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St. James’ News, May 11, 2012
With Mother’s Day only a day or two away, I’ve come to the realization that I consider myself a veritable connoisseur of mothers, having had one, been one, and given birth to someone who now is now a great one herself. But my experience goes well beyond the scope of my own family. I’m privileged to say I’ve interacted with more mothers than most people ever will. And trust me when I tell you, I’ve seen it all. So, today I’d like to pay tribute to mothers everywhere, but especially those mothers here among us at Saint James’.
Over the 45 years or so I’ve been in education I’ve seen all kinds of mothers ranging in age from 15 years to a very geriatric 75 (although that was technically a grandmother called into service when her daughter was too drug-addicted to fulfill her maternal duties.) I’ve seen moms rise above a life of shocking loss and grief to stand with dignity and pride at the head of a family. I’ve seen mothers who were deprived of the joys of childhood themselves who then refused to be truly grownup in relationship to their own children. I’ve seen regimented moms who rival the U.S. military in the stringent demands they place on their kids. I’ve seen mothers so mesmerized by their own progeny that they can no longer distinguish the reality of the child from their fantasy image of him. I’ve seen gentle, submissive mothers held virtually hostage by their demanding, aggressive offspring… and gentle children cowed into silence by overly assertive moms. Not surprisingly, my least favorite mothers have been those who gave themselves license to abuse their children verbally or physically to satisfy their own complex psychological demons and perverse emotional needs. And I’ve seen far too many of them.
I spent many years of my life working in the most disenfranchised communities in the United States; and I always considered it a rare privilege to do so. I’ve driven children home to rat-and-gang-infested corners of our inner cities that most people who look like me have never experienced. I’ve escorted students to Lamaze classes and seen them through long labors, bailed them out of jail, escorted them to detox, and even became a foster home to one of them. In each of those situations, I have to admit I asked myself in total exasperation, “Where is this kid’s mother?!”  And sometimes the answer was that the missing-in-action mom was actually working her third job of the day, because sometimes those children of poverty came from homes with strong values and honest, hard-working parents. But they were parents who had precious little time to spend with their children.
But now I’ve come here to you. Dark, dangerous inner city streets are far behind me now and with them, the desperate, broken hearts and despair of parents and children caught in a web of hopelessness. Here I’ve found the most rarified of parents: the bonded pairs who love with all their hearts, who nurture with every fiber of their beings, and who give of themselves to every facet of their children’s lives. Here I’ve discovered those families whose lives and futures are full and rich, comfortable and strongly fortified. It’s here at Saint James’ that I’ve seen mother-love made manifest…and it comes dressed in the clothing of every race and culture.  I’ve met tiger mothers and mother lambs, and mothers who seem simply born to breathe life and wisdom into the hearts of children…and then discovered that such mothers come in both genders, all colors, and many different faiths. I’ve found men who can “out-mother” me in every conceivable way, but especially in their selfless dedication to their brood; and I’ve found courageous single mothers here with the strength and determination of ten men.
All these parents… these Saint James’ mothers whether they be women or men…have entangled their lives with mine, fed my optimism, buoyed my energy, and spurred my enthusiasm.  They have sought my wisdom, tapped my experience, and enriched me with their own beliefs and perspectives. They…YOU…are my new family; and you have made your new mother very proud. You have inspired me and taught me more about the art of motherhood than all my previous experiences ever have. 
So, this weekend I wish each one of you a day to reflect with pride on the role you play in the lives of your children. They have no idea how blessed they are; but I do
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.  This Sunday is your day!

All-School Announcements

The Annual Saint James' Art Show opening celebration is on Thursday, May 17th in Saint James' Hall from 3:30pm - 5:30pm. Parents, students and friends are invited for home baked cookies and refreshments. Every Saint James' student will be represented in the show via painting, drawing, collage and sculpture, plus special exhibits. Please come and see the talent and imagination of our kids! The show will be up until Wednesday, May 30th, 2012.

St. James' will have a commemorative tile wall in celebration of the St. James' Shines event held on Saturday, April 28, 2012. All sponsors and donors whose cumulative donations for the Spring Event are $500 and above will receive a commemorative ceramic tile on the St. James' Shines wall. The painting of the tiles will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 11 am - 12 pm at the school. Please RSVP to Alison McKee at amckee@sjsla.orgif you plan to attend. You may also email her if you would still like to purchase a tile. The deadline to purchase a tile is Monday, May 14th.

Date:             MAY 22, 2012
Time:             9:45am -11:00am
Where:          St. James' Hall
Come One! Come All!
~Let your Friends and Neighbors Know...
~Find Out What Makes St. James' Special
~Tour the School w/ Current Parents and Teachers
~And much more....
Please RSVP to Admissions: (323) 382-2315 x255 or online here.

Save-the-Date.... Thursday, May 24th. 11am-1pm

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon
In appreciation for all of the wonderful parents who have volunteered this year, please join us for our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon event on Thursday, May 24th from 11:00am - 1:00pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you for all you've done in making this a spectacular year. We couldn't do it without you. The luncheon will be held at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, 5851 Clinton Street, Los Angeles, 90004.

Elementary School Announcements

Calling all poets! Husky Highlights is hosting a poetry competition. Winning poems to be published in the next issue. All poems welcome from faculty, staff, students and parents. Submissions should be sent to Lucy Norland, editor of Husky Highlights, via backpack express or email to Extended deadline: May 14.

Thursday, May 24th will be the date of the Spring Dance for the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Flyers will go out next week in the backpack express. St. James Hall from 6-9pm. Dinner, music and raffle prizes.

Our annual Summer Reading Book Fair is fast approaching. It will take place on Thursday, May 31 from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p. m. A large selection of books from the summer reading guide will be available. The book fair will feature some special guest readers as well as other surprises. Hope to see you there!

Junior Camps are open for ages seven through twelve and meet Monday – Friday from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Each intensive includes a condensed version of the Academy curriculum and culminates in a student performance on the last day.

Camps are offered in acting, musical theatre, opera, and dance.

Click here to find out more!

Enrollment materials are coming home for Summer at St. James'! This year, Summer at St. James' will be a two week program with academic and enrichment offerings. Summer program will run from June 18- June 29, with classes and after and before school care running from 8:15-5:00. We are offering new exciting classes along with your old favorites, and all classes are taught by SJS faculty and staff. Enroll for just one or for both weeks! Contact Ms. Cefaly, Summer at St. James' Director, with any questions.

Friendly Reminders

Join us after school for a simple supper provided by our parish chef Julia Rhoton at St. James’ Café, located in the Parish Hall on Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. All school families are invited. Chris Zapata from the Saint James' Episcopal School staff will provide childcare from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Look forward to seeing you there! Suggested donation $5.


Members of the St. James' Choir

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