Sunday, June 19th


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and happy Father's Day welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego. A public service presentation of the and it comes San Diego radio stations and Gary Lee. United way of San Diego County is bringing people organizations and communities together to help San Diego's children and families grow stronger. And achieve a brighter future something they've been doing here for years. Joining us this morning talk bad habit of doing this and how you can help. Is united way of San Diego County senior vice president chief impact officer of China grows. Welcome Jane I think and she did tell us a little bit about united way united way is is one of those organizations I think. Most people have heard about united way but. Probably not many of them really know what it is that you just want to give us little background information. It's not completely true okay if not most people probably know us from an NFL game her sinister in a football commercial. Though we've actually been here in San Diego for 95 years how it had yeah. Okay yeah. And I we're focused on children and families and elevating them to greater feature sound really looking at how can we help our community. In terms of education academic success and stable families and how long the of the national. Organization's been around nationally there about a 125. Years old smoke so our chapter isn't far behind no not at all and so what is the the mission and envision them at the united place in the mission is to elevate every child and family toward a brighter future. And that really means changing the odds for our kids. Let's change the path of the future and for our children and their families and here locally we're focused on issues around education. In and again that's I think a lot of people not aware of that yet people who know lasts from. As sort of a workplace campaign may be someplace he worked for they came nasty give money. But they believe me we didn't know exactly what happens in the money or maybe you thought. You could use united way to give to your favorite charity which you can still do that. But what people don't realize is that united way is doing a lot of I have worked directly in the community with our schools with our. Government business partners really trying to improve lives so that people make a donation to united me. Here in San Diego does that stay here and say ideally yes all the money given to united way is sending a penny stays here in the count me. And less you say I want it to go to. X nonprofit in another community how long you've been with united way of San Diego County at ten years so coming up from a ten year anniversary next year and regulations kinky it's been. Continually challenging an evolving and we have some big issues are tackling in Kenya so it's been great to be part of that and have you always been in working in the nonprofit sector. Yeah I've been I studied public health and sociology and so I. I'm have been meant non profit worker for. A good length of time. Also two decades now yes. I studied sociology in school and and I never hear him and O'Neill well so hope. I guess it didn't stick with you know and I think it. And expect to some extent yes. Yeah it to do this well it's all about the study of people so yeah you know you're just coming from different angle that's right yeah that's right. Evaluate has been out ranked a top charity in several different areas outstanding community collaborator. Forbes largest US charity. And several other mom awards in and on top charity rankings. What kind of effect does this does to these accolades. Have on an organization like yours I think. Means that we're good stewards of investments made with united way and that those those accolades and acknowledgment. Can attest to the fact is that when you investor the united way it's it's Smart investment that. The money is going to word real problems in our community and and coming up. And focusing on real solutions so I think. That is is a vote of confidence from that sort of national audience that. Who Wear well suited to be doing this working in our community. And so that benefits you in in more apt in many ways to enjoy as far as what you doing sure absolutely it it it brings us. More partners more champions more individuals who want to be involved more organizations that want to work with us and that's the key and we can't do this alone so we we have to have partners who are are helping us. And so if if those kinds of acknowledgment. Help people says trust in us and our partnership and that's great. You mentioned it a big part of what you do here in San Diego is in the education arena yes working to change the ons for every child. The quality education let's talk about your your day of action. And summer slide negative action this is an event that actually took place yesterday at. Thumb and tell us about that. Sure so we raise books throughout the year about 25000 books and on the day of action. We gave out 5000 books to families who came hundreds of families came. And we had a little bookshop where kids could go shopping and pick out their. Own book. So our goal is to be improving literacy in in the schools. And we know is that many of our families don't have books in the home over the summer low income families. I don't have access to books can't afford to buy books and we want to make sure that every kid has opportunities and if you think about it. How many of us grew up with a stack of books the side are senator. You know getting your read in in and sort of involved in that adventure of a book or your favorite book in getting to read and explore and be creative and invent in your minds and books there are that sort of opening door to that creativity. And when kids don't have books in the home they lose their reading skills over the summer. So this is basically geared towards low income families the state of action he had this particular event happened at Miller elementary school which is an elementary school in a large military housing population so. I'm so some low income but also families that may be just don't have access to as many. I reading resources as we would like so we had folks we have tips for parents on how they can. Help and their kids get excited about reading in the engage with reading. We have lots of different activities. Related to litter of see where kids could sort of play and get excited about learning. And and that's the key you know we want these. Little 78910. Year old to be excited about learning because this is the moment when. They have an opportunity says. To dream big and and we want them to be excited about that so this is what you want and everybody take away from us absent yesterday yeah. Is is how are we all a part of of carving this path of of changing the odds for our kids that. Parents grandparents neighbors teachers businesses all can play a role in getting