March 14, 2018


A Message from the MBEF Executive Director 

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to let you know that at the end of this school year, I will conclude my service as executive director of MBEF and the Endowment. In June 2018, I will complete my fourth year at MBEF, and the Parcel Tax initiative will have reached its conclusion. This will create a perfect opportunity for me to transition to a new role, and for MBEF to grow under new leadership. 

I have accepted a position as the Chief Operating Officer of the Environmental Charter Schools, a role that is more aligned with my personal purpose and professional history of creating windows out of poverty for high need families. While this opportunity promises to be both challenging and inspiring, it is bittersweet to leave MBEF and the wonderful work that we have accomplished together. Read more here.


Thank You to Our Generous Community!
Thank you to our parent and business community for your generous support of MBEF's Annual Appeal this year. Together we raised $5 million dollars to support our schools. We would especially like to thank our volunteer site reps who helped lead the Annual Appeal effort – Anna Bargagliotti, Ellen Klein, Monica Lachance, Katie LeRosen, Jill Levine, Kate Malik, Madeleine McCormack, Heidi Nelson, Geraldine Pepemehmetoglu, Russ Samuels and Whitney Stephenson. Together, we did it again. Special thanks also to our Lead Annual Appeal Donors who have donated $5,000 or more. A complete list of Donors is available online and will be available in print in MBEF's Annual Report & Honor Roll mailed in the summer. If you didn't get the chance to Donate or Pledge yet this year, there is still time. With every gift, large and small, we are able to sustain the programs that directly impact our students. 



Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship Walk Raises $140,000 for Manhattan Beach Schools!
Thank you again to the Manhattan Beach community for supporting the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk to raise funds for our schools and the Friendship Foundation. It was an inspirational event that raised a total of $1.5 Million for the Friendship Foundation and all local Education Foundations – $140,000 for the Manhattan Beach schools. Our endless thanks to SKECHERS President Michael Greenberg, Robin Curren and the Friendship Foundation team for their tireless efforts. Our thanks also to our School Team Captains – Sue Antrobius, Anna Bargagliotti, Blake Bullock, Schuyler Chang, Nisha Chatwani, Haley Herdman, Skylar Herdman, Cory Kingston, Erin Levin, Dylan McGovern, Tia Podlubnyy, Jennifer Temperley,  Vicki Tyler, Fara Weiner and Wysh Weinstein.



Why Manhattan Beach Needs MBEF AND a Parcel Tax to Support our Schools
Easy Reader recently published an in-depth article by reporter Mark McDermott on the unique school funding challenge we face in our Manhattan Beach public schools. Read On the Brink: How Manhattan Beach Unified became among the lowest funded school districts in the U.S. and what it could mean for the future of local education to learn about the unique and complex set of circumstances that has our community seeking new ways to create sustainable funding for our schools. 


Save the Date! Manhattan Wine Auction on Saturday, June 9th
Mark your calendars for Manhattan Beach’s biggest party with a purpose! The 24th Annual Manhattan Wine Auction will be held on Saturday, June 9th at 4:30pm at the Manhattan Country Club. If you’re interested in purchasing a corporate table or gathering friends to go in on a shared table, please contact the MBEF Office at 310-303-3342 or email Hava Manasse. General admission tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 1st at 6:00am. The Wine Auction sells out every year, so mark your calendars now! The Wine Auction is MBEF’s only fundraising event of the year and is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate together and raise money for our schools. Click here for more information.



The College Road Map: Finding Your Way to the Right College Presented by Bob Patterson  – Tuesday, May 22nd
The college admissions process can be daunting . . . What is the applications process like today? What are colleges looking for in their applicants?  What are some best practices every high school parent should be aware of? How can you improve the probability of your child getting into the college of his or her choice? And what is the “best” choice for your child? Join Bob Patterson, a college admissions expert, on Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm in the MCHS Auditorium, for his thoughts on these questions and more. He has read and made decisions on over 100,000 applications at public and private universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina, UC Berkeley and Stanford, where he served as Director of Admissions. Help your child navigate the college admissions process and better position themselves for acceptance to college that is right for them. Attendance is free but registration is required – register online here.


Join Grand View's Exer Urgent Care Gator Run Benefitting MBEF
On Saturday, May 5, the Grand View Gators are hosting their 23rd annual Exer Urgent Care Gator Run. All proceeds from the run support MBEF, so not only is the race a fundraiser for all MBUSD schools, it’s also fun for the whole family! This is a wonderful community event that brings together serious runners, joyful joggers, and laid-back walkers. Register online or go to the Grand View Website for more information. Thank you to Grand View and the Gator 5K Committee for their support of MBEF and our schools!



