Tiger Olympics Kick Off Monday, May 12


LaMariposa.Tiger Olympics.RaceDay.060613017Tiger Olympics is a week long event, from May 12th to May 16th.  All students of La Mariposa participate in the Olympics once a day in various events.  The entire week takes place on the blacktop and grass area in the back of the school. All Olympic events are tailored for each grade level and all Olympians will receive a participation medal at the end of the week!  Tiger Olympics focuses on introducing the students to team and individual sports that they might not otherwise participate in.  We focus on the importance of exercise, keeping healthy and good sportsmanship.  Various Olympians will receive special Sportsmanship medals awarded to them daily by their teachers for their outstanding team efforts on or off the field.  As in the International Olympics, our school is able to unite through the Tiger Olympics and come together as a team to represent the La Mariposa Tigers! 


6-7-2013TigerOlympics 1325/12 Monday at 8:30 AM:  Opening Ceremonies!  This will be a school-wide assembly to resemble the real Olympics! It is only 15 minutes long but it will be really exciting!

5/12 Monday & 5/13 Tuesday:  Team soccer and softball events

5/14 Wednesday & 5/15 Thursday:  Individual Track & Field Events:  Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, Distance, Dashes, Relay

5/16 Friday:  Obstacle Course

5/16 Friday 1:15 PM: Closing Ceremonies! This will be a school-wide assembly to resemble the real closing Olympics! We have some FUN surprises planned!


Monday 5/12 through Thursday 5/15

  • K:  9:10 – 9:40
  • 1ST:  Mon:  8:45 – 9:30, Tues to Thurs:  8:30 – 9:10
  • 2ND:  9:30 – 10:10
  • 3RD:  10:30 – 11:30
  • 4TH:  11:30 – 12:30
  • 5TH:  1:15 – 2:15

Friday 5/16

  • K:  9:10 – 9:40
  • 1ST:  8:30 – 9:00
  • 2ND:  10:30 -11:00
  • 3RD:   12:45 – 1:15
  • 4TH:  11:30 – 12:00
  • 5TH:  11:00 – 11:30


The week of the Tiger Olympics, all Olympians should arrive to school in shoes appropriate for sport activities.  Please wear comfortable clothes to participate in sporting events (as we encourage all students to participate).  And don’t forget to wear sunscreen to school!

LaMariposa.Tiger Olympics.RaceDay.060613031


6-7-2013TigerOlympics 040SIGN UP HERE!

And yes, you CAN help volunteer for this event!   You have an AMAZING opportunity go to visit the school, see your child participate in the Tiger Olympics, be in the GREAT outdoors and help run the Olympics!  This is a fantastic event that REALLY needs YOUR help to be successful! All roles are very easy and you do not need expertise in any area to volunteer.  If a slot is full and you want to join, just show up!   Volunteers for Kinder through 2nd will typically stay with their class.  Volunteers for 3rd to 5th grades will typically work with all classes from your grade.  Please arrive through the front school office, sign-in and grab a visitor sticker.  Go to the back of the school to the grassy area and look for the volunteer area where you will be given further instructions and a clipboard if applicable.  Further instructions will be given to you before your event! Please wear sunscreen, comfortable shoes, a hat and sunglasses, if desired, and bring a bottle of water!  It will be a fantastic day for our OLYMPIANS!!


If you have any questions, please email Natasha Scrivener at natashascrivener@earthlink.net or Kat Gregory at katgregory@gmail.com


10 Ideas for a Fun & Healthy Family Super Bowl Celebration

FootballAccording to the USDA, Super Bowl is the second largest food consumption day of the year, just behind Thanksgiving.  What if we could have all the fun and flavor, without the junk?

“In a regular day, an American will eat about 2000 calories worth of food, but during the Super Bowl, the average American eats that amount of calories in about three hours.”–USDA

The worst part is most often these calories are of the sugar laden, processed, artery clogging variety.  Chicken wings, dips, sodas, cupcakes, pizza…the list goes on.  Granted, Super Bowl comes around only once a year, but what if we could make it a little less evil with a few minor changes?

Here are ten ideas to make your Super Bowl Party a little health friendlier without sacrificing the fun!

