Community Engagement and Education @ CEE

Throughout the spring and summer, the CEE community continues to gather together virtually for a number of discussions, talks, read-alouds, and celebrations, all via Zoom! From parent education sessions and updates from the frontlines of Covid-19, to discussions on allyship, equity, and justice, to community celebrations like honoring our retirees, each week has seen parents, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and grandparents meet online to share support and camaraderie. Please explore more about our ongoing event series and campaigns, and access additional resources below.

View Upcoming Virtual Event Calendar

Social Justice & Equity

Just Announced! Save the Date for August 12 with Ta-Nehisi Coates

Nationally-renowned author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates will be speaking with our community on Wednesday, August 12 at 4:30 PM on Zoom as part of our ongoing Community Engagement and Education: Social Justice and Equity series. All CEE Community members are welcome for this special event moderated by Dr. Shaun Harper of the USC Race and Equity Center.

Faculty and Staff Session with Dr. Rodney Glasgow

In June, the faculty and staff met with Dr. Rodney Glasgow, an expert facilitator on race and equity in independent schools and Head of School at Sandy Springs Friends School as of July 2020.

Following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests across our nation, Dr. Glasgow helped provide a space for faculty and staff to discuss systemic racism in our community and share experiences as we work to fight injustice on all levels.

Black Lives Matter Protest Messaging

In an ongoing effort to support and affirm that Black Lives Matter, protest messaging collected from CEE students, parents, faculty, and staff has been installed at the corner of Melrose and La Cienega and will continue all summer. Thanks to CEE art teachers Mekenzie and Penny and the parent volunteers for bringing this meaningful show of solidarity to life.

CEE Stands Together

CEE Stands Together is an ongoing series of conversations hosted by our community affinity groups. In response to the countless unjustified and senseless killings of Black Americans in this country and the national response to persistent racism, we’ve aimed to create a forum for our community to come together to discuss these challenges collectively. The CEE Affinity Group chairs will be leading discussions over the coming months and into the fall. Each week, CEE Stands Together will focus on a different text, podcast, or documentary/film. Participants are invited to read, watch, or listen to the material (or even just a part of it!) and join a community discussion moderated by Affinity Group members on Zoom in the spirit of our CEE values of Caring, Inclusion, Honesty, and Responsibility.
CEE Third Grade Teacher Rachel Parrish moderated our first Stands Together meeting, with a focus on representation and addressing racism in our culture through the lens of Netflix’s ‘Hollywood’.

Center Parents Art Becerra-Fraijo and Alfred Fraijo Jr., co-chairs of the LGBTQ Affinity Group, facilitated a session focused on supporting LGBTQIA+ youth and their parents at home and in our school community. Art and Alfred shared the videos listed here, created by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which prompted an inspiring discussion about giving support and love to children at all stages of their personal journeys and development.

CEE's Heritage Family (African-American Affinity Group) hosted a discussion regarding the increasing awareness and support of Black Lives Matter moderated by CEE Parents Collette Bowers Zinn and Mia Madati. Parents, alumni, grandparents, and faculty and staff shared personal reflections on systemic racism in our lives and sparked a community conversation that will continue across multiple weeks.

The Latin American Affinity group moderated a session on Breaking Barriers and Fighting for Immigrant Rights, featuring guest speaker
Ricardo Lara, California Insurance Commissioner. 

CEE Reads

CEE Summer Read-Aloud Series

CEE families, alumni, faculty, and grandparents come together each Thursday afternoon during the summer for read-alouds from authors and readers from the CEE community. CEE Reads is a chance for children to connect with other students and a place for families to enjoy a communal storytime. The authors and readers have included selections from the following. Please click to watch each read!

Health and Wellbeing

Covid-19 Frontline Medical Updates

In two sessions in May and June, CEE parents Brennan Spiegel '84, MD, MSHS, Rebecca Mandel, MD, MPH, and Satish Subramanian, MD shared the latest information about Covid-19 and keeping your family safe, including the most recent research on Covid-19, vaccinations, and more. Nearly 200 families attended the most recent session! 

Dr. Brennan Speigel is a professor of medicine and public health at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA. His Covid-19 research has been widely reported in the media and his research team is actively studying the pandemic. Dr. Rebecca Mandel is a pediatrician at Valencia Pediatric Associates. Dr. Satish Subramanian is an Emergency Room physician at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

Also in May, UCLA’s Dr. Eric Esrailian and Dr. Wendy Slusser shared thoughts on “Living Well: Lessons for a Healthy Campus...and Home” with our families. Dr. Slusser is an internationally renowned leader in the fields of health, wellness, and nutrition. The session was moderated by Dr. Rebecca Mandel.

Parent Education

This spring, CEE parent and author Eve Rodsky met with families to share her Fair Play principles, which help us achieve success as our homes and the relationships become our most important organization while we practice social distancing and quarantine.

Author and speaker Julie Lythcott-Haims offered her top tips for parents during the pandemic. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult. Her TED Talk on the subject was one of the top talks of 2016, and in 2020, she became a regular correspondent with CBS This Morning on parenting. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience with racism and her journey toward self-acceptance. 

 
Tina Payne Bryson and Lori Gottlieb shared their insights for families as they navigate the new Covid-19 normal, including balancing being a parent, employee, teacher, cook, spouse, and business owner and ways to support your and your children’s mental health.

Bryson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers No Drama Discipline and The Whole Brain Child. She is also the founder of The Center for Connection, a multi-disciplinary clinical practice in Southern California. Gottlieb is a therapist, the author of the New York Times bestseller Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and a contributing editor and “Dear Therapist” columnist at The Atlantic.  



In June, CEE’s Director of Innovation, Matt Arguello, partnered with Common Sense Media to present a session on Managing Screen Time, Gaming, and Connecting Online During Quarantine to help parents and children find a balance while learning from home.

The Center for Early Education, a socio-economically and culturally diverse independent school for children, toddlers through grade six, strives to graduate students who are joyful, resilient, life-long learners. The Center embraces a philosophy of education that combines a nurturing, inclusive learning environment with an increasingly challenging academic program that addresses the developmental needs of each child.