Families Connected Speaker Series: Issues on the Minds of Teens – Tuesday, March 20th
It's hard to imagine exactly how the mounting pressures of our current society affect today's youth, but we do know that the more information we have to support their social-emotional wellness, the better. A panel of teens will share what it's like trying to cope with today's pressures, like technology, social media and current traumatic events, all while trying to find their own authentic voice and sense of purpose. Leah Niehaus, LCSW, and Adam O'Neil, Mindset Coach, will facilitate the discussion and share their professional insight. All South Bay parents are invited to this free event presented by Beach Cities Health District and South Bay Families Connected. Please register in advance as seating is limited. Due to the sensitive nature of the teen panel, this event is limited to adults only. 


Mira Costa Choirs: The Cathedral Concert – Tuesday, March 20th
The MCHS Choirs present the Cathedral Concert on Tuesday, March 20th at 7pm at the Sanctuary of St. Cross Episcopal Church at 1818 Monterey Boulevard in Hermosa Beach. It will be a wonderful evening of music featuring Mira Costa's own Vocal Ensemble and Advanced Women's Chorale. The Biola University Chamber Singers will also lend their voices to the performance. This is an annual fundraiser for Mira Costa Choirs   please purchase your tickets online. Please contact the Director of MCHS Choirs, Michael Hayden, for more information. 


Eclectic Ensembles with the MCHS – Friday, March 23rd
Join the MCHS Band and Orchestra for an evening of lively and unexpected musical offerings and dinner from Buca Di Beppo and Fritto Misto. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7pm in the MCHS Cafeteria followed by the performance from 7 to 9pm in the MCHS Small Auditorium. Pre-purchase tickets for $25/adult and $20/student –seating is limited and will likely sell out. Tickets will only be sold the day of the performance based on availability. All proceeds benefit the MCHS Band and Orchestra programs.


No More Mean Girls: Raising Strong, Confident and Compassionate Girls – Tuesday, March 27th
Parents of tweens and teens are invited to join author Katie Hurley, LCSW, to discuss her new book, "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls," on Tuesday, March 27th from 8:30 to 10am in the MBMS library. Katie will be focusing on the role of social media and its impact on tween and teen girls. This will be an interactive, engaging session that is scheduled as part of the MBMS Get PUMPED program. Coffee and snacks will be served. Register online here.  



Mira Costa Spring Production: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
The MCHS Drama/Tech’s upcoming production of Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows’ How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying will run April 20th-28th in the Mira Costa Auditorium. The irreverent musical comedy is a wonderfully funny satire of big business that tells the story of J. Pierrepont Finch, a young window washer who follows the advice of a book to climb the corporate ladder from mail room to high-powered executive while tackling such familiar dangers as the aggressively compliant “company man,” the office party, backstabbing co-workers, and caffeine addiction. Discount pre-sale tickets ($15 Adult; $10 Student/Senior) will be available for purchase online April 2nd through April 20th at 3pm. This production is considered PG-13. Power, greed, ambition… it’s all in a day’s work!



Teen Anxiety in the South Bay: Issues on the Minds of Teens – Wednesday, March 28th
Teens can live their lives thinking they don't measure up. They are not smart enough, athletic enough, popular enough – just simply not enough. Cultural messages, often fueled by social media, feed the deepest insecurities of our teens. The impossible pursuit of perfection is a big risk factor for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, and a host of other issues among boys and girls. A prestigious panel of experts in teen behavioral health will share their personal experience and insight on Teen Anxiety in the South Bay to give parents tools to help their kids lead healthy, fulfilling lives at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach on Wednesday, March 28th from 7 to 9pm. All South Bay parents are invited to this free event presented by Torrance Memorial Medical Center, South Bay Families Connected and Shade Hotel. 



Distracted –  A Comedy About ADD ADHD – Benefits MBEF
LoJack Productions of Manhattan Beach is presenting “DISTRACTED” – the former hit Broadway comedy about the ADD in all of us. “DISTRACTED” will run at the Hermosa Beach 2nd Story Stage from April 27 - May 6 and features some of L.A.'s finest acting talent. The story revolves around a young suburban couple who must learn to navigate the difficulties of parenting their 9-year old son diagnosed with ADD ADHD. Jesse is a super hyper ‘wild child’ and their lives are turned upside down as they journey to every psychiatrist, therapist and educator in their search for a ‘cure’. You can purchase tickets online beginning March 15th for $25 – a portion of the proceeds will benefit MBEF. This fun, edgy, provocative and ultimately poignant story will resonate with all of us.



High-Stress Teens: How to Help – Tuesday, April 17th
Join Denise Pope, PhD, nationally known author of "Doing School" and "Overloaded and Underprepared", will be presenting on student stress and how we can best support our students. The founder of Challenge Success, Dr. Pope is making an impact on schools and communities as they struggle to reduce student stress and increase passion and joy in learning through a balanced life. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, April 17th from 6:30 to 8pm at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and is in partnership with South Bay Families Connected, Beach Cities Health District, and MBMS. All registrants will have access to an in-depth parent resource expo from 5-6:30pm prior to the presentation with information on programs, classes, and services offered to students and families in our community. Registration will be available online in the next few weeks.  


