About Malcolm X Elementary School
Malcolm X Elementary is an arts and academics magnet school located in South Berkeley. This school goes from grades kindergarten to 5th grade. Malcolm X Elementary school has been called a California Distinguished School and has been given awards such as the Title One Academic Achievement award and the California Excellence in Arts award. This elementary school is very well known for its academics and arts, and the achievements of this school has been recognized state wide. Aside from academics, students are instructed in art (painting, drawing, and sculpting), nutrition (through the cooking and gardening program), music (instrumental and chorus), drama (through the every year showcases of school plays), and much more. With the Malcolm X School motto being "Together We Can", both students and teachers give off an enthusiastic vibe that bounces of the hallways and into the classrooms.
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The Gardening and Cooking Program
One of the many things that this elementary school is well known for is its gardening and cooking program. This program is ran by Rivka Mason (the school gardener and nutritionist). She teaches students, in every grade level, the importance of eating healthy and maintaining a strong body through exercise. During the class time, the gardening and cooking program is split into two segments. During the gardening session, Rivka shows the students how to mend soil, pull out weeds, plant (fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers), and harvest. Often times, the students first plant whatever it is that needs to be plant and then harvest whatever is ready to be picked. With what is harvested, Rivka plans a small meal (such as soup from the harvested kale, chard, and squash) or a snack (like a salad, with ingredients picked from the garden). Students also learn specific history's of planting (such as strawberries and the linking of the Cesar Chavez huger strike). This program has been successful in teaching students the value of gardening.
Parent Involvement at Malcolm X Elementary
Malcolm X Elementary school acknowledges the importance of parent involvement in their students education. Through the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) program, parents are given a voice when it comes to school changes and activities. PTA members are allowed to volunteer in classrooms, participate in the setting up of fundraisers and events, and hold positions such as PTA president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, etc. Parents of students and sponsor's come together and organize successful fundraisers and beneficial events for students. Some of the successful fundraisers and events include the annual walk- a -thon, Earth Day school event, raffles, and the occasional holiday bake sales. The walk- a -thon is the overall school's favorite fundraiser. Students ask for donations and each donation amount has a specific number of laps the student had walk/run around the school. At the walk- a -thon water, fruit drinks, and protein/ granola bars. The Earth Day event is a popular school event amongst students. There are different stations where games are played (health version of spin the wheal, bean bag tosses, bobbing for apples, tostada making, racing, a timed recycling station, etc) and prizes are won.