<![CDATA[parent2parent - Parent & Community Blog]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:44:02 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Student discipline and community monitoring]]>Sat, 21 Nov 2015 16:54:28 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/student-discipline-and-community-monitoring1Picture

Student discipline has raised its head again. Most of us have seen the video that went viral when a South Carolina resource police officer violently pulled a female student from her chair, and then proceeded to arrest her for not obeying school rules and staff. However that officer has since been fired by the school district.

And yesterday’s L.A. Times article by Sandy Banks tells a story, of how Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is handling a new initiative called ‘restorative justice’ which is a concept to make student discipline less punitive and more productive by issuing less suspensions and offering students alternatives. Under the new program students are asked to sit in a circle and talk about their behavior that got them in trouble, allowing them to vent and hear themselves speak without being interrupted or dis-respected by others.

However many teachers, administrators, and others say it is slow to take hold. Part of the problem is less than half of district employees have been trained to participate in the program, and more classrooms have had higher instances of unruly students requiring campus security and police officers to be called to classrooms to deal with students.
LAUSD Superintendent, Ramon Cortines said ‘I don’t think we provided the proper support and monitoring’ for the program. And I agree! As a long time educator within the public school system ‘I see school systems roll out programs with inadequate preparation’ and they don’t reach the goals they set out to accomplish.

When dealing with student behavior schools/districts must engage parents/guardians in the training, along with school staff. Why? Because student discipline must be supported and re-enforced at home in order to get desired results. Parents and guardians of school aged children should be required to attend such trainings, and policies regarding such reform measures need to be established.

And finally, until funded independent community based ‘monitoring teams’ are created, inner city public schools will continue to yield results that no one is satisfied with. Too often schools operate as if they are on an island – but they are part of a larger region called a community; made up of parents, guardians, businesses, agencies, institutions, etc., that should be actively engaged in monitoring how its schools are doing? These community members along with school staff could be trained to monitor their schools. What do you think?
<![CDATA[December 31st, 1969]]>Sat, 21 Nov 2015 16:31:25 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/student-discipline-and-community-monitoring<![CDATA[CA. 2015 Statewide Conference ]]>Mon, 30 Mar 2015 01:36:59 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/ca-2015-statewide-conference Picture

The California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) just wrapped up their annual Statewide Professional Development Summit in San Diego. This year’s theme was “Accelerating Academic Growth for African American & Other Students of Color”. The summit was attended by educators, school support staff, administrators, health professionals, elected officials, non-profit & for profit businesses, parents, students, and community members from around the state and beyond.

State Superintendent, Tom Torlakson addressed the audience on the final day, and spoke on initiatives underway to support student achievement state-wide, especially those centered around students of color. For example, the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and its counterpart Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) designed to give more funding to our neediest students.

Keynote Speaker, Congressman Robert “Bobby” C. Scott (D-Va) the leading democrat on the nations Education & Workforce Committee spoke on ways to save billions of dollars by re-directing financial resources currently spent on incarceration, health issues, environmental concerns, and supporting initiatives such as the Youth Promise Act, early pregnancy prevention, and early childhood education.

White House representative, Dr. Ivory Toldson spoke on the importance of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and informed attendees that HBCU graduate more black PhD candidates than any other higher learning system in the country.

CA. Assemblymember, Dr. Shirley Weber spoke about the great teaching in the area of organic chemistry, by professors at Xavier University, in addition to her moderating a fantastic panel on College Readiness for Students of Color.

Other such panels, and workshops took place throughout the three day event, where teaching and learning took place for the common purpose of ensuring that black students, and other students of color received an equitable and quality education.

This article does not allow mention of ALL Workshops & Presentations but some covered topics on: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEAM), Parent/Community Engagement, Mental Health, Research, Early Literacy, Discipline, Funding, Policy & Practices, Town Hall Meetings, Special Education, Gifted Education, Sports, Education Data, English Learners, Career Readiness, and much more.

Special thanks to the sponsors: CA. County Superintendents Educational Services Assn., CA. State PTA, CA. Assn. of Latino Superintendents and Administrators, CA. Head Start Assn., First 5 CA., Center for Leadership and Research, Assn. of CA. School Administrators, CA. Teachers Assn., CA. Educational Technology Professionals Assn., CA. School Boards Assn., and others.