Stay Busy!  Shift the focus away from food…a little bit.

  • Game On:  Instead of watching commercials at half time, how about your own football game in the front yard or at a local park with friends and family?
  • Face Paint:  Take some time and paint each others’ faces in team colors.
  • Decorate:  Put out a table with some craft supplies and let the kids show their spirit by making decorations for their favorite team.
  • Origami Football:  You can really get into the game when you make origami footballs.  Get complete instructions here.

Substitute Key Ingredients:  Flavor, not fat.

  • Greek Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream:  Replace half to all of the sour cream or mayonnaise in your dip recipes with plain greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt with it’s muscle building protein and lower fat content has a fraction of the calories of mayo and sour cream without sacrificing flavor.  Serve other types of more nutrient rich dips and spreads like guacamole and hummus, along side your crunchy dippables.
  • Baked Chips Instead of Fried:  Baked chips maintain the crunch and flavor we love without all the fat of the traditional fried versions.  Kettle Brand Baked Chips use all natural ingredients, and good old fashioned Lays maintain the richness we crave.  You can also try making your own.
  • Lean Meats Instead of Burgers & Dogs:  If you are looking to eat less saturated fat or salt, stick with the leaner cuts of meat and poultry or leaner versions of ground meat.  Try marinating and grilling a flank steak and slicing it thin.  Grill a chicken breast and top with salsa or a yogurt based spread.  Rub beef, turkey, or pork tenderloins with rich or smoky spices then grill or roast.

Serve A Rainbow:  Nutrition Undercover

  • Fruit Kebabs:  Colors are nature’s cue for good nutrition.  Fruit kebabs offer a variety of nutrients and fiber that keep a sweet tooth at bay.
  • Power Trays:  Load up big ‘ol trays with your favorite veggies or fruits.  Mix greek yogurt with ranch seasoning for a veggie dip. Mix in a little honey or pureed berries with greek yogurt for a knock out fruit dip.
  • Flavored Water:  Skip the soda and lighten up the cocktails by infusing your water and other drinks with fresh fruit.  Get some ideas here.

More Ideas:  Check out these great resources for Healthy Recipes and Fun Super Bowl Facts

–Kamala Nahas, mother of three & family wellness advocate

Food For Thought

By Natalie Swarts, PTA Eco-Schools Lead
An example of the some of the food wasted in a single day at La Mariposa.

An example of the some of the food wasted in a single day at La Mariposa.

Parent volunteers and campus supervisors have observed a tremendous amount of food being wasted on-campus.  Before Winter Break, we decided to try an experiment.  Volunteers stood next to the trash cans during lunch.  When students approached the trash cans, many were hesitant to throw away uneaten food, and they returned to their lunch tables to continue eating. Other students tried to wait until they thought a parent wasn’t looking, then they tossed their food in the trash and hurried back to their table.  At least a few students even tried to bury their uneaten food beneath other trash.  On the other hand, there were students who did not hesitate to throw away entire sandwiches, unopened cartons of milk and uneaten fruit.  Students seemed to show a broad range of awareness and opinions when it came to food waste.

IMG_1564Quick Facts:

  • Americans waste about 25% of all food purchases.
  • It is estimated that Americans throw away 20 pounds of food per person per month.
  • 1 in 6 Americans do not have access to enough food to sustain a healthy life.
The average family could save over $1,600 a year by sending less food to the landfill. When we throw away food, we’re also wasting all the water, energy, and other resources used to produce, package and transport food to our plates.  Food is wasted when we: buy more than we need, store it incorrectly, throw away leftovers, cook too much.
The Environmental Protection Agency offers food waste reduction and prevention tips on their website.  Several of their suggestions can be applied to the La Mariposa community.  Click here to view the EPA Waste Reduction Tips.

IMG_1565Why reduce food waste?  

  • Save Money
  • Reduce Methane From Landfills – When food is disposed in a landfill it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
  • Reduce Resource Use Associated with Food Production – There are many resources needed to grow food, including water, fertilizers, pesticides, and energy. By wasting food, we are also wasting the resources that went into growing it.
  • Feed People, Not Landfills – An estimated 50 million Americans do not have access to enough food. Organizations can donate safe and healthy food to a food bank or food rescue organization and both reduce food sent to landfills and feed those in need.