kids excited about their education. And doesn't have to stop when the school year shops as a matter of fact over the summer is and we have a great responsibility opportunity sort of carried that the torch between now and it's clear and start the next. That he had the day of action every year yes and then it's it at a different school each year. Yeah how we too we changed locations last year at the city heights library in the adjoining park there and had Adam also some art projects that are involved. This year we're at Miller elementary. As so it's always in June around at the longest day of the year and and again this is all in conjunction with the summer slide yes which is as you were mentioning it's during the Summers when when it's kind of fall through the cracks exactly so all the progress that they've made in the classrooms throughout the year we wanna make sure they maintain that progress and if they're not practicing the skills they developed of Reading of learning. Over the summer than when they go back to school they can be far behind so. It's a partners that helped us and say San Diego. And some of our you know corporate partners of Geico an AT&T in Molina foundation who all helped us. Collect books sort books give out books at a 150 volunteers to. And I says they you know they care about this and this is what they wanted to see happen so. Again the goal being let's help kids maintain and improve their reading skills over the summer so that when they start back at school there they're ready to go. Now some staggering statistics. That I read in San Diego almost 40% of San Diego third graders are not reading. At grade level and children who aren't reading for efficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Yeah it's pretty remarkable. How third grade reading levels can predict your future. That already in third grade do you see this. Potentially divided path. But if you think about it so we we talk about. Up until third grader learning how to read. And in the third to fourth street transition you're now reading to learn. So if you don't know how to read you can't learn all these other things and you can see how quickly kids become disengaged than in school if they feel like. This is too hard or I don't get it I can't keep up and so you'd use very clearly see that and those reading levels and third grader directly connected to your likelihood to graduate school on time. And another statistic there and I think this is on and national level 80% of low income children are reading below grade level by. Fourth grade and yet sort of low income families have have less resource they have less resource in the home in terms of books. There. They tend to have. Parents that are you know working multiple jobs and and trying to make ends meet and they have less time to. Sit in focus and help with homework or those kinds of things many of our parents don't know. How old to help their kids or what role they should be plain. And we sometimes think that the school take care of it and parents can be unclear as to what role they really could be and should be playing in the home. So part of our work is making sure that our parents and our families know that they can meet their child's first teacher. And giving them the tools to be able to do that whether that is. Actual physical tools of books and you know worksheets and things in new toys to play with. Or if it's just the encouragement. Of we may not all have time to sit down and spend thirty minutes or an hour reading to her kids but maybe we ride the bus together. And we look out the window and say what kind of signs DC and we read the signs are made to him or grocery shopping together you ask your kids to help breed you. You know the labels or that the different things and especially younger kids pointing out colors and shapes and sizes and you can use your every day act and activities. As a simultaneous teaching moment. And I think a lot of times their parents just don't know in an just need a little bit of help and encouragement to do that. Advocates that makes a little more interesting for the kid yeah yeah it during every day like yeah yes just like we'll do you kind of take for granted how often we're reading something. Let's turn him go I mean let's read the signs that are on the outs the ads that are there and let's talk about you know what color CC changed and so there's a lot more than that parents can do aside from going to the to a bookstore or or elaborate get a book exactly yet there's a lot of things we can build and it home you know we're walking here and tell me when you see the letter S and have a the kid planned out every cent. Policies that are less than in having kids identify and recognize this right things. I'm now now along the lines of we we mentioned that 80% of low income children reading below grade level by fourth grade. You have another program and that's your every student every day program and this is geared towards low income just right. Yep sewer in I'm schools that have a high percentage of low income students. And this is really focused around attendants so if you're not in the classroom it's really hard to learn. And we know that for every one day that a student misses of school takes a day and a half to catch up. So every student every day looks at kids who are chronically absent. And what we do is we have interns from local universities that are stationed at the school. They work in partnership with the school school gives them the data on which students are and showing up in their system is being chronically absent. And an interns do outreach with the parents. To say kind of what's good time at home that is per Manning your kid from coming to school on time. When you're looking elementary school. First second third graders you know 678 years olds. It's usually something that's happening at home with mom and dad that is affecting their attendance is not it's not like high school where you know accuse him. Saying and I'm just not gonna show up at a that's exactly. And with the younger kids it's usually something that's going on at home. And what we found through this program is it's a lot of transportation issues there are a lot of issues around food around. Kids having clean clothes mom and dad you know may be working two jobs and have one story of a child who was always late. And it turns out he was always late because it was his job to walk his younger sister to school and every day because. Mom went you know got on the bus early to get to work and so. Here he is you know taking care responsibility of his younger sibling but. What that looks like at school is he's laid everyday what's going on right and it wasn't until we put in place a way of sort of reaching out to that family and saying hey what's happening in and how can we help. That are able to uncover a lot of what we think of the Stanley stability issues related to housing employment transportation food. Income