Over the last six years The Rotary Club of Oceanside has pursued a multi-year project to bring about meaningful, positive change to an area of our city that has been notorious over the years for gang violence - Crown Heights and surrounding neighborhoods. We entered into partnerships with other non-profit organizations which provide services to the target area as well as with the Oceanside Unified School District, whose Oceanside High School sits at the edge of Crown Heights. This collaboration enables Oceanside Rotary to help these entities by linking their efforts to reduce the attraction of gangs to the young people in the area and to provide them with a new vision of the opportunities for their future. Our primary focus for this grant is on the need to encourage children (K-12th grade) to increase literacy and cultural development, develop leadership skills, envision a pathway to attending college, and avoid gang involvement and gain the education they need to break the cycle of poverty and violence in this local area. Last year we received and successfully executed a District matching grant to support this initiative.
There are five elements to this project:
(1) Elementary School age Reading and Attendance Incentives
(2) Mentorship Program for Middle School age
(3) Leadership Development for Middle School age
(4) A new STEM program for incoming freshmen in High School
(5) High School Graduation Incentives
Elementary School Age Reading and Attendance Incentives
Laurel Elementary School and Mission Elementary School, Title 1 (low income) schools, both serve children in the Crown Heights area. As part of a well-balanced literacy program, school administrators and teachers will incentivize reading and improved reading by celebrating and rewarding students throughout the year. Administrators from both schools have told us that some of their students have no access to books at home: their only exposure to reading is at school and with library books. With this grant Oceanside Rotary Club will fund the purchase of library books and reading incentives at both Laurel and Mission Elementary Schools; as appropriate club members will participate in award ceremonies.
Budget: $1000 for Laurel Elementary library books and library programs
$1000 for Mission Elementary library books
Timeline: Funding will be provided near the beginning of the school year
Mentorship Program for Middle School age:
Oceanside Rotary Club's newest concept for community enrichment was begun five years ago under our District matching grant: it is engaging Club members, many of whom benefited from mentors when growing up in this and other communities. It has been successful in raising middle-schoolers' awareness of life options that were not apparent to them previously, and Lincoln Middle School administrators have reported that some of the students attending our events have shown a marked improvement in their grades and their attitudes toward school. The vision of the program is for Oceanside Rotary Club members and family members to take young people from the Crown Heights neighborhood who attend Lincoln Middle School to various chosen venues, which will include college campus tours, thus providing them with exposure to educational, sporting and cultural events that they may not otherwise be able to experience. Each outing will include either lunch or dinner at the Oceanside Harbor. Venues planned for this year include:
San Diego State sporting events & campus tours
Mira Costa College sporting events & campus tours
MiraCosta Theatre Productions & campus tours
Cal State San Marcos tour and event
Camp Pendleton tour
At each venue, at least two members of Oceanside Rotary will accompany 4 - 6 youngsters; all participating adults will be trained and vetted with the District 5340 Youth Volunteer Affidavit. Oceanside Rotary will obtain entrance tickets to each venue and expend funds for food etc. as appropriate. In these casual settings, each Rotarian will make an effort to befriend and engage the youngsters, giving them a positive role model and someone to talk to and share ideas and feelings. At some point after each event the Rotarian and some of the young guests will be responsible for presenting a program at Oceanside Rotary explaining what took place and how the event affected them. Transportation will be provided by the Rotarians who will use private vehicles to the site of the event and who will be reimbursed for gas and other expenses if desired. Liability insurance for the events will be provided by Rotary International's blanket coverage. Bus transportation to the Camp Pendleton tours will be provided by the Marine Corps. The youngsters, who will all come from the Crown Heights neighborhood, will be chosen by staff and teachers from Lincoln Middle School. Oceanside Rotary will also involve North County Life Line, a local non-profit organization which operates programs and services in the Crown Heights neighborhood. There will be some costs involved that this grant would help reimburse which include transportation, food, programs and incidentals that will make the experience vivid for the students. We envision all the tickets being donated by the above Organizations, but the individual Rotarians may request reimbursement of some of their costs.
Budget: $750 for miscellaneous expenses
Timeline: Start time is dependent upon Oceanside School District, however once begun events are envisioned to be approximately monthly thru the end of the school year.
Leadership Development for Middle School age
This grant will augment our mentorship program at Lincoln Middle School by having a panel of speakers present to Lincoln Middle School parents and their children about their life experiences, successes, and challenges. This event last year, conducted over several assemblies, was very informative for parents, highlighting successful youth and youth programs in the community. The highlight of the event will be to give away five Chromebooks to middle-school children (to be selected by the Rotary club and the school administration) that might otherwise not have access to computers for homework at home. We believe that parents and children will benefit greatly from hearing success stories from people in their own community, and we hope that these events will continue to inspire students to aspire to higher learning and leadership positions in the future.
Budget: $1500 for Chromebooks
Timeline: the Middle-School event timing will be dependent on the availability of the speakers and on scheduling with the school's other activities, but they are anticipated to begin in late August 2018.
STEM Program for incoming High School Freshmen
The California Street Academy of Science and Engineering (CSASE) is a new tuition-free public school starting with the freshman class of 2018, located on the campus of Lincoln Middle School. It will be a single pathway computer science school, with focus on programming and cybersecurity; students will graduate college and university ready, but with technical skills that are workplace ready at graduation. Students will have dual enrollment with Mira Costa College starting in their junior year; there is a strong connection of this pathway with the Mira Costa College computer science program, including their cybersecurity partnership with other universities. Internships will also be available with local businesses, non-profits and government organizations. The objective is to provide Oceanside students access to education, training and experiences that make them attractive to employers and colleges and universities - truly college and career-ready. Our hope is that kids who grow up in Oceanside can earn careers that will allow them to raise their children in their home town. This grant will provide five Chromebooks to freshmen from the Crown Heights area who enroll in the CSASE program, to allow them full participation in this exciting new opportunity. The Chromebooks cost about $300.00 each, which is out of reach for many of the families in that neighborhood.
Budget: $1500 for Chromebooks
Timeline: August 2018 at the beginning of the school year for CSASE students.
High-School Graduation Incentives
This grant will provide support to Oceanside High School graduates who participate in the North County Lifeline program designed for Crown Heights students: every year the Oceanside Rotary club donates funds to support the graduation incentives established by NC Lifeline - a lei made out of fifty one-dollar bills. With last year's grant we donated $750 to provide leis for fifteen graduates; we anticipate at least that many graduates from the program this year.
Budget: $ 750 for High School graduation incentive dollar-leis
Timeline: The 50-Dollar Leis will be presented to OHS students upon graduation, with representation from our Rotary Club at the ceremony.