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Celebrando Comunidad en la Placita - Sunday, October 9

The César Chávez Dolores Huerta Commemorative Committee is hosting a special celebration of community  at MLK Jr. Civic Center Park, this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 12-4pm. There will be dance, music, artisan fair, good food, activities for kids and more. There's info about the event and the amateur salsa making contest here.
Willard Middle School Turns 100
The Willard Community, past and present, is celebrating a major milestone on Oct. 16 -- its 100th birthday!   The Centennial Celebration from 11am - 3pm will feature live music, a bake sale and raffle, food by  Growing Leaders , tours of the school, a film festival, and historical displays. At noon, the new Stuart Street mural constructed over the summer will be dedicated. Willard families, friends and alumni are encouraged to attend this free event.

As part  of commemorative events,  Berkeley filmmaker Kim Aronson made a short video featuring current and former Willard students talking about their experiences at the school. 

Free and Reduced Lunch Form
Please help us qualify for state and federal funds available to serve our students. We need every family to complete a Free and Reduced Lunch Form.
The Schools Fund is committed to keeping budding young musicians engaged in music education by providing scholarships for private music lessons for middle school students . A benefit concert with Herbie Mims & Friends, including the BHS Jazz Combo and Chamber Orchestra is being held on  October 17.

District Meetings & Events

Google Calendar
Brown Act Committees Open to the Public:
Oct.   5 (7:30pm)
Oct. 19 (7:15pm)
School Board Meetings are held in the Board Room at 1231 Addison Street.
All School Board meetings are viewable live on local cable channel 33 and on  the BUSD YouTube channel .
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Middle School Students Team Up to Read 
Middle school students have been eager to sign in during lunch recess to learn about the  Battle of the Books. They've been lining up at lunch and checking out  this year's list of 22 books. Entering its second year as part of the middle school library program, there's lots of excitement around this friendly competition.

To participate, students form teams of up to four and set out to read 22 books over the next four months tackling the list in any order they want. Each week students meet to talk about the books, share facts about the story, characters, and ideas, and build excitement about reading. The challenge promotes  reading for comprehension while nurturing an enthusiasm and love for reading. The "battle"  culminates in a quiz-show style competition between the three middle schools to see which team has read most widely and remembers the most details.
School & District Committee Orientation: October 18 
The annual district-wide orientation for members of school and district committees will take place on  Thursday, October 18th at Longfellow Middle School ( optional dinner at  5:30 , followed by the meeting from  6-8:00). The evening will include an update on the BSEP measure (on the ballot this November), an orientation to committee essentials ("the toolbox"), and an opportunity for committees to have a mini-meeting at which to launch some of the work for the year. The  agenda for the evening is here.

This evening is for members of:  School Governance Councils (SGCs), the BHS School Site Council and BSEP Site Committee, English Learner Advisory Committees (ELAC) and District English Learner Advisory Committees (DELAC) as well as anyone who wants to learn more about how these committees function.  
Childcare and Spanish interpretation are available.  
Outstanding Educators Recognized at Liberty Hill

Congratulations to the BUSD employees, parents and volunteers recognized as "Outstanding Educators" in this year's annual honors sponsored by Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 25. Read about those recognized
Our Students are Strumming
As is evident in this rendition of Best Day of My Life, young musicians and their audiences are enjoying the growing opportunities for strumming and singing in our schools. 

Student interest in learning the ukelele has been building over a number of years. In fact, the roots go back as far as ten years ago and to one teacher's hunch. Pete Gidlund, then a science and math teacher at Longfellow Middle School, wanted to see more of his students making music at school. So he began by offering just one guitar class in addition to the band and orchestra classes at Longfellow, and student interest grew quickly. Over time Mr. Gidlund became a full-time music teacher, succeeded in starting Longfellow's mariachi band, and extended his teaching to Berkeley High School where he started offering a new guitar class. 

"I really wanted to grab a different type of kid, to provide a different entryway for students to learn and play music. First with the guitar, and now with the 'uke', we've tapped into the social nature of kids who are excited to be strumming, drumming, and singing with other people," says Mr. Gidlund, now the district's Program Supervisor for Visual and Performing Arts. As natural accompaniments to the ukelele and guitar, percussion and voice lessons have also developed; now in addition to Berkeley High School, all three middle schools also offer choir.

An integral part of a Berkeley public school education, the district-wide music program in grades 4-8 has been funded by the  Berkeley Schools Excellence Program since 1994.   
Bring your family out to the annual City of Berkeley Harvest Festival at Cedar Rose Park on  Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This free festival, put on by the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department, will celebrate the harvest season with live music, kids' activities, and a Food and Garden Expo -- that is, foods grown, harvested, and prepared by members of the Berkeley community. Berkeley school garden/cooking/nutrition educators will be putting on live gardening and cooking demonstrations from 12-2pm.