Staff Appreciation Week: March 4-8, 2019

Dear Parents,

Each year, the Directors and Board of Trustees of the CEC acknowledge our loving and dedicated staff by declaring a week for staff appreciation. This year, we will once again ask parents to join us in celebrating our staff members by bringing flowers and notes of appreciation throughout the week. For the first time, Staff Appreciation Week will culminate with the infant, toddler, preschool’s mid-year Professional Development Day.

Notes to Staff: All too often, in the rush of the day, we may not have time to express our genuine appreciation to staff for being the ones who love, nurture, and teach our children when we are not with them. Writing a note of appreciation is a wonderful way to share affirming thoughts with teachers, administrative staff or directors. Your notes do not have to be long to be meaningful. Your note can be written to an individual or a group such as all the teachers in a particular room, yard, office or site.

Flowers: We also encourage parents to bring a flower or bouquet during the week to their child's group to help make the rooms look festive and beautiful. Simple and from your garden would be lovely, as would flowers that are purchased. We will have plenty of vases on hand so please don't feel the need to buy one.

Banners: Your group's Room Parents (or Site Directors for the School-Age Program) will be taking the lead on making a celebratory banner to be hung in the room, ready to welcome the staff on the first day of the Staff Appreciation Week. If you would like to participate in making the banner, please look for communications from your group’s Room Parent. 

Staff Lunch: The CEC will be providing a special luncheon for all staff on Friday, March 9, as well as a small gift will be given to each staff member. 

Please Note:  We are not soliciting money or gifts. The CEC budget includes funds for this event. We are only requesting personal notes and flowers from parents to remind staff that the important work they do is noticed and appreciated.

Thank you for your support of the staff,  

Lisa Cain-Chang
Children’s Programs Director

Shower the CEC staff with notes and flowers all week: March 4-8

2018 Drive for Backpacks for the Homeless

Once again, we are supporting alumni parent, Ann Martin’s (aka Bussone), efforts to provide much needed personal care and comfort items to individuals experiencing homelessness in Pasadena. We would like to extend her invitation out to the CEC community to participate in this meaningful project. Please see below to read Ann's letter and view a full list of the items she is hoping to collect.

We will have boxes in the Oak Grove and Co-op offices, as well as in the Dolphin room for families to drop off donations. Thank you for paying it forward this holiday season!

Her message:

I invite you to join me in the SIXTH annual drive to provide holiday backpacks for the homeless in the Pasadena area.  Thank you so much to all of you who continue to participate and a warm welcome to those of you who are new. Every year I am so touched by the amazing generosity of my friends, colleagues and family!  We all have so much to be thankful for and I appreciate you all paying it forward by contributing something to those who survive on so little.

Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, last year we were able to distribute 45 backpacks and sleeping bags filled with necessities for homeless women and men in our community.  When we ran out, we had extra gift cards that we were able to hand out so nobody left empty-handed. Your contributions really make a difference. Sadly, the problem of homelessness continues to grow.  With rents soaring, we are seeing many more seniors and families being displaced. 

This year I have purchased 50 backpacks to fill with things that the homeless can use to make their lives a little better.  In an attempt to try to make this more convenient for you during this busy time of year I have put together a Wish List on Amazon of items we need.  You can just go to the link and pick out what you want to donate and order it online at 

Or if prefer to order online from another source you can have your donation shipped to my address at 525 N Michillinda Ave., Pasadena 91107.  If you enjoy getting out to the stores and shopping (99 cent store and Target are great options).  I am happy to come to your home or office to pick up any donations you wish to make. I plan to distribute the backpacks during the week of Christmas.  Suggested items are listed below.  Small denomination food gift cards to McDonalds are not available on Amazon, but are much appreciated, as are donated items of clothing!  Subway gift cards are available and you can buy purchase them at the above link.

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I want you all to know the impact you are having in the community!  I am so thankful to have such wonderful people like you in my life. Thank you for your consideration and, of course, no pressure to participate!

Love, Ann

With additional appreciation from Elyssa!

Needed Items 

  • Sweatshirts

  • T-shirts

  • Face towels

  • Underwear

  • Knit caps

  • Baseball caps

  • Socks

  • Paperback Books

  • Playing cards

  • Blankets (no aluminum blankets because they need to not stand out when sleeping)

  • Chapstick

  • Antibacterial ointment

  • Pre-paid phones

  • Energy bars

  • Nail clippers

  • Soap

  • Shampoo

  • Razors

  • Shaving cream

  • Combs

  • Brushes

  • Deodorant

  • Lotion

  • Gift certificates to Subway or McDonalds

  • Bus tokens

  • Toothbrushes (soft bristles)

  • Toothpaste

The Fall 2018 Used Clothing Sale is Here!


Do you have a growing pile of outgrown children's clothes in decent condition? Now that the weather is changing, are you finding that your child actually needs hoodies or a jacket? Then pencil the CEC Used Clothing Sale into your calendar!

The clothing sale has become a popular CEC tradition where donated children's clothing and shoes (infant sizes on up), as well as maternity wear, are sold for bargain prices of $1 (or $3 for exceptional items). 

Please bring your gently-used children's clothes and shoes, sorted by age (not gender), to the CEC starting Monday, November 19 through Tuesday, November 27. Items may be dropped off at the CEC Oak Grove or Co-Op offices or in the Whale Room near the stage.

Sale Dates:

• Thursday - Saturday, November 29, 30, and December 1 at the Oak Grove Site (140 Foothill Blvd. La Canada)

Sale Times:

• Thursday and Friday: Early morning (7:30 am - 9:30 am) and late afternoon (4:15 pm - 5:45 pm)

• Saturday: 8:00 am - 10:00 am (This is open to the public so invite all your friends and colleagues who are soon-to-be parents or have children!)

Parent Participation:

Earn parent hours by sorting clothes, doing pre-sale set up, staffing during the sale hours, and/or post-sale clean-up.

Welcome New Board Members!

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Each year, the CEC’s Board of Trustees approves new Board members, who are then presented to the general membership (CEC parents and employees) for confirmation. Most people vote through the proxy process. This voting process is a simple and extremely important moment for the CEC organization, since the CEC Board is responsible for the governance of the organization, ensuring its fiscal health, and remaining true to the CEC’s vision and mission. The members of our Board, led by CEC alum parent and newly-elected Board President Katie Fallin Kenyon, are a highly engaged, committed, and caring group, representing a broad range of professional skills and expertise.

New Board members were formally accepted by the CEC membership at the Annual Members’ Meeting last week. We enthusiastically welcome the following new members and look forward to the unique contribution they will each make in the coming three years:

  • Melanie Sauer

  • Ashaunta Anderson

To learn more about each of these members, brief bios are included here.

At the same time that we welcome new members, two Board members are departing after years of service. Each of the following people made an important, if not critical, contribution to the Board during their tenure.. We are honored to recognize the following Board members for their generous service to the CEC:

  • Annie Wang (2013- 2018), who contributed five years of  leadership as both a member and co-chair of the Governance Committee

  • Sandy Bordi (2017-2018), who provided a vital connection between the Parent Council and the Board of Trustees as Co-Chair of the CEC Parent Council.