Tag Archives: Vejar Elementary School

Vejar Elementary 4th grade celebrates the Golden State

Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile
“California history is the heart of fourth grade and we wanted to celebrate the day it became a state in 1850!” said teacher Janine De Vera.

California Day!

By Kelli Gile

Walnut – Vejar Elementary fourth graders are becoming map masters while learning about California’s unique coastal beaches, mountains, central valley, and desert regions.

To wrap up the recent geography studies, an entire day was devoted to paying tribute to the Golden State on Monday.

“California history is the heart of fourth grade and we wanted to celebrate the day it became a state in 1850!” said teacher Janine De Vera.

About 100 students kicked off the morning by making California-shaped cookies and marking each region with colored sugar.

“We’re singing songs and making cookies today!” Nathan Chavez shared after creating his confection.

“We shaped the dough with our hands,” he added.

“And we painted the coastal areas green, the central valley yellow, the mountain areas purple, and the desert region orange” explained Caden Sakai.

Then the children dotted the different mountain ranges with chocolate chips.

They admitted that a few of the delicious morsels may not have made it onto the cookie dough.

“We got to eat a couple!” shared Jaxson Highstreet.

“They smell so good!” chimed in Colete Drake as parent volunteers took dozens and dozens of the sweet treats out of the oven.

In preparation for California Day, students researched and prepared state landmark projects.

They also searched for information about national parks, colleges, museums, and popular vacation destinations.

While the cookies baked, students presented their landmark reports in classrooms.

They ended California Day by inviting parents to see the projects on display in the multipurpose room at 2 p.m.

The children performed “I Love You, California”, “Oh California” sung to the tune of “Oh Susanna” the traditional Gold Rush song, “Latitude and Longitude” that helped them learn geography and map skills, and “California Regions” sung to the tune of a popular Katy Perry song.

“You can travel the world,” the group sang on the amphitheater stage.

“But nothing comes close to the Golden Coast. Once you vacation here, you’ll be falling in love!”

And, of course, they gobbled up the freshly-baked cookies!


Vejar Sends Jared Boxes To Local Hospital

Ambassadors of Hope

By Kelli Gile  

Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile

Photo courtesy: Kelli Gile

Walnut—As the school year wrapped up at Vejar Elementary, student ambassadors got ready to send 52 special gifts of hope to hospitalized children.

Each classroom on campus filled a plastic shoebox with small toys, paints, games, stuffed animals, craft kits, and puzzles for a girl or boy of a specific age. All donations were delivered to the City of Hope.

The Jared Box Project, a non-profit organization, is designed to provide a diversion to young patients in emergency rooms, patient rooms, and surgical centers as they receive chemotherapy and other medical treatments.

Teachers Susie Winter and Brenda Stone advise the 4th and 5th grade Vejar Student Ambassadors (VSA) service club who headed up the school-wide project.

“It was so fun to watch these kids filling Jared Boxes for their peers in hospitals. It was a great way to learn empathy and being part of a community,” Winter said.

Since 2001, over 200,000 Jared Boxes have been delivered across the United States.

“Hopefully our efforts bring a smile and comfort to those children and their families who receive a Jared Box,” added Stone.



Vejar Elementary to celebrate 50 golden years


Photo Courtesy of WVUSD

Photo Courtesy of WVUSD
Vejar Elementary students and staff gather for a 50th anniversary aerial photo.

WALNUT—Vejar Elementary School, home of the Vaqueros in the City of Walnut, will mark its 50th anniversary during an Open House on March 24 from 5-8p.m.

Community members, former students, and staff members are invited to attend.

Students have been celebrating the milestone by completing acts of kindness throughout the community, including picking up grocery carts at the local Vons parking lot.

Vejar is looking for stories and memorabilia from the past five decades.  Please contact Yadira Gostel to RSVP or share your Vejar memories at (909) 594-1434 ext. 3.


Vejar Science Night Offers Family Fun

Photo Courtesy:  Kelli Gile 4th Grader, Winston Chang, used his breath to lift heavy books.

Photo Courtesy: Kelli Gile
4th Grader, Winston Chang, used his breath to lift heavy books.

By Kelli Gile

Walnut – Vejar Elementary’s annual science night offered a dozen fun and captivating activities for families.

At the airlift challenge, students learned how much they could lift with their breath.  Students blew into a straw attached to a baggie positioned under a textbook. Many could lift an entire stack of six books.

At another table, youngsters made parachutes from paper cups, string, and a sheet of plastic.  They launched their creations from the top of the amphitheater in front of cheering parents.

The elementary students also made hoop gliders by taping two paper loops to straws. They found out the simple design could fly up to ten feet.

