C5 Children’s School has many annual and special events throughout the year. Here is a sampling of what we offer.

C5 Program Preview Meetings

The public was invited to our two preview meetings of our Infant-Toddler and Preschool programs. The two meetings were held on October 25th and November 2nd from 5-6 p.m. in the cafeteria of the C5 Children’s School Preschool Center. It is located in the Hiram Johnson State Office Building at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, between Polk and Larkin, in San Francisco. There is security screening in the building, so participants arrived well before 5:00 p.m. Late arrivals after 5:30 p.m. were not allowed entry.

There is underground public parking available in front of City Hall, with an entrance on McAllister Street between Polk and Larkin, and above ground public parking in the Hastings Law School garage on Larkin Street between McAllister and Golden Gate Avenue.

We held the meetings as a follow-up to the recent annual Parents’ Place Preschool Preview Night held in the Flower Pavilion in Golden Gate Park. It was difficult there to hear parents and discuss details of their personal situations, with hundreds of people talking in the confined space. So, we offer these more intimate and comprehensive sessions to them and now also to the public.

There was no charge for the two preview meetings and tours of the school, which are usually held only after a family applies for enrollment online with a $75 application fee.

Interested participants contacted Bev Melugin via her phone: 415-703-1277 or email b.melugin@nullc5children.org.


Ballet Recital

The children in the older preschool classroom went with their teachers and several parent chaperones on a field trip to the Herbst Theater for a ballet recital and performed on the stage in the grand theater space.


Artists in Residence

C5 has an Artist in Residence program. during special months when we get volunteers, a C5 parent, family member, staff member, or friend of C5 from the community comes into the classrooms at both centers usually for two afternoons and presents something of interest to the children, staff, and parents. Some of our Artists in Residence have come for only one very special day.

The sessions are highly participative, and teachers and children practice and expand on the offerings between sessions. For example, during the Samba Dancing Artist in Residence visits, the children danced with Lani Way, as she demonstrated the movements, costumes, instruments, music, and attitudes that accompany the dancing. Then, they made a variety of costumes to wear when she returned, and everyone wore them, played instruments, and danced in a long Mardi Gras-like parade through all of the CA State Building Center classrooms.

The visits are usually scheduled about two weeks apart. They last for approximately 20-30 minutes in the areas where the children of different ages gather. The locations are typically within the classrooms at the two centers; however, we have had interactive presentations in the auditorium of the Milton Marks Conference Center in the lower level of the California State Office Building and on stage at the famous Herbst Theatre, which is one block away from C5 in the Civic Center.

Examples of Past Artists in Residence are:

Juliette Hirt — Concert Harp
Pete Lude — Jazz Guitar and Bluegrass Banjo
Lani Way — Somba Dancing
Barbara Gallios — Spinning and Weaving
Julia Webber and Friend — Collage Painting
Yousef Bohamama — Arabic Writing and Culture
Paul Clanon — Jazz Bass
David Krall — Computer Graphics
Michelle Cooke — Cooking
Mary Loyola — Jewelry and Beadwork
June Weintraub — Bubble Art Science
Kathy Baron — Flute
Eva Merrick — Sound Poems and Word Snakes
Quinton and Carolyn Tschetter — Piano and Arias (At the Herbst Theatre)
Marti and Larry Bruketta — Swing Ballroom Dancing (In the Milton Marks Conference Center Auditorium)
Janna Stabile — Yoga for Children
Juanita Erickson — Native American Storytelling
Robin Wilson — Stories from Books and Puppets
Vashti Ferguson — Watercolor Painting
Jad and Kahreem Abhoulson — Clarinet
Derek Bermel and Cynthia Mei — Original Contemporary Chamber Music (In the Milton Marks Conference Center Auditorium)
Allie Gottlieb — Drums & Rhythms
Lorenzo Ilanillo — Video Filming and Editing
Angela Dent — Chalk and Charcoal
Erin Farris — American Sign Language
Sally Malave — Malave Soccer Team (In the Courtyard Play Area)
Antonio Davidson-Gomez — World Percussion and Sounds (In the Milton Marks Conference Center Auditorium)
Jill McInerney and Julian Gross — Flute and Guitar
John Foster and Steve Gibson — Guitar
San Francisco Ballet School — (In the Milton Marks Conference Center Auditorium
Christina Sabee — Floral Arrangements
Yoko Takada — Origami
Theresa DeMaria-Valdes — Classical Piano
Chef Jonas — Baking
Jane Kramer — Oboe


