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Green Ribbon Award Goes To Kimbark Elementary

Students at Kimbark Elementary School see their environmentally conscious efforts as a way of life.

They recycle as much as possible, are vigilant about conserving water, and love spreading their concern for Mother Earth with other students from across the San Bernardino City Unified School District.

And, state officials are taking notice.

The California Department of Education recently recognized Kimbark Elementary as a Green Ribbon School, an honor that went to fewer than 30 public schools across the state. The award acknowledges schools that demonstrate exemplary achievement in three key areas: environmental impact, student and staff health and wellness, and environmental education.  Kimbark was honored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at a ceremony held at Redondo Union High School on March 3.

“These schools and districts serve as role models for their students in two important ways,” said Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher and coach.  “First, they manage their own facilities wisely by saving energy, conserving water, and reducing their impact on the environment. Next, they provide innovative education programs that teach students about nature, the importance of clean air and water, and how to make good choices to preserve the environment for future generations.”

As a magnet school with an environmental emphasis, Kimbark Elementary students have always focused on conservation as a way to reduce their impact on the planet, said Principal Mario Jaquez.

That focus became even more evident in the last year, when the state’s drought dried up one of two wells in the unincorporated, semirural community of Devore, where Kimbark is located. Students turned that near crisis into an opportunity to conserve water.

“Our students and parents understand why our grass isn’t green,” Jacquez said. “They know that we’re being water wise.”

Aside from significantly reducing its water use by 92 percent from 2013 to 2016, Kimbark Elementary also cut its greenhouse emissions by 40 percent as part of the District’s energy conservation program. And, plans are underway to decrease student’s reliance on plastic water bottles by turning to stainless steel, canteen-type bottles, Jacquez said.

Kimbark students are spreading their concern for the environment across the District by teaching other students to recycle. Recently, fifth- and sixth-grade students in the Kimbark Environmental Leadership Program, also known as KELP, visited Belvedere Elementary School in Highland to help children learn how to be better stewards of the environment.

This spring, Kimbark students will put on “Recycle,” an original musical funded by a $12,000 grant from the San Bernardino Fine Arts Commission.

Don’t Let the Flu Get You

CSUSB President, Tomás D. Morales, receives his flu shot from Palm Desert Campus' family nurse practitioner, Cecile Dahlquist. (Photo Credit:  Albert Angelo)

CSUSB President, Tomás D. Morales, receives his flu shot from Palm Desert Campus’ family nurse practitioner, Cecile Dahlquist. (Photo Credit:  Albert Angelo)

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – More than 800 students have received free flu vaccines, nearly 500 of them at a two-day flu shot clinic in February, by the Cal State San Bernardino Student Health Center in partnership with the Santos Manuel Student Union.

The clinic is part of an ongoing partnership with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health to help students maintain their overall health and wellness, which enables them to focus on academics.

According to the Spring 2016 American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment Survey, more than 12 percent of the CSUSB students who participated in the survey indicated that cold/flu/sore throat caused an academic impact for them — defined as receiving a lower grade on an exam or an important project, a lower grade in a course, an incomplete, or dropping the course all together (ACHA 2016).

Holding free flu shot clinics is the latest student-centered approach implemented by the CSUSB Student Health Center to help students maintain their overall health and wellness to enable them to focus on academics.

Similar clinics were also hosted at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, where university President Tomás D. Morales visited the R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Student Health and Psychological Counseling Center to receive his vaccination.  The health center received donations of gift cards from several campus community members, and other campus departments provided give-away incentives to boost student participation.

“The Student Health Center is eager to collaborate with campus partners in order to provide student-centered approaches to health,” said health center director Dr. Grace Castillo Johnson.  “Partnering with the Santos Manuel Student Union makes it convenient and efficient for students who have limited time between classes.”

Cold and flu season is at its peak in the winter. Flu vaccines are free to students, while supplies last.  Faculty and staff are also welcome to get vaccinated for a fee of $15. To date, 40 faculty and staff have received vaccines.

For more information, contact the CSUSB Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.

Letter to the Editor: Smelling Roses

By Dr. Mildred Dalton Henry

Last week, while attending a Careers Day at Dr. Mildred Dalton Henry Elementary School in San Bernardino, I was asked by a young female probation officer, ”How did you get a school named after you?”  I replied, ”Good question because I, too, have wondered.”

Many individuals think I am too fervent  about Black History, however, I firmly believe that it was Black History that placed me in San Bernardino impacting hundreds of thousands of lives along my journey. Perhaps it is because those teachers in all-Black Merrill High School, Pine Bluff, Arkansas told me to learn the contents of ragged, used books brought to our school from across town and one day I would rise above the inequities and insults we had to endure in that segregated society. Henry Elementary School in San Bernardino has stacks of new books for the youthful scholars. They use brand new books to live up to their slogan, ”I am smart, I am intelligent, I am full of greatness.”

Perhaps it is because schools were closed for Black children four months of the school year in the rural areas, forcing parents to send their children to live ”in town” to get a nine months education. Great sacrifices had to be made and we learned how to survive.

Perhaps it is the work ethic ingrained in us as we toiled in the cotton fields realizing that one must work for everything one gets. Nothing was free.  Perhaps it is the realization that no man is an island, and we were taught to be our brother’s keeper. Perhaps it is because Booker T. Washington said “Put down your bucket where you are”, that I founded the PAL Center in San Bernardino to provide education and vocational training in the communities where the people reside. The PAL Center has operated continuously since 1985.

Perhaps it is because our predecessors toiled from sunup to sundown, and beyond, that Lawrence Hampton, Tammy Amis, and I worked numerous nights to rush a proposal to the dock of the post office to be postmarked just before the midnight deadline. Because of these efforts to obtain grants, thousands of individuals have benefited.

Perhaps it is because Sojourner Truth said, ”Ain’t I a woman?”, and demanded respect, that I was taught to sing James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift every voice and sing… Let us march on ‘til victory is won”.  We marched in Fontana when the Ku Klux Klan said we could not march and honor Dr. Martin Luther King.

Perhaps it is because we were taught to roll up our sleeves, get busy, and fulfill a need that exists. Hence, the PAL Center has not only provided high school diploma, GED, and English as a second language certificates, but also programs for youth training and employment, adult employment preparation, welfare reform training, homeless youth shelters, gang and drug intervention and prevention, childcare, college preparation programs, and numerous other community-based services. Roses to Alonzo Thompson, and numerous others who pioneered these community-based efforts.

As we celebrate women’s contributions to history, I salute Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and other women who paved the way for me to contribute to history in San Bernardino.

As the first African-American to be Tenured, Full Professor, and Professor Emeritus in the College of Education, California State University San Bernardino, I stand on the shoulders of Dr. W.E. B. Du Bois, Dr. Mary MacLeod Bethune, my mother, Mrs. Alma  Dalton Gates, numerous other educators, and empowered individuals in various other fields of endeavor.

Roses to the Precinct Reporter, Black Voice, Westside Story, San Bernardino American News, San Bernardino SUN, and other newspapers and columnists who supported our efforts to harvest the Arkansas values from the California soil.

Why does a school carry my name?  I continue to ponder the blessing , and I am most grateful to those who had any part of giving me roses while I can smell them.