December 13, 2016

Focus on Grants: Social-Emotional Wellness at MCHS
With increasing numbers of students reporting depression, suicidal ideation and binge drinking, schools throughout the country are making social emotional health a priority. Many districts like ours recognize the urgency and are working to foster a healthy, productive, and supportive school culture to help ensure our children are prepared for lifelong success. In last month’s newsletter, we highlighted the work that the MBMS leadership team is doing to cultivate support of our middle school students. This month we turn our attention to promoting a climate of care at Mira Costa High School.

Manhattan Beach is often compared to Palo Alto with respect to demographics, culture and educational ideals. Held to high standards, this is often viewed as an accolade or aspiration for our own high-achieving community. But in the past seven years, Palo Alto has experienced two suicide clusters, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “three or more suicides in close proximity in regards to time and space.” Read more here.


Help Us Reach Our Goals! $1.3 Million to go.
At MBEF, we recognize how important goal setting is to ensure the sustainability of the programs we fund. Limited state funding makes meeting our goals all the more important. As stakeholders in our efforts, the entire community has an impact. Here are our goals for the 2016/17 Annual Appeal:

(1) To raise $5.2M districtwide, so that we can sustain existing programming.

(2) To engage 100% of our families in this important effort.

There are many options for supporting the MBEF Annual Appeal – donating a one-time gift, making installments, pledging now to give later or even contributing stock.

Thank you to those who have already contributed to our 2016/17 Annual Appeal. We are grateful for your commitment to our schools. Special thanks to our Lead Donors who have donated $5,000 or more. Please Give Today!


Social Inclusion Grants  Sponsored by Malissia and Ron Clinton
As current events around our nation attest, we still have work to do to bridge the racial divide. In 2015, the Manhattan Beach home of Malissia and Ron Clinton was firebombed in what was suspected to be a hate crime. We encourage you to watch Malissia's inspiring talk from TEDx Manhattan Beach last month. The heartbreak and hope that she shares in her story is guaranteed to move you. 

For the 2016/17 school year, Malissia and Ron Clinton directed the unclaimed reward funds to MBEF to fund programs that will inspire change and nurture a productive dialogue in our schools. The grant program and awardees are described here. Our goal is to make sure that our community maintains a focus on efforts that decrease discrimination and increase social inclusion of all community members regardless of race, creed, ability and sexuality.


Teachers Driving Innovation Grants
Congratulations to our Teachers Driving Innovation Grant recipients for the 2016/17 school year. With support from Chevron and Manhattan Wine Auction donors, funding for this exciting program doubled this year, promising to bring innovation to more classrooms and students. Here is a complete look at the award recipients and their innovations in teaching and learning:


Click here for a complete list of innovation grants to date.


MBEF Donor Profile: Russ Lesser
The generosity of our community is the reason MBEF is able to enrich and strengthen our underfunded school system. To MBEF's Executive Director, Farnaz Flechner, our local legend Russ Lesser epitomizes the spirit of Manhattan Beach.

Please read more here on why we admire Russ for his humility, generosity and commitment to the Manhattan Beach community.




Sleep Loss in Our Teens: TEDx Manhattan Beach
Sleep Scientist Wendy Troxel believes the loss of teen sleep is attributed to school start times, not just a function of social media or being a teenager. Troxel's talk on Sleepy Teens - A Public Health Epidemic Anxiety was one of many engaging presentations at TEDx Manhattan Beach held last month at Mira Costa.



MBEF Receives the Highest Rating by Charity Navigator
Cheers to MBEF! For the fourth straight year, MBEF has received Charity Navigator’s highest possible 4-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only 10% of over 1.5M charities have received this rating four years running. With this honor  and through our many ways of community involvement and transparency  our donors should have great confidence that MBEF adheres to best practices and executes our mission in the most financially effective way.

  Fall Classic 

Fall Classic Golf Tournament Nets $50,000
The inaugural Fall Classic Golf Tournament, held October 10th, was a tremendous success – netting $50,000 for MBEF and our schools! Held at the Virginia Country Club, the Fall Classic was a fun-filled day of world-class golf, great food and drink, and friendly competition – all in support of our students and our schools.

We are tremendously grateful to Event Chair Todd Klawin and Event Producer Moon Tide Media for their vision and commitment, and for selecting MBEF to be the beneficiary of the tournament. We’d also like to express our gratitude to the Fall Classic Presenting Sponsors: Southbay Magazine, Beach Cities Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Jim Schlager and Moss Adams Wealth Advisors, Rusnak Maserati of South Bay, Linksoul, Cleveland Golf, and Srixon. We would also like to extend our thanks to all of the in-kind donors, tournament participants and Team Captains, which can be found on Fall Classic website.


Upcoming MBUSD and Community Events 

Holiday Art Activities hosted at the MB Library for children PreK - 5th grade from 3:30pm - 5pm.
Mira Costa High School Choir Concert in the MCHS Auditorium from 7pm - 9pm.
MBUSD Kindergarten Information Day at Pacific Elementary from 9:30am - 11am.
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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.

Wondering what key life skills your children should know before they head to college? Here is a Practical List of Appropriate Life Skills that will help your child feel empowered, help develop self-esteem and prepare them for the next step.  

Having trouble getting your child to talk about his or day? Forget the questions, try this Simple Technique instead. 

Helping our children navigate emotional challenges is critical. Teaching Emotional Agility could be equally as important to a child's success as learning math.

Repeated studies show that students benefit from a later school start time. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends shifting start times for middle and high school students. So why isn't it happening? Here's one journalist's opinion on "Why School Should Start Later in the Day."

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

Waste Management             Kinecta    

Barney Hom DDS             the Club

Thank you to all of our Business Sponsors. Click here for a full list and to learn more.

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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