Parents, PTAs, Teachers and Principals came to the STAR Resource Station from all around Los Angeles to find out more about everything STAR Education has to offer! Here are some of our favorite pictures from the day…
40,000 PEOPLE CELEBRATE EARTH DAY AT STAR ECO STATION’S
13TH ANNUAL CHILDREN’S EARTH DAY –
THE LARGEST EARTH DAY EVENT IN LOS ANGELES
“The Earth Day Pick” – Los Angeles Times “Best Children’s Earth Day.” – LA Parent Magazine
Featuring Special Performances and Exhibits by Children, Environmental Organizations and Celebrity Guests, Food, Eco-Friendly Vendors, Crafts, Games and More!
SUNDAY, APRIL 21st FROM 10AM-4PM
Culver City, CA – Celebrate Planet Earth the way no one else can at STAR Eco Station’s 13th Annual CHILDREN’S EARTH DAY, April 21st, 10am-4pm. Featuring live entertainment, eco-themed games, food, crafts, prizes, vendors, environmental organizations, face painting, and more – nothing in the LA area comes close! Nearly 40,000 people attended last year’s LA Times’, “Best Earth Day Pick” and LA Parent Magazine’s “Best Children’s Earth Day.”
Join STAR Eco Station, the cast of Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm, Radio Disney’s Daphne Blunt, and the Chi-Town Finest Breakers/Monster Kids (X Factor, The Oprah Show) as we promote green consciousness. Radio Disney AM1110, part of the #1 radio network for kids, tweens and families, will be on-site with the latest hits from Radio Disney. The Radio Disney AM 1110 Road Crew will also provide interactive entertainment and prizes for the whole family. With the help of solar power, the event will also feature visits from more celebrity guests, performances by over a thousand kids from the greater Los Angeles area, exciting food trucks, environmental organizations, leaders in community service, and community leaders. This year, come play in the toddler area, race through the recycle-themed maze, make some noise in the awe-inspiring drum circle, and meet over 200 rescued exotic animals!
Everyone at Children’s Earth Day can learn to be green! Be a part of STAR’s Bring Back Flower Power Campaign helping children plant over a million indigenous Californian flowers. Learn how you can get involved from environmental organizations like the STAR Eco Station, Heal the Bay, Surfrider Foundation, Orangutan Foundation International and more! Event admission is FREE, with discounted tours of the STAR Eco Station available for $5 per person.
For a full list of celebrity guests, environmental and animal non-profits, eco-friendly vendors, and festival food, please visit www.childrensearthday.org!
This week the LA Parent Magazine 2012 Readers Choice BEST OF Issue hit newsstands and for the fourth year in a row LA’s parents have voted STAR Education the Best After School Program, Best Educational and Tutoring Program, Best Early Childhood Program, Best Summer Camp, Best Art Program and Best Performing Arts Program! We even came in second place for Best Cooking Program for the first time! (Next year we promise it will be first.)
For each category STAR qualifies for, we rose to the top, making us in the eyes of those that matter most, the parents, the BEST of the BEST in Los Angeles. Christine Abraham of Pacific Palisades called us “a working parent’s best friend”*. This proves, once again, that our continued and tireless dedication to bringing the families of Southern California the highest quality education, enrichment and recreation programs is what brings STAR Education back into the schools year after year.
STAR is always working for you and your children, making sure that our staff is thoroughly vetted while also meeting the highest standards of education and enthusiasm. We are always striving for new and innovative classes and curricula to keep our students learning, engaged and of course, having fun! Our educational successes are measurable. Beyond the Bell has called STAR Education the “golden standard” of after school education. Our staff has helped raise test scores by up to 44 points in this last year alone!
Our Galaxy programs are head and shoulders above the average after school child care program. We were rated the Best Educational and Tutoring Program because we give every STAR child specially designated time to do their homework and our college educated staff is there ready and excited to help.
