Mark your calendar! We have a lot coming up!

An Interview with Dawn Lett

This week, the St. James' community joined together for the annual African American History Month Gospel Chapel Service. Faculty, students, staff and parents heard a wonderful lesson from Reverend Lester McKenzie who was bursting full of life and excitement! There was poetry in honor of Ms. Arrington and music performed by Brother Abdul Salaam. One of the biggest highlights of this occasion, is the African American History Choir led by Ms. Dawn Lett and accompanied by Mr. Casey.

Tell us a little bit about the African American History Choir.
We started it about 6 years ago when a parent, Maurice Odem, had the idea. It started out as an adult choir. Maurice passed away suddenly and it fell in my lap. He and I had tag teamed the choir, and I was very enthusiastic about having a choir. It was his idea but I loved to sing, so we worked together.
How did children get involved?
The next year, the children got involved saluting him and his children who were here.
What is your favorite part of working with the Choir?
The result! They work hard and they always do the best job-they always amaze me! During the process, I don’t always know what is going to happen, but they turn out great.
What makes the kids want to be involved in this particular Choir?
The music. The song choices. A lot of the children haven’t sang this type of music and haven’t been exposed to it. But they do love to sing. So that is different for them and they like it!
What do you emphasize when preparing the children to be part of the Choir?
I think R&B music, soul music, black music, African American Spirituals have a sense of letting go in it. It doesn’t have to be formal, but you really have to feel it. I take the time to talk about the song and think about the song. I emphasize that you need to feel this in order to really sing it.
What is the biggest challenge putting together the songs?
Getting the kids not to be so chatty!
This is an amazing experience and I think the kids really get it. They always seem to have a good time. I would love for any student who hasn’t tried it, to come out and try it! I really appreciate the parents supporting it and everyone rearranging their schedule to make this one time a year event happen. 

Click here to view a short video recapping the Gospel Service. 

Dawn Lett
1st Grade Classroom Assistant

Feb 25-March 1

Click Here to download a copy to print for the front of the fridge!

Family Pancake Breakfast
This Sunday!
9:00-10:30 am
Organized, Cooked and Served by the Dads of St. James'

Hope to see you all at the Family Pancake Breakfast this Sunday in the Parish Hall! Tickets are available at the door.

Adults: $15
Children: $10

Campus Kitchen (Hot Lunch) Order Deadlines!

Please don't forget to order for March! 


New orders and modifications to existing orders must be completed by 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday for the following week. No new orders will be placed after that time. 

Changes to orders for next week can not be made after Wednesday Night at 11:00 p.m.


Order cancellations must be completed by 11 AM, two days (48 hours) prior to the date of service.

S.T.E.M. Fair
A Celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Thursday, May 23

The science fair has been around for decades, but our fair has evolved to give students an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and interest in the growing S.T.E.M. fields. We are calling all young scientists, techies, engineers and math whizzes to participate in the fair by working on a project at home, and displaying it proudly at the S.T.E.M. Fair on Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 6-7 pm. 

Please note, Fourth and Sixth Grade students are required to complete a project. 

All projects must be registered online and completed projects should be brought to St. James' Hall after school on Wednesday, May 22 or before school on Thursday, May 23. For more information about project categories, project requirements or to register your project, please visit our S.T.E.M Fair website.  Additional questions should be directed to Mrs. Rodrigues.

Attention all Parents!

If you need used uniforms, the UUC will be open the following days and time:

Next Community Gathering: Fri March 8, 8:30-10:00 am
3rd Thursday: March 21, 3:00-4:00 pm

Author Visit
Monday, February 25

On Monday, February 25, children's book author Oliver Chin will once again visit St. James' students in  Pre-K (Tigers & Dolphins) through  Second Grade.   He will  introduce his latest book in the Chinese Zodiac series, The Year of the Snake.  Book order forms have been sent home.  The book order form can be downloaded here if you'd still like to purchase a book.  The form must be received with payment by Monday morning 2/25.

Skate Party!
February 27, 5-8 pm

For everyone who signed up, Skate Night is this Wednesday! See you there! 

Preschool Fiesta!
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 5:30-9:30

Preschool families, please join us for our spring fundraiser-an adult-only Mexican Fiesta to show support and appreciation for our wonderful Preschool Faculty. A Save the Date should have come home with your child and more information will be coming soon! 

A special thanks to Tom Bessant and Anne McIntyre for hosting and underwriting this wonderful event. 

Preschool Photos
Thursday, March 7

Preschool Picture Day is the morning of March 7. They need volunteers! Contact Gloria Hann to help. 

Around the World Week
March 13-15

Mark your calendars for the annual St. James' Around the World Week March 13-15! Sign up forms for parents to help will be going home in backpack express this coming week and more information will be available in the coming newsletters. 


4th Grade Trip to San Jan Capistrano

We heard about the 4th Grade class researching and creating mission projects, on Feb 12, they actually went to visit Mission San Jan Capistrano. 

Click here to see pictures from their trip! 

