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PVUSD students to screen original films

Students in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District will showcase their own film creations Tuesday at the Henry J. Mello Center during the district’s fourth annual Oscars Night.

Put on by the Watsonville Film Festival and the Latino Film Institute’s Youth Cinema Project, which was created by famed Hollywood actor, Edward James Olmos, students will join the movie premiere in Hollywood style, complete with a red carpet.

The student’s films, which were drummed up in their classrooms—from scripts, to acting, editing and more—will also be judged followed by an awards ceremony.

Schools that took part in filming include students from Starlight and Hall District elementary schools, Pajaro Middle and Cesar Chavez middle schools and Pajaro Valley High School.

The free, family-oriented public event runs from 4-9pm at the Mello Center, 250 East Beach St., Watsonville.

PVPSA announces 2023 awardees 

Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance announced its upcoming 2023 Heroes In Prevention Award winners who will be honored at a ceremony on May 24. 

Awards will be granted to Elsa Silva, Jesus Reyes, The Center for Farmworker Families, Joanne Martinez Sanchez, Joe Hernandez and PVPSA’s Adriana Mata. Sister Rosa Dolores will be honored specifically with the Lifetime Achievement in Prevention Award.

The ceremony will feature keynote speaker Mónica Morales, Health Services Agency Director, Santa Cruz County.

La Manzana’s Summer Lunch program returns

The annual Summer Lunch program, sponsored by La Manzana Community Resources (LMCR), a program of Community Bridges’ Family Resource Collective, will kick off on June 5. 

Kids 18 and younger can pick up a free lunch at various sites in Santa Cruz and Watsonville through early August. Most Watsonville sites will distribute lunches through Aug. 4. 

Through Community Bridges, the Summer Lunch program served more than 21,000 meals over the last two years. It is estimated that more than 30 million children across the U.S. depend on free meal programs such as these. 

According to Feeding America, more than 9 million U.S. children faced hunger in 2021. In addition, USDA data shows that childhood hunger was more prevalent among Black and Latino children, as 22% of Black children were food insecure, and 18.5% of Latino children were food insecure in 2021.

“Community Bridges Summer Lunch sites are easily accessible to youth,” La Manzana Program Manager Liliana Zamora said. “Some sites are in apartment complexes; others are in local parks and community centers. This allows youth to access lunches close to their residence instead of getting transportation to local school sites, removing another barrier for families to remain nourished in the summer.” 

A combination of federal, state, and local funding supports most of the Summer Lunch Program costs. But approximately 30% of the cost of this program is covered through donations. Those interested in making an individual donation to support the program may do so by visiting communitybridges.org/donate and selecting “La Manzana Community Resource Center.”  

Those interested in volunteering to help serve lunches should visit communitybridges.org/volunteer. 

Free meals will be provided to all children 0-18, without eligibility documentation, at the following sites from noon-1pm, Monday through Friday. Serving dates are June 5–Aug. 4. 

• La Manzana Community Resources: 521 Main St., Watsonville

• Stone Creek Apartments: 300 Bree Lane, Watsonville

• Vista Verde Apartments: 45 Steward Ave., Freedom

• Corralitos Creek: 125 Pajaro Circle, Freedom

• YWCA: 340 E. Beach St., Watsonville

• Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz: 543 Center St., Santa Cruz

• Nueva Vista at Beach Flats Park: 131 Leibrandt Ave., Santa Cruz

• Nueva Vista at Familia Center: 711 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

Free meals will be provided at the following sites from noon-1pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays:

• Pajaro Park: 27 San Juan Road, Pajaro 

Distributions will take place from noon to 1pm, Monday through Friday, at:

• Pippin Orchards: 56 Atkinson Lane, Watsonville 

• Sunny Meadows: 220 Ross Ave., Watsonville, Freedom

• Schapiro Knolls: 33 Minto Rd., Watsonville 

Poetry in the Park features local writers

On June 4, County Park Friends and Santa Cruz County Park will offer a free, poetry-themed afternoon at Brommer Street County Park, 1451 30th Ave. in Santa Cruz, from 1-4pm.

Local poets Victoria Bañales, Billy Butler and Farnaz Fatemi will read from 1-2pm. Following the reading, from 2-4pm, youth ages 10 to 18 are invited to participate in free poetry writing activities.

Bañales teaches English at Cabrillo College and lives in Watsonville. Butler is a writer and educator from Northern California. Fatemi is currently serving a two-year term as Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate.

The event is presented by County Park Friends and Santa Cruz County Parks, along with Fatemi.

League of Women Voters welcome Pellerin

The League of Women Voters Santa Cruz County will host its annual meeting on June 10 from 9:30am to noon at Seascape Golf Club’s Seascape Room, 610 Clubhouse Drive in Aptos.

The featured speaker will be Assemblymember Gail Pellerin, who will share her experiences in the State Assembly and her perspectives on current legislation. Admission is $25 in advance per person, and tickets can be purchased either by PayPal (through the League’s website at lwvscc.org) or by check made out to LWVSCC. Indicate “Annual Meeting” on the check and include names of guests or additional members. Checks should be mailed to: LWVSCC, PO Box 1745, Capitola, CA 95010. Payment must be received by May 31.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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