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Assemblymember Brown’s Backpack Giveaway Prepares Students for Classroom Success

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- In an effort to prepare parents and students for the upcoming school year, Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) hosted her 4thAnnual Tools for Success Day in partnership with the Inland Empire Job Corp Center and a number of local businesses and non-profit organizations. This year, more than 500 students received a backpack stuffed with pencils, crayons, notebook paper, books, rulers and more.

“I’m so proud to host this annual event to provide students with the tools they need to be successful in the classroom,” said Assemblymember Brown. “It also gives me an opportunity to discuss our Legislature’s educational plans and accomplishments.” 

This year, Assemblymember Brown reported that our Legislature voted to increase funding for California schools by billions of dollars.  This year’s budget package provides additional funding for college readiness programs; counseling services; early education and child care programs; teacher recruitment; competitive matching grants to continue the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program (CTEIG); and grants to improve the quality of drinking water in public schools, preschools and day care centers.

Other local educational agencies such as the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools represented by Carolyn Tillman and the San Bernardino City Unified School District represented by Dr. Harold Vollkommer, made appearances to greet parents and students and highlight their accomplishments as well.

The 4th Annual Tools for Success Day, emceed by KCAA Radio host Paul Rasso, was packed with information, giveaways, activities and included a special guest appearance by Speaker of the Assembly, Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). “Attending Assemblymember Brown’s annual backpack giveaway was yet another reminder of her endless passion for public service. During the week, she’s in Sacramento fighting for her constituents. On weekends, she’s there for the families of San Bernardino – in last week’s case, providing students with the school supplies they need to succeed,” said Speaker Rendon. 

Also at the event, live entertainment was provided by Alive in the Lights and Flora Fauna from the San Bernardino Teen Music Workshop, and a host of vendors offered community resources such as housing assistance, Prop 47 information, Medi-Cal insurance sign-ups, services for undocumented citizens and nutrition education.

Other program speakers and participants included Mayor Carey Davis, City of San Bernardino; Dan Flores representing Supervisor Josie Gonzales, 5th District; Board Member Gwendolyn Rodgers, San Bernardino School Board; Board Member BarBara Chavez, Fontana School Board; Board Member Randall Ceniceros, Colton School Board; Commissioner Kareem Gongora, Fontana Planning Commission; and Jorge Leyva representing the Mexican Consulate.

“It was a great event; especially because it’s about learning and getting an education,” said Claudia Lopez, Inland Empire Job Corps. “The Inland Empire Job Corps is honored to host this event every year and happy to help! The need for backpacks and supplies was evident by the number of families who attended the event. It was wonderful to see children with big smiles, walking away with their backpacks.”

The event concluded with a raffle and awards presentation. Raffle winners took home a 32 inch flat screen TV and bicycles donated by Assemblymember Brown and fruit trees donated by the Incredible Edible Community Gardens.

This year’s event was proudly sponsored by: Farmdale Creamery; Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP); Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County; KCAA Radio; City of San Bernardino Parks & Recreation; S.B. County Superintendent of Schools; Stater Bros.; Incredible Edible Community Gardens; Niagara Bottling; Home Depot; Pinnacle Medical Group; San Bernardino County Department of Public Health; First 5 San Bernardino; Mother’s Nutritional Center; Molina Healthcare of CA; Loma Linda University; TODEC Legal Center; Consulado of Guatemala in San Bernardino; San Bernardino County Fire; United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire; Inland Behavioral & Health Services, Inc.; Consulado of Mexico in San Bernardino; Target; and the San Bernardino Valley Chapter of the Links.

For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.

#SchoolsNotPrisons Arts, Music Tour Comes to San Bernardino August 25-27

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – The statewide 2016 #SchoolsNotPrisons Arts and Music Tour is coming to San Bernardino Thursday, August 25 to Saturday, 27, calling for less spending on punishment and more investment in education, health and support for young people. 

“We are spending money on the wrong things,” said Ayla Lopez, a senior at Arroyo Valley High School and an Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) Student Leader. “Schools, not prisons, are what will keep our communities safe. The best thing we as a community can do to make positive changes is to vote.”

The week’s events will highlight three areas of action for the San Bernardino community: 1) Replacing harsh school discipline like suspensions with positive discipline that keeps kids in school; 2) Offering increased health services in schools, especially mental health; and 3) Increasing San Bernardino County’s investment in youth programs and services. 

