Promoting Healthy Development
Building Capacity to Effect Change in Communities
It became apparent to me that there were a great number of individuals who, after leaving school were unprepared from the perspective of training and tools to make sustainable career decisions.
This lack of resources and education has left large numbers of folks essentially paralyzed by the daunting process of digging into their minds and psyches to make confident decisions about moving into the next segment of their lives…thus, The Fifth Quarter Project
A freshly painted mural on the front of the building may announce its presence on Noriega Street, but the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center is by no means a new addition to the Outer Sunset. In fact, SNBC recently had a block party to celebrate its 20 years of after-school programming, family-focused services and community involvement in the Sunset District.
“People have walked past for years and not known we were even in the building,” SNBC Director Matt Pemberton explained, “so we just did our mural and put our name on the wall. That’s never been there.” It may seem like a small thing, but for SNBC it’s another step towards greater visibility within the community it strives to serve.
Pedro Ramirez, 12, sent his robot into action, moving its jaws forward to grab a green plastic block. When he tried to place the block on top of a stack of other blocks, it tumbled off.
The Davidson Middle School student was participating in a robotics class with about 19 other students as part of a summer program offered by San Rafael City Schools in partnership with Bay Area Community Resources. The program runs June 23 through July 22.
“The students are testing out the robots. They just finished building them and they’re making sure they work,” said Jake Pollak, a program coordinator for the community resource group.
The robots roll on four wheels, with jaws in the front, a mini-computer in the middle and bright green gears. The students assembled the approximately 2-foot-long robots using VEX robotics kits purchased by the school district.
“It’s not a competition. We work together to stack the blocks,” said Alex Paz, 13, who attends Davidson with Pedro. As he spoke, Priscilla Huitron, 12, steadied the stack as Pedro renewed his effort to add another block.
The ability to live in a smokefree home is a choice that everyone should have, especially those who are vulnerable with health conditions such as children with asthma. Unfortunately for those who live in multi-family buildings such as apartments and condos, breathing secondhand smoke from neighboring units has become a real health problem.
Bay Area Community Resources partnered with San Francisco Department of Public Health to address this issue and is hosting a smoke-free multi-unit housing registry website, with a map showing apartments and condos that are 100% smoke-free (all units) across San Francisco. This data has been self-reported by property owners and is a listing of units that are smoke-free, not vacancies.
Visit the registry at bacr.org/smoke-free-housing-registry to view the map, submit a listing, and find more resources on smoke-free housing. Learn more about this project by visiting sanfranciscotobaccofreeproject.org.
BACR is in its second year of our partnership with the NBA Math Hoops Curriculum and the Golden State Warriors. For the 2014-2015 School Year, we had 28 sites participating across 6 school districts. Our students showed a marked improvement in their math skills, as well as an overall increase in their enjoyment of math. In addition to the academic achievement, we were given generous incentives from the Warriors. One of our sites was able to receive a Behind the Scenes tour of Oracle that included sitting on the court while Stephen Curry warmed up, a jumbotron appearance at half time that showcased their work with NBA Hoops, and a visit from the Cheer Team during the game. Another school had a live player event where a Warriors player came to the school to play the game virtually from their basketball court. The Warriors also provided swag for the students, free game tickets, and a number of other incentives that provided motivation for our kids to keep up the good work with practicing their math skills.
Mark Parker is trying to kick a bad habit.
Parker, a 28-year-old San Rafael resident, has smoked for nine years, but the past two months he has done his best to quit. Recently, he created a motivational art piece made of cut up cigarette cartons that he pasted to a sheet of paper, forming the phrase, “You can do it.”
The piece is featured in the tobacco cessation art exhibit that opened last week at the 1108 Gallery at 1108 Tamalpais Ave. in San Rafael. Parker is a peer director at the Enterprise Resource Center, whose members produced the work for the exhibit.