And finally to the CAAASA Planning Committee, and all attendees.

 Great job!

<![CDATA[Bachelor's degree in 3 years]]>Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:12:51 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/bachelors-degree-in-3-years
<![CDATA[SEIU local union wins wage increase]]>Sat, 05 Jul 2014 22:40:46 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/seiu-local-union-wins-wage-increase
Teacher assistant Juanita Turcios hugs daughter. Photo credit: Gary Friedman/L.A. Times
The Los Angeles Times just reported that Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has reached an agreement with SEIU Local 99 service workers union to raise the minimum pay for its classified school workers to $15 an hour. The minimum wage agreement was unanimously passed by the LAUSD Board. Superintendent; John Deasy endorsed the deal, calling it “philosophically easy” if “financially difficult.” Local 99 Executive Director, Courtni Pugh said “this historic agreement sets a new standard for ending poverty in our schools, and this will be felt in school districts across Los Angeles, and the country.”

As stated in the article the $money to pay for the pay raise will have to come from somewhere? Classified service workers include; custodians, bus drivers, teacher assistants, and others, and will also have an effect on other employee unions (both teacher and non-teacher positions) who will be eyeing dollars from the new state funding system, and other resources.

This writer supports the agreement. And not just because I’m a retired classified school employee – but because it’s the right thing to do, and is long overdue. However, to put the problem into perspective…..this agreement will directly help thousands of school employees who make up the 33,000 membership of local 99 (many who make less than $9 hour) and many of them have children in the school system. But the agreement will not directly benefit many of the 600,000 plus families in LAUSD.

To adequately begin to fix the “poverty crisis” we have in Los Angeles, and the country….poverty relief will need to be provided to the masses of people who currently live below the poverty line! All other attempts will only benefit the fortunate few.

Solution! Include student’s parents as “true partners” in educating their children by creating policies that train and compensate them for their engagement in supporting school related outcomes. Many of these parents are not working or are under-employed. These days’ regular school site positions are not sufficient to deliver school/district wide desired outcomes. Parents/guardians who serve on school mandated councils, committees, should especially be compensated because their input is just as valuable (and sometimes more) as any school employee.

It’s unfair to see these parent leaders who represent hundreds of thousands of families….but treated as bake sale volunteers. Oftentimes real change requires drastic and innovative solutions!

Contact author at: tonyhicks5@

<![CDATA[Belmont High School Golf Classic]]>Mon, 21 Apr 2014 21:50:15 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/belmont-high-school-golf-classic
Belmont Golf Tournament Banner/Photo by Tony Hicks
Belmont High School held its 1st Annual Golf Tournament on Monday at the beautiful Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena adjacent to the infamous Rose Bowl. The event dubbed “The Sentinel Golf Classic” was co-sponsored by the high school’s Athletic Booster Club, The Alumni Association, Golf Pro Justin Davidson, and many others who will be mentioned later.

The purpose of the tournament was multi-fold. 1) To raise much needed dollars for all athletic programs for the school, 2) Raise scholarship money for students, 3) Expose more students to the game of golf, and 4) To provide a fun filled day of golf competition to those who participated.

Teams of students volunteered to serve in roles as greeters, bag check in workers, monitored contests such as closest golfer to the hole, longest driver, pulled raffle tickets during the luncheon, and other activities. Some of the students even got an opportunity to drive golf carts on the course while working. But the amazing thing was that the students were required to arrive at the school by 5:00 a.m. for pick-up, and not one missed the time. These students were committed!

During an interview with Davidson he said that it was a “Booster Club” that helped him gain access to higher education, and that he wants to help in any way that he can to assist the students at Belmont with the same kind of support. He also said that golf teaches life lessons such as self worth, discipline, and integrity……something that young and old alike can benefit from.

But the catalyst behind the idea of the golf tournament is Booster Club President, Mr. Damasio Adan Chavez who is an avid golfer himself, and has a son who is a graduating senior at Belmont. Chavez told me that it was perseverance that kept him on track to make this tournament a reality. He said that the past year preparing for the event has been challenging –but he can now see the fruits of his labor.

