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Expanding School - Going Beyond

Expanding School – Going beyond

Chula Vista (July 2013) - Poverty, limited English skills, violence, family gang involvement or family substance abuse are just some realities for students living in the Castle Park neighborhood of Chula Vista, California. The area is one of the most impoverished in the City and it is no wonder it contains some of the most under-performing schools in the district as well. But the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood, with its strong collaboration of partners, plan to turn these statistics around to make children, their safety, health and education number one.

Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood is one of seven awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhood Grant that supports academic excellence and college bound aspirations. The impressive comprehensive plan brings together a collaboration of partners – 28 local government agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses –who have signed on to provide over $33 million in matching funds, making the total investment of over $60 million. The holistic approach focusing on family, education, health and building of strong community promises to change statistics and build a sustainable initiative for a neighborhood that has long been struggling.

Students from grades seven through 12 in the Castle Park neighborhood will also be connected directly with an Academic Advocate. Academic Advocates, will serve as advisor to approximately 50 students, provide mentorship, connect with their families regularly, and collaborate with school staff. Academic Advocates will help students develop their Plan for Success – an actual document of long-term and short-term academic, career and social goals and strengths. Together student and Academic Advocates can revisit the plan regularly to celebrates success, troubleshoot issues and make changes if circumstances change. As a student progresses through the grades, their assigned Academic Advocate will progress with them.

Strengthening families and supporting parents is a key component to all Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood programs. There are five targets schools in the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood. Each will have their own parent centers and literacy cafes – remodeled comfortable place on school campus where parents and students can access resources, have access to a library, computers, or utilize for community meetings, classes and other group activities.

All parent centers will be run by Promotores, bilingual trained parents from the neighborhood who will be at hand to assist families and connecting them to right program. Promotores will also be visible throughout the neighborhood sharing and engaging more families to take part in programs like Universidad de Padres, three-series program for parents and caregivers of children ages zero to three on various topics such as health, learning and community.

Together, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood is working to provide children in the Castle Park neighborhood with the kind of opportunities they need to excel in school, get into college, find good jobs and lead healthy fulfilling lives.

Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood brings together a collaboration of partners focused on family, education, health and community to support academic excellence and college bound aspirations for children in the Castle Park community of Chula Vista. Join us and follow our milestones at www.Facebook.com/CVPromise or Follow us on Twitter @CVPromise.