Vacaville and Yuba-Sutter share youth community assessment results
As part of their REACH Community Action planning grant work, the Vacaville Youth Roundtable REACH Coalition and the Youth Development Community Action Coalition of Yuba-Sutter earlier this year completed community assessments to determine the strengths, challenges, resources and readiness to improve conditions for youth in their communities.
In Vacaville, youth and adults focused their assessment on safety, transportation, the environment and youth-adult relationships. In Yuba-Sutter, youth and adult coalition members surveyed community members on the topics of health, nutrition and shelter; physical and emotional safety; learning experiences; meaningful relationships and civic engagement. Each coalition created a community profile document to summarize their findings, and both coalitions are working to share this important information with community members and stakeholders. See the article below about Yuba-Sutter’s recent town hall meetings!
Download the Vacaville Youth and Yuba-Sutter Youth community profiles on the REACH Web site.
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Yuba-Sutter REACH coalition hears from community at town hall meetings
By Carmen Smith, Coordinator
Youth Development Community Action Coalition of Yuba-Sutter
After completing our youth community assessment, the Youth Development Community Action Coalition of Yuba-Sutter got to work organizing two town hall meetings to inform community members about the findings of our Yuba-Sutter Youth community profile.
About 75 people attended the first meeting on June 17 at the Allyn Scott Youth and Community Center in Marysville, and 90 attended the next day at the Yuba Sutter Mall. Ten young people presented the coalition’s objectives to assess the community, create the community profile and create a plan to increase supports and opportunities for young people in Yuba-Sutter. After their presentation, the group opened the forum for community members to give their input in four categories: current resources, barriers to resources, communications — ways for the coalition to connect with the community, and brave new ideas. After the lists were compiled on big pieces of paper, we posted them around the room and each person received five stickers to cast their votes about what was most important to them. We will compile the results this week and will incorporate them into the
coalition’s implementation plan. Overall, the town hall meetings were a great success!
The YDCAC seeks to improve conditions for local youth and develop an action plan to make long-term changes for all Sutter County and Yuba County communities. The YDCAC, through the REACH Community Action planning grant from Sierra Health Foundation, will create nurturing, meaningful relationships between youth and adults, and begin a transformation within our community where youth are heard and able to participate in impacting their community.
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Woodland Coalition for Youth receives $1.475 million after-school grant
by Lamar Heystek, Coordinator
Woodland Coalition for Youth
The Woodland Coalition for Youth, a partnership of youth and adults committed to creating community change that benefits young people, has garnered a five-year, $1.475 million grant from the California Department of Education’s 21st Century After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) Program. The coalition’s administrative sponsor, the Yolo Family Resource Center, will manage the grant funds.
“We’re very excited to receive this grant because we’re going to be able to continue serving our students academically as well as socially,” said Woodland High School Principal Evelia Genera. “This is a proactive effort in the sense that we’re committing to provide support to kids outside the school day.”
The grant, which provides $250,000 a year for five years, plus $45,000 yearly for case management and family literacy services, will further the creation of a community learning center at Woodland High, extending hours and staffing for tutoring, exit exam preparation and credit recovery programs; provide additional group counseling opportunities; and augment extracurricular offerings such as clubs and electives. Furthermore, the grant will support the coalition’s planned Youth Leadership Center, where young people will participate in various workshops, community service projects, job training and other leadership development activities.
Key partners in the grant application include several of the coalition’s constituent entities, including Woodland Joint Unified School District, the UC Davis Chicana/o Studies Department’s Taller Arte Del Nuevo Amanecer (Center for Art and Culture), the Yolo County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health’s Friday Night Live program and Creative School Resources & Research.
Woodland High is the focus of the coalition’s grant application because it is Title I-eligible under the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act — meaning that at least 40 percent of its students are eligible for free or reduced-cost school lunches — and its most recent score on the Academic Performance Index (API) ranks in the lowest 30 percent in the state, making the school a priority for funding.
