By Mayor Diane DuBois
Fall is right around the corner. Schools are coming alive again with children full of energy and creativity. I love living right behind Mayfair High School, where I get to hear the marching band practice outside every school morning. It’s a marvelous way to start my day. The start of the school year is a good time for all of us drivers to remember to be careful, especially around Lakewood’s many schools. Slow down. Stay alert. Don’t get distracted by cell phones or anything else in the car. For parents, this is a good time to remind children about safety related to bike riding and crossing streets. The City of Lakewood provides safety tips for students and families, including maps of suggested routes to schools at lakewoodcity.org/backtoschool. Fall is also the time when the community comes together to support our local schools through the Lakewood Education Foundation (LEF). LEF is a non-profit founded by Lakewood residents which raises money locally to provide small but meaningful enhancements to classrooms in Lakewood. Last year, LEF provided more than 100 grants averaging nearly $500 for improvements like new books, science equipment, educational field trips and classroom technology. Donations of any size are welcomed by LEF. See the article on page 3 in this Lakewood Community News for how you can help. Fall is also the start of a new Lakewood recreation season. The new recreation catalog will be arriving at Lakewood homes over the Labor Day weekend. There will be more than 600 classes and courses offered. Many are longtime favorites, but I also enjoy seeing what new programs our city recreation staff has created or discovered. New offerings for adults include Beginning Journeys in Watercolor Painting, Yin Yoga class, and a Holiday Jewelry Workshop. New for youth are Special Needs Hip Hop, Mat Pilates, Stretch & Conditioning and Yoga-nastics. And new for seniors is Beginning Spanish with Gerald Lunderville. There are also Travel Trips for everyone to Farmers Market in Los Angeles, L.A. Zoo Lights and Julefest Celebration in Solvang. For questions, call city recreation staff at 562-866-9771, extension 2408, or go to lakewoodcity.org/recreation. You can still enjoy Lakewood community pools in September. Mayfair Pool is open for recreational swimming every weekend through September 24 and for mid-week classes such as Aqua Zumba. McCormick Pool in Bolivar Park is open on Labor Day weekend for its final days of the swim season. For hours and questions on both pools, call 562-866-9771 extension 2408 or go to lakewoodcity.org/aquatics. This time of year also means that September 11 is right around the corner. Please consider joining my city council colleagues and I, along with hundreds of residents at Lakewood’s Patriot Day Commemoration and Concert at Del Valle Park starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 11. If you’re not able to come, please take a little time out of your day to remember and honor those lost in the attacks on September 11, 2001 and those first responders and Armed Forces servicemembers who have protected us every day since. As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and meaningful activities in Lakewood during the fall months ahead. Stay safe and have a great time in whatever the season brings you.