Other sponsors/supporters of the event by hole: 1) Belmont Athletic Dept. (Banner), 2) Mr. David Hawkins (Tee), 3) David O’Keefe (Banner), 4) Juan Ochoa, Jose Ochoa (Tee), 5) Russell D. Keely (Tee), 6) Alex  H. Phillips (Banner), 7) Julianne O’Conner (Tee), 8) Tricell Software/Victor Chavez (Banner $Hole), 9) Nick Somilleda (Tee), 10) Mrs. Marla Ryan/Ryan Family (Tee), 11) Kline Family (Tee), 12) Chavez & Riggio Family (Tee), 13) Tony Hicks (Tee), 14) Larry Dunn (Tee), 15) Belmont Alumni Assn. (Tee), 16) Johnnie – O (Banner), 17) Prudential Realty/Carlos Chavez (Tee), 18) Adams Golf (Banner).

The hole sponsors and team players provided much of the financial support for the golf tournament, but over $15,000 worth of golf gear, clubs, golf club passes to various clubs, and other items were donated to the cause as giveaways for the raffle and silent auction activities, and top level private sponsor was Alex H. Phillips.

 The school (Belmont High School) itself including administrators, teachers, classified staff, students, parents, and other members of the Belmont community deserve thanks for their support. But a special thank you goes out to Athletic Director (and his coaching staff) Mr. Neil La Sala, who was instrumental in coordinating with school staff, Ms. Nguyen Cao, ASB Advisor who coordinated the activities of the students, and along with Mr. La Sala represented the school on the Belmont Athletic Booster Club (BABC).

Also much appreciation for BABC Vice-President, Mr. Mauricio Aranda, who also serves as Vice President for Belmont’s Alumni Association along with President Harry Landon. And you know the saying “behind every great man is a great woman” well in this case it is two women Mrs. Ana Chavez, wife of BABC President Damasio Chavez who has supported her husband and the booster club since day one, and Marcela Riggio, a top notched Female Parent Director.

Other contributors:  Golf Pro Mr. Justin Davidson for bringing numerous silent auction packages to the event, Mr. Nick Somilleda for his excellent donation of Dodger Games, Mr. Victor Chavez for his website silent auction donation, Mrs. Carol Cracchiolo (wife of Neil La Sala), Marcela Riggio for their great support. Photographer, Sadiyya Ameena for her great photos. And a special thanks to Kimberly Sennela, Brookside Golf Course Tournament Director, for letting the booster club host its golf tournament at their beautiful facility.

Oh yes and now the winners: Ladies Flight Gold Medalists (76) Sue Khol Benton, Mary Randall, Sue Jameson, and Sue Talty. Ladies Flight Silver (77) Dianne Brown, Cathy Pherson, Julianne O’Oconnor and Gail Nackel. Mixed Flight Gold (64) Candy Cayer, Chayne Blair, Francisco Olmedo and Rene Ortiz. Mixed Flight Silver (65) Arturo Chavez, Jose Rico, Marla Ryan and Mindy El-Saden. Men’s Flight Gold (57) Jose Jimenez, Carlos Jimenez, Edgar Rodriguez, and Ulises Roddriguez. Men’s Flight Silver (60) Gerardo Pena, Evan Vollerthun, Billy Graezyk and Patrick Lonergan. Longest Drive (320 Yards) Patrick Lonergan. $ Money Hole Winner, Carol Cracchiolo.

It has been an honor and a privilege to write this article on my Alma Mater. And I want to personally congratulate and thank everyone (including those not mentioned in the article) who in anyway contributed to the success of this BABC sponsored event. And thank you for reading it….but please don’t stop there, share it with your family & friends, and invite them to participate in next year’s Sentinel Golf Classic. For more information on how to join and/or support the Belmont Athletic Booster Club please contact Damasio Chavez at chavez5429@sbcglobal.net  or 323-371-1567, or Neil La Sala (Belmont Athletic Director) at nlasala@lausd.net  or 213-241-4300.
Photos Click (or copy and paste link)
<![CDATA[CAAASA 2014 Statewide Conference]]>Sun, 16 Mar 2014 23:23:02 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/caaasa-2014-state-conference
The California Association of African American Superintendents & Administrators (CAAASA) completed their annual conference, held in Sacramento. The heavily attended event included some of the biggest names in public education from around the state, and even across the country. Themed as a CA. Professional Development Summit, the event commemorated the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, and the 67th Anniversary of Mendez v. Westminister. California education organizations came together to address Education, Equity, and Excellence for African American, Latino and Other Underserved Students.

