Noe Valley Voice July-August 2005

School Report

This month's School Report, written by parent Tom Ruiz, features news from his daughter's Fairmount Elementary School, located on the southeastern tip of Noe Valley. In September, we'll bring you more notes from Fairmount, as well as the latest scoop from James Lick Middle School and Alvarado Elementary.


FiestaVal Raises $35,000

Fairmount School hit a new fundraising record at this year's FiestaVal: $35,000 from the sale of raffle tickets, homemade tamales, game booths, arts and crafts, and auction items. The extra funding will support the school's art, music, and P.E. programs.

The annual May celebration brings in more people each year, as kids crowd around the game booths, families gather to watch dance routines and listen to songs sung by the school choir (led by Glide Church's youth choir director), and guests come to bid on items donated by parents, friends, and local merchants.

The silent auction featured numerous gift certificates offered by Noe Valley merchants, and even included a $3,500 diamond ring. The school's classes auctioned off quilts and other student-made crafts, including a beautiful multicolored chest of drawers, which set off a spirited bidding contest.

"It was good to see so many families helping out and having fun," said Principal Karling Aguilera-Fort.

New Mural Decorates Yard

Pictures drawn by Fairmount children have turned a drab bungalow in the schoolyard into a brightly colored work of art. Muralist Katherine Gressel collected about 200 sketches from students in all grades, selected images that would blend well in a collage, and then, with the students' help, painted the mural on the exterior walls of the bungalow.

"A lot of the kids said they had fun painting and were very happy with how the final design came out," said Gressel. "A lot of them would also come by and point out which parts of the mural came from their sketches, which parts their friends had done, or which parts they had helped paint."

The artwork, whose theme was "Our Arts Community"--people and places in the arts--is the latest addition to Fairmount's collection of murals, which grace walls throughout the school and highlight themes of justice and social equality.

S.F. Ballet Awards Scholarships

Kudos to parent Madelaine Vella and the San Francisco Ballet for bringing the Dance in the Schools and Community program to Fairmount. The program worked with all three second-grade classes, engaging them in the world of modern dance. The Ballet also awarded scholarships to six Fairmount students--Alexander Williams, Dalia Terrazas, Jade Davison, Karina Solano, Princess Baria, and Shiann King--for dance instruction at the Ballet's downtown studios during the upcoming school year. The Ballet will be back at Fairmount in the fall to work with a new crop of second-graders.

Fairmount Father's Day

On June 19, Fairmount dads and their families gathered for an impromptu Father's Day picnic at Crissy Field. Kids cavorted in the creek near the restored marsh and dug a wide hole to build a clubhouse for the day, until the tide came in.

School Starts Aug. 29

Don't forget: The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 29. Fairmount families will gather at the school on Saturday, Aug. 27, to welcome new families.


James Lick Middle School
1220 Noe Street at 25th Street
Janice Daniels, Principal

Alvarado Elementary School
625 Douglass Street at Alvarado
David Weiner, Principal

Fairmount Elementary School
65 Chenery Street at Randall
Karling Aguilera-Fort, Principal