Community Wide School Supply Drive to Help Alameda Students Underway Now
The first day of school is nerve-wracking enough for most students. Imagine having to start off the year not having all the school supplies you need. That’s why several Alameda organizations have joined together for the second year in a row to sponsor Equipped 4 Success, a community wide school supply drive.
“Students need to be ready to go day one with all the supplies they need,” according to Bill Sonneman, president of the Alameda Education Foundation and a former principal. “If a student falls behind, they may never catch up.” Adds Vickie Smith of AUSD’s Family Support Services program, “That students and their families who have little or nothing are able to feel like any other student attending school and know they can be a success story due to our help” is the ultimate goal of the drive.
Equipped 4 Success is sponsored by the Alameda Education Foundation; the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD); the Alameda Point Collaborative; the Alameda Boys & Girls Club; Head Start; Girls Inc.; and the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth, and Families. The group’s goal is to collect supplies and funds to support 1,000 low-income Kindergarten through 12th grade students in Alameda with filled backpacks or, in the words of Girls Inc. Executive Director Karen Kenney, to see “1,000 smiling children returning to school.”
Equipped for Success is collecting both school supplies and funds. Several Alameda businesses and organizations are hosting collection bins for school supply drop offs. A complete list of accepted items and drop off locations may be found here. Financial donations may be made online or mailed to the Alameda Education Foundation at PO Box 1363, Alameda, CA 94501 and designated for Equipped 4 Success. The Alameda Education Foundation is serving as the fiscal agent for the drive.
Supplies will be distributed to low-income students served by the School District’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Program (homeless is defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence), the Alameda Point Collaborative (serving formerly homeless families), the Alameda Boys & Girls Club, Head Start, and Girls Inc.
Education budget shortfalls mean longer lists of supplies families must provide and many just plain can’t afford it. U.S. families spend an average of $100 on school supplies and that doesn’t include more expensive but ever more necessary items like advanced math calculators, which can top $125 each.
In the past, there were separate school supply drives by various organizations, but last year the groups teamed up and were able to broaden the scope and effectiveness of the effort. “The more we are able to work collaboratively with other local organizations, the better we are able to have lasting impacts in our families’ lives,” explains Haneefah Shuaibe, Children and Youth Services Manager for the Alameda Point Collaborative. Last year, 900 filled backpacks were distributed to students. In addition, the group used cash donations to purchase 90 graphing calculators (that retail for about $125 each) for high school math departments to provide for students who could not afford them.
Working together not only results in a successful collection of supplies, it “increases public awareness of the importance of school readiness for all children residing in Alameda,” explains Lynn Moore-Kerr of Head Start. In addition, “by working together we foster community partnerships and connect parents with other community service organizations that support children’s services and educational opportunities.”
The group is confident that Alamedans will pitch in again this year to support its young people. “Alameda Boys & Girls Club believes every child deserves the resources necessary for academic achievement. We are honored to partner with other youth non-profits dedicated to making sure all kids in our community start the school year ready to learn with the tools they need to thrive and succeed,” according to Jeff Miller, Chief Professional Officer of the Alameda Boys & Girls Club.
Lincoln Middle School Clinches Wins in Exciting Matches
Lincoln Middle School came into last week’s Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) Middle School Volleyball Championships with a comfortable number one seed, but strong challengers turned the matches into nail biters that went down to the wire.
In the A (varsity) team championships, Lincoln took the first game over the Academy of Alameda handedly, 25 – 7. But the Olympians tamed the Lions’ roar to a soft mew in the second game, 25 – 16. In a back and forth rally in the third tie-breaker set looked like it might last all night, Lincoln finally pulled out a win at the end, 16 – 14 (third sets are played to 15, but a team must win by 2 points).
In the preceding B (jr. varsity) match, it was a similar story. Lincoln eeked out a first game win against a charged up Wood, 28 – 26 (first and second games are played to 25, but teams must win by 2). Wood ruled the second game 25 – 16, but then Lincoln regained control with a final 15 – 8 win to take the match over the Beavers.
According to Rebecca Baumgartner, co-coach at Lincoln, “We had an amazing group of kids this year. They were active learners who concentrated and absorbed everything they were taught.”
The Alameda Education Foundation Middle School Sports program is in its fourth year and the skill among these young student-athletes has grown significantly. Alameda High School volleyball coach Steve McAdam say he was “very impressed with the level of ball control, quality of serving and, especially, the composure on the court of these middle school players.” He added that the number of students trying out at the high school level has doubled since the advent of the AEF program.
The student-athletes are learning improving their skills in the classroom as well. The program requires a minimum grade point average in order to be eligible to participate. Schools support struggling students with tutoring. At Wood School, for example, Coach Roan Kees has established a peer tutoring program. According to Coach Kees, just about every student participates in the program, that occurs prior to practices. “Many of our players give up several lunch periods every week to tutor teammates who are struggling,” said Kees. Added Baumgartner, “Middle school sports continue to have a very positive impact on our community. Our students are better able to balance the demands of academics, family responsibilities and community obligations because they have experience managing busy schedules. They learn skills for working well as a team which are directly transferrable to the classroom, community, and workforce.”
AEF took over managing middle school sports in 2009, a couple years after the Alameda Unified School District had to cut it due to loss of State funding for the program. AEF’s program also includes boys and girls basketball in the winter and track and field in the spring. Schools participating include Lincoln, Wood and The Academy middle schools and a combo Nea/ACLC team. Bay Farm 6th graders will be joining the league starting with basketball. AEF actively seeks donations and grants to help support the program.
