La Mirada~Fifth grade students at Foster Road Elementary recently conducted a "mock" trial at Norwalk Superior Court as part of the Project L.E.A.D. program (Legal Enrichment And Decision-making).
The program is offered by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and teaches students at different schools to recognize the legal and social consequences of gangs, drugs, truancy and other crimes.
Deputy district attorneys, investigators, field deputies, hearing officers, paralegals and law clerks all over LA County devote one hour a week to serve as role models and teach students about the criminal justice system.
For the last five years in n La Mirada, the program has been headed by County Deputy District Attorney Cristine Albanese and Deputy Probation Officer Darryl Harris, both of whom are contracted out by the city as employees, and are based at the La Mirada Sheriff's Station.
They each volunteer one hour a week to the fifth graders and teach a 20-week curriculum covering issues such as school bullying, truancy, shoplifting, decision-making and culminating with the trial at the end of the school year. The "trial" was held in Judge Margaret Bernal's courtroom, with the students filling all the roles in a courtroom, including a jury, with a verdict.
The students also learn about all the different people that work in a courthouse.
During this past school year, the students also went on a behind-the-scenes field trip to Juvenile Hall.
Albanese says that the program teaches the kids,"practical life skills and to make good decisions". She noted that the program is so successful at Foster Road because of the support of the principal, Dr. Jean Maddux, and the City of La Mirada.
Photos: Above, "Judge" Raewyn Groak, student at Foster Road Elementary School, makes a ruling. Left, Prosecutors and Defenders mull over their notes, while the jury and Teacher Kim Clarkson look on.
La Mirada~The community is invited to the Benton Middle School Visual & Performing Arts Academy's presentation of Seussical the Musical.
Performances will be June 10th at 9 p.m. and June 11th at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Price of admission is $8 for the 7 p.m. shows and $5 for the 5 p.m. show.
For more information call 562-943-1553.
Day 7 - Boston, Lobster and Flying Home
Today I woke up at 5:30AM for our trip from New York to Boston. The weather was overcast when we left and sprinkling when we arrived to Boston.
It was yet another spectacularly filled day of activities. Our motor coach left for Boston at 7AM sharp because it was a 4 hour long drive to Boston. We stopped at McDonalds in Connecticut for breakfast around 9AM. The line to be served was long - again - because the restaurant didn't expect over 100 people coming in for breakfast. We quickly swallowed our food and got on the road. I slept half of the way, but we saw a movie called, "The Patriot," about the American Revolution which made the trip quicker.
We arrived at Boston around 12:30 in the afternoon about 1 hour late due to an auto accident on the freeway. We met our tour guide at Quincy Market Place. She totally had a "Bawston" accent. All of her letter o's were pronounced "aw" and she didn't use the letter "r". Our time was so short in Boston that we immediately started walking the Freedom Trail. We visited an Old Cemetery that that had famous people buried there including four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (John Adams and John Hancock were 2 of the 4).
We then went to Old North Church which was the lookout for the Red Coats remember, "One by land and two by sea." We then walked to Paul Revere's House, the famous horse rider that said, "The Red Coats (not British) were coming (they were all British)." We were at Paul Revere's House for and hour. Did you know that William Dawes also rode the "Midnight Ride" but didn't get as much credit as Paul Revere because his name didn't rhyme with the famous poem. This ended our official and incredibly short 3 hour tour of Boston. We then walked back to Quincy Market Place for another quick lunch.
Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Chinatown and the Phantom of the Opera
Today's weather was perfect. It was 75 degrees Fahrenheit and almost clear. This was one of the busier days we've had and I can say that everyday has been very fast paced.
I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and again was very exhausted. My eyes were red, in fact someone told me if I had pink eye, but it was only because I was so tired. Our group walked to Connolly's for breakfast which I think was a famous restaurant in New York because it had pictures of the owner with Mayor Guilliani. We then got on the motor coach to take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty was awesome. We actually got tickets to walk all 200 plus steps to the base of the statue. I was tired walking the steps and so was everyone else. We got some really cool pictures and left around 11am.
Philadelphia,PA~Today is Tuesday, April 26, 2011, and we woke up at 6:00 am, to a clear day in Philadelphia and the temperature reached 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
I quickly packed my luggage and went directly to breakfast at 6:30 am. I really wasn't too crazy about the food this morning. We were given foam plates to eat from and the eggs were soggy, the bacon was soft and the potatoes were not too tasty, but I guess it was OK. We then took our luggage to the motor coach and left for Independence Hall.
I really enjoyed being at Independence Hall and looking at the location where the Declaration of Independence was signed by all original 13 states, but I was really tired during the presentation and was falling asleep, but I was able to listen to most of it. Everyone in my group was also tired but we stuck it out. I learned that the Declaration was actually signed on July 2, 1776, ratified on July 4, 1776, but not announced to the people until July 8th to avoid revenge from the King. The tower of Independence Hall was being renovated and it was tarped to make it appear that the bell tower was still there so some of my pictures still came out nice.
