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Book Fair Awesomeness & Thank yous!

IMG_20141109_105245 (1)IMG_20141108_130519Yesterday was the first Hollywood Children’s Book Fair, and WOW! What a success it was!

Our motivation for tutoring kids, hosting book clubs and buying books for students came from the Marthas understanding how literacy and building a home library is essential to academic success, high school graduation– and even correlates to people staying out of prison, which if you think about it isn’t odd considering we know that prison populations generally have a high number of high school drop outs. Getting books into homes and getting kids excited about reading is so much more than a cutesy book fair (but we love cutesy book fairs!) So we were happy to work on this inaugural event!

First, thanks to all of the authors for being awesome and supportive: Cecil Castellucci, Elise Allen, Leslie Margolis, Ben Zelkowicz, Cameron Baity, Julia Gibson, Lisa Yee, Scott Bly and Kristen Kittscher. Extra thanks to Cecil, author coordinator, for helping wrangle the other authors. They were incredible!!!

Every student at Cheremoya Elementary was given a book signed by one of the authors, which is over 300 books totaling over $4000, generously purchased by the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, The Cheremoya Foundation, Counterpoint Records and Books, and us! Cheremoya is a 100 year old school (2015) that has kids from the Hollywood Hills alongside kids from the flats, and the parents and community work hard to level the playing field for all students by increasing arts and other awesome extracurricular opportunities like this one.

Skylight Books was the ever-perfect local, indie book seller!  The amazing Kim Woo from the Goldwyn branch of the Los Angeles Public Library was on hand, and thanks to Eva Mitnick at the Central Library for giving such great PR. Eric Menjivar from State Assemblyperson Mike Gatto (congrats on your reelection) presented each author with a certificate of recognition. Lady Glitter and Tattoos did beautiful work and donated back to the event. The UPS store on Hollywood and Western donated the event signs (high five Jackie & Myrna!). The Hollywood Arts Council provided a great, free art table activity stocked with the coolest kid art making materials imaginable (thank you Shauna!) Four delicious food trucks and one amazing photo booth rounded it all out.

The people who got there earliest and stayed the latest for an eleven hour day were a handful of high school and college kids fondly known as the Marthas. Even the ones who worked four or six hours on a Saturday deserve props! Kellyn, the event intern, worked tirelessly behind the scenes for months on this. She’s taking a larger leadership role in our organization, and it’s exciting to watch young adults grow up into such compassionate, conscientious, kick ass leaders!

From now till the end of the year, it’s homeless people, socks, toiletries and blankets on our agenda. We hope you’ll join us in that arena, too!

Xo,

Anji

Hollywood Children’s Book Fair Producer

Do-Good Advisor to the Punk Rock Marthas year round

 

 

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Hollywood Children’s Book Fair

book fair - postcardWe are sooooo excited to help put on the first annual Hollywood Children’s Book Fair. NINE awesome authors will be there reading and signing books– and there will be four gourmet food trucks, a photo booth, face painting, and Hollywood Arts Council is sponsoring an art table. Admission is free! Come by! This event is open to the public and represents a team effort among its sponsors Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, Cheremoya Foundation, Counterpoint Records and Books, the Hollywood Arts Council, and US!!!
Authors will be in attendance the entire event, but will be speaking in the auditorium at the following times:

 

 

 

 

Cecil Castellucci   12:00

Elise Allen            12:30

Leslie Margolis       1:00

Ben Zelcowicz &

Cam Baity              1:30

Julia Gibson           2:00

Lisa Yee                 2:30

Scott Bly                3:00

Kristen Kittscher   3:30

Skylight Books will be on hand if you wish to purchase copies of books, Los Angeles Public Library will be on hand, as well. Parking available on site via the entrance on Cheremoya. Can’t wait to see you there!