Family members, Cheryl Brown and Silvia Mendez of both landmark lawsuits were among the panelists on day 1 to discuss equity in education. Others on the panel included Civil Rights Lawyer, Eva Patterson, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) President and General Counsel, Tom Saenz, President Elect of CAAASA, Dr. Judy White, Executive Director of California Association of Latino Superintendents & Administrators (CALSA) Dr. David Gomez, and retired Judge Gary E. Ransom. The moderator for this panel session was General Counsel, Deputy Chief of Staff for Speaker John Perez, Fredericka McGee, and the keynote speaker was President and CEO of The California Endowment, Dr. Robert K. Ross, M.D.

The day also included workshops and discussions regarding Common Core and Local Control Funding Formula/Local Control Accountability Plan (LCFF/LCAP), and keynote speakers were CA. State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, President CA. State Board of Ed., Dr. Michael Kirst, Superintendent, Santa Cruz Office of Education, Michael Watkins, and Director of Association of CA. School Administrators (ACSA), Wes Smith. This session was moderated by President of CAAASA, Dr. Pamela Short-Powell. This was followed by a Special Legislative Town Hall Hearing at the State Capital conducted by Assembly member Dr. Shirley Weber.

Day 2 included a youth summit where conference attendees were entertained and highlighted why public education should ramp up its support for the arts in education. Keynote speakers for this day were Deborah Delisle, Asst. Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Ed. U.S. Dept. of Ed., and David Johns, Exec. Dir, White House Initiative on Ed. Excellence for African Americans. Workshops and panel sessions consumed the day - but the evening entertainment by musician Mighty Mo Rodgers; and DJ Shane, had conference attendees up on their feet enjoying a much deserved good time.

Closing Day 3 focused on the impact of Parental Engagement on Student Achievement. The keynote speaker was Otha Thornton, National PTA President. One panelist (Dr. George McKenna, former Superintendent) on the closing day said that equity sometimes is not the same as adequacy (sufficient) to help underserved youth. The day ended with the swearing in of CAAASA’s incoming President Dr. Judy White, and the keynote speaker was Jill Habig, Special Assistant Attorney General in the Executive Office of California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.

Other workshops, seminars, panelist, and presenters for the conference included:

Legislative Seminar:

·         Senator Holly Mitchell, Chair, CA. Legislative Black Caucus

·         Senator Richard Lara, Chair, CA. Legislative Latino Caucus

·         Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer

·         Assemblymember Cheryl Brown

·         Dr. Arturo Delgado, Superintendent, L.A. County Office of Education

          Dr. Eric Andrew, Superintendent, Campbell Union School District

          Pamela E. Gibbs, J.D., Dir. Governmental Relations, L.A. County Office of Education (Moderator)


·         Chronic Absenteeism – David Kopperud, CDE Consultant

·         Technology and Common Core – Dr. Gilberto Conchas, Professor UC Irvine

·         STEM and Common Core – Dr. Kenneth Wesson, Neuroscience Researcher

·         Youth Empowerment – Youth discuss what supports or undermines resiliency

·         Cultural Competency – Dr. Noma LeMoine, CEO Ed. Consulting Consortium

·         Exploring Unconscious Bias-Reena Doyle and Gail Watts, Human Rights Consultants, CTA


·         Bridging the Digital Divide – Assemblymember Steven Bradford

·         Mary Stutts, Vice President of External Affairs, Comcast

·         Asia Powell, Director of External Affairs, Verizon

·         Sunne Wright-McPeak, Executive Dir. Calif. Emerging Technology Fund

·         Dr. Daryl Adams, Superintendent, Coachella Valley Unified School District

·         Improving graduation rates for boys and men of color:

·         Ronald Walker, Coalition of Schools Educating boys of color

·         Ruben Lizardo, Senior Director of BMOC and Workforce Initiative

·         Joseph Bishop, Dir. of Policy, Nat’l Opportunity to Learn Campaign

·         Larry John Irving, CEO, Brothers Empowered to Teach

·         Will Ector, Superintendent, Berryessa Union School District

·         Parent Engagement: Paul Richman, Executive Director, CA. State PTA

·         Dr. Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director, Ed Trust-West

·         Otha Thornton, National PTA President

·         Rick Mockler, CA. Head Start

·          Collen A.R. You, President, CA. State PTA

·         Paul Gothold, Superintendent, Lynwood Unified School District

·         Dr. Shirely Thornton, Trustee, Sausalido Marin City School Board

·         Adonai Mack, Legislative Advocate, ACSA

·         Jose Gonzalez, Superintendent, Planada School District

·         Seth Bramble, Legislative Advocate, CTA

·         Moderator, Darin Brawley, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District


·         Robert K. Ross, M.D., President/CEO, The California Endowment*

·         Tom Torlakson, CA. State Superintendent of Public Instruction*

·         Dr. Michael Kirst, President California State Board of Education*

·         Michael Watkins, Superintendent, Santa Cruz Office of Education*

·         Wes Smith, Executive Director, ACSA*

·         Deborah Delisle, Asst. Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Ed. U.S. Dept. of Ed.*

·         David Johns, Exec. Dir, White House Initiative on Ed. Excellence for African Americans*

·         Otha Thornton, National PTA President*

·         Dr. Ramona Bishop, Superintendent, Vallejo City School District

·         Dr. Donald Evans, Superintendent, Berkely Unified School District

·         Dr. Adrien Palazuelos, Associate Superintendent, Natomas Unified School District

·         Dr. Anthony Samad, Professor, East Los Angeles College

·         Steven Bradford, CA. Assemblymember

·         *Keynote Speakers

Special Thanks To:

·         CA.  Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA)

·         CA. Department of Education (CDE)

·         Association of CA. School Administrators (ACSA)

·         CA. Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA)

·         CA. State Parent Teacher Association (CAPTA)

·         CA. Head Start Association (CHSA)

·         CA. County Superintendents Educational Service Association (CCSESA)

·         CA. School Board Association (CSBA)

·         CA. Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA)

·         Center for Leadership, Equity, and Research (CLEAR)

·         CA. Teachers Association (CTA)

·         Dr. Charlie Mae Knight, Ed. Pioneer, Founder of CAAASA and former Superintendent

·         Kathy Hurley, Vice President, Education Alliance, Pearson Foundation ($100K Supporter)

·         Michael Dennis, CAAASA Conference State Chair

·         Dwight Bonds, Executive Director of CAAASA

·         Andrea Bennett, Executive Director, CETPA

·         Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools

·         Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd, and Romo, Law Firm

·         Fagen,Freeman, Fulfrost, Law Firm

·         Gloria Allen, President, CA. Coalition of Black School Board Members

·         Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt/CA-Go Math

·         K12 Insight

·         Comcast

·         I Can Learn

·         myOn

·         ACT Aspire

·         Generation Ready

·         Advance Path

·         California Consulting

·         The Titan Group

·         Legal Shield

·         Revolution K12

·         Let’s Go Learn

·         Quackenworth

·         School Tech Supply

·         AXA Equitable

·         Oakland Performing School of the Arts

·         CA. School for the Blind Jazz Ensemble

·         Sacramento Sheraton Grand Hotel

·         Sacramento Convention Center

This list is not conclusive of all who provided support to (or attended) the CAAASA Statewide 2014 Professional Development Summit. If someone was omitted by error please contact tonyhicks5@gmail.com

The three day event was an awesome showing of education professionals and supporters from around the state and country. Our mission of course is to take the information learned and work together to create better educational opportunities for the youth throughout California.

Great job to the CAAASA Planning Committee and everyone who was involved in making this great event a success!

