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Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate logo

Four Long Beach Unified School District students have been selected to join the 2024 Long Beach Youth Poet Laureate (LBYPL) cohort. Ajala Sen and Sammantha Martinez of Poly High School, Ezequiel Correa of McBride High School and Jorany Chim of Millikan High School will serve as poet ambassadors alongside the 2024 Youth Poet Laureate, representing the City of Long Beach. They will each be awarded a $500 scholarship to support their education. The cohort will work together to plan, execute and promote a citywide literary initiative that engages youth in art and activism. The LBYPL program is a joint effort between the Long Beach Public Library, the Arts Council for Long Beach and the nonprofit Urban Word NYC, aiming to offer local youth year-round literary arts, civic engagement and performance opportunities.

Valerie Vinnard

Valerie Vinnard, an LBUSD music education teacher, is among more than 350 U.S. educators eligible for the 2025 Grammy Music Educator Award. The annual award by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum is presented to a highly committed educator who has contributed greatly to music education. Vinnard is one of 159 legacy applicants from 2024 who are eligible for this year’s award, along with 215 music teachers announced as this year’s quarterfinalists. The educator also recently published an article in Delta Kappa Gamma Society International’s Collegial Exchange Magazine on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the general music classroom.


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