Winter Cultural Highlights

Every year from late January through early February, we host Winter Cultural Highlights in every classroom. Each family and every teacher takes 20 minutes to present aspects of their family culture, heritage, and current influences. Many choose to use pictures, artifacts, food, dancing, music, stories, and extended family members to represent the rich diversity of families and staff at C5 Children’s School. Afterward, the children and teachers use the memories, spirit, and documentation from the presentations to inspire continuing in-depth investigations into various cultural elements and to replicate or extend the influences in their own work.


Summer Book & Box

Summer Book and Box —- This is an all-summer activity where families collect things in a book and/or a box that happen over the summer. They decorate the book and box and bring them into the school near the beginning of the new school year in September to share with their child’‘s learning group. Each family signs up for a 15 minute presentation. The children participate in the presentations, and we keep the books and boxes for several months so the children can take them out and look back on their families and their summer. Great stories are revisited and new ones told. Items from the summer treasure boxes are often integrated into dramatic play and shared with friends. The Summer Books & Boxes, the presentations, and the later experiences are often continuing sources of wonderful emergent projects and explorations for the children.


School Potlucks

There are three C5 community-wide potlucks each year that are regularly scheduled

  1. in the Fall, usually in November,
  2. in the spring, usually in conjunction with the Festival of Learning and happens during the Gala Evening Celebration Party, and
  3. is at the end of Costume Week on Friday evening and is called the Costume Potluck

Music, Creative Movement, and Dance

Music Together

C5 has been offering Music Together weekly since the fall of 2003 as part of our full year program for all of our students in each of our classrooms at both centers. We have also been hosts in our school for several years for the founders of Music Together and their trainers to come to San Francisco from New York City and from Princeton, New Jersey to train our musical C5 staff members and other music teachers in the Bay Area. C5 teachers trained by Music Together conduct weekly sessions in their classrooms as part of our regular curriculum and tuition. As part of regular tuition, C5 families participate and receive the regular Music Together materials, a song book, CDs, and download codes for all of the collections in which they participate. We offer three Music Together collections over 45 weeks throughout the year and all nine collections over a three year period.

Recently, Lili Levinowitz, the co-founder of Music Together, came from Music Together’s headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey and trained 35 prospective music teachers at our CA State Building Center in a three-day, 28 hour training event. The comprehensive training included daily demonstrations sessions for the trainees that involved 12 different children and their parents each day.

After the three-day training, Lili conducted a one-day Songs & Skills Workshop for regional Music Together teachers who were already trained. The all-day session prepared the teachers for the new Sticks Collection and provided more insights into working with children, parents, and their teacher colleagues.

Creative Movement & Dance

We started a comprehensive movement and dance program in the fall of 2000. We developed it in collaboration with professional consultants and parents from the San Francisco Ballet. C5 trained teachers in each classroom conduct regular sessions for children every week for every classroom. For toddlers, preschoolers, and pre-K children, the theme of the sessions are based on the explorations or projects that the children are already working on during their regular emergent curriculum. For infants, the sessions are based on the developmental issues of each infant child. The focus in the sessions is to facilitate the children in gradually, over the years, developing comprehensive skills, attitudes, and knowledge about movement, dance, and their own bodies as individuals, partners, and groups.

