Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s Escalona Elementary School was honored with a California PTA 2016 Spotlight Award during CAPTA’s San Diego Convention May 4-7 for engaging students through its October 2015 Red Ribbon Week.

The week consisted of five spirit days centered on the “Just Say No” campaign and community service efforts that included staff, parents and students donating 10 ponytails to Wigs for Kids, writing more than 400 letters to soldiers and donating 578 pairs of socks.

“The Escalona Elementary PTA provides wonderful opportunities for our staff, parents and students to contribute to our community, and this award speaks to their dedication,” NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Our students learned how to make safe, responsible decisions from the Red Ribbon Week program and how to be more compassionate individuals.”

Escalona Elementary third- and second-grade combo teacher and Red Ribbon Week coordinator Renee Ivy wanted to connect their Red Ribbon Week spirit days to a service activity that would give back to the community.

“Not only did I want to send a message to our students for Red Ribbon Week to be drug free, but I also wanted them to tap into their sense of community by giving back,” Ivy said. “I felt that promoting social awareness would help our students develop a sense of courage to ‘Just Say No.’”

Each day during Red Ribbon Week, Escalona teachers, parents and students participated in coordinated activities that involved a donation service:

  • Monday: “Wear Red” day – Staff and parents donated 34 pints of blood to Partners In Health. Students attended an assembly held by the La Mirada Public Safety Department.
  • Tuesday: “Red, White and Blue” day – Students wrote more than 400 letters thanking U.S. servicemen and women for their bravery and service to the country.
  • Wednesday: “Crazy Hair” day – Three student volunteers had their hair cut in front of TV cameras, joining six students and one teacher in donating their ponytails to Wigs for Kids.
  • Thursday: “Crazy Sock” day – Students wore their craziest socks while donating 578 pairs of new socks to the Los Angeles Mission. They also attended an assembly on anti-bullying.
  • Friday: Escalona’s Book Character Parade – Students dressed up as their favorite storybook characters. Costume winners were featured in a parade for parents and the community.

Escalona’s PTA holds multiple community service events throughout the year, including making cheer baskets for Escalona families during the holidays, raising funds to help children suffering from heart conditions and holding a change drive during College Week for Autism Speaks.

“Escalona PTA’s community involvement is an example of the work being done across the District,” NLMUSD Board President Karen Morrison said. “Thank you to all of Norwalk-La Mirada’s PTAs for supporting our schools, students and families.”


NLMUSD_PTASPOTLIGHT: Escalona Elementary School teachers Renee Ivy and Michelle Lee accept a PTA Spotlight Award at the California State PTA Convention held in San Diego May 4-7. Escalona was honored for incorporating community outreach to their annual Red Ribbon Week activities.