EFO Logo (as of 2011)

Funding Excellence in Edu cation
~ June 2018 ~
In this issue: OIS Library; Arts Ambassador Exhibit; OIS Library ;  
Grandparents Day; Miramonte Latin Club and Debate Club.
When everyone gives, everyone wins! 
EFO benefits every Orinda student every day!

As another school year ends, we proudly celebrate Orinda's history of community-supported public education and the continued success of EFO-funded programs at our schools.  We invite you to invest in Orinda education with a contribution to our 2017-2018 campaign (click here).
What a year it's been for the OIS library!  
The OIS library has undergone several exciting changes during this school year beginning last October when Ingrid Eliasson (at right) joined the staff as District Librarian. Ms. Eliasson has a broad teaching background, most recently in the Emeryville Unified School District and Pittsburgh High School. From her earliest days at OIS, her goal has been to emphasize the importance of libraries in creating lifelong learners, and to evolve the OIS library into a learning center and "the heart of the school community"
 
The library is open everyday form 8:45am - 3:45pm, including during brunch and lunch sessions, and there are always groups of students eager to gather there. A fresh new look and generous technology donations have helped transform the library into a place where OIS students want to spend time. New furniture was selected with flexibility in mind so that tables and chairs can be easily rearranged to suit group learning, meetings, or open floor plan needs. Thanks to a generous donation from the Odmark Family, the library also received all new technology: large flat panel TVs, new computer lab, chromebooks and iPads, and full wireless capability throughout the library.    
 
In addition to assuring the library is stocked with ample and relevant materials, Ms. Eliasson also works with core teachers to teach students how to choose research topics, and to introduce them to the wide range of available digital resources and the methods and strategies needed for effective online research. She believes that her "primary role is to support teachers and students, and to provide resources and materials that will enable them to find the information they need." 
 
Digital information literacy is a critical 21st century skill, and thanks to Ms. Eliasson, OIS students are receiving direct instruction on the tools and skills to find whatever information they need to learn. As she says, "my goal is to help narrow the internet from a fire hose to a garden hose, and to help students become efficient and intelligent consumers of information." 
 
EFO is proud to support Ms. Eliasson and library instruction at OIS. Stop by and check out this exciting and beautiful new learning center!
Celebrating the arts in Orinda:
12th Annual Arts Ambassador Exhibit 
On April 12th, the Annual Arts Ambassador Exhibit gathered students, parents, teachers and community supporters together at the Orinda Library Gallery for a celebratory reception showcasing artwork from over 150 Orinda students from all elementary schools, OIS and Miramonte.  
Welcome speeches were given by OUSD Art Coordinator David Wilson, OUSD Director of Curriculum David Schrag ,and OUSD Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Seaton.  A consistent message was how fortunate Orinda schools are to have access to musical, visual and performance arts instruction. Thanks to EFO supporters, all Orinda art students can routinely use their creativity to problem solve, express their ideas and explore the world around them.  
In addition to the artwork displays, attendees delighted in performances by the OIS Jazz Band (directed by Greg Mazmanian), the Miramonte Bella Voice singers (directed by Meredith Hawkins), the OIS choir (directed by Christina Holling) and elementary school choirs (directed by Ron Pickett).
Special thanks to the fantastic and dedicated teachers who inspire creativity on a daily basis at all Orinda schools: Erica Amundson, Stacey Churchill, Heather Cousins, Meredith Hawkins, Christina Holling, Gavin Kermode, Greg Mazmanian, David Morritt, Gretchen Neilson, Margaret Niles, Ron Pickett, David Uyeno, Susan Weiss, Cody Wilson, David Wilson and Susan Zib. You all make a difference every day in the lives of Orinda students!
 
Much of the event's success is credited to EFO Volunteer Bene Streubel who tirelessly orchestrates EFO events all year long. And, a huge shout out to EFO Volunteer Lori Brook for her amazing efforts as Miramonte's VPA Coordinator, David Wilson and volunteer Emma Taylor who all put a tremendous amount of time, energy and passion into making this a successful and well-attended event.
 
EFO would also like to thank the Lamorinda Arts Council for their collaboration with the event. And, most importantly, our parent and community supporters whose financial support ensures that all students from kindergarten through 12th grade have access to an enriched arts program.  
A strong arts program is one of the many unique strengths
of Orinda's public schools.
EFO and Parents' Clubs work together all year long to support the excellent educational experience that benefits ALL students attending Orinda public schools.
Miramonte students excel in Latin and Debate
 EFO proudly supports academic enrichment programs at Miramonte High School, such as the ever-popular and successful Latin Club and Public Speaking Team.  
Salvete! Carpe diem! Lingua Latina est vita!
With over 200 students taking Latin language classes and participating in Latin Club, Miramonte Latin is thriving. This program not only teaches the language, but also offers opportunities to engage in activities that deepen students' connection to Latin language and culture.
Every Spring, Miramonte Latin participates in the Annual California Junior Classical League State Convention (at left and below). Miramonte proudly holds the title of reigning state Champions for six years in a row.  
 