Reduce Plate Waste by: 

  • Observing what students consistently waste and changing school lunch menus (both packed and purchased) accordingly.
  • Adjusting serving sizes based on what students actually eat.
  • Reminding students to take only one or two items from the produce bar and to eat what they take.

Ideas for students to reduce food waste:

  • Talk to your parents about what you like and what you don’t like.
  • Be willing to try small portions of new foods.
  • Save leftovers from lunch for an after-school snack.
  • Recycle discards to other uses. Start a compost bin at home or participate in composting at school.

Want to learn more?  

Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility

We start each year with the best of intentions.  The City of Camarillo puts a fresh coat of paint on our crosswalks.  Our School Resource Officer, Deputy Leo Cobian, is out and about with his super cool Dodge Charger.  Our motorbike officers make hurried motorists think twice by hanging out near busy corners and issuing citations to harried parents.  There are press releases and newsletter articles and announcements and Facebook posts and robo-calls and STILL, by this time every year at least one student has been hit by a car.  In my 9 years at PVSD I’ve seen a parent run over their own child’s foot in the drop off line, kids riding bikes the wrong way in bike lanes, and I’ve nearly hit at least two girls that darted out from behind an ice-cream truck to hop into their parent’s cars parked across the street.   Two years ago, I was rear-ended when coming to a stop in front of Tierra Linda, last year I saw a child struck in a crosswalk, and just last week I witnessed the aftermath of a student being hit by a car on my way to Las Colinas…or maybe it was a car hit by a student?  Luckily, no serious injuries occurred in any of those instances.

When are we going to learn?

Studies show that walking and riding bikes to school increases attention span in the classroom, strengthens communities, and helps maintain health.  Our city does a great job of providing safe access for our kids to walk or ride to school.  So what’s the problem?

The problem is US, and the problem is OUR KIDS.

For those of you that Drive:

SLOW DOWN:  Even if your are the most law abiding citizen in the world with off the charts reflexes (this is how my husband describes himself), no one can anticipate the split second decision made by a hormonal preteen to dart out between a big black SUV and an ice cream truck so she can give a last minute hug to her friend that happens to be across the street.

PAY ATTENTION:  I don’t drink coffee in the morning, so this one can be tough for me–8:00 am puts me somewhere between a state of everything being farther away than it actually is  and my daily visit to LaLa Land.  I get it.  Watch out for those crosswalks, especially when making right and left turns.  Its hard to see some of those little ones barreling off the curbs to get to school…and that includes my two boys racing each other even though I’ve told them a million times not to.

STAY OFF YOUR PHONE: Not only is it illegal to be on your phone in a school zone, or anywhere, for that matter, it is down right dangerous.  According to the National Safety Council, in 2012, 24% of crashes involved drivers talking or texting on cell phones.  Recent studies also show cell phone using drivers have slower reaction times than drunk drivers.  Put the phone away.

For those of you that walk or ride:

Common Causes of Bike WrecksLOOK: Cars are bigger than you, they weigh more, and they are made of hard materials.  Make sure there isn’t one coming at you when you cross the street.

FOLLOW THE RULES:  Cross at corners, not the middle of the road.  That extra tenth of the mile to the corner or cross walk will not kill you, it might actually make you stronger…and keep you injury free.  If you are in the bike lane, act like a car–the same rules apply to you–and for crying out loud, ride in the right direction.

Click here for a great refresher on bicycle riding laws.

WEAR A HELMET:  At least three quarters of bicycle related injuries can be prevented with the proper use of a helmet and adherence to bicycle safety.  Following the death of a young bicyclist last Father’s Day, the Police Department is cracking down.  They have been stopping unhelmeted riders under 18 and issuing citations resulting in fines up to $200.  The good news is they are also acknowledging riders that wear helmets by giving them gift certificates for treats from our community businesses.  If you or someone you know is in need of a helmet please contact the Camarillo Police Department.  If you’d like to donate a new helmet to a needy child please contact Senior Deputy Bea Hughes at 388-5131.

