Sempra Energy Foundation and the Santa Monica Pier Restoration (SMPRC) Corporation have partnered together to create a new integrated school curriculum for students to help them become responsible environmental stewards while learning about the Santa Monica Pier.
The partnership includes a $50,000 educational grant from the Sempra Energy Foundation in honor of the Pier centennial birthday to help support the new curriculum. A launch event for the new curriculum was held on the Pier on August 20 and included the decoration of symbolic carousel horse by local students while the band Venice played. Each student had the chance to place their thumbprint in the color of their choice on a white carousel horse of the same design as those that are part of the Pier’s carousel. This symbolic horse will then travel and be displayed at each school that adopts the new curriculum.
The Executive Director of the SMPRC, Ben Franz-Knight, stated that the curriculum would help “the community and youth share this gift for many many years to come.” He then explained that the curriculum contains “over thirty-five lesson plans written by nine educators in the following academic subject areas; careers and technical education, health and physical education, history and social science, language arts, mathematics, science, and the visual and performing arts.” It was designed for students in kindergarten through eighth grade with information on how to make each lesson plan age appropriate and also includes four lessons specific for pre-school.
The lessons are designed to meet California State education standards and include modifications for youth with special needs. Franz-Knight also mentioned that, “we are looking forward to sharing this curriculum with the westside community and ultimately the region.”
Francisco J. Urtasun, the Executive Director of the Sempra Energy Foundation and the Director of the Corporate Community Partnerships for Sempra Energy stated in a press release about the launch event that this “new curriculum will provide future generations with an understanding of the Pier’s storied legacy and the key role it has played, and continues to play, in the surrounding communities as a center of entertainment, culture and environmental awareness.”
The Pier has been hosting a series of events in honor of its hundredth birthday and the final event will be on September 9. This event will begin with a re-opening ceremony that will include musical performances and centenarians will cut the Pier’s 100-foot birthday cake.
In the evening, the festivities will begin with entertainment being performed on several locations along the beach and will culminate with a large-scale fireworks display that will be launched from three barges in the Santa Monica Bay.