NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 24, 2015 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Evergreen Wins Top State Civic Learning Award
Students perform “Shake It Off” flash mob dance
DIAMOND BAR, CA--Evergreen Elementary is the recipient of the 2015 Civic Learning Award of Excellence.
A special presentation was held April 23 featuring Chief Justice and Chair of the Judicial Council, the Honorable Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.
Only three schools in California earned the top prize from the Judicial Branch.
“This is a very special day for Evergreen!” said Principal Caroline Wills who gave credit for award to the school’s hard-working students, dedicated teachers, and a supportive parent community.
Out of about 7,000 elementary schools in the state, only two received the Civic Learning Award of Excellence award.
“You worked so hard at being good and caring citizens in your classrooms, in our school, and you’re learning all those habits to be good citizens in the country and world,” Wills said to students. “You are the citizens of the future that will make our world a better place!”
The Civic Learning Award is co-sponsored by the Judicial Branch and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
“You may ask why we have partnered together for civics education. In a nutshell, it means leadership training – teaching you the skills and values that will help you play at the top of your game as you grow and get older and take our places,” said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye.
Forty students gave first-hand accounts of activities from the school’s civic learning programs - Keys to Success Character Education, Conflict Mediators, and Student Council.
Kindergarteners do extra chores at home to earn money for the Support Our Troops project.
First graders use Scholastic News each week to discuss current events. They talk about Keys to Success and how it applies to every day situations. They use coping strategies and support systems to help resolve playground issues.
Second graders perform an annual Veterans Day ceremony to share history, songs, and write essays about why America is special.
Third grader Kaitlyn Sands shared how the Project Lead The Way students studied about the science of flight.
“We learn to cooperate, work together, and communicate with our groups.”
Fourth grade students created a comic book called Diary of a Successful Kid. In the stories, Greg, the main character in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” uses these attributes to become a successful person.
Fifth grader Lauren Trinh described how her class learned to program robots to perform various challenges.
“We work in groups to solve problems. We learned that we are most successful when we cooperate, work together, and compromise. These are important skills that will help us be successful American citizens of the future.”
Fifth graders Brandon Yee and Isaac O’Barr detailed a cookie election held during the last presidential campaign to help students understand the election process. Three cookie candidates ran in the primary – Oreos, Chocolate Chip, and Sugar Cookies.
“In our class, Oreos received the most votes!” they announced.
“I save the highest praise for you students who are learning great skills to help you in life be a leader and to be a conflict mediator when you get older and all the professions that you choose,” said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye.
Winners were selected by a panel of experts based on the school’s depth and breadth of research-based best practices in civic education.
Student Council president Amanda Flores shared Words of Wisdom, part of the daily school-wide broadcast with notable quotes and lessons to develop character traits.
Flores described important coping strategy techniques for students – walk away, count to 10, and talk about it.
“Or you can let go and ‘Shake It Off.’ Come on Evergreen, let’s shake it off!” she exclaimed.
With that, nearly 600 students jumped out of their chairs for a flash mob dance to the popular Taylor Swift song.
“I can’t say how delighted I was to see you dance to ‘Shake It Off’. And remember that phrase whenever you feel down, you need to shake it off!” Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said.
Evergreen’s program builds on recommendations from the California Task Force on K-12 Civic Learning.
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye presented the 2015 Civic Learning Award of Excellence to Evergreen Elementary Principal Carolyn Wills during a ceremony held on April 23.
Evergreen Elementary is the recipient of the 2015 Civic Learning Award of Excellence. Shown: Student presenters, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, and Principal Carolyn Wills.
Evergreen Elementary received the 2015 Civic Learning Award of Excellence. Shown: Front Row: Parent Lynette Marantz, Field Representative Lauren Pong representing Congressman Ed Royce, Assistant Presiding Judge Daniel Buckley, Principal Carolyn Wills, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources Dr. Michelle Harold, Diamond Bar Council Member Jack Tanaka. Back Row: Luigi Luciano representing Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang, Jodi Roberto representing Senator Bob Huff, Parent David Chen, Assistant Superintendent Business Services Michael Hodson, Director of Educational Programs Jackie Brown, and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Dr. Matthew Witmer.
Evergreen student speakers described civic learning activities during the Civic Learning Award of Excellence ceremony held on April 23. Shown: Student Council President Jessican Flores.
Third grader Kaityn Sands shared how the Project Lead the Way class learned about the science of flight.
Fourth grade students created a comic book called Diary of a Successful Kid. Shown: Janal Wilson.
Fifth grade students dress up as American Revolution characters. Shown: Jenn Strudwick, Ashley Chan, Sharon Song, Leah Chang, and Reyna Wan.
Evergreen Elementary students performed a “Shake It Off” flash mob dance during the ceremony.