We have exciting examples and results to share about our work with Music Together and Creative Movement & Dance. You are welcome to contact our Director of Learning or our other center directors to discuss more details.


Festival of Learning Gala Party and Raffle

Our annual Festival of Learning Gala Party and Raffle is the culmination of many hours of work by parents, family members, teacher, other C5 staff members, and our friends in the community.

It features our focus for the year as its convening theme and provides a wide range of fun can friendship opportunities for all who attend.

It is usually held in the middle of May.in the CA State Building Center’s Cafeteria on the second floor at 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

The Theme this year, in 2015, is “Diversity in Its Many Forms – Understanding, Appreciating, and Developing – Our Bodies, Brains, Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles, Attitudes, Perspectives, Approaches, Materials, Tools, Processes, Equipment, Environments, Languages, Concepts, Cultures.

The Theme in 2014 was “Brain Power—Developing, Functioning, Applying.

The Theme in 2013 was “Dreaming & Doing – The Power of Collaborative Learning Groups and Individual Imagination!

We always have fabulous food, fun, music, dancing, games and activities for all ages of young children, and our famous raffle! Raffle tickets were only $5 each, with proceeds going to scholarships for C5 Children’s School qualifying families and professional development for staff. Raffle ticket buyers do not need to be present to win a raffle prize. Winners are notified.

A Past Year’s List of 57 Raffle Prizes and Valuations:

1 New iPad, 32GB Memory, Plus Wi-Fi 3G for AT&T, $798

4 49ersTickets: lower reserved seats, plus parking, $450

4 HP 3-in-1 Printers, D110a, $104 each

3 Giants Tickets, Virgin America Club Level Seats behind home plate, near the broadcast booths, plus parking, $300

2 Kindle Fires, $200 each

1 JAMBOX Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, $200

1 SanDisk Package: SlotRadio, Music Player w/ 3000 Songs Preloaded, $200

1 SanDisk Package: Sansa Fuze MP3 Player (4GB) w/ microSDHC Card & MobileMate Micro, $100

1 SanDisk Package: SanDisk reusable Bag, 16GB Flash Drive, 4GB SDHC Card, USB 2.0 Reader/Writer, Water Bottle , Flashlight and Pen, $50

1 Set 4 Ceramic Plates Local Artist, $250

4 VIP Passes Legion of Honor or de Young, $40

1 Family Pass for four Oakland Zoo & 8 ride tickets, $66

2 Passes Oakland Museum, $12 each

5 Ghiradelli Gift Cards, $10 each

4 Tickets Contemporary Jewish Museum, $12 each

1 Family Pass for 4 Children’s Creativity Museum, $120

4 Tickets Children’s Fairyland (Oakland), $32

1 Target Gift Card, $25

3 Sports Basement Gift Cards, $50 each

1 Books Inc Gift Card, $25

1 Photograph & Frame Gift Card, $75

1 A Child’s Delight Gift Card, $25

1 Kids Only Gift Card, $25

1 Park Chow Restaurant Gift Card, $40

1 Ananda Fuara Restaurant Gift Card, $25

1 Set 4 Tickets California Academy of Sciences

1 Patio Espanol Restaurant Gift Card, $100

1 Mezze’ Restaurant & Bar Gift Card, $60

1 The Cove on Castro Gift Card, $40

1 Night Deluxe Room Marriott Union Square, $250

2 Gift Cards Max’s Opera Deli, $50 each

1 Bottle Domain Carneros Sparkling Wine, $35

1 Bottle Schramsberg Sparkling Wine, $42

1 Bottle Chateau Montelana Cabernet Sauvignon Wine, $95

2 Gift Certificates to the store “For Boys and A Girl,” $50 each

2 Peet’s Gift Bags: 1lb coffee beans, 1 coffee mug, chocolate covered espresso beans, and blue berries, $35

1 Lakeshore Gift Card, $125

1 Ambiance boutique Gift Card, $25

1 Trader Joe’s Food and/or Non-alcoholic Beverages of One’s Choice, $60


Costume Days

Our annual Costume Days events are held in July. They include three weeks of children, parents, and teachers planning and making costumes, props, and dramatic settings representing children’s interests, fascinations, dreams, and preferred associations.