that trickle into the classroom and and really prevent kids from being successful because they're not there and if you're hungry or are wondering. Where we sleeping in a war and you know I'm not sure he's sticking to our bus ride to get to school because you don't have a car and here. Transferring buses trolleys and buses. You can imagine it's hard to focus when you get to sign and a now there's so this is this is kind of like in intervention program and to catch these kids before they force exact through the cracks exactly. Yes yes and it's been really successful and in this year alone we served over 250. Kids. Who are you know on the list of chronically absent. And we've seen 70% of them have shown improvement. Which is really any other just if I can share and as far as that goes to the average attendance improvement we've seen as a 5% improvement. And anecdotally what we've heard is school wide we're seeing about a 1% improvement in attendance so. The kids where targeting are improving five fault which is really great great via. And then we talked to parents. Who say it just feel so great to have somebody who. Is on my side you know who's helping me try to manage all of these things that I've been struggling with. So they feel like they're they're being heard and supported for the first time. And the school who is very invested in having kids there is is grateful for the partnership because it allows teachers to focus on teaching. And not have to be a social worker. And you know try to figure out what's going on in the home because we sort of take that off their plate. So response you getting from the the families parents is good apps are very positive very positive yeah an Indy follow up of these families yet. He had that I am. The students and families that were working with wearing teaching with them. Multiple times throughout the year so it's about developing a relationship you know that the kinds of issues there facing. Are not things that you would necessarily. Reveal in the first time you meet somebody. So it's about developing that relationship and then they're not gonna be fixed in a one time interaction that these these things take time. And developing a plan and working through that plans aware working with the families holes clear. Now let's let's talk about. The San Diego County college in career. Readiness consortium what's what's that. So our region. Received a state grants from. An entity called the career pathways trust and basically that consortium is a group of fifteen school districts five community colleges and multiple industry partners. Along with that Chinese and you county office of bed and united way as facilitators. To bring all of those folks together. So all of those people are coming together to figure out how to get high school kids educated and trained. For the kinds of jobs and careers that exist in San Diego. And how do we get employers to provide opportunities and experiences for kids. To try on. The types of careers we have here in San Diego to know if that's something that they would want to further study. So the goal is is to prepare these these ads. To prepare kids for careers that are high demand and high growth and in San Diego so we can be hiring our own local students. And that. Our employers. Are informing the kinds of skills that they would hope to see in their future employees. And where in in betting that in the kinds of curriculum that we offer in our our high schools. So that when you go to school and your learning about something it's actually relevant and it had hit it Mattel is yeah yeah. Salty. And that it's actually relevant and it's were teaching them what we call essential skills of teamwork collaboration and critical thinking. Which more and more is what our employers are saying. You know I can teach somebody how to use this specific computer program but if they don't know how to resolve conflict in a group. That's harder for me to teach. At the same time we note that in our region. Things like advanced manufacturing. And act clean energy are really high growth and come high demand jobs. Let's make sure we're training our kids and putting programs in place in the high schools. To to get them excited in geared toward things like advanced manufacturing in those industries by Katrina generally the talk that even in school exactly those kinds of things yeah are you may not and you may pick a different career that doesn't have a lot of opportunity to be hired here in San Diego. Where the jobs and how to eat how we connect and and align our education. With the with the jobs an entry that pipeline. You sit fifteen school district can name some of that sure district yeah Tinny to unified as one of the biggest but we have our across the entire county had Vista gross non sweet water on our way. San Marcos and keep fall for a all of our so. Where Al Oliver and then five community colleges and then we had some industry partners in the east county CDC's their regional CDC clean tech. The workforce partnership junior achievement so we have lots of folks that are helping us make all those connections. And then local business who will be providing things like internships. Or her. Job shadow opportunities so you may think that you know hearing in. Eleventh grade in you know everything in you know exactly what you wanna be when you drop and it's not until you'd do a job shadow that you realize oh wow I really. Really don't want to do that at all. An and or cash I didn't even know that that was a career that existed and turns out that's really interest Tony. So both of those are equally important and we have a a partner who says that you can't aspired to be something you don't know exists and so and we want to expose kids to as many things as possible so they can fear what they like and what they don't like. And and what kind of response you getting from the kids it's generally good yeah I think there a lot of what we're doing now is building these relationships where. We're making sure that schools and businesses are speaking the same language. And that's starting to now trickled down says kids where they have an opportunity. You know advanced manufacturing sounds like. It's something very different now you know it sounds like a little lamb what inning jam welding aren't immune using this sort of old equipment and and now more and more it's these multimillion dollar computer machines that you're using and kids like technology yeah they're impressed by that. But they don't know that that's that's what we're talking about when when we say manufacturing may have a different vision and their parents have a different vision yeah I have slightly what that sounded like. You when we talk about working on cars nowadays its computer science. It's in did you computer under the under the hood there so I am. We're really it's it's about you know looking at what are the different. Sort of skill sets that we need to be involving and