Finally…From the City of Camarillo Police Department:

Parents are also reminded to teach their children proper bicycle riding safety. The Camarillo Police Department would like to remind parents that children under the age of 18 must wear helmets properly while riding a bicycle, scooter or skateboard per CVC 21212(a). Studies show that 74-85% of bicycle related injuries could have been prevented with the proper use of a helmet and using proper bicycle safety. Proper use means buying a good helmet, making sure it fits, and making sure to buckle the chinstrap, while fitting it properly under the chin. We would like to remind children to look for an intersection that has a crossing guard or a marked crosswalk before crossing, as this is the safest way to cross the street. The Camarillo Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be providing extra saturation patrols to school zones, during the first few weeks of the school year.

A bicycle is considered a vehicle and while riding you must obey the rules of the road. The Camarillo Police Department does have a limited amount of helmets and safety gear available for free, provided to families dealing with financial hardships. Feel free to contact the Community Resource Unit during regular business hours @ 388-5155.  Read the complete media release.

–Kamala Nahas, President of the Camarillo Council of PTAs and mother of one hormonal teen and two kamikaze bicyclists.  (They get it all from their Dad’s side of the family…)

Walk or Wheel Wednesday

Every Wednesday Walk or Wheel to School!
Why walk or bike to school?

  • Enhance the Health of our Kids:  Physical activity recommendations for children suggest that they need a variety of activities each day-some intense, some less-so, some informal, some structured. Walking or cycling to and from school is an ideal way to get some of that activity at no extra cost to the child or family.
  • Improve Air Quality:  Just think of your car idling in that car line…when children decide to lace-up their sneakers to walk, or strap on their bike helmets to pedal to school instead of riding in a car, they reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by automobiles.
  • Increase Safety:  Fewer drivers means less traffic entering and exiting our parking lot and surrounding streets and safer routes for our kids.
  • Increase Attention Span and Academic Success:  A recent study conducted at the University of Illinois showed improvements in attention span leading to better comprehension and test scores (up to a full letter grade) after just 20 minutes of walking.  Read more on this study.
  • Spend Quality Time with Your Kids and Neighbors:  Walking children to school gives parents the opportunity to talk with them in a casual setting.  Walking home with them gives them a chance to decompress by sharing their day with you.  Walking also allows your family to be social with your neighbors, strengthening community bonds.

Can’t walk everyday?
Start a neighborhood walking/riding group (much like a carpool).  Parents can take turns walking/riding small groups of kids to and from school.

Water Safety Reminders

from National PTA

A trip to the beach or pool is always fun for everyone, but between sand castles and kickboards you need to remember that hazards can accompany water play.  Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental deaths of children ages 1 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s report in 2005.  Keep some tips in mind so you can enjoy peace of mind as you head to the pool, river, ocean or lake – or at camp this summer.  Below are just a few tips for summer:

Teach your child to swim. You should teach your child to swim when he or she is ready—usually by age five. Of course, knowing how to swim doesn’t make children drownproof. An adult should always be present.

Always watch your child near or in water. Whether you are at the beach, a public or private pool, or live near a water hazard such as a well, pond, or stream, you should be at your child’s side at all times.

Beware of rip currents. Also known by the misnomer riptides, these currents don’t pull you under the water as some people think. They actually carry you out so far you can’t get back. They can occur at any beach with waves. You won’t be able to see or identify rip currents yourself, so before you leave for the beach, check the latest National Weather Service forecast for local conditions. Many offices also issue a surf zone forecast. Look for posted signs and warning flags at the beach. Check with lifeguards and do exactly what they say.

Be aware of tide changes. 
Low tide can change to high tide in a matter of minutes, quickly swamping a beach with water that can be dangerously high if your little one is playing there. Never allow your children to play in sea caves, which may flood with high tide. Refer to tide charts or ask a lifeguard or someone at your hotel so you will know when to expect tide changes.

Select a safe area to swim.
 If you are swimming in a lake or river, find an area that has good water quality and safe, natural conditions. Avoid murky water, plant life, strong currents, and unexpected drop-offs. Teach children never to swim under any docks, and be sure the docks you use are in good condition—no loose boards or nails. If you are swimming in a bay, river, lake, or ocean, avoid those with big waves and strong tides and currents. Always check local conditions with your hotel or with the local authorities.