According to the California Department of Education Web site, the 21st Century High School ASSETs Program provides incentives for establishing before- and after-school enrichment programs that partner schools and communities to provide academic support; safe, constructive alternatives for high school students; and assistance in passing the California High School Exit Exam. Each program must consist of three elements: academic assistance, educational enrichment and family literacy services.
We are honored to spearhead this after-school initiative for Woodland High students and young people in the community at large. If we want to keep youth on track to graduate, we must do more to provide them constructive opportunities beyond school hours.
The Yolo Family Resource Center, a Woodland-based nonprofit organization that provides resource and referral, case management and counseling services to local families, is one of nine agencies in the region administering a $600,000 grant from Sierra Health Foundation’s REACH program to establish a community collaborative to address youth development and leadership. As a REACH Community Action coalition, the Woodland Coalition for Youth will make community-wide changes for youth to ensure they are safe and healthy, have positive relationships with caring adults, have meaningful opportunities to participate in the community and develop the skills they need to be successful. The coalition will facilitate these changes through the creation and coordination of a mentoring program, Youth Leadership Center, policy development, service learning and other youth-led opportunities.
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Lights, Camera, Action! in El Dorado Hills
by Raeann Jones, Coordinator
Vision Coalition of El Dorado Hills
The Vision Coalition of El Dorado Hills partnered with young filmmaker Jacob Keller to create the Full Moon 24 Hour Film Festival. The film festival is a way to challenge and encourage emerging filmmakers between the ages of 12-18 and give them an opportunity to display their talents in scriptwriting, film shooting, effects, editing, production and post-production.
So what’s the twist? Making the movie where there is no script to begin with and they do it all in 24 hours! Now you have entered the zone of the 24 Hour Film Festival! At the kick-off event in May, each team was assigned specific elements that had to appear in the film, such as a specific line ("Do or do not, there is no try"), a character name (Izzy Abel) and a prop item (flashlight). The elements had to be seen or heard on-screen to verify the authenticity of the 24-hour film.
The premiere screening of the films was at the Regal Cinemas in the El Dorado Hills Town Center on June 13. Wesley Kayne won Best Overall Story for the film CSI: Cameron Park, while Nick Garcia and his team won Most Creative Film for Them. The Audience Choice Award went to Alex Talbott and his team for Tales of Pufa and the Undefined Turtle. Prizes included plaques, participation certificates, Regal movie passes, digital mini-cassette tapes and other movie-related items donated by the Vision Coalition.
The Vision Coalition, a program of El Dorado Hills Community Vision, Inc., provides support for positive youth development opportunities. The coalition focuses on activities that increase knowledge and build strength, assets, skills and talents to help young people reach their highest potential, in ways that are safe, healthy and free from alcohol and drug use. According to Raeann Jones, coordinator of the Vision Coalition, “This is just one of the many opportunities where we encourage youth to express themselves and lend their ‘voice’ to the community in creative and artistic ways. We are always amazed and encouraged by what they have to say!”
The Vision Coalition of El Dorado Hills is a REACH Community Action coalition.
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Sactown Heroes create Youth Voices for Change multimedia exhibit
Members of the Sactown Heroes, a youth group of the West Sacramento Youth Resource Coalition, invite the public to their Youth Voices for Change exhibit and idea exchange on June 30 at the West Sacramento City Hall Galleria. The multimedia presentation will include a web-based map, videos, photos and audio of the factors in West Sacramento that youth feel help or hinder their journey to adulthood — and what they would like to see changed.
The Youth Voices for Change project is one component of the Healthy Youth/Healthy Regions initiative to document the connections between improvements in youth well-being and regional prosperity in the nine-county Sacramento capital region. The initiative is a collaborative partnership of Sierra Health Foundation, the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and The California Endowment, with additional funding from the California Council for the Humanities as part of its statewide California Stories Initiative.
The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The City Hall Galleria is at 1110 West Capitol Ave., Room 157.
Learn about the Healthy Youth/Healthy Regions initiative on the HYHR Web site.
