The Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF) was proud to donate $18,000 last week for furnishings and décor for new elementary school Well Spaces. With six elementary schools in Los Alamitos Unified School District, each school will be able to spend $3000 to transform a classroom into a comfortable, inviting space where students can reset and seek counseling support. Los Alamitos USD has three elementary school Wellness Counselors who will work in the Well Spaces and provide mental health lessons in every classroom – Stacy Eatmon at Los Alamitos and Weaver, Tina Heeren at McGaugh and Rossmoor, and Priscilla Jara at Hopkinson and Lee.
The first step toward creating these spaces came about in the Spring, when a group of Student Ambassadors from Weaver Elementary School approached LAEF requesting a grant to create a “Peaceful Pod” in their Media Center. LAEF loved the idea of expanding Well Spaces to the elementary schools and partnered with the students, with support from advisor Lindsay El-Zein (of Embassy Consulting Services), Weaver Principal Dr. Todd Schmidt and parent design volunteer Tracy Hageman. The students visited the Well Space at Oak Middle School for inspiration. The Peaceful Pod came together beautifully and now will expand to the other schools with additional funding from LAEF.
During the 2022 Fundraising February for Los Al Kids campaign, LAEF raised over $200,000 to remodel and furnish a Well Space at Los Alamitos High School. Construction on the Well Space began on September 6. Last year, LAEF donated $25,000 to support the salary of the middle school mental health counselor. In 2019-2020, LAEF donated $60,000 for the construction of Well Spaces at both district middle schools: Oak and McAuliffe. This marks the sixth year in a row that LAEF has made funding mental health a top priority.
This donation is possible because of LAEF’s major donor group: the Los Al Leadership Circle (LALC). LALC members are distinguished, significant supporters who commit to donating a minimum of $1,000 annually to LAEF’s visionary work. To learn more, please visit LAEF4Kids.org/LALC.
LAEF is the non-profit partner of Los Alamitos Unified School District. LAEF enhances educational excellence by providing after-school and summer enrichment programs to children in grades Pre-K to 12. LAEF impacts all students by providing significant funding for mental health and STEAM teachers/instruction, as well as igniting new programs and providing valuable resources. For more information, visit LAEF4Kids.org or call (562) 799-4700 Extension 80424.