Monday, July 12, 2010

NEWS RELEASE: SD Unified Wins Grant to Boost African-American Student Achievement

News Release from the San Diego Unified School District, July 12, 2010


SAN DIEGO -- A new grant from Target Foundation will support San Diego
Unified School District efforts to boost African-American student
achievement by strengthening family involvement in schools.

The $50,000 grant will enable expansion of outreach to more schools and
families, and provide ambitious programs -- such as taking district students
and their families to visit college campuses.

³The goal is to show students and their families that college can be
attainable, and for parents to see what they need to do to help their
children attain that goal starting at a young age,¹¹ said Elneda Shannon,
program manager of Parent Outreach and Engagement Department¹s Project
Ujima, which serves African-American families.

Project Ujima is named for the third principal of Kwanzaa, which means
collective work and responsibility. The Target Foundation Arts grant will
also enable Project Ujima to take district students and families to Los
Angeles to tour the California African American Museum of Art. Using the
arts is a powerful way to connect students to learning, said Shannon, and
it¹s important for them to see the achievements of African Americans in

The grant fits the goal of the year-old Project Ujima program to reaffirm
African American cultural understandings and teachings that promote positive
development and achievement. The program focuses on students in Title I
schools, which educate a larger percentage of students in lower
socio-economic levels.

³When we take students and families to see what is possible, it¹