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Sierra Health Foundation and SAGE: a partnership for teen advancement
SAGE Regional Director,
California State University, Chico
SAGE, which is the acronym for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship, is a global community of teenage entrepreneurs sharing a common purpose: to make the world a better place. Through the generosity and funding from Sierra Health Foundation, SAGE was able to use the allocated funds to bring five hand-chosen high schools to this year’s SAGE competition.
At California State University, Chico, SAGE is a business club open to all majors. As mentors, we take the knowledge we have learned in our higher education classes and we help the high school students by teaching them how to apply it to their real-world businesses and ventures. With the help of the Sierra Health Foundation grant, we were able to assign and frequently send three Chico State mentors to each school every month and even twice a month in some cases. We were always in communication through e-mail and phone with the teachers, but also with the students if they ever had any questions or needed help. Five Sacramento-area high schools were able to compete this year with the help from Sierra Health Foundation, and two of these schools made it to the semi-final round. Keep in mind these were rookie schools competing against some schools that have been around since SAGE began seven
Marysville High School had a for-profit graphic design business that the students ran. For their social and global venture they held a clothing drive and collected more than 15 boxes of clothes and sent them to Fiji, which recently experienced the worst flood in 100 years. They also raised enough money to send one child in Fiji to school and to supply 200 people with clean drinking water. They also taught their peers in high school and elementary students about being environmentally friendly. They made it to the semi-finals where they presented like professionals, not rookies, against the team that placed third in the world last year.
Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova operated a balloon company called Balloon Locker that was not only customer-service oriented, but also environmentally friendly. As a social venture they took some of their profits from the selling of heart-shaped balloons on Valentine’s day and donated them to the American Heart Association.
Hiram Johnson High School’s for-profit business was Fresh n’ Fruity, a wholesale produce provider. They linked their customers directly to locally grown products provided by the nonprofit Fresh Producers. They sold bags of produce such as fruit and vegetables to their faculty, families and community, and sold their produce out of environmentally friendly reusable grocery bags. Hiram Johnson was our second Sierra Health school to make it to the semi-final round, where they did very well against the opposing veteran schools.
At Galt High School they started the first-ever office supply store in their school. Here they not only carry supplies but they refill ink cartridges at a very low rate and in the process students are recycling by reusing and collecting old ones. They are one of the most positive teams I supported and from what I have heard other SAGE teams need to watch out for them next year.
Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove was a jack of all trades — they held craft fairs, helped raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House, and created an informational video. Globally, they helped raise money and awareness about the importance of pressing global issues, such as disease. Environmentally, they helped reduce the e-waste in their school district.
Again, we would like to say thank you to Sierra Health Foundation from everyone at SAGE for all your support and for helping these students learn real-life skills that will help make their dreams reality and make the world a better place.
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The Yolo County Probation Department and the Woodland Coalition for Youth
invite youth to apply to become members of the Juvenile Justice/Delinquency Prevention Commission. The commission’s mission is to inquire into the administration of juvenile court law in Yolo County and to assist in the effort toward prevention and reduction of juvenile delinquency. The commission meets the second Thursday of each month at the Yolo County Probation Department. Get more information and download the application on the Woodland Coalition for Youth Web site.
Youth Service America (YSA) seeks to improve communities by increasing the number and diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in important roles. Founded in 1986, YSA is an international nonprofit resource center that partners with thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries to expand the impact of the youth service movement with families, communities, schools, corporations and governments. Visit the YSA Web site for information about service-learning grant opportunities.
The Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families has funding opportunities through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Find out how to apply for the Non-Profit Capacity-Building Program and the State, Local and Tribal Government Capacity-Building Program on the ACF Web site.
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The South Sacramento Youth Leadership Council invites the public to its Third Thursday Art Walk at the Colonial Heights Public Library. The Art Walk will feature an art showcase, hands-on workshops, live music and free food from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dates are July 16, Aug. 20, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. The library is at 4799 Stockton Blvd.
E-mail story ideas, funding opportunities, resources and calendar items to us at REACH.
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