 

 

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Bridgette Talks About Self Esteem, Bulimia & Volunteering

Hello, right off the bat I’m going to say that this blog post is going to be a little different from what we usually post. This is going to be a rather hard topic to get into, but I want to talk about self-esteem. Your self-esteem can extremely affect your everyday life and I can say this out of experience. I have dealt with about three years of bulimia and I’m currently in recovery, so I’ve had many years of low self-esteem which has taken a large portion of my life. This is one of the main reasons that I started volunteering, so I could start working on myself from the inside-out.
I’ve had many things throughout the years that sort of pushed me over the edge such as untrustworthy friends that made me feel like I was the problem to even a surgery that made me feel so useless and helpless during my recovery. I know even at a very young age I had a problem with acceptance. I felt as if I had to do everything I could in order for a group or person to accept me. Because of this I never really felt comfortable around my friends. Even to this day I struggle with acceptance and the meaning of actually just being myself and having someone like me for me and not for my extreme kindness (such as buying people food etc.) I’ve had many people tell me to be careful with this “kindness” because I can get taken advantage of.
Honestly, I’ve never actually looked into getting any help, but I know deep down I searched for help without subconsciously knowing it. I would have lies on top of lies as to why I started to have so many medical issues trying to justify my problem with throwing up. The point is I just never told anyone the truth, but I would tell them what I would do, so I guess I just waited until someone confronted me with my problem in order to get help. No one had actually confronted me about my problem. It’s not until when I realize that many things started to plummet in my life which was when I started to search for help. I am currently in recovery and this is just the beginning of my story.

-Bridgette is a college freshman at San Francisco State University and 2nd year Martha
This is one of two posts she’s contributing on the topic.
bridgette

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Why Summer Reading Matters + Our Events Schedule

IMG_20140607_103848For many, summer reading denotes leisure by the pool, at the beach, or on a plane. As avid readers, we’re all for that, but our involvement with summer reading stems from research about reading, education, and social class. A Johns Hopkins study found that middle and upper class kids maintain or improve their reading abilities over the summer, while low-income students actually lose reading skills, which becomes a significant problem when it happens repeatedly, summer after summer, during elementary school (Trelease).

We bought 400 books that were given to elementary school children in Hollywood, and along with the fabulous children’s librarian at the Goldwyn Library, Kim Woo, we are conducting 3 book talks for elementary school kids this summer (with snacks, of course!) There are two choices for chapter books (one younger elementary and one more advanced) Tuesdays @ 4:00
6/24 Masters of Disaster (Paulson) or Call It Courage (Sperry)
7/15 Chocolate Touch (Catling) or Graveyard Book (Gaiman)
8/5 Sideways Stories… (Sachar) or Bridge to Terebithia (Paterson). Join us!
IMG_20140607_103751
We’re also reading books and quoting them on our virtual booktalks – so please join us by tweeting your favorite quote #PRMbookchat (You can also write on our Facebook Wall or Instagram it if you aren’t on Twitter)
7/5 Love in the Time of Cholera- Garcia Marquez
8/1 Picture of Dorian Gray- Wilde
8/15 Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson

We look forward to sharing this summer of reading with you!
Anji

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Marthas Come Home for the Homeless

College PRMarthas & Chef Robert from Malo

College PRMarthas & Chef Robert from Malo

This week is like Homecoming for the Punk Rock Marthas. College students are in finals, on campuses both near and far, and high school students are studying for theirs… And yet something magical happens the few weeks before our annual holiday homeless service at St Francis Center: Love. This love takes the form of tubes of toothpaste, bags of new socks, blankets, hoodies, and even the most precious for students: cash. These are sent via PayPal, left on my porch, traded in a fleeting visit…

There are none as proportionately generous as those who have spent hours preparing meals, serving them, and then cleaning up (it’s the clean up that shows real dedication.) Our membership of high school students is in the triple digits, and the hours they are putting in to assemble toiletry kits and count out what we have and are lacking, especially with all of the other events we have going on + school work, is extremely admirable. Equally admirable are the college kids (in the double digits) who are called back of their own accord. It’s the loveliest feeling to know that these awesome kids truly understand and value serving their community, and we’re still going strong holiday season number 7!

