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A.B. Miller High School Dance Teacher Recognized with $20,000 Grant

FONTANA, CA-Throughout her 22 years as a dance teacher at A.B. Miller High School, Nicole Robinson has inspired her students to develop a passion for dance while providing them with guidance, encouragement and individual confidence to challenge themselves at each level of their education. 

While at A.B. Miller, Robinson introduced the Conservatory of Dance for students who have little training in the performing arts. Its popularity prompted Robinson to develop a Districtwide dance and arts education curriculum, called the Dance Collaborative, that promotes life skills, collaboration, and positive self-expression through the arts. 

It is because of her students – past and present – who say she has helped transform their lives and inspire educational excellence at Fontana Unified that Robinson has been named a Carlston Family Foundation 2017 Teacher of the Year, a recognition that comes with a $20,000 grant. 

“From my conversations with Nicole’s former students, it was exceptionally clear that her instructional skills and techniques, as well as her personal guidance, significantly contributed to both their academic and personal success,” Carlston Family Foundation CEO Tim Allen said. “They commented on the incredible passion and energy she has for teaching dance. The day I spent in her classroom, I confirmed what they experienced and much more.”

Each year, the Carlston Family Foundation honors five California teachers for their exceptional work in the classroom. The nominations are submitted by former students, who touted Robinson’s effectiveness, creativity and ability to educate and improve the education of her students at A.B. Miller High and throughout the District.

“As a teacher, my priority is to put students first and ensure they have a rich experience. I want to open the door to opportunity for all students to explore dance and the arts, to find a platform for their creativity, and encourage them to incorporate this knowledge throughout the school day and in their daily lives,” Robinson said. “I want to thank the foundation for recognizing the potential for dance to transform lives.”

Robinson will be honored at the 15th Annual CFF Awards Ceremony on Nov. 11 in Mill Valley. The award will be presented by the former A.B. Miller student who nominated her and whose identity will be kept secret until the ceremony.

“Nicole is graciously demanding, loyal, patient, willing, confident, humorous, rigorous, and tremendously knowledgeable in her subject matter,” the former student said. “She has this special gift where she is able to sense when something is not right with her students and is always willing to go the extra mile in order to unravel the barrier that is not allowing her students to academically and artistically advance.”

Robinson will receive a monetary award of $20,000 – $15,000 for her personal use and $5,000 as a grant for A.B. Miller High. Robinson will also join the Foundation’s Board of Advisors. Allen will make a formal presentation of the award to the FUSD Board of Education on December 13.

“Nicole Robinson is a natural leader whose commitment and dedication to her students is rivaled only by the innovation and inspiration she brings to the District,” FUSD Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “We are greatly appreciative of Nicole’s unique ability to connect with each student, from new kindergarteners to departing seniors and utilize dance and art to enrich their lives. She is truly deserving of this prestigious recognition.”

Bank of America Supports CAPSBC Food Bank to Address Hunger Issue

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Last week, Bank of America awarded Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC) a grant in the amount $7,500 to help advance pathways to economic mobility. The funding will support the CAPSBC Food Bank operation, the largest provider of emergency food in San Bernardino County.

CAPSBC CEO Patricia L. Nickols-Butler stated, “There are over 400,000 people living in poverty in San Bernardino County and struggling to meet their basic needs. Food is a necessity and no one should have to worry if they will have enough food to eat. Our Food Bank ensures individuals in need are connected to available resources. Bank of America supports CAPSBC’s Food Bank not only with monetary grants, but they also have a corporate philosophy of giving back to the community through frequent employee volunteer participation at our Food Bank.

“We are honored to partner with Bank of America in alleviating poverty and building thriving communities.” “Fighting food insecurity is a critical stepping stone on the pathway to economic stability,” said Al Arguello, Inland Empire market president, Bank of America. “We are proud to partner with the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County to ensure that our neighbors don’t have to make the difficult choice between paying their bills and putting food on the table.”