Toyetic Exhibit – MC Art Center
Curious about the impact of toys on our culture? Toyetic is an exhibition focusing on artworks inspired and informed by the toy industry. The exhibition will include the work of emerging artist Chuck Hohng. Chuck explores the issues of life, home and gender roles through the medium of traditional children’s toys. He is joined by industry giant John T. Quinn, the Director of Character Art for Disney Consumer Products, whose art drives the look, direction and essence of today’s largest toy and character producer: the Walt Disney Company. The exhibit will be on display through April 1st at the MB Art Center, 1560 MB Blvd., MB 90266. More information here.


Upcoming MBUSD and Community Events 

The 22nd Annual Meadows Camp Expo is being held Saturday, March 17th from 9am-12pm at MBMS. Come learn about the variety of camps offered this summer in the beach cities and throughout California.
Families Connected Speaker Series "Issues on the Minds of Teens" a teen panel moderated by Adam O'Neill and Leah Niehaus, LCSW, at 6:30pm at Hermosa Valley School MPR. 
Mira Costa Choirs host the Cathedral Concert at 7pm the Sanctuary of St. Cross Episcopal Church at 1818 Monterey Boulevard in Hermosa Beach. 
Join the MCHS Orchestras and Bands for the Eclectic Ensembles from 6-9pm for dinner and lively entertainment. 
Join author Katie Hurley for a book discussion on No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls," from 8:30 to 10am in the MBMS library.
A panel of experts address Teen Anxiety in the South Bay and the impossible pursuit of perfection at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach on Wednesday, March 28th from 7-9pm. 
Celebrate Women's History Month at the Manhattan Beach Library from 11-1pm with female Mariachi band La Victoria, a one-day art installation on the library lawn by artist Virginia Vilchis, and cupcakes baked by Southern Girl Desserts.
Families Connected Speaker Series Denise Pope, author of Overloaded and Underprepared - The Well-Balanced Student and co-founder of Challenge Success at 6:30pm at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.
Join author Thi Bui of The Best We Could Do, for Beach Cities Reads at 7pm at the Manhattan Beach Library.
Join the Book to Action Day at the Manhattan Beach Library from 2-4 pm. Activities include South Bay Cares Refugee/Immigrant Panel at 2pm, Graphic Novels Workshops at 3pm, and a Meet and Greet with Miry Whitehill, Founder and CEO of Miry's List – an organization dedicated to helping new arrival families in Los Angeles. 
Join the annual Grand View Exer Urgent Care Gator Run for a community 5K benefitting MBEF.
The 15th Annual South Bay Student Film Festival will showcase innovative projects from around the world and highlight cinematic storytelling as a unique art form in the MCHS small theater at 6:30pm.
The College Road Map: Finding Your Way to the Right College presented by Bob Patterson at 6:00pm in the MCHS Auditorium.
24th Annual Manhattan Wine Auction benefitting MBEF and the MBEF Endowment.
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In the News and Parent Resources
Please find below a round-up of the most widely read and shared articles from MBEF’s Facebook Page. MBEF is proud to be a resource for our families to interact and learn from experts and each other. Join our Facebook Community and join the conversation.

A local parent shares her insights on coming to terms with identifying ADD in her daughter in this informative article from Families Connected: ADD and My Child.

Understanding MBUSD's unique funding challenge: read the in-depth Easy Reader article to learn Why Our District Needs MBEF and a Parcel Tax

The School Board will appoint Jacqueline O'Sullivan as Principal at Robinson Elementary at the March 14th Board meeting. 

Challenging male stereotypes and Helping Boys to Build their Capacity for Close Friendships is the focus of developmental psychologist Niobe Way in her work with the Listening Project.    

Hands Free Mama, Rachel Macy Stafford, shares her perspective on raising children in this pressure filled world in "I See You, Less-Than-Perfect Kid, and It’s Time We Ease the Pressure on Your Stressed-Out Soul."

MBEF would like to recognize the following Business Sponsors
for their outstanding commitment to our schools:

Zislis Group




About MBEF:  Manhattan Beach Education Foundation is an independent non-profit established by parents and community leaders to financially support the seven public schools of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.  Since 1983, MBEF has granted much needed funds to supplement state funding and has helped MBUSD continually rank in the top 1% of school districts in California.  With over 5,000 donors and annual grants exceeding $6 million, MBEF is one of the oldest and most successful educational foundations in the state.  Any questions or concerns about this communication should be sent to

Manhattan Beach Education Foundation P.O. Box 1110 Manhattan Beach, CA 90267
Phone: 310-303-3342  |  Email:

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