Haiti Update

On Friday night, February 15, Mr. Krueger took Ms. Brown to the airport to begin the first leg of her trip to our sister school, St. Jacques, in Haiti.  She was loaded down with sixth grade projects that included school supplies, first aid kits, seeds, safe straws, iodine pills, and water filters.  There were also donations of teacher supplies and books in Haitian Creole given by our faculty and stuff.  Thanks to your generosity in our “buck for jeans” fundraiser, Ms. Brown had a check for $2,240, enough to pay the salaries for five teachers at the school for one year.  Many thanks to the sixth grade parents that helped our sixth grade students with their own fundraising projects done off campus, and for their help ordering items using the money you raised.  Thanks to our faculty for helping out and to you for your generous donations.

Changing of the Guard

Jose Tabarez of Southwest Security is our new full-time security guard. Oscar Godey, who held the Church/School shared security position for many years, has left Saint James' and he will always be remembered fondly by all of us who knew him. We are excited to welcome a new face to St. James'. Jose Tabarez has lived in California all his life and grew up in Whittier. He went to College for Administration of Justice and Criminal Justice at Rio Hondo where he also went through the Police Academy. He has worked as a Security Guard for 8 years and is currently studying to become a Surgical Tech. Jose is married and has discovered he adores children through his 6 year old nephew. When asked how he feels about working at St. James', he said, "I am happy to be responsible for the safety of the children, and I would do anything to protect them." 

Please take the time to welcome Jose to the St. James' community! 


We have 77% parent participation in this year's Annual Fund and we need to hear from our missing families today!

For the 224 families who HAVE made their Annual Fund donation this year, we THANK YOU.

For these 67 missing families who have not made their donation this year, you received a letter from the Chair of the Board of Trustees and a pledge form via Backpack Express on Thursday.  

Please take two minutes to complete your gift.  Please complete and return the form via Backpack Express. OR please click here to visit our secure online giving page to make your donation today.

If you have any questions, or need assistance with your donation, please contact Chris Cook (, 213.233.0133 x 309) or Ryanne Plaisance (, 213.233.1033 x306) 

Leadership Update

The Turtle Sanctuary will be underway this weekend! Pasadena Community College will be working on the fountain at the Church Saturday from 10 am-3pm. Any students and parents are invited to bring a sack lunch and help us out if you are interested! Feel free to come and go as you please. 

Click here to view the leadership blog. 

3rd Grade to the Humane Society

Third grade recently held their annual drive for the Pasadena Humane Society.  They collected dog and cat food, blankets, and toys for the animals.  On Tuesday, February 12, both third grade classes took Metro Rail over to Pasadena for a visit to the society for a tour and the opportunity to meet some of the animals.

Service Learning Update 

If you were at All School Chapel on Wednesday, February 13, as a part of the processional you saw a cart that was filled almost to the breaking point (at least for the wheels) with juice boxes.  The awesome part was that those boxes represented just a little over half of the 1,220 juice boxes that were donated during our January Juice Box Month drive for the St. James’ Food Pantry.  Using an average estimate of 8 ounces per box, that comes out to 76.25 gallons of juice.  Awesome!  After 647 cans of pop tuna, 900 packages of snack crackers, 500 snack size bags of cookies, and now the juice boxes, we are truly helping our friends at the pantry feed the hungry in our neighborhood.

During that All School Chapel, I spoke very briefly about the “unifying” effect the school wide food drive and fundraisers have had on our community.  It is both a pleasure and an honor to work with the wonderful families here at St. James’.  Beautiful is the best word I can use to describe not only your generosity but also your enthusiasm during this inaugural year of our Service Learning program.  Working together we are building up not just our school community, but we are also “making our mark” in our community, both locally and globally.  Thanks again for all that you are doing!

Rob Krueger

Director of Service Learning
“Sharing when we can.
Appreciating what we have.”

Happy Valentine's Day!

Did you feel the love last week? We sure did! St. James' Celebrated Valentine's Day with parties, pinatas and more! 

See pictures from our Feb 14th celebrations! 

Arts In Motion

Wednesday, February 20 marked another Arts In Motion Assembly, this one focusing on Korean Dance and Music. The Korean Classical Music and Dance Company performed traditional dances and music, and in the words of one of our 1st Graders, "This was really cool!" 

See photos from the performance here!

6th Grade Presentations

For African American History Month, Mrs. Dummett's 6th Grade class put together presentations on "People of Color". They could chose anyone they wanted to research and present on. On Thursday, we asked them to give us one thing they learned from this project. 

Click here to see what they said!

Bear Raffle

The St. James' Uniform Bear and St. James' Uniform Husky are being raffled off. Tickets are $1 each. Proceeds benefit PSF.  Purchase your raffle ticket in the front office. Winners will be chosen at the LAST COMMUNITY GATHERING which is May 10th. 

Saint James' Cafe

Remember that the Saint James' Cafe is open in the Parish Hall on Wednesday Nights from 5-6:30! 

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