The CAPSBC Food Bank program has been operating since 1984. Millions of pounds of food are provided each year at no charge to 175 non-profit organizations to serve the basic needs of San Bernardino County’s low-income community. The Food Bank has provided over 160 million pounds of food since its inception. Programs include:

  • USDA Commodities: Commodities are provided through a network of 120 nonprofits for emergency food distribution to eligible individuals and households.
  • Salvage Food: The Food Bank collects food and distributes these products to the low-income communities through a network of 80 nonprofit partners.
  • Congregate Feeding: A network of community nonprofits that provides nearly 75,000 hot meals each month through soup kitchens.
  • Senior Choice Nutrition Program: Fresh produce and additional healthy product is provided to eligible seniors at no-cost to the recipient in a market-style layout at a senior center or low-income senior housing facility.
  • Food Policy Advisory Council serving San Bernardino County: A collaborative of San Bernardino County agencies and individuals seeking to improve the food system, healthy food options and advocate for supportive policies.

In 2016, the Food Bank received 11,534,084 pounds of food that was valued at $19,232,871. The Food Bank program assisted 379,663 households with USDA/Salvaged Foods. It supplemented 399,839 pounds of USDA and 736,431 pounds Salvaged Foods to Soup Kitchens/Congregate Feeding Agencies which totals 1,136,298 pounds. This allowed the Soup Kitchens to serve 748,203 meals.

Anyone interesting donating to the CAPSBC Food Bank, may make a check payable to CAPSBC and mail to 696 S. Tippecanoe Ave., San Bernardino, CA 92408, or a secure donation can be made on our website at: www.capsbc.org/donate If you would like to volunteer, please e-mail: msalcido@capsbc.org or fill out a volunteer form at www.capsbc.org/volunteer

WWAM Gears Up to ‘Save Our Sons’ at Annual Juneteenth Celebration

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- ‘Saving Our Sons’ is the theme for this year’s annual Juneteenth celebration presented by Willing Winn Associates and Mission (WWAM) Inc. After two successful events in previous years, WWAM was called to go even bigger for 2017! This year’s celebration will be kicking off at San Bernardino Valley College in The Greek Theatre on Saturday, June 24 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. To coincide with the theme and location, the afternoon will consist of a lineup that the community cannot miss. Come get educated, enlightened, and of course be entertained.

“They have matters that need to be fixed that they don’t know how to fix themselves,” Dr. Deborah Winn, Founder of WWAM Inc., stated on why she chose this year’s theme.

The issues that our Black men and women, are going through have been plaguing the community for years and when things seem to get better, something else occurs that brings us back. From the shootings to the way we are raising our children, it is as if we are becoming numb to what love is.

“When we love ourselves, we won’t take our lives or anyone else’s lives,” Winn said. “We need to start being responsible and standing in harmony. With effort, we have the remedy; it starts at home.”

This issue along with others, as well as a history of what Juneteenth is will all be introduced and explained throughout the afternoon. The lineup of speakers who will be presenting them include: Dr. Margaret Hill, Professor James Smith, Mr. Thomas “TJ” Loftin, Oliver Petty, and Sharon Smith-Knight. Pastor Dr. Joshua Beckley, of Ecclesia Christian Church, will be opening the event up in prayer. Comedian Lamont Bonman a.k.a. Rev. Monty B. will be the Master of Ceremonies.

The day will be filled with not just education and enlightenment, but there will also be plenty of entertainment. There will be performances by JReal da Realest, Wyel Legend, Lex Lane, DJ Worldclass, Ciotti and Jenice Michelle, Cthree, Royal Believer, Adoration, and more.

In addition to the speakers and entertainment, the community will be able to visit several vendor booths which will include clothing, jewelry, food, children’s activities, voter registration, expungement services, and much more.  This is a FREE event. Free hot dogs and snacks will be served for children 13 and under. There will also be a special grocery giveaway to the first 350 families. Each family MUST have ID.

This event couldn’t have been made possible without the help of the following sponsors: Phoenicia, I.S.A.H. (It Starts At Home), Los Angeles Lakers, WWAM Inc., Community Action Partnership, KOHL’S, S.O.S. (Saving Our Sons), Mary Stewart’s Southern Soul Food, Southern California Edison, Target, Wal-Mart, San Bernardino Unified School District, San Manual Band of Mission Indians, and San Bernardino Valley College.

For more information please call (909) 889-9509 or visit www.wwaminc.org. The college is located at 701 S. Mt Vernon Avenue in San Bernardino.