DoDEA Grant Operation Learn & Thrive

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Shawn Gary, Grant Coordinator
Phone: (619) 725-7357
Children & Youth in Transition
4100 Normal St., Annex 14
San Diego CA 92103

Mike Masterson, Grant Coordinator
Children & Youth in Transition
4100 Normal St., Annex 14
San Diego CA 92103
Phone: (619) 725-8162

$2.5 Million, 3-year Defense Department Grant Goes to Five Schools

San Diego Unified School District has received a $2.5 million, three-year grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to help more than 3,000 students in five elementary schools learn about good nutrition and English language arts.

The grants will serve students at five schools: Angier Elementary in Serra Mesa, Chesterton Elementary in Linda Vista, Mason Elementary in Mira Mesa and Hancock and Miller elementary schools in the Murphy Canyon military housing area. A parent/guardian outreach program will bring the nutrition program to the students' homes.

At a July 18 news conference announcing the grant, Kevin Beiser, San Diego Unified Board of Education Vice President, said the programs will help students ­ and their parents and guardians ­ learn about nutrition, while technology and tutoring will help students improve their English language skills. A significant part of the program will bring teacher training on these issues.

"Childhood obesity and difficulty in learning English-language arts are national problems, but some of the challenges faced by military dependents -- our youngest heroes -- are especially difficult," said Beiser. "Anyone who grew up in a family where Dad or Mom was in the service knows the challenges faced."

According to the Department of Defense Education Activity, not only does San Diego have one of the largest concentrations of military dependents in the nation, San Diego County is a preferred posting for families who have kids with special needs due to the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

The grant will provide funds for a three-year effort: $897,948 in 2014; 2015, $813,096; and 2016, $788,096. There are 2,246 military dependents at the five schools, joining 1,038 non-dependents. All will benefit from the programs.

The program is divided into the nutritional and English language arts programs. The nutrition program will include development of gardens at the schools, family-focused health and nutrition promotion, and teacher professional-development and coaching in nutrition education.

For English language arts, student tutoring, integration of English language arts curriculum with the district's i21 technology and teacher professional development are on the agenda.

San Diego Unified School District had more than 9,000 students who are military dependents, 6.2 percent of the district's enrollment, during the 2012-13 school year. Naval Station San Diego, Naval Base Point Loma, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, SPAWAR, Naval Air Station North Island, MCAS Miramar, MCRD San Diego and the Naval Medical Center San Diego are all within the boundaries of the San Diego Unified School District.

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