I Say, Let’s Be – You Say, Active

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
CV Town Council Harry Leon offers a high-five to students during Let’s Be Active day at the Armenian Sisters Academy.


Let’s be … active. That was the rally cry at the Armenian Sisters Academy in Montrose on the Friday before Veteran’s Day. It was all about creating healthy habits that stay a lifetime with students.

In a recent “Let’s Be Active” day at the school, teachers and students, from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, got involved in the exercise program. The day began with a visit by Crescenta Valley Town Council President Harry Leon and City of Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian.

Being healthy is important to school administrators who want kids to be active by running and walking and are always looking for new ways to make being healthy fun, like adding a yoga class taught by an Academy alum.

The school fosters a “giving back” philosophy, which is why so many alumni return to the Academy to support the younger students, said Principal Dr. Julio Tellez.

He said getting physically active helps students in a variety of ways including relieving anxiety.

“Being active is so important, and you have to start now to be good athletes, you have to be good competitors and you have to be good game players,” Najarian told the students.

Leon got the students energized as well with their rallying cry.

“I say, let’s be, you say,” he prompted.

“Active,” the students yelled back.

Najarian and Leon both spoke about local ways the children – and their families – can be active including ice skating in Glendale at a rink set up at city hall through Jan. 6. The Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation is also hosting an upcoming snow day at Two Strike Park in La Crescenta. The date of the snow day has yet to be released.

Armenian Sisters Academy held the Let’s Be Active event just before Veteran’s Day. In the morning the focus was on those who served in the military and the importance of honoring them. The eighth graders made a presentation concerning U.S. veterans. A film was shown that depicted veterans through the years, including veterans who came home to surprise their children. The words of Presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy were the background to the video.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” said JFK during his inaugural speech in 1961.

The eighth graders gave an oral presentation on the history of Veteran’s Day.

“There are several ways to honor a veteran,” said one of the students. “You can ask a veteran about his time in the military and really listen to the answer [and] put a flag in your yard. Asking aging veterans about a song that takes them back [in time].”

The students will also begin a letter-writing campaign for veterans.

Minas Kabadayan is a member of the ASA advisory board and said in addition to highlighting physical fitness the Academy is also focusing on technology.

“We believe technology [instruction] should begin at an early age,” Kabadayan said.

Fellow advisory board member Nayeri Mikailian added the Academy starts tech education as early as first grade teaching students about the Internet and how to be responsible with social media applications. Teachers can monitor the students’ progress and help guide them to be socially responsible with technology.

“We are always innovative,” Kabadayan added.

The Academy’s teachers and parents were as excited as the kids to start the physical activities with music prompting everyone to dance and move. Fostering a home-like feeling, former Academy students commonly stop by the school. For Let’s Be Active day another guest helped start the exercise program: Arda Tchakian, once a ASA student who is now a representative to State Senator Anthony Portantino.