At 100 Years-Old, Hollenbeck Middle School Has Eye On Future

By EGP Staff Report

A school that has been serving the Boyle Heights Community since 1913 will celebrate its 100-year anniversary this weekend with a block party for 3,500 of its closest friends.

While the block party at Hollenbeck Middle School, home of the Mighty Junior Riders, is a salute to the school’s proud history, it is also a step into the future, and will serve as fundraiser for the school’s leadership program that will help pay for students to take part in the Close Up Foundation’s trip to Washington D.C., which could inspire some of those students to be the leaders of the future.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Secundaria Hollenbeck Celebrará 100 Años

Current students, their families and alumni are expected to attend the April 13 festivities, which will include special guest speakers, live entertainment, food, art and a classic car show.

Hollenbeck Middle School Boyle Heights is a Los Angeles Unified School District school, and is managed by the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS).

Founded in 1913-14, the school currently serves 1,400 students in grades 6 through 8, according to the school’s website.

The school was originally called Boyle Heights Intermediate, a name it kept until 1923 when it was changed to Hollenbeck Jr. High School, and changed again in 1993 to Hollenbeck Middle School.

The name, however, is not the only thing that has changed over the last 100 years. The Boyle Heights community where it is located has changed dramatically in that time. For most of the 20th Century Boyle Heights served a gateway for new immigrants — Russians, Jews, Japanese, Yugoslavians, Mexicans — making the student body a Hollenbeck one of the most diverse in the city.

Much of the non-Mexican population left for other parts of the county following Word War II, however, and the community has ever since been predominately Latino, as has the school’s student population.

In 1994 the area’s main thoroughfare, Brooklyn Avenue was renamed Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, according to information from the block party organizers.

Although the school can claim among its alumni some prominent elected officials, athletes, artists and entertainers, it has struggled over the years to raise student achievement, a trend its management team says it is working to turn around.

“New classroom and professional development programs along with engaging instructional activities and events create a stimulating learning environment and help students achieve their potential and prepare for high school,” PLAS states on the school’s website.

Many of the elected officials, professional athletes, artists and notable personalities who are products of Hollenbeck Middle School are expected to be at the school’s centennial celebration on Saturday, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the school campus, located at 2510 E. 6th St., Los Angeles CA 90023. For more information, call (323) 780-3000

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April 11, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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