Montebello Park Elementary Students Enjoy a Day on Ice



Ice Skating Event Sponsored by Gloria Molina and LA County Parks & Recreation


Fourth- and fifth-graders from Montebello Park Elementary School in East Los Angeles enjoyed a winter wonderland in their neighborhood on November 21. The event, sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, featured a real ice rink, face painting, arts and crafts, a balloon artist and live entertainment.

Approximately 120 students from four classes were bused from their school to the East Los Angeles Civic Center, where a temporary ice rink was set up. With the help of teachers, students were sized for ice skates, and jumped on the rink for 30-minute sessions until noon. They also assisted each other on the rink, with one student helping a peer in his wheelchair.

"A new and fun activity such as this one provides students with a great experience for the holiday season," said Superintendent of Schools Cleve Pell. "This experience will no doubt be one that our students and staff will remember and cherish."

La Merced Elementary Unveils MUSD's 20th Garden

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District Partners Continue to Invest in School-Based Garden Programs

Marking the opening of Montebello Unified’s 20th school garden, La Merced Elementary School students, parents, community members, and school and district staff unveiled their new gardening program with a special event on December 5.

The ribbon-cutting event included words by La Merced Principal Rebecca Castro, Superintendent of Education Susanna Contreras Smith, and the Bell Gardens Intermediate Environmental Garden Club. The name of the garden was also unveiled as the Garden of Peace.

The garden was made possible in large part by an $18,000 grant awarded by the Sherwood Foundation, an organization committed to connecting students and families to programs and practices that help students reach their full potential. The unveiling also comes days before a local nursery's pledge to donate plants to school gardens throughout Montebello Unified.

More than 2,000 students are involved in Montebello Unified's gardening programs, with 12 garden clubs championing healthy living while bringing awareness to obesity and diabetes by selling their harvests at the seasonal MUSD Farmers Markets to students, staff and community members.

The District and its partners have sought additional grants to expand their programs, incorporate gardening activities into their curriculum and promote principles of sustainability and water conservation while aiming to implement student-run gardens at every school to create a healthier community.

"This garden not only teaches our students about the value of health, but it provides a hands-on learning experience that teaches students about how fruits and vegetables are grown." said Superintendent of Education Susanna Contreras Smith. "Congratulations to the La Merced community for this beautiful garden and space."