During the first two weeks, children and their parents begin planning and making the costumes and props at home. In the last week, called Costume Week, they finish making the costumes and props and put on skits, plays, and parades; and make movies. Then, they join their costumed parents, siblings, other family members, teachers, and C5 staff on the evening of the last day for the big program-wide Costume Party Potluck. We all enjoy the delicious food, music, dancing, parade, each other, and the amazing variety of costumes and presentations.


Annual Festival of Learning

The following is a general description of how most of our festivals of Learning are organized.

Directions to C5 Children’s School is near the end.

The Festival of Learning is held throughout most of the month of May.

The public is invited to all events. Each year, we include partner programs in our festival. They are typically other early childhood programs and curriculum classes from regional colleges or universities.

Preparation

Throughout the school year, beginning in September, children, parents, family members, and C5 staff begin collecting samples of work from ongoing explorations and projects and reserve them for display, reflection, discussion, and expanded learning during the festival in May. From January through April, teachers, staff members and parents plan and prepare for the many events that will be featured in the festival. The theme each year is merely to showcase aspects of the program that we are already working on with children and helps to make visible and otherwise accessible how children are developing and learning at C5 Children’s School.

The Main Elements of the Festival

  • Collaborating with children, parents, family members, other early childhood education programs & ECE students, San Francisco City government &
  • First 5 of San Francisco, and community members
  • The Exhibit of Children’s Work
  • The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • The Public Seminar and Workshop
  • Tours of the Exhibit, Centers, and Classrooms at C5
  • Public Demonstrations
  • Saturday Festival Picnic

Exhibit of Children’s Work

The exhibit is now held during the month of May in the two buildings housing our centers in San Francisco. One is in the Hiram Johnson Building in its Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue. It is open during business hours. The other is in the San Francisco Public Utilities Building at 525 Golden Gate Avenue in its large display windows on Golden Gate Avenue. It is available to the public from the sidewalk 24 hours a day.

The exhibits feature examples of children’s work from all learning groups, ages 6 weeks old to 5.9 years old. Visitors will see displays of children’s ongoing projects and activities that document their in-depth explorations, projects, and expressions in a wide array of various media, processes, and discoveries that reveal the power of learning of young children in collaboration with each other, teachers, parents, family members, and community participants.

Special tours are also available by appointment.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

This grand event is held in the morning on the day after the exhibits are set up and includes all of the children and staff from both centers, many of the parents, dignitaries, supporters of C5 Children’s School, and neighborhood representatives.

Public Seminar and Workshop

On one of the first Saturday mornings in May, we conduct a comprehensive four hour seminar and workshop centering on the theme for the festival. See below for a history of themes for each year since 20015. Participants sign up online and begin the interactive process there with a survey and input from their own experiences. They continue the processes at the seminar and workshop. The session has been attended by over 100 participants in the past.

Tours of the Exhibit, Centers, and Classrooms at C5

Tours of our facilities are available after the seminar and workshop and by appointment at other times. We have and will accept and guide individuals and groups from other countries, representatives of government groups, staff members from other early childhood education programs, students of early childhood education, prospective families who are considering enrollment in our programs, researchers, and members of the media.

Saturday Festival Picnic

Midway in the month, we hold a big celebration picnic on a Saturday morning. We have our picnics at the Julius Kahn Playground. Hundreds of people join us for a morning of festival full of fun, food, excitement, and learning for all. Families bring food to share and we have outdoor activities for children and families to enjoy.

Children and Teachers Working in Public

We call these Public Demonstrations. For most of the week days during the month of the festival, the children and staff at C5, with parent chaperons, take their learning processes into the public view. In most cases, the children are continuing explorations and development of their projects or their current interests and fascinations. A schedule of the Public Demonstrations is published online and is subject to change.

