SPEF Color Festival 2019

SOUTH PASADENA, CA- Get ready to celebrate spring with a burst of color! The South Pasadena Educational Foundation’s 4th Annual Color Festival returns on Saturday, March 16th, from 10am-3pm at the South Pasadena Unified School District parking lot, located at 1020 El Centro Street.

Inspired by the Indian Festival of Holi, the SPEF Color Festival is a celebration of Spring that brings together the South Pasadena community for a fun-filled day of food, music, games and vibrant color throws. As part of the celebration, event goers will be able to purchase small bags of brightly colored, non-toxic cornstarch and are invited to play, dance and color each other throughout the event.

This year’s event features new activities and games the whole family can enjoy, including a super slide, human “whack a mole” game, giant bounce house, and oversized Kerplunk and Connect Four games. Children 8 and under will have access to a designated ‘Kid Zone’ with games and activities provided by My Gym. Parents can even take a break from the festivities in the new ‘Parent Lounge,’ complete with a cell phone charging stand and complimentary massages provided by Massage Envy.

Food trucks and tables are available inside the venue and include Dina’s Dumplings, Kon Tiki Tacos, Kona Ice, Menchie’s, and Twohey’s.

SPEF’s Color Festival is made possible through the generous support of local sponsors: (Gold) SmileHaus Orthodontics; (Silver) Morrow & Holman,  Thinkwell; (Bronze) First Financial Credit Union, FLEX College Prep, Foothill Federal Credit Union, Green Brooms Music Academy, Hartman Baldwin Design & Build, Carol Majors, Lawrence Ng Family Foundation, Massage Envy, Revolution Math; (Community Partners) Fair Oaks Orthodontics, Family Chiropractic, Kim’s Hapkido, Lindamood Bell Learning, My Gym Pasadena.

The idea for Color Festival originated in 2015 after community members expressed a need for a family-friendly event that would give residents of all ages, including teenagers, an opportunity to get together with friends in a festival-like setting. The South Pasadena EducationalFoundation wanted to meet this need as a ‘Thank You’ to the community for its generous support throughout the year and sought ideas for possible events.  It was at this time that Board members recommended looking to the Indian Holi Festival for inspiration.

In India, the Holi Festival is a celebration of Spring that is enjoyed by the entire community.  It’s a day when people of all ages, and from all walks of life, come together as a community and differences are washed away in color.  Holi is traditionally celebrated at the end of winter on the last full moon day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month and varies with the lunar cycle.  This year Holi coincides with the spring equinox on March 20th, turning the week of the 16th into a global celebration of spring.

The Color Festival draws in over 1,500 attendees of all ages and achieves its goal of providing a memorable community event, showcasing the charms of South Pasadena. Throughout the weekend, news of the unique event spread through social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat feeds filled with images of brightly colored festival goers.

Admission to the Color Festival is $5 per person. Non-toxic color bags and bottles available for purchase separately or as part of a package bundle. Proceeds from the event go towards supporting SPEF’s efforts to promote excellence in local public schools.  The South Pasadena Educational Foundation’s mission is to support all five South Pasadena Public Schools through an annual gift of over $730,000, as well as through the Teacher Direct Grants and Major Grants programs.

For more information on the event, please visit: www./spef4kids.org/fundraising-events/color-festival/

Google Expedition Virtual Reality – Parti Gras Paddle Raise

Gone are the old days of just looking at boring pictures in a book – that is so 1980’s!  What better way to learn about the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Barrier Reef or the Taj Mahal than actually going there?  Google Expeditions takes our tech-savvy students of the 21st century beyond mere video clips to an immersive curricular experience.  The teacher acts as a guide and leads explorers using 360-degree and interactive 3D images while students wear special virtual reality goggles, allowing the students to be actively engaged in their learning rather than passively reading from a textbook or following a PowerPoint presentation.

For the past two years, Google Expeditions has been used in classrooms across the country to extend learning and help students experience the world in new ways. They can take over 700 virtual field trips all over the world, gain exposure to new career paths and learn about social impact initiatives happening around the globe.  Science teachers can bring cells to life in Inside A Cell, while counselors can help students visit colleges or go on career expeditions by walking in the footsteps of those that do the job.  Students can also be a part of history by walking the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail or be among those fighting for a woman’s right to vote in the Women’s Suffrage in the United States expedition.

Immersion virtual reality is the next frontier in education, and thanks to the generous donations made during the 2018 Parti Gras Paddle, SPEF was able to purchase virtual reality goggles for the students of South Pasadena!

SPEF Food4Thought 2018- Thank You!

SPEF‘s Food for Thought fundraiser on Oct. 17 was a great success — for local restaurants, diners and our school district. Parents and community members turned out in impressive numbers to enthusiastically drink and eat their way through town from early morning to late evening, all in support of our schools and our kids.
“We could not have done it without the 24 local restaurants and tea shops that participated this year, as well as the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce,” said Larry Abelson, who co-chaired the Food for Thought effort this year with Alex Kung, adding, “A huge thank you to all of them for their partnership and support.”
Our local eateries were excited to see all those parents and kids come out to support the cause, so it looks like we will have some exciting food and beverage additions to Parti Gras 2019! Food for Thought is proving to be a win-win-win: a great way to energize our town, drive business to our local restaurants, and raise money for excellence and innovation in our schools.