School highlighted because of its academic progress
■ Chronicle News Service
The lobby at Juan Bautista De Anza Elementary is ready for the holidays, thanks to Riverside County 3 District Supervisor Chuck Washington’s gift that he obtained last month at the Festival of Trees event..
Proceeds from the theme-decorated tree event—hosted by Riverside University Health System (RUHS) Foundation—fund life-saving equipment and programs for the RUHS pediatric units. Beneficiaries include the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Child Abuse and Neglect Unit.
Washington held a brief tree presentation at the school Nov. 28 and invited a few guests, including students selected by Principal Lauren Armijo.
“At the Festival of Trees this year, they highlighted the story of a young student who was hit by a car and really needed much intensive care,” Washington explained to the 5 Grade Student Council. He told the students that De Anza was selected for the special tree because of its academic progress.
Standing in front of the tree, four of the eight student-council members shared their presentations on “What Christmas Means to Me.” Supporting them were Washington and the other San Jacinto Unified School District guests including board member Debbie Rex, Superintendent Diane Perez, and three Assistant Superintendents Seth Heeren, Matthew Hixson, and Sherry Smith. Yolanda Sivils, school secretary, also shared her thoughts with guests on the meaning of Christmas.
We love to expose literature to our students, and this tree has really brought to life one of our favorite story characters.”
“As noted by our students and Ms. Sivils, we all care about our families and about education,” observed 18-year Board Member Debbie Rex.” This tree is all about caring,” she told Washington, adding, “and we appreciate your time with us today,” she said.
Armijo explained to the guests that all 665 students attending De Anza are great, and the very best are on the 5 Grade Student Council. The tree’s decoration theme is on the children’s book series Madeline, written by Ludwig Bemelmans. “We love to expose literature to our students, and this tree has really brought to life one of our favorite story characters,” said Armijo.
Assistant Principal Keri Thomas works closely with the student council, noting its recent accomplishments that include a second annual “Socktober” sock drive for the Valley Restart Center in Hemet.