A sampling of Public Demonstrations is listed below.

Public Demonstration (1) The C5 Apples and Rocket Ships children will demonstrate their “Restaurant Food Preparation and Servings Skills” with their teachers in the CA State Building Center’s Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco, May 4th, from 10:00 to11:00 am.

Public Demonstration (2) The C5 Lions-Zebras-Tigers Learning Group children will be “Taping and Cutting” with their teachers in the CA State Building Center’s Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, May 5th, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Public Demonstration (3) The C5 Monkeys Learning Group toddler-aged children will be working on “Bubbles” with their teachers in the CA State Building Center’s Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, May 6th, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.

Public Demonstration (4) The C5 Apples and Rocket Ships Learning Group children will demonstrate their “Restaurant Food Preparation and Servings Skills” with their teachers in Civic Center Park, May 9th, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Public Demonstration (5) The C5 Bumblebees Learning Group of toddler-aged children will be working on “Paper Rolls” with their teachers in the SF City Building Center’s Cafe, May 10th, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (6) The C5 Orcas Learning Group children will be working on “Collages” with their teachers in the CA State Building Center’s Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, May 10th, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (7) The C5 Caterpillars and Butterflies Learning Groups of toddler-aged children will be working on “Mirrors & Reflections” with their teachers in the SF City Building Center’s Cafe, May 11th, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (8) The C5 Elephants Learning Groups toddler-aged children will be presenting their “Dance Band” with their teachers in Civic Center Park, May 11th, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.

Public Demonstration (9) The C5 Jungle Cupcakes Learning Group children will demonstrate “Working with Recycled Materials” with their teachers in Civic Center Park, May 12th, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Public Demonstration (10) The C5 Sprinkle Ice Creams Learning Group children will be demonstrating “Hammering Nails” with their teachers in the CA State Building Center’s Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, May 13th, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Public Demonstration (11) The C5 Penguins Learning Group of toddler-aged children will be demonstrating on “Music”” with their teachers in the SF City Building Center’s Cafe, May 16th, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (12) The C5 Peacocks Learning Group children will be working on “Sketching with Crash the Robot” with their teachers in Civic Center Park, May 17th, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Public Demonstration (13) The C5 Race Cars Learning Group children will demonstrate their “Science Lab” project with their teachers in CA State Building Center’s great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, May 19th, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (14) The C5 Okey Dokey Learning Group children will demonstrate their “Hot Glue” project work with their teachers in the CA State Building Center’s Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, May 20th, from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (15) The C5 Race Car Tiger-Striped Butterflies Learning Group children will demonstrate their “Car Collages” with their teachers in the SF City Building Center’s Cafe, May 21st, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (16) The C5 Cable Cars Learning Group children will demonstrate their “Magnet Tiles” with their teachers in the CA State Building Center’s Great Hall at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, May 22nd, from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Public Demonstration (17) The C5 Race Cars and the Cocos Learning Groups children will demonstrate their “Sound of Music Musical” with their teachers in City Hall Park, May 23rd, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Directions to C5

C5 Children’s School main offices and the CA State Building Center are located at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 2400, San Francisco, California, 94102. We are in the Hiram Johnson State of California Office Building. It takes up the entire block. The main entrance to the building is on the South side in the middle of the block between Polk and Larkin Streets.

Our other center is located across Polk Street in the San Francisco Public Utilities Building at 525 Golden Gate Avenue.

Parking

The closest parking is in the block next to our building. It is the new University of California Hastings Parking garage at 376 Larkin Street, between McAllister and Golden Gate Avenue, on the right side as you are traveling north on Larkin. The rate for 3 hours is approximately $11.

