By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
4S Ranch and Del Sur-based programs that focus on youth have received a combined $26,000 in community grant funding.
The 4S Ranch-Del Sur Community Foundation presented the five grants on May 31 at Shay Realtors Community Hub as part of the organization’s sixth annual grant presentation.
“Our focus this year was on creating a safe and healthy community,” said Tom Kokjohn, grants chairman. “The grantee programs demonstrate how local organizations are tackling health, safety and community issues in a creative and diverse manner.”
Foundation Chairwoman Judy Simeroth said the group was able to give the record amount due to the “Matt McLaughlin Live Here, Give Here Matching Program.” Now in its second year, the program made possible through the late Rancho Bernardan’s philanthropy matches half the funding the local foundation raises for at least three years. Hence, its $13,000 became $26,000.
This year’s recipients are:
• The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Diego County received $4,000 for its “Be A Hero” Bullying Prevention Program. With the money, the club’s 4S Ranch branch will be able to expand its anti-bullying curriculum from nine to 12 months, develop a peer leaders training program, increase facilitator training and expand the program’s reach by training 4S Ranch sports coaches.
• Junior Achievement of San Diego received $4,000 so its “Pathway to Self Sufficiency” program can expand from 60 to 260 Del Norte High School students. Its goals are to teach the teens how to be economically self-sufficient, introduce them to successful adults who teach them education relevancy, and help the 4S Ranch/Del Sur communities build a capable workforce by giving them needed skills.
• Monterey Ridge Elementary School received $5,000 for its “Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out and Tell a Teacher” — WITT — anti-bullying program. The series of hands-on lessons and assemblies use literature, music, movement, science and history in a “kid-friendly way” to educate, engage and motivate students. The curriculum includes proactive and preventive anti-conflict strategies to build a learning environment that demonstrates acceptance, kindness and empathy.
• The Zoological Society of San Diego received $6,000 so its “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” program can be brought to Del Sur, Monterey Ridge and Stone Ranch elementary schools. Through all-school assemblies plus fourth- and fifth-grade classroom programs, students learn about healthier lifestyles including nutrition and environment plus conservation of natural resources for use by future generations.
• Oak Valley Middle School received $7,000 for its “Peer Leaders Uniting Students (PLUS) Program.” The money lets the peer leadership and mentoring program expand from 40 to 80 seventh- and eighth-grade students. Among issues they address are cyber bullying, creating healthy and positive habits, and respecting peers and adults. Also provided is peer mentoring, tutoring, mediation and conflict resolution.
For more about the 4S Ranch-Del Sur Community Foundation, contact Trudy Armstrong at 619-764-8602 or firstname.lastname@example.org.