Over the last nine 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 four elements to this project:
(1) Elementary School Age Reading Incentives
(2) Mentorship Program for Middle School Age
(3) Middle School Age Reading Incentives
(4) High School Graduation and Advancement Incentives
Elementary School Age Reading 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 and library programs
Timeline: Funding will be provided near the beginning of the school year
Mentorship Program for Middle School age:
Oceanside Rotary Club's concept for community enrichment was begun nine 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 and surrounding neighborhoods 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:
Mira Costa College sporting events & campus tours
MiraCosta College Theatre Productions & campus tours
Camp Pendleton tours
At each Mira Costa venue, at least two members of Oceanside Rotary will accompany 4 - 6 youngsters; all participating adults will be trained and vetted with the Rotary District 5340 Youth Volunteer Affidavit. Camp Pendleton tours will involve 30-40 youngsters along with 6 or so Rotarians and many Camp Pendleton Marines. 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 Oceanside Unified School District or from Grant funds, depending on the school district's bus schedule. The youngsters, who primarily will 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 will 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.
Due to the lingering presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to defer some of these mentorship trips over the last two years: we are hoping that we will not need to do so for this Grant year. If required due to COVID restrictions, we may plan some virtual events or other appropriate mentorship venues; in that case we will coordinate with North County Life Line and Lincoln Middle School to determine alternatives that would equally support middle school students in Crown Heights.
Budget: $1500 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.
Middle School Age Reading Incentives
Lincoln Middle School, a Title 1 (low income) school, serves 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 Lincoln 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 Lincoln Middle School; as appropriate club members will participate in award ceremonies.
Budget: $1000 for Lincoln Middle School library books and library programs
Timeline: Funding will be provided near the beginning of the school year
High-School Graduation and Advancement 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 $1 bills. With last year's grant we donated $750 to provide leis for fifteen graduates; we again anticipate approximately 15 graduates from the program this year.
Last year the Oceanside Rotary club provided funds as learning incentives to Oceanside High School students in the form of restaurant gift cards and school themed clothing purchased through the Oceanside High School Booster Club. Some of the restaurant cards were given out by OHS administrators during awards luncheons for the students, with the rest of the gift cards and the "OHS Pirates" clothing being given out to underprivileged students as rewards for academic achievement. We plan to continue those learning incentives during this year's grant.
Budget: $ 750 for High School graduation incentive $50 leis
$1000 for OHS library books
$ 750 for Restaurant Gift Cards and "OHS Pirate" clothing
Timeline: The fifty $1 Leis will be presented to OHS students upon graduation, with representation from our Rotary Club at the ceremony. The gift cards and Pirate clothing will be made available to Oceanside High School administrators early in the school year for use during the year.