“We spend $144,000 a year to lock up a young person in San Bernardino County, but only $10,300 per K-12 student,” said Dina Walker, President/CEO BLU Educational Foundation. “That needs to change so our young people can thrive and reach their full potential.” 

The week’s events are supported by a coalition of San Bernardino County organizations, including Time for Change Foundation, BLU Educational Foundation, COPE, ICUC, Life Center Church, United Nations of Consciousness, and Youth Action Project.

The week’s activities will begin Thursday, August 25, with a community roundtable bringing together school and city officials to discuss how San Bernardino can shift more public spending from punishment to prevention in schools and communities. The roundtable will be held at Inghram Community Center, 2050 N. Mt Vernon Ave., San Bernardino, CA 92411 and will begin at 11:30 a.m.

On Friday, August 26, ARTIVISM will take place at Anne Shirrells Park Community Center, 1367 N. California St., San Bernardino, California 92411 at 5 p.m. The youth exhibition, which will combine both art and activism, will provide local youth the opportunity to visually express their ideas for how to create safe and healthy communities.

The week’s events will be capped off by Saturday, August 27 with a arts and music festival at California State University, San Bernardino’s Santos Manuel Student Union. The festival will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will feature art, food, music and community presentations. There will be performances by Audio Push, Mistah F.A.B., The Occupation, Jasiri X and Low Leaf, along with local artists and special guests. All in attendance will be encouraged to vote and get involved in their communities.

“We’re hyped to be a part of this tour because we get to really stand behind something with substance,” said Oktane of Audio Push. “This isn’t just a concert for the money and a good time and then everybody leaves. This is really speaking for something bigger than all of us on that stage, and that’s always been what we’re about. A bigger purpose. We’re excited for what’s to come!”

The tour will support campaigns by San Bernardino youth and community leaders to create thriving, healthy and safe schools and communities. Right now there is too much harsh punishment in schools that’s harming San Bernardino’s young people, especially youth of color who are suspended most often. Last year, San Bernardino County schools suspended more than 22,000 students – that’s more students than attend California State University, San Bernardino.

Even one suspension increases the chances of dropout and getting in trouble with the law, and San Bernardino students need positive supports to help them when they get off-track.

A primary focus of the tour will be to increase peaceful activism and voting among California’s young people whose opportunities are being cut short by the overuse of punishment and overspending on jails and prisons. 

“This week of activism will give our community an opportunity to share its vision of real safety with our elected leaders,” said La’Nae Norwood, Executive Director/Founder of United Nations of Consciousness. “Young people must be part of the decision-making process, and when youth vote, we see the power of their voices.”

The week of action is a time for San Bernardino to unite around the goal of strengthening our communities, said San Bernardino City Unified Superintendent Dale Marsden. 

“We are grateful our community can come together to strengthen our systems of support for students,” said Superintendent Marsden. “Together we can make hope happen for every child.”

The #SchoolsNotPrisons Arts and Music Festival will be a free, all-ages event that will include art by San Bernardino youth, food and more. The event is free of drugs and alcohol. To attend the event, participants can RSVP at www.eventbrite.com/e/schoolsnotprisons-tour-san-bernardino-tickets-27058699298

High Life Music Festival Postponed Due to State of Emergency

Due to the extreme fires in San Bernardino County, The High Life Music Festival made the decision to postpone their music festival today when Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County. Wildfires are currently raging throughout communities with evacuations ordered to 82,000 residents in the area, making transportation to the region also difficult. 

The festival was to take place at The San Bernardino County Fairgrounds on August 20th and 21st, 2016, but is currently being used as an evacuation and animal shelter. As a result of this postponement, High Life Music Festival will continue to grant ticket holders admission to a future date once determined. 

“The High Life Music Festival would like to send our thoughts and prayers to the High Desert community affected by the tragic wild fires. It is with great disappointment, but a necessary decision we had to make to reschedule this year’s High Life Music Festival.  Safety is a priority for our festival goers, vendors, patients, sponsors, exhibitors, and staff,” said High Life management.  “We also respect the governor’s state of emergency declaration and the safety of our community and first responders.  We apologize to those who had planned to visit the area this weekend and hope you bear with us as we continue to make arrangements for a rescheduled date.” 

For more information and updates or to contact festival coordinators please visit www.highlifemusicfestival.com