the kids are excited to learn and they are excited when it's something that's tangible when they. And when they start talk about about the paycheck that I can get. Of course that's always appealing to its shares are. Zoller and now an adult cell. Absolutely. And enact and send website there's a a list an action plan and he for the year consortium can be just touched on that little sugar. So there a couple of different goals in net one is happening in the classrooms so. How do we create pathway is live in our classrooms. And within our schools where all the classes you taker are connected. So if you are studying a particular topic. Let's make sure your math class you're English class you're history class you're science class. Those curriculums are all connected around the same topics we talk a lot about project based learning where. Those teachers are working together to develop the joint curriculum. And that efforts are all aligned with one another so. You don't feel like. How many times have you heard kids Eric why didn't take that class and never of any use that. Right well you realize in the history you're studying is about maybe the history of manufacturing. The English class that you're taking is about. Rating of eight project plan. And elements of the project plan and maybe the science classes about the actually doing the science and the math you know it is similar. But everything is relevant one another so that's one component is what do we do in the classrooms and how do we help give our teachers the tools for them to work together and create those pathways the other element is this work is learning opportunities where. We have. Employers who are saying let me come in tier classroom and talk about what it means to be an engineer. Or am I have this project that the kids could work on. And it's a real life project and yet they can actually make something at the end of it seemed like a robotics program something. Or come to my office and come to new shadow me for a day or do an internship so there's a lot of different opportunity. An alien students supports where we're really looking at how do we support the child in the family says. Work their way through some of these pat is making sure they take generate classes where exposing men and finding out what they're interested in finding out what kinds of activities they might. They are certain personality your game what they have a propensity to word and making sure their interest is matching that things are you studying right we don't end up with a scientist who hates blood and being alone in the last. Vienna and so ethical and work too well exactly yeah. If. How can people help you we've we've mentioned at the beginning of the program that that donations. Now all donations. That are made. To united way of San Diego County state and San Diego County how can people help out with your. Your mission in addition to give a few days. I certainly donating is one and and the money that's given to us goes toward these key priorities. Helping kids be ready for kindergarten you know learning attendants reading levels. And high school graduation. Making sure kids have relevant skills so all those two nations that come here help children and families here in San Diego. That's one way or the other way is through volunteering so we have a great and they sent our day of action had a 150 volunteers who came out. And helped us really you know get out to the community we have volunteer activities all throughout the year that happens to be your biggest one of the day of the year. With smaller activities. We build reading books in schools we've been. And doing things out in the community helping. You know all focused around education children and families so certainly volunteering your time. And being an advocate I think a lot of times lending your voice can be very powerful and people don't. No. As you said in the beginning of the program people have heard of the united way but they don't necessarily know what we do. So if you're hearing nest today then I think that's a great opportunity say. To somebody else hey did you know that they united way does this. And that you know maybe is a little different than what you thought it was we have. Really great opportunity to change our community in and we're not going to be able to do it alone so we need partners we need. To create a movement of people who care about all kids and we want to. Really. Change the future for our kids that are struggling or families that are struggling. And so we need everybody that we can to help us do that. Now as far as advocating for change in this in this area say anything that united way is working on right now on enactment in that area. I am that we have a couple of that things will we're always focused on making sure that all kids have access to quality education. So. Early education is really critical looking at preschool and how we can make sure that more kids get access to quality preschool. And is very critical sometimes that I am happens through legislation and sometimes that happens just your awareness. Sometimes that can happen through ads supporting families and filling out applications that can be really complicated than. Not always easily accessible so that's one thing that we're doing. Every year we have a program where we provide free tax preparation. For low income families and so. We want to make sure that people know about that's helping us spread the word about the free tax program they can call 211 and find out about that. We have another program that provides. An emergency food and utility assistance to families that are struggling so. Just kind of spreading the word and letting people know these your resources that they. Could be accessing that navy and they need or family member a neighbor or friend I'm so hoping to spread the word about what it is that we do well. Great and and your website. UW SD dot pork and social media are you on social media. We are on social media so we are on instead Graham FaceBook Twitter and leave the united SD. With the United States OK and if somebody lost making donations from the Los become volunteers somebody wants to help you with advocating for change go to our website EW SD got a word in you'll you'll see up there you have three options gives. Advocates or volunteer. Perfect doesn't get much clearer than that we try to keep it simple epic epic. Saying thanks very much for being on Saturday April you do a united way of sounding cannot keep on doing what you do and they give thanks for taking the time chat. That includes another addition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living better San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management. Of the end of town San Diego radio stations episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Join me next week when my guest will be from volunteers of America southwest. Until the end and apparently have a great week.