During minute challenges, the Walnut students raced the clock using chopsticks to pluck tiny planets (marbles) into a cup.  Others raced to stack plastic cups into towers.

Miguel Villavert, a 1st Grader, handily stacked an impressive seven red cups before the wind knocked it over.

Teachers Lora Wilson, Giselle Cordova, and Glenda Baker organized the family event held on Apr. 24.

Experts from Walnut High’s Science Olympiad team assisted the young inventors during the activities.

Sophomore Cherie Chu headed up the levitating sphere challenge where students wrapped up a tissue paper ball and made it float.  The youngsters lined up for a chance to magically make the blue paper sphere float in an empty water bottle.

At the invention convention, students showed off their clever designs.  Anastasia Davis used her programming skills to create a Robo Timer from a Lego Mindstorm kit.  The robot beeps every 20 minutes to help students remember to take a 20-second break while playing video games.

“It’s totally fun; there’s a lot of imagination!” exclaimed parent Ying Liu.

Walnut: Vejar Elementary Star Student and Community Partners Honored



Andrew Osorio – giving his trademark “thumbs-up” during a summertime visit to the school – was named the Super Star Student at Vejar Elementary and was honored during the September 19 board meeting. The 8-year old sadly passed away on Sept. 3 due to a congenital heart condition. (Photo Courtesy: Kelli Gile)

Walnut – The Walnut Valley Unified Board of Trustees recognized the Vejar Elementary Super Star Student and Community Partners on Sept. 17.

“Andrew Osorio was selected as our Super Star Student for his bravery, his hard work, and his positive attitude that exemplified not just the Vejar Values, but a strong human spirit,” said Principal Jennifer De Anda during the Board Meeting.

During the presentation, she showed slides from a visit with Andrew at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles earlier this month. Andrew had been on a transplant list due to a congenital heart problem.

“I had the honor of presenting him with Super Star recognition,” De Anda said.

She then recalled some memories of the special Vejar student.

“There were times when Andrew would come into the office due to his condition because he couldn’t participate in physical education,” De Anda explained. “And so during that time he would come in and rest.  When other students came in because they were injured or weren’t feeling well, Andrew would console them, he would joke with them, and read them stories. He was very sweet and caring,” she said.

Andrew sadly passed away on September 3.

De Anda shared that Andrew’s unending smile and his brave “thumbs up” were inspirational to the Vejar community.

Last spring, teacher Jamie Highstreet, Office Manager Yadira Gostel, student leaders, and the community club rallied around Andrew to help raise money for his medical expenses. Kelli Gile, Public Information Liaison, and Rich Irwin, San Gabriel Valley Tribune reporter, received the Partner in Education Award for their help with the fundraiser.

“Thanks to them, our Have a Heart campaign made the newspapers and brought in even more money,” the Vejar principal explained. “They both went out of their way to publicize our fundraiser to help Andrew’s family. They spoke with him and with the family with the kindness and empathy that helped them feel at ease,” she said.

As a result, the school was able to give the family nearly $3,000 from the Walnut community.

The Osorio family has invited students, staff, and community members to share their favorite memories of Andrew at www.AndrewOsorio.Foundation.

Walnut: Vejar Students Grow Blue Ribbon Garden


Vejar Elementary students and staff celebrate winning entries in the 2014 Schools’ Agriculture and Nutrition Fair. (Photo Courtesy: Kellyi Gile)


Walnut – Vejar Elementary 4th Grade students harvested awards during the 2014 Schools’ Agriculture and Nutrition Fair. The Special Education class is celebrating four blue ribbons they received during the springtime contest.
Top prizes were awarded to their Grape Expectations sawhorse display, a Lion farm animal, and Classroom Garden bounty of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
“The kids came up all the adjectives to describe why grapes are good,” said Teacher Jennifer Troudy, who printed out words including Sweet, Raisins, Dulce, and Jelly that were nestled among decorated vines and bunches of grapes.
The “From Egg to Chick by Room 26” entry earned an additional blue ribbon. The project chronicled the 21-day adventures of the little chick named, Number Seven, who hatched in the class. Students love to pet the two-month-old spunky clucker, who often flies around the classroom.
“He’s funny because he walks super fast and pecks at our shoes and sandals!” one student said.
Each day, he follows Instructional Aide Helene McDonald down the hallway to the nearby garden. Lucky Number Seven chomps on pesky pill bugs that like to invade the lush greenery. McDonald credits the successful crop to fresh coffee grounds provided each day by a local Starbucks, and the tender care provided by the students in Room 26.
A three-foot tall Tin Man Scarecrow created from empty coffee cans earned a 4th place ribbon.
“I am so proud of my students! They worked hard all year to make our garden beautiful and I am so impressed with their garden knowledge,” Troudy said.