Lee School 5th Grade Teachers and Cottonwood Church honored by Los Al and State Recreation Societies


The City of Los Alamitos Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Commission nominated the Lee Elementary School fifth grade teachers and Cottonwood Church for the California Park & Recreation Society District 10 Volunteer Merit Award for their commitments to the community.

During the week of March 22, 2021, fifth graders at Lee Elementary School participated in a week-long event called 5th Grade Next Level.  Lee Elementary’s PTA partnered with the City of Los Alamitos Recreation and Community Services Department to host activities on campus during the school day and four nighttime events.

During the day on campus, students participated in team-building activities led by the 5th-grade teachers, crafts, and physical team competitions. In the evenings, the Los Alamitos Recreation & Community Services staff led student teams through a rotation of stations including rock wall climbing, physical fitness obstacle courses, trivia, and an Arbor Day activity in partnership with Rossmoor Community Services District at the two-day Scavenger Hunt Nights at Rossmoor Park.  The Park-a-palooza evening event took place at Little Cottonwood Park and included astronomy, s’mores, team competitions, magic, and snow play.  The week closed out with a drive-in movie night for Lee fifth-graders at Little Cottonwood Park.

At each evening event, the 5th Grade Teacher Team and Principal Amy Vento volunteered many hours to support and be present for the students and ensure a memorable week of experiences for the 5th graders promoting during COVID-19, in addition to the many volunteer planning hours and efforts to coordinate a fun-filled week. The 5th grade Lee Elementary Teacher Team made up of Chris Burnett, Karen Recker, and Amy Salter, together with Principal Vento were innovative and determined to create safe and fun experiences the students would never forget and not miss out on despite the challenges of a global pandemic. The students, families, and community are grateful for such a caring, creative and outstanding group of 5th grade teachers and Principal at Lee Elementary School. The Lee Elementary School 5th grade teachers accepted their award at the Los Alamitos City Council meeting on May 16, 2022.

Cottonwood Church is an instrumental partner of the City of Los Alamitos in preserving the weekly Senior Grocery Program throughout the obstacles presented by the pandemic shutdowns. An essential program providing free groceries to seniors and low-income families, the program was nearly shutdown due to indoor restrictions, in addition to over-capacity in the Community Center Parking lot as a drive-up option early in the pandemic. Cottonwood was quick to step in, offering their large parking lot and volunteers to host and assist with the program serving upwards of 200 households per week at its peak. The program returned indoors to the Community Center during fall 2021. Cottonwood Church graciously continued to send their volunteers to assist City staff each week with the program. Cottonwood Church accepted their Volunteer Merit Award at the California Park and Recreation Society District 10 Banquet in April 2022.

The City of Los Alamitos is grateful for the vital community partnership with Cottonwood Church for its past and continued support of Los Alamitos programs and services.

Contact: Emeline Noda- Director of Recreation and Community Services
Recreation and Community Services – (562) 430-1073






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