Archive for the ‘Community’ Category
CLAYTON, Calif., November 19, 2015 – For the 24th straight year, a number of representatives from Contra Costa County non-profit agencies were on hand Thursday at the annual Marsh Creek Detention Facility’s Toy Show to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wish lists. The representatives were able to choose from numerous newly handcrafted toys and bicycles refurbished by the facility’s inmates. These gifts are given to the children who are being served by these agencies during the upcoming holidays.
Along with the many displayed toys and bikes, the inmates decorated the Marsh Creek Detention Facility’s workshop to look like Santa’s own. Joining the non-profit-agency representatives were Contra Costa County’s Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata and Sheriff David Livingston, as well as numerous representatives from both agencies to celebrate this longtime agency partnership that benefits the community.
Both Superintendent Sakata and Sheriff Livingston gave their thoughts to the many attendees about the extremely successful partnership of the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) accredited shop classes being taught in a Contra Costa County Jail. “We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful agency collaboration that brings such value to our county,” said Superintendent Sakata. “With this project, these adult students will certainly bring a brighter Holiday Season to many children throughout our community.”
A small group of Marsh Creek Detention Facility inmates have been working on this project since the workshop re-opened in early October. They have been extremely busy fixing up used bikes to look and ride like brand new, and crafting colorful and beautiful wooden toys, such as, ball and cup games, spinning carousels, cars, doll houses, baby cradles, toy tractors, train sets, and more. All of the toy makers and/or bike mechanics are students in the Contra Costa Adult School, an accredited school directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), located within the detention facility.
CCCOE’s woodshop teacher Paul Turner hit the ground running, directing this project, soon after being hired on September 28. “On October 7, we opened the doors to the woodshop and bike shop,” said Turner, “It was like going into someone’s garage,” he laughed. “We had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, but luckily my small group of students had plenty of skills to produce more than 400 toys and refurbish 170 bikes by the time this event rolled around. I’m very proud of how hard they worked on this project.”
Non-profit organizations participating in this special event included: Bay Area Rescue Mission, Brighter Beginnings, Contra Costa County Independent Living Skills Program, El Cerrito Fire Department, Shelter Inc., The Salvation Army-Antioch Corps, Ujima Family Recovery Services/La Casa, and VESTIA.
During the 2014-15 school year, approximately 2,343 adult inmates (throughout the three Contra Costa detention facilities) were enrolled in classes ranging from academic programs, including basic literacy and GED preparation, to vocational programs, including woodshop, construction, and state-of-the-art computer training. By the end of the school year, 17 student-inmates received their GED and 23 received a high school diploma, and 34 students passed the California High School Exit Exam. In addition, there were 207 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 122 students earned a certificate of completion in computer applications. Another course directed by the CCCOE is the DEUCE Program (Deciding, Educating, Understanding, Counseling, and Evaluation).
These three-part classes (90 days) focus on substance abuse prevention. Last year, 708 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 146 students graduated from DEUCE. The Parenting Inside/Out class teaches vital parenting skills to women and men, with 57 certificates issued last school year. Last year, the CCCOE opened a new re-entry class at the West County Detention Facility. The re-entry class offers workforce readiness, career exploration, soft skills workshops, and a nine-week cognitive-behavior-change program called Transitions. Currently, 46 inmates are enrolled in the re-entry course.
These classes help to provide education and skills needed for successful transition back into the community.
By Allen Payton
In a unanimous vote, the Antioch School Board promoted Associate Superintendent for Educational Services Stephanie Anello to the position of Interim Superintendent, at a Special Meeting, held Thursday, November 12.
She will serve in that position until a new superintendent is hired.
Ms. Anello has proudly served the District for 18 years first as a classroom teacher and, most recently, as the Associate Superintendent of Educational Services – a position she has held for the past five years. The Board is confident that Ms. Anello will maintain and build upon the momentum to make positive improvements to our District. The Board is committed to offering Ms. Anello the support she may need to serve the District in her new capacity.
The Board’s action was in response to their unanimous vote during a Closed Session during a Special Meeting on Tuesday, November 10 to place Dr. Don Gill on paid administrative leave until the date of his previously announced resignation, which is June 30, 2016.
See more photos and videos on the Antioch Herald Facebook page.
Veterans, families and friends invited to attend
Public is invited to a special ceremony from 11:00 a.m. until Noon on Tuesday, November 10
2015 marks 50 years since the beginning of the Vietnam War, and 40 years since the end of the conflict. Veterans from the Vietnam era as well as those who have served before and since are invited to share in the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors annual recognition of the contributions of our veterans.
The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 10, in the Board Chamber at 651 Pine Street in Martinez, and will last until noon.
Keynote speaker Steve Burchik chronicled a year in Vietnam through the lens of a camera, and his work is on display in the County Administration building this month. Now a county resident, the former Army infantryman will share his unique perspective of his tour of duty.
Gold Star father and Discovery Bay resident Kevin Graves will preview the upcoming documentary “The Longest Road,” which focuses on the plight of the two million displaced Kurds in the Middle East.
In addition, there will be special recognition for a County veteran who has contributed significantly to the annual ceremonies.
County Veterans Service Officer Nathan Johnson invites veterans who arrive early to gather in the conference room next to the Board Chamber for refreshments, and enjoy the photography display in the lobby.
Contra Costa County is home to more than 65,000 veterans, with 500 service men and women returning home to our area each year after completing their military service. The Board of Supervisors pays tribute and gives thanks each year to those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.