The highly anticipated Latin Convention features chariot races, a catapult contest, track and field events, a spirit competition, a speech competition, an art show, and academic tests to name a few of the activities. Through the year, Latin students are able to earn points for citizenship by volunteering at local events. Interested students can also participate in Certamen -- an exciting game of fast recall of facts about classical civilizations and its peoples, languages, and culture.
Guided by stellar teachers, Magister Davis and Magistra Mullowney, Miramonte's Latin program, including the ever-popular Latin Club, benefits from an unparalleled sense of camaraderie and student diversity. Through weekly Wednesday lunches and countless hours prepping for Convention, the Latin Club brings students together for fun and learning. It is definitely one of Miramonte's most unique, distinguished, and welcoming communities.
_________________________________ 
 
Speaking their minds and taking home top prizes!
Under the incredible leadership and coaching of teacher Kirsten Plant, twenty-eight Miramonte Public Speakers traveled to Mountain House High School in Tracy to compete in the intense four-day California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) State Championships in late April.  
The Mats earned 6th place out of 151 of the State's premiere speech and debate schools and displayed outstanding sportsmanship and camaraderie throughout the competition!  
Special congratulations to the following semi-finalists and finalists:

* Kelly Zheng: 1st place, International Extemporaneous Speaking

* Tai Fox: 2nd place, International Extemporaneous Speaking

* Even Barrie-Kivel: 2nd place Presiding Officer, Congressional Debate

* Clara Wu: 4th place, Original Oratory

 

* Anna Miskelly & Kelly Zheng: Semifinalists, Public Forum Debate

* Tai Fox & Asim Khan: Semifinalists, Public Forum Debate

* Keely Fuller: Semifinalist, Original Advocacy

* Matt Gill & Meaghan Hohman: Semifinalists, Duo Interpretation

* Paul Legallet & Grant Peters: Semifinalists, Duo Interpretation

* Brendan McFeely: Semifinalist, Congressional Debate

* Janet Lee: Semifinalist, Congressional Debate

* Liz Eddy: Semifinalist, Congressional Debate

Well done everyone - you've earned your summer rest! 

Bridging the Generation Gap:
Grandparents & Special Friends Day        
In late March, students and their honored family members enjoyed a uniquely memorable Grandparents & Special Friends Day at Sleepy Hollow and Wagner Ranch schools.
 
Guests were warmly greeted by school staff and parent volunteers who had organized coffee and bagels as a welcome early morning treat. Welcome remarks were given by EFO President Shauna Simmonds at Sleepy Hollow, and grandparent Eunice Assani at Wagner Ranch. Many memorable discussions that spanned generations could be heard throughout the classrooms. Student council members at both schools proudly escorted groups on spirited tours of their school. Guests were also treated to highlight performances from school musical productions.
The visit offered everyone a unique opportunity to see how this younger generation benefits from learning in 21st-century classrooms with small class sizes, and a curriculum bolstered by technology, enrichment activities, and exposure to the arts and music.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EFO is pleased to share these wonderful experiences with important members of our students' families and our Orinda community. Huge thanks and appreciation to all those who helped orchestrate the event - principals, school staff, administration, students and volunteers from both EFO and Parents Clubs. In particular, EFO would like to thank our amazing Sleepy Hollow and Wagner Ranch representatives: Lara Chua, Carolin Garvey, Fred Kaynor, Alli Lovell, Alex Riedel and Wendy Shang. 
It was a beautiful day to celebrate Orinda families!
Save the Date for a FREE Orchestra concert!  
Friday June 15th @ 7pm
Holy Shepherd Church, 433 Moraga Way, Orinda 
Bring your family and friends to enjoy a free orchestra concert directed by the ever-popular OIS teacher Greg Mazmanian, and featuring OIS and Miramonte band and orchestra students. Refreshments will be available after the concert.
EFO congratulates every Orinda student  
on another year of growth, exploration and achievement!
Whether preparing to start kindergarten in the fall, move up to the next grade level, transition into middle school or high school, or head off on exciting post-graduate adventures, every Orinda student will take a big step forward this month!
Congratulations and enjoy your summer!   
      
  Want to stay connected with EFO?
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!