Thanks to the community members who have reached out and helped. It’s been a great help to us! We still have a few days for you to drop off your blankets/toiletries for Saturday. Please email me if you’d like to contribute: anji@punkrockmarthas.com

Warmly,
Anji

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Blanket Drive for the Homeless!

This is our 7th holiday season volunteering at the Saint Francis Center in downtown LA. In addition to our meal service, we will be distributing toiletry kits (toothbrushes, toothpaste etc), new socks, and a blanket to each homeless diner.

We are collecting gently used or new blankets of any adult size from now until December 12th. If you are able to either start a collection or contribute, please contact Anji@PunkRockMarthas.com

Thank you for your support!
AnjiPRM_blankets

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Kellyn: Why I Volunteered With the Hollywood Arts Council

PR Marthas at the Spirit of Old Hollywood Benefit

PR Marthas at the Spirit of Old Hollywood Benefit

The Hollywood Arts Council hosted a incredible event to fund raise and provide more resources for schools all around Hollywood who have limited or no arts funds/programs. These awesome and giving people’s event in the old Hollywood spirit also welcomed new members to the wonderful Arts Council.

The Hollywood Arts Council provides resources for local elementary schools to keep supporting the wonderful arts. The HAC provides programs that may influence kids to become artists or simply help kids stay involved with different art programs, like as acting, dancing, theatre, and visual perspectives, as well.

This benefit was so amazing to give back to the community and provide everyone the advantages and privilege to express themselves in any artistic form. Going to a visual and performing arts school is so amazing, and volunteering to help other children in other schools have the same experience felt great! Everyone should have the wonders of being artistic !!!

–Kellyn, HS Senior

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Daisy’s Blog #1 Intro to the Marthas

daisyGreetings! My name is Daisy, currently a College Sophomore majoring in Communications Studies. But let me rewind to freshmen year in High School approximately 6 years ago. I was overly shy and lacked self-confidence. Thankfully, I was introduced to a club that made an enormous impact on my life and helped me blossom to the strong, confident, and passionate young lady I am today. My English teacher, Anji, had introduced her club to the school. At first I was very confused and hesitant to join. I did not know what to expect from a club titled “The Punk Rock Marthas” and I Definitely didn’t consider myself as “Punk Rock”. But the club was nothing like I ever expected it to be. Its main focus was to teach young High School teens like myself about the struggles of our communities and inspire us to make it a little better one Martha at a time. What better way than bringing this awareness through arts and crafts. My wonderful journey as a Martha made me realize that there is nothing more Punk Rock than serving our community, baking goodies, decorating crafts, and simply spreading genuine Martha love.

After being an active member of the Marthas for 4 years, I was honored the title of President of the club during my senior year. I couldn’t have asked for a better time and place for this experience that taught me important lessons of life. The club allowed me to build connections with my fellow youngsters. The shared desire of branching out to help our community is what brings the Marthas and its allies closer. We are not just an ordinary club; we are a family working together toward a better and brighter tomorrow. I discovered that generosity and giving back to one’s community is important in our world today. The journey was difficult but absolutely rewarding and worth it. At this point, the Marthas were widely known in school and in our community. Besides being involved with St. Francis Center, Project Angel Food, donating necessary goodies to the more needing in the community, and simply spreading Martha cheer around campus, the club was now involved in another level. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without our dedicated members, our lovely Martha supporters, and of course the beautiful mind and heart behind it all!

I am beyond proud of how hard the Marthas have worked and still continue to work today. It has been 6 years since the Marthas have been spreading kindness around the neighborhood and we hope to continue these kind acts around the world! Here’s to many more years of success! I would like to take a moment to congratulate the Marthas on their most recent accomplishments and I would also like to thank Anji, the Mother Martha of all. Without her kind heart, edgy creativity, and Punk Rock-ness, nothing would have been possible. You have inspired many of us in so many ways. We love you! I can’t wait to keep moving forward with this extraordinary club! Many exciting Martha events coming this Fall- stay tuned! We appreciate your time and we hope you are inspired to spread some genuine Martha love! Marthas unite, keep the love flowing!
Once a Martha, Always a Martha!
Much love, Daisy. XOXO <3