Community Outreach

Community Outreach

The Da Vinci Student Council prides itself on its community outreach activities.  Following a tradition that was started two years ago, the DV Student Council meets annually at Sunland Park Mall right before the holidays to work with the El Paso Community Foundations.  The Council provides Holiday gifts for the sick and elderly.  Two years ago the student council was able to accommodate seven gift wish lists that are usually placed on teddy bear cutouts on a Holiday tree placed in the food court.

Requests range from warm blankets to soccer balls for kids.  Last year the council improved to twenty four gifts and this year your very own Da Vinci Student Council beat out all other El Paso public schools by donating eighty gifts for the needy.

Donating the eighty gifts would have been enough for any student council but the school council closed out the day by having a Holiday dinner for La Posada, a shelter for battered women, residents.  We appreciate the leadership and inspiration that Council Sponsor, Luis R. Jacques offers our youngsters. He is a role model to them, and in turn, they have shown their appreciation through their actions.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Promoting school spirit is one of Student Council’s main objectives.  What better way to promote school unity and for the students to enjoy themselves than to host the annual Winter Wonderland Dance the Thursday before the Holiday break.

The Council transformed the auditorium into a true winter wonderland.  One student was very much impressed with the efforts and decorations of Student Council and mentioned, “I sometimes forgot I was at school and every once in a while thought I was really in the North Pole.”  Student Council pledged to give half of the proceeds to the seniors for their Senior Trip to New York City.

Counselor’s Corner

Counselor’s Corner

By Norma Garrett

This year Da Vinci invited The National Hispanic Institute to present their program to students in the ninth through eleventh grades. In October, Hector Lopez, who is based out of El Paso as the director of the Central American division, challenged our students to  not only make a difference in our world but to develop the leadership skills needed to accomplish their goals.  NHI  was created to help youth  find a medium for identifying belief systems, sharing  with others, and empowering them by increasing self-esteem and understanding cultural competency.

The NHI focuses  on the Hispanic Community to increase political involvement and economic development. However, students of all different ethnic and racial backgrounds with a minimum of a 3.2 GPA are encouraged to apply to the summer leadership institutes. Since NHI only chooses 3,000 from across the nation, interested students sent in their applications and waited eagerly to hear if they were accepted. The ninth grade program involves once a week preparation periods for the spring semester at a local community site. This summer they will be presenting in an eight-day session at the University of Texas at Austin entitled, The Great Debate. Freshmen who are already hard at work are Felix Avila and Pilar Gonzalez.

For sophomores and juniors, the Youth Legislative Session has many sites around the United States and in Panama. Two excited sophomores are Adria Corral and Marisol Adame, who will be traveling to Panama City, Panama for their sessions.

Two juniors, Magdelen Parades and Claude Zamora will remain in the United States. Parades will participate at Colorado State University and Zamora will be our representative to Georgetown University in Washington D.C. When asked about her expectations, Parades explained that while she feels she has developed leadership skills in her activities at Da Vinci, this will give her an opportunity to, “ refine how I see myself as a leader and what I can do to improve.” She went on to state she has a career goal as an occupational therapist and wants to call attention to the needs  of people with physical disabilities.

Zamora has plans to attend MIT, and major in mechanical engineering. He is looking to have a career in advanced technology vehicle design where he can influence environmental  decisions. His expectation of the NHI summer program is, “ to have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other teens across the country and to learn negotiating skills.”

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure:

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure:

Da Vinci Student Council donated $2,177.33 to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  At this point we are the ONLY team on this Honor Roll. We thank Ms. Linda Crooks for her leadership and initiative in rallying the spirit of participation among our school family.


In the video of the Da Vinci robotics team the girls driving the robot were Pilar Gonzalez and Lucy Li, and the robot was  number 5670.

Congratulations to the Robotics team for their successful participation in the First Technical Challenge. The robotics team was nominated for 4 awards, won two awards, and finished 4th in the competition.

  1. Runner up on Innovation and Design Award
  2. Runner up Best Notebook Award
  3. Won the Rock Collins Award or Connect Award. The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a team that not only thinks outside the box, but also has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.  This award is given to the team that has the most innovative and creative robot design solution to any or all specific field elements or components in the FIRST Tech Challenge game.  Elements of this award include elegant design, robustness, and ‘out of the box’ thinking related to design.  This award may address the design of the whole robot, or of a sub-assembly attached to the robot.
  4. Won Inspire Award. The Inspire Award is the most prestigious FTC award, and is given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program.  The team that receives this award is chosen by the judges as having best represented a role model FIRST Tech Challenge Team.  The team that receives this award is a top contender for all other judging categories and is a strong competitor on the field. Judges should use match performance, observations made during interviews and in the pit area and the team’s Engineering Notebook as equal factors in determining the winner of this award.

The Dragons have advanced to the regional competition that will take place in Lubbock Texas.

Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts and Howard Burnham Elementary School have been awarded the Title I, Part A Distinguished Performance Award by the Division of NCLB for the School Year 2010-2011. NCLB Title I, Distinguished Schools.

It’s Time to Show Our Students Our Support

Dear Readers,

As you read these wonderful accounts of our students’ hard academic work, their commitment to creating a caring and social school environment, and their outstanding generosity to our community, we must take a moment to ask, “How can we tell them that we appreciate their behaviors, their values and their dreams?”

We can do so by helping them raise the funds to participate in their Robotics Competition in Dallas, Attend the NASA Design Competition at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, help a deserving student travel to New York City for an unforgettable Senior Trip.

Perhaps your place of work has a community fund? Perhaps you are in a position to make a generous tax deductable gift.  A check made out to Da Vinci School for Science & the Arts with an accompanying note that targets your gift to the Student Fund will benefit many deserving youngsters. So, please help them fundraise.



Students in first grade selected their hero, Walt Disney, and displayed the hero on a cereal box with important information.

Students reenacted the contribution their hero made, Dr. Jonas Salk.

Students in second grade made a figure of their hero, Rosa Parks. Information on this hero was shown on the back.

Students in fourth grade developed a time line for the Civil Rights Movement.