“Parents rave about the professionalism and caring of the staff, convenience and affordability of the program, and the fun their kids have. They also enjoy that STAR gives kids a head-start on homework. ‘My child begs to stay every day after school,’ says Jillion Weisberg of Los Angeles. ‘I have to limit her to two classes a day because I miss her. She has taken everything from dance to gardening to science.’”*
There’s organized sports activities, as well as built-in enrichment classes at every school site. In 2011, we were voted the Best Sports Program in LA Parent as well!
We are dedicated to making our students STARs! In the last year our events have become even bigger powerhouses with our first RockSTAR WinterFest on the Sunset Strip giving our STAR kids the chance to rock out on professional stages TWICE in one year, including our 7th Annual Battle of the Bands at the House of Blues. We had two original plays: A Cinderella Tale taught students and audiences important lessons about preventing bullying during the winter session and My Favorite Alien, a technological and astronomical extravaganza inspired by Cirque du Soleil, brought STAR families to their feet in the spring. Our 12th Annual Children’s Earth Day at the STAR Eco Station not only featured performances by all of our STAR kids, but special appearances by local politicians like Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman and former Mayor Micheál O’Leary, environmental organizations such as Heal the Bay and the Surfrider Foundation and the cast of Disney’s A.N.T. Farm!
With after school programming budgets under the microscope, it is more important than ever that we honor your vote of confidence. Thank you for your incredible recognition of our organization, our magnificent, dedicated and enthusiastic staff and all of our hard work. All of our efforts are for you, the parents, and your children. We promise to continue to offer the same quality programming that has gained us such overwhelming support from the community. Thank you for making STAR Education a part of your lives!
*“Best of 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.” LA Parent August 1, 2012: 18-31.
STAR Education has jumped in to lead the charge for S.T.E.M. in Southern California (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). San Fernando Valley middle-schoolers get to see this integrated curriculum at work in our innovative Roller Coaster Mania three week camp that exposes kids to the world of monster coasters and the science and math that makes them work.
Roller Coaster Mania is the brain child of STAR’s Department of Education. Headed up by Karen Mowrer, Gina Hendron, and Kerry Chow, the camp will be conducted at California State University Northridge (CSUN) and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The camp runs from July 9-27 and gives low income students the chance to see science and math at work in one of the most exhilarating places imaginable.
Students will design and build their own coasters using high tech tablets and test the science behind them with fun and hilarious activities. Participants in the camp can look forward to bungee jumping an egg, speed trials, and testing out the physics of sling shots and catapults.
Students will mix fun and learning to encourage college educations and future careers. STAR was awarded a Gear Up Grant for the project which aims to raise college attendance among low-income students. The grant helps fund a 6 year program to follow current seventh graders all the way up through high school and beyond.
The finale of the camp will be the trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain. STAR will be working with involvement from the American Coaster Enthusiasts who will guide students through the park and lend their incredible insight on the history and workings of the rides.
STAR’s Assistant Director of Education, Gina Hendron, noted that the need for STEM has become so great because of the stigma that students often place on science and math. “The great aspect of the program is how it takes something that many kids feel stinks – math, and shows them how it is behind something really cool – roller coasters.” Gina also noted that over half of the program is made up by female students, a demographic which is usually low in science and math fields.
Students from 4 middle schools in the San Fernando Valley are already partially funded through the Gear Up grant, but the most important aspect of this camp is the behind-the-scenes tour of Six Flags, giving the students an even closer look at how their new skills apply to the real world.
Bring math and science to these students with a hands-on, real-world experience while also giving them a positive summer camp adventure with their classmates and teachers. Please help us get these amazing kids to Six Flags on Friday so they can see the roller coasters in action after all their hard work in the classroom. Donate to Roller Coaster Mania here.
STAR Education has made the jump to light speed this summer with the Jedi-approved Science of Star Wars: Clash with the Dark Side summer camp. From rockets to magnetism, to taking a ride on a real-life hovercraft, our student padawans have been making the connection between the science of our daily world to the realm of imagination seen in the blockbuster movie series.
At IQ-GO Science, the science program at STAR, science is always as fun as it is educational, but this camp was out of this world. Our young Jedi were able to work their bodies and minds as they developed their Force skills in our Jedi agility training program. Lightsaber duels each day finally culminated in an epic struggle with one of our Sith Battle Lords.
The highlight for many was a ride on the STAR hovercraft which brought up images of Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder streaking across the desert landscape. Our kids were able to discover how a Van de Graaff generator accumulates electricity and even recreate a scene from the bizarre alien cantina. Learning the laws of physics and motion allowed our campers to create and launch their own rockets, narrowly avoiding Star Destroyers that were hot on their tail.
Never falling to the Dark side, our campers discovered that like the Force, science is all around us. And though the alien guacamole they made wasn’t as scientific… it was delicious! Check out all the innovative science summer camps we’re offering at www.starcamps.org
This week on NPR there was an article about the difficulty that still persists for women making strides in scientific fields. You can read/listen to the article online HERE.
STAR Education has just completed its first week of our very first Roller Coaster Camp where we’re teaching 100 7th grade students math, science and physics through studying and designing roller coasters. On the final day, we will be taking a field trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain for an extra special behind-the-scenes tour led by roller coaster experts.
What’s even more special about this summer camp is that it is funded entirely through a Gear Up Grant and the generous support of individual donors to STAR Education. This camp is attended at no cost to these low-income students…many who have never had a summer camp experience before.
AND…over 50% of our Roller Coaster Campers are girls…54 to be exact.
With just two weeks to go, our IndieGogo campaign is over halfway to its mark. Any funds we raise over the $4,000 goal will be used to support additional scholarships for financially needy students in our math and science projects later this year.
You can help STAR do what we do every day: Give every student a chance to excel in life through learning that truly inspires them. Help support this camp that brings math and science to life…
Check out our IndieGogo Campaign HERE.
STAR took hundreds of its summer campers out to the ballgame (peanuts and cracker jacks provided upon request). It was a beautiful afternoon as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took the field against the Texas Rangers. For some campers, it was their first time ever at a major league ballpark!
“It’s so exciting!” said one STAR camper.
“I hope I catch a home run!” interjected another.
The afternoon was filled with laughter (and a little bit of learning, as STAR instructors explained the rules of baseball to the unitiated). The Angels won the game, but the biggest winners were these happy campers who got to enjoy a great day at the ballpark – yet another of the unique and special events that STAR offers every summer.
The STAR Lego program is going stronger than ever, with our Fairburn summer camp adding an entire additional week of Lego instruction for STAR Campers. Campers in the Lego program celerate every aspect of this innovative toy, as they play LEGO© games that might have them rocketing light years into space with LEGO© Star Wars, whipping up some wizardry with LEGO© Harry Potter, or maybe even cracking the whip and saving the day with LEGO© Indiana Jones!
Campers try their hands at some high-tech experiments with LEGO© Robotics, and construct their own unique LEGO© creations. It’s no wonder STAR campers are loving LEGO© all summer long!
Campers at Westwood STAR picked out their tools and began building outrageous and original woodworking pieces, with all-new projects this summer!
Campers found out all about craftsmanship, design and workshop safety as they constructed their wooden creations, discovering tricks of the woodworking trade from expert sculptors, graphic designers, and makers of musical instruments.
They even explored ways to save the planet one piece of wood at a time – all while having the time of their lives!
“This Camp is 100% Awesome!” said Lucas, a 3rd grade STAR Camper. ”I love that it’s here at my school! It’s like I know where everything is and I get to make new friends! And at the end of the project we get to free build!”
“I love that I get to use real tools!” said Ezekiel, a 1st grade STAR Camper.
There are still many more STAR Camps available throughout the rest of the summer! To find out more please visit www.starcamps.org
Thousands of children throughout Southern California lived the adventure of a lifetime this summer at STAR Camp. Kids had a blast becoming champs at everything from chess to cheerleading!
STAR Camp offered its unique blend of exciting, eye-opening experiences in a caring and encouraging environment, and STAR campers walked away at the end of the summer feeling happier, healthier, and better prepared for the challenges of the school year. To find out more about STAR Camps, please visit www.starcamps.org.