<![CDATA[1st Toy Giveaway For New Mayor]]>Fri, 27 Dec 2013 19:25:54 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/1st-toy-giveaway-for-new-mayor
Families line up to receive free toys. Photo Credit: Larry Warmsley.
Mayor Aja Brown and the City of Compton hosted its 1st Toy Giveaway under her leadership. The event was in partnership with Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can Program, I Can Youth Foundation, and A Foundation for Kids, and was organized outside city hall at the Martin Luther King Jr.(MLK)  Monument. Hundreds of kids and families were in line hours before the toy giveaway, many formed new relationships while standing in line. Groups of volunteers worked throughout the day, alongside city employees to ensure that the process to receive a toy went as smooth as possible.

Many families stated that they wanted to thank the Mayor and the City of Compton for helping make sure that kids in Compton had access to a toy for the Christmas Holiday. There was consideration for culture differences as well. For example there was a table where many of the toys such as dolls spoke Spanish. Some folks who were at the end of the line were a little anxious about moving closer to the front – but overall everyone who came out was in a joyful mood and was just appreciative of the opportunity to receive the free toys. And every child who came out left with a toy, and that was the purpose for the day.

After the toy giveaway later in the evening – many returned to the site of the toy giveaway to give thanks and to pray for the City of Compton. This call to action was the idea of Mayor Aja Brown. She said that it was on her heart to ask local pastors, church leaders and members to join her at the MLK Monument as a sign of unity and strength, and to pray together for an improved Compton.

This writer was humbly moved to see black & brown participants holding hands in a large circle, and pouring out prayers of passion from our local pastors, ministers, church leaders, city employees, and others. To show you how God moves the group decided to extend the city-wide prayer event by having different church leaders host the event; on the 4th Monday of each month starting in January 2014. Pastor Michael Fisher of Greater Zion Church (Compton) volunteered to host the January prayer activity. And other pastors and church leaders volunteered to host following months. For more details check in at Mayor Aja Brown’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ajalenabrown?fref=ts

Merry Christmas!!

<![CDATA[LAUSD veteran school board member Marguerite LaMotte dies ]]>Mon, 09 Dec 2013 22:02:58 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/lausd-veteran-school-board-member-marguerite-lamotte-dies
LAUSD Board Member, District 1 Marguerite LaMotte, Photo Credit: examiner.com
<![CDATA[Local Group Celebrates 27th Annual Reunion]]>Wed, 20 Nov 2013 07:53:35 GMThttp://parent2parentandcommunity.weebly.com/parent--community-blog/local-group-celebrates-27th-annual-reunion
While most people never get the opportunity to re-unite with their childhood friends as much as they would like, (if at all) one group has been coming together annually for the past 27 years. The Neighborhood Reunion attendees at Friday’s Dinner/Dance hail from the neighborhoods of Temple, Flats, & J-Flats. These are nicknames for the Echo Park, Rampart District, and Silver Lake area of Los Angeles respectively.

The group started having its reunion back in 1987 when some of them were only in their 20’s and now many are in their 50’s and 60’s, and some even older. Their unique relationship stems from childhood family and friends who took it upon themselves to start meeting on a more joyous occasion when prior to the first reunion the only time they would see one another is when they attended the funeral of a family member or friend.

All but three of the 27 annual reunions have been held at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Two were held in Carson, and Friday’s event held in Long Beach, was the first ever to be held inside, instead of the usual picnic style reunion; it was a dinner/dance format. But it yielded the same results, of having a great time listening to music, good food, and most importantly sharing old times with family & friends. I personally believe it is one of the rarest reunions of its type. While many others have attended their high school reunion(s) – this group has the distinction of including not just high school classmates…but also neighborhood friends from various local communities.

Ironically, today I was reading an online article that told of a nurse who shared her story of the five most regrets that dying patients have. One of the five was “not staying in touch with friends.” So to come together every year for so many years is amazing. Most people can’t believe we do this said Chris, one member who has attended every year.

This writer is proud to say that he is also a member who hasn’t missed a reunion in all the years. We even have members who live as far as Hawaii (Doreen) who attend. Yes in a time when most Americans don’t know where most of their childhood friends are – the Neighborhood Reunion group sees theirs often. As the article about the dying patients said “friends are more important than monetary wealth.”
Photos: https://www.facebook.com/templeflatsjflats.neighborhoodreunion?fref=ts