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Garfield Elementary Welcomes Turnaround Arts CA, AUSD Alums Steve Padilla and Malissa Feruzzi Shriver

  • Steve Padilla asks the students how old the protagonist of their story should be. Photo by Helen Arase

  • Padilla writes down suggestions from students. Photo by Helen Arase

  • An enthusiastic group of fourth and fifth graders offer their suggestions during a workshop in February, 2020. Photo by Helen Arase

  • Padilla asks for a name for the character of the story the class is creating. Photo by Helen Arase

  • Padilla explains the importance of communication, and tells students to learn more languages than they currently know how to speak. Photo by Helen Arase

Location

Alhambra , CA

Alhambra Unified welcomed esteemed alumnae for an all-day series of storytelling workshops, catered to each grade-level.

Steve Padilla, Column One editor and Metpro director at the Los Angeles Times, returned to Garfield Elementary on Tuesday for storytelling workshops through Turnaround Arts: California. Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, executive director of Turnaround Arts: California was in the audience for Padilla’s presentation.

Shriver is an alumna of Fremont Elementary and Padilla is an alumnus of Ramona Elementary, though he spent time at Garfield playing the French horn for the all-city band. He graduated from Alhambra High School where he was student body president and drum major.

Both Shriver and Padilla shared memories of learning at AUSD, when arts education was integrated in everything they learned. Shriver remembers learning about the Spanish missions because she built models of them out of beans and macaroni ­– Padilla was encouraged by a teacher to make the “203 News.” He and a friend wrote about the students in their class, room 203, and the positive reception and encouragement changed his life.

In his workshop, Padilla spoke of the power of words and value of knowing another language. He asked the students to define the arts – poetry, music, dance – and reminded them there is no age requirement to participate in the arts.

School principals apply for the Turnaround Arts program, and if they are selected, will receive resources including support to integrate arts into their curriculum, an arts specialist and strategic planning to target the whole school and environment. For more information, go to their website.

View our gallery to see Padilla leading the fourth and fifth graders at his workshop. As a group they created a story about Buster, the one-year-old golden retriever, who gets into some trouble.

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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