At the Sept. 11, 2012 Board of Education meeting, Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) president Bill Sonneman presented grants to Alameda High School and Encinal High School to support technology needs in the schools’ academic intervention programs.
The funds were generated by Power Up 4 Learning, a collaboration between AEF and Alameda Municipal Power (AMP), that enables AMP customers to designate an amount to be added to their monthly power bill. AMP collects these donations and provides them to AEF to support technology needs at Alameda public schools.
“Power up 4 Learning is an easy and painless way to support Alameda schools,” explains Sonneman. For as little as $1.00 a month, AMP customers can cumulatively generate thousands of dollars for school technology needs.
“If just 10% of AMP customers donated $1.00 per month, we’d generate over $40,000 for technology needs; $5.00 per month would bring in over $200,000,” Sonneman says.
Technology can not only make it more interesting to learn, it can open up doors to learning for many students. This year’s grants will help students who need interventive support.
At Alameda High School, the funds will support Academic Enrichment classes, which support 9th and 10th graders in learning new academic strategies aimed at helping them achieve success in their core classes.
At Encinal High School it will support a series of classes including Academic Strategies, for Special Education students; Math Lab, aimed at students underperforming in math; Fusion, which helps students in reading and writing; and Advance, for students interested in excelling into Advanced Placement classes. The grants will be used by the high schools to purchase technology tools to support these programs.
Last year, over 2,500 students were supported with Power Up 4 Learning funds in areas such as reading intervention, science and math. Those stories can be found here.
More information and sign-ups for Power Up 4 Learning may be found on the Alameda Education Foundation website.
The Alameda Education Foundation (AEF), the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), the Alameda Boys & Girls Club (Alameda BGC), and the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families (ACCYF) are pleased to announce “Equipped for Success” – a community wide drive to collect school supplies for Alameda’s low-income students. “Our goal is to ensure that students begin the first day of class in 2012 with the supplies they need to be successful in the classroom,” said Bill Sonneman, president of AEF.
Supplies will be distributed to low-income students served by the AUSD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Program (homeless is defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence), APC (serving formerly homeless families), and the Alameda Boys & Girls Club. The group has established a goal of 800 filled backpacks.
“Equipped for Success” is accepting both cash donations and supplies. Monetary donations may be mailed to Alameda Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1363, Alameda, CA 94502. Please indicate “school supply drive.” You may also donate online here:
Items being collected (new only, please):
- mechanical pencils
- colored pencils
- scissors (for children)
- glue sticks
- spiral notebooks
- binder paper
- pocket folders (3 hole punched)
- 1” three ring binders
- tab dividers (for binders)
- musical instruments (used okay)
- picture frames (used okay)
If you need to make arrangements for drop off or pick up of instruments or frames, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Items may be dropped off at the following locations from June 29th – August 18th :
South Shore Summer Beats Concert Series
(July 4 • July 7 • July 21 • Aug. 4 • Aug. 18 • Sep.1)
5:00 – 7:00 PM, Center Court
Cash or check donations may also be brought to the concerts. Please make checks out to AEF and indicate “School Supply Drive
- Bank of Alameda - Otis St. branch
Fire Station #1 (Park and Santa Clara)
Fire Station #2 (635 Pacific)
- Tucker’s Ice Cream
Peter’s Kettle Corn and wine from R&B Cellars will be available for sale at the concerts with proceeds benefiting the drive!
Thank you to South Shore Center, Peter’s Kettle Corn and all the businesses supporting this drive!
About 200 student-athletes competed in the Alameda Education Foundation’s Track & Field Championships last week and some impressive marks were earned.
In the field events at Encinal High School on June 5, Tatiana Kelly of Wood Middle School had the best girls shot put with a distance of 27’6”. In the boys division, it was Wood’s Ramon Kelly winning with a throw of 28’7”. Wood’s Chad Dali had the longest long jump of the day at 15′ 1″. For the girls, it was The Academy’s Mira Love-Sangco at 12’7″.
In the running events held on June 6 at the College of Alameda, Love-Sangco had another good day with a top girls 50-meter time of 7.06.
In the girls 400 meter, The Academy’s Damiona Barbosa had the best run of the day with 1:05.2 and placed second in the 800 with 2:47.3.
Wood’s KC Sabian won the boys 50 meter in 6.44, while Lincoln’s Skyler Stebbins took second with 6.67. Sabian and Stebbins were off the record marks by just 1/10th and 2/10th respectively.
Wood captured the girls 4×100 meter relay, with Lincoln coming in 2nd and 3rd. Wood won the 7th grade girls 4×400, followed closely by the team from ACLC/Nea.
The Middle School Sports program is managed by the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF), who took it over in 2009 after state funding was eliminated. The program includes co-ed volleyball in the fall, boys and girls basketball in the winter, and track and field in the spring.
Middle school student-athletes representing all of Alameda’s public district and charter schools participate, including The Academy of Alameda, Lincoln Middle School, Wood Middle School and 6th-8th graders from a combined ACLC/Nea team. In all, about 400 student-athletes participate from across the Island.
AEF supports the program through grants, fundraising efforts and a modest student participation fee. Scholarships are awarded on a need basis so that all students may participate. AEF particularly would like to thank the Olympic Club Foundation and the Jameson Foundation for helping make this vital program possible.