The next closest parking garage is in another block next to our building. It is the Civic Center garage that is underground below Civic Center Park in front of City Hall. The entrance is on McAllister Street between Polk and Larkin. The rates are approximately: 0-1 hour $2; 1-2 hours $5; 2-3 hours $9; 3-4 hours $11.

Mass Transit

If you take BART or MUNI, get off at the Civic Center Station, walk to Larkin, go north on Larkin to Golden Gate Avenue, turn left before crossing Golden Gate Avenue, walk to the middle of the block, and the main entrance to our building is immediately off of the sidewalk in the State of California Building.

Security in the Building

There is security screening in the CA State Building that is similar to screening at courtrooms and airports. It is augmented by the California Highway Patrol. The security officers can direct you to our school and meeting spaces. Security at the SF City Building is conducted by the San Francisco County Sheriffs.

Donations

C5 Children’s School is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public interest organization. Donations and Sponsorships are accepted. Contributions are tax deductible.

History of Our Festival of Learning

Our first exhibit was in 2005. Many examples of children’s work were displayed on the mezzanine in front of the Preschool Center and around the hallways outside the school. The theme that year was “Making Learning VisibleAn exhibit advocating for the rights of children and the possibilities of learning for all.”

In 2006, the exhibit was installed in the Great Hall at the Preschool Center building and was displayed prior to the auction. That year, the theme was “Growing Strong Together.”

In 2007, we discontinued the auction and created the Festival of Learning with the central focus on children, their work, and their learning. We replaced the fundraising function of the auction with money donations from families, friends, extended families, and corporations; and, the sales of raffle tickets and tickets to the Gala Party. These funds were used for special enhancement activities and a small number of partial scholarships. The festival theme that year was “Facilitating Learning and Development in Partnership with Young Children and Families.”

Also in 2007, as part of our staff retention and incentive plan and to augment our comprehensive staff development and curriculum planning, we set an objective of sending two teachers each year on the U.S. Study Tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy. The proceeds from the Festival of Learning fundraising activities go to support these study tours, along with providing scholarships for children whose families could not otherwise afford to enroll their children in our school or to stay at C5 Children’s School.

In 2008, the festival and exhibit theme was “The Surprise! … what children can do!!!”

In 2009, the festival and exhibit theme was “The Greening of Learning Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, ReCreating.”

In 2010, the theme for the Festival of Learning was “Discoveries! The Inspirations, Insights, and Innovations from Children’s Interactions with Materials, People, and Processes.”

In 2011, the theme was “Deeper Learning Through Collaborationwith Children, Parents, Family, Colleagues, and Community Members.”

In 2012, the theme was “Dreaming and Doing The Power of Collaborating Teams and Individual Imagination.”

In 2013, the theme was “The Whole Child Developing Multiple Intelligences & The 100 Languages of Children.”

In 2014, the theme was “Brain Power! Developing, Functioning, Applying.”

In 2015, the theme was “Diversity in Its Many Forms Understanding, Appreciating, and Developing Our Bodies, Brains, Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles, Attitudes, Perspectives, Approaches, Materials, Tools, Processes, Equipment, Environments, Languages, Concepts, Cultures.”

In 2016, the theme will be“The Sublime Facilitating Making Meaning and Fostering Optimal Development with Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Pre-Kindergarten.”

The strong support we have had over the years from our parent and family community, our neighbors and vendors, and the community at large have helped to spread the word about children’s capabilities and accomplishments from birth to kindergarten, to fund tuition scholarships for some of our families, and to send staff members to special conferences and other training and workshop events each year.

By the end of 2012, we had sent 13 staff members on the one-week U.S. Study Tours to Reggio Emilia. Many are still working at C5. The study tours have been life-changing professional growth events for all of the staff members who went and very influential on those who have benefited from their return and sharing through many professional development training events. They enthusiastically provided details of their experiences and implemented what they learned to create many more amazing possibilities for a new culture of childhood for children and families and staff development at C5.

We invite you and those you care most about to join us each year for a marvelous four weeks of a Festival of Learning!