Topanga Elementary Celebrates Stellar Start to 2020

The Topanga Elementary Science Committee, together with the Topanga Community Center (TCC) and the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, is presenting a free astronomy event, “Topanga Nights: Our Place in Space,” on January 17, at 6 p.m. at TCC. Everyone is welcome. There will be a community potluck (bring a dish to share). Parking is free. 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Topanga CA 90290. NO tickets required but please RSVP to



Live music, chili cook-off and, of course, the prestigious pie-eating contest! Yes, it is once again that time, the annual Topanga Swap Meet! Let the giving spirit of the joyous holidays carry you right into TCC’s kick-off event of the new decade, where our very own Topanga Enrichment Programs (TEP) will forcefully drive fundraising efforts by selling hidden treasures. Just about anything gently used goes, from vintage to modern, garage to yard, recycled to up-cycled, handmade to imported. 

As always, this event is propelled by the good will of our Topanga parents. We are accepting donations of all sorts and sizes, though non-breakable please, to be delivered to the TEP booth at the TCC by 8 a.m. on January 25. The more the merrier goes for volunteers as well; we’d love your presence for setup, collections, and running the booth. Last, but not least, a special bonus bake sale! Bring your finest confections to Lisa O’Conner at the school on Friday, the day before. Let the fun begin! 



More than 12 years ago, TECS parents Jill Williams and Sue Schmitt founded the school’s theatrical program, and this year FOCUSFish continued this tradition with auditions for the musical Cats, which will be produced by Jaya Ely and directed by Kristy Beauvais. 

More than 75 children auditioned and all will be part of the show, as part of the mission of the production is that all children who auditioned are guaranteed a part. Even children who don’t like to be on stage can learn the backstage craft by becoming part of the volunteer crew who will assist in the final shows. Rehearsals for Cats will bring a flurry of excitement to the after-school enrichment programs, as children start learning songs and practice the dances in preparation for showtime in March. 

For many working parents, having access to a range of activities for their child on campus is a major decision for them when choosing a school. While many canyon kids enjoy a vast array of off-site activities in the afternoons, there are full- and part-time programs that are also popular.

In addition to Musical Theatre and Orchestra, the LAUSD program Beyond the Bell, run by Coach Derek, keeps the kids (second grade and up) engaged with outdoor games and activities. TECS enrichment programs also include two full-time after-school programs that provide opportunities to fill the children’s days with meaningful adventures. 

STAR Education is the longest running program at TECS and supplies a variety of STEAM-focused programs.

“I have been with STAR Topanga for five-years and to this day still love it,” says site director Paola Molina. “I love that STAR at Topanga Elementary focuses on enrichment that can be taught through experiences and, later on, become their passions that help ensure a bright future for them.”  

The Galaxy program runs from dismissal until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. STAR also offers Nova once a week for 7-8 weeks with one enrichment class. To learn more about STAR:

Kallpachay (pronounced KAL-PAH-CHAI) is the latest addition to the after-school enrichment programs at TECS. It is a Spanish immersion program whose name, means “to persevere and inspire.” Their five-day-a-week program became so popular that they now offer a two-day option (Tuesday and Thursday) which is at capacity, but has a waiting list for anyone interested. Miriam Epstein, the founder and director of Kallpachay, says that language games not only help their Loritos (Parrots) actively engage with the language, but also have fun learning Spanish. 


By TECS News Team


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