though Kambi ya Simba and West Hollywood are worlds apart in so many ways, the children’s words, photographs, and artwork express many of the same thoughts and feelings about home, school, the environment, and their dreams for the future. For more information about In Our Global Village and to join this international project, visit For more information about the City of West Hollywood, visit ABCD BOOKS

ISBN 0-9678072-6-3


In Our Global Village West Hollywood Through the Eyes of Its Youth

Color butts to color on front and back cover

ABCD Books

In Our Global Village  

West Hollywood, CA

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you