TECS Gives the Gift of Gratitude

By TECS News Team

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TECS Gives the Gift of Gratitude
Photo by Kristy Beauvais Students from Topanga Elementary, Manzanita, and Pali High, united to perform the magical musical adventure, Xanadu Jr., at the TECS auditorium.
The season of gratitude is in full swing at Topanga Elementary Charter School (TECS), with parents, students and teachers all being acknowledged for the crucial role they play in the community. The TECS annual “Giving Week” took place in early November, with appreciation shared with those who have contributed to the continued growth and nourishment of the school and its students. Teachers were all given $500 from Topanga Enrichment Program (TEP) funds to spend on improving their classrooms as recognition of their continued hard work. This is part of a broader initiative to enhance the campus, which includes plans to invest in developing and stewarding the site’s outdoor spaces, which are rich in educational and ecological opportunities. Parents were thanked for their generous contribution, including monetary donations to the school’s “Giving Fund,” and the precious time they devote to supporting staff on campus and helping at fundraisers. A new enterprise to engage the talented school community was launched in the form of the “Family Support Survey,” which asked parents about skills and assets they have that could be utilized to further enrich the experience of TECS families. The seasonal drive to increase fundraising awareness also brought the return of the annual “Giving Fund” contest. A competition was underway to see which class could achieve the highest participation in the fund, the primary source of fundraising to pay for the classroom aides and specialist science, art, physical education and technology instruction that LAUSD does not cover. Families are asked to contribute $1,200 per child to the “Giving Fund” each year, but this is just a guideline with all parents encouraged to donate whatever is feasible and meaningful to them. The first class to reach 100% participation in the fund—regardless of the amount donated—will win a class party to remember for all its students. TEP board member Isabelle Millar said, “The holiday season offers the perfect opportunity to thank our community for all they do to support and enhance the experience of everyone involved in the school. Whether it’s parents donating their money and time, the devotion of our inspirational teachers, or the wider canyon community offering their support in the form of resources and sponsorship. It’s heartwarming to see how the Topanga family pulls together to help achieve our goals.” TEP is the school booster club and aims to raise more than $250,000 each year to pay for enrichment education for all TECS children. For those looking for ways they could contribute to the school, please contact the TEP board at: TEPBoard@topangaelementary.org. Young Stars Sparkle in Xanadu Jr. Musical Students from Topanga Elementary, Manzanita, and Pali High united to perform the fall community play, the magical musical adventure Xanadu Jr., at the TECS auditorium. Local non-profit FOCUSFish, which works to improve the health and wellness of its community through creative play and the arts, were behind the production, adapted from the 1980 musical fantasy film starring the late, great Olivia Newton-John. The 1980s-inspired performance was a smash hit, featuring chart-topping tunes, disco balls, leg warmers, and other highlights from the glittering decade. FOCUSfish executive director Kristy Beauvais said, “I am so proud of how the cast stepped into this vintage piece and revived the choreography, fashion, and pop music of the era. It was so joyful to see how happy they were in the material.” FOCUSfish is looking forward to bringing more popular musical adaptations to Topanga, with a performance of Mamma Mia! by local youngsters scheduled for next fall.

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