We then walked into see the Liberty Bell which is an incredible symbol of our freedom to our country. After, we walked to the Independence Museum where we saw a theatre presentation on "We the people." I enjoyed the performance, but didn't learn anything new at this point, but it was a good show.
I then walked to the Betsy Ross House a block away, but stopped by the cemetery first to see the head stone of Benjamin Franklin. At the Betsy Ross house, a lady played the part of Betsy Ross with a British accent and explained that George Washington came to her to create a flag for the United States of America. She made it fun and we were able to ask her some questions.
Day 4 - Gettysburg
Today is Monday, April 25, 2011, I received my daily wake-up call at 5:30am to visit historic Gettysburg. I was very tired and had difficulty climbing out of bed.
After we had breakfast, we began our long two hour drive to Gettysburg. My eyes were red from the lack of sleep, but I took advantage of the drive and fell asleep during the trip. The chaperones told us that the whole bus was asleep and everyone had some rest before the tour.
I didn't know too much about Gettysburg, because I am more of a World War 2 buff, but that changed today. When we arrived at Gettysburg, we first went to Cemetery Hill, the location where Abraham Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation. There were thousands of people who came to listen to Lincoln at that time, and since they didn't have sound speakers, they hired "shouters," to yell the message to the audience that came to listen to Lincoln.
Day 3 - Easter Sunday
The weather cleared up today. It was no longer raining and the sun was out for the first time during our trip. In fact, it got up to 84 degrees Fahrenheit-a difference of 41 degrees cooler when we originally arrived. We were greeted with candy from the Easter Bunny in front of our rooms.
I woke up at 6:30 am to our daily wake-up call (our phone is very loud). After 7:30 am breakfast, we boarded our motor coach to Ford Theatre. The coach driver was very surprised at the limited amount of traffic, but she remembered that it was Easter Sunday and she said the roads were very empty. We were dropped off at Honest Abe's Souvenir Shop for some quick shopping. I got my sister a pink Washington DC shirt, my big brother a Vietnam Memorial statue, my little brother an Air Force One airplane and my mother a gold White House coin.
We then went to Ford's Theatre where they gave us the story of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. I was shocked to learn that Lincoln was left alone by his bodyguard just before his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. Did you know that John Wilkes Booth was a respected actor in that very same theatre which made it very easy for him to access Lincoln as a VIP? The timing of the murder was very concise and a lot of planning went into it. I thought that was very interesting, because I didn't know John Wilkes Booth had so much hate for Lincoln, but then again, I guess that's why he assassinated him.
NEW! Day 2 - Proud to be an American
Today, Saturday, April 23, 2011, we woke up at 5:50 AM, which is too early for me, but we had another awesome day.
We started with breakfast at 7:00 am, and then our tired bodies jumped on the "luxury coach" and went to our nation's Capitol. When we arrived, the rain started to come down in sheets. Those of us who forgot our umbrellas (me), got soaked. Once inside the Capitol Building I was in awe of how gigantic our Nation's Capitol building is. The main theme was E. Pluribus Unum, which means, "Out of Many, One." We took a school picture in front of the Capitol right after our tour.
After lunch, we went to the Pentagon Memorial. This was kind of touching as I learned that out of the 184 people that perished, the youngest was three years old from American Airlines Flight 77, named Dana Falkenberg. Everyone in my group was very sad to see someone so young die with her family.
DAY 1 -Friday, April 22, 2011
The time is 9:15 EST. Today was a very cold and wet day. Even though the temperature dropped to 43 degrees Fahrenheit, we all still had an awesome time.
Last night we left LAX at 11:00 PM from American Airlines flight 74. Almost none of us were able to sleep on the flight called the red-eye (I know why it is now called the red-eye!). For those of us who did sleep, we only got 30 minutes to an hour long nap. Our hearts were pounding with excitement and we just couldn’t doze off.
We arrived at Dulles International airport at 6:25 AM. Then the lack of sleep hit us, and hit us hard. We began to walk slowly towards the bus and personally, my feet were aching because the lack of movement of my feet. Our tired bodies walked to get our luggage and we felt the cool spring morning once we exited the airport.
La Mirada~Christian Covarrubias, 8th grader at Los Coyotes Middle School in La MIrada, and many of his classmates, embarked on this year's American Heritage Trip. Follow his progress right here on the La Mirada Blog. First entry to come shortly.
Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:48 PM PT
I am so incredibly excited. At 11:00 tonight, Los Coyotes and Hutchinson Middle School's will be boarding American Airlines Flight 74 to Washington DC. I am taking an overnight trip called a "Red-Eye." We will be arriving at 6:55 am and we hit the ground running. I'll keep you all posted once we arrive.