Choose a supervised swim area and never swim alone. If you have a choice, a beach, pool, or lake that is watched by trained lifeguards is the safest bet. Even if trained lifeguards are present, you still need to remain vigilant and at your child’s side.

Always use a life jacket when boating, fishing, or just sitting on a dock or jetty. A life jacket can be used to help a weak swimmer as well, but your child should only use one that is labeled as U.S. Coast Guard approved. Also check the label on the life jacket to be sure it is intended for your child’s weight. Never allow your child in a boat without a life jacket.

Filter pumps for inflatable pools can be dangerous. These pumps do not have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection to prevent electrical shock, and because they are not permanently mounted, it is possible for them to wind up in the pool while operating. Many building codes require filter pumps to be permanently connected to in-ground pools. If you have an aboveground pool, use a filter pump that is designed to be permanently mounted. If the pump has a plug instead of being permanently wired, make sure you plug it into a GFCI-protected circuit.

Not all pool covers are safety covers.
 Safety covers must be made of strong material and must be securely anchored into a concrete or wooden deck. This means they can only be installed over in-ground pools or on aboveground pools that are surrounded by a wooden deck. Do not use clip-on covers for aboveground pools. If a child falls into a pool with a clip-on cover he could get trapped under the cover or entangled in the cover.

Enclose your pool.
 If you install an aboveground pool, an in-ground pool, spa or a hot tub, you might be required by state or local regulations to enclose it so that children cannot get unsupervised access. Enclose your pool with non-climbable fencing that is at least 4 feet high and includes a self closing, self-latching, lockable gate. The latch must be out of the reach of children. The gate should open out from the pool so a child can’t open it by pushing on it. If you have a spa or hot tub, at the very least make sure it has a cover that securely locks. Be diligent about locking the cover whenever you are not in the spa or hot tub.

Be ready for emergencies.
 No matter what type of pool your child is using, keep a phone and first-aid kit close by in case of emergency. Learn CPR and always have a life preserver and shepherd’s hook in the pool area to pull a child to safety, if necessary.

Teach your child to ask before jumping or diving. Your child doesn’t know the risks of jumping or diving into a pool or other body of water. The only time she should be allowed to jump or dive in is when an adult present knows the depth, knows it is safe, and is sure there aren’t any underwater objects that could harm her.

Make sure your pool is equipped with an SVRS.
 The suction from a water circulation drain can cause a child to become trapped underwater. To prevent this, be sure the drain or drains on your pool have a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) to combat possible suction entrapment. An SVRS will detect strong suction—from a body entrapment, for example—and shut off the pump immediately. You should see this fixture at the filter pump. If you don’t have an SVRS, you can get one retrofitted. Some spas and hot tubs also incorporate SVRSs into the design of their circulation system.

Keep kids away from pool drains.
 Teach your children to stay away from all pool and spa drains, whether or not there are SVRSs. Many incidents involve girls with long, fine hair that gets pulled into a drain. If your child has long hair, make sure she wears a bathing cap or has her hair gathered in a ponytail or bun. Even wading pool drains can be very dangerous; young children have suffered serious internal injuries by sitting on them.

Summer Learning Tips: Get Moving

Encourage Physical Fitness

Set a positive example.

Limit your own daily TV viewing, aiming to exercise every day, making healthy food choices and encouraging your child to do the same.

Set reasonable rules for computer and TV use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two watch no television and children over the age of two limit television viewing to no more than two hours per day.

One hour of exercise a day.

Help your child choose an activity – any activity – such as walking, basketball, or bike riding, and encourage one hour of exercise per day.

Summer sports or camp

Consider registering your child for an organized summer sports league or active day camp.


Purchase a pedometer for your young teen to count steps throughout the day, aiming for 11,000 daily steps (ages 6 to 17). *

*Reprinted with permission from Summer Break – Tips For A Healthy Summer: A Guide for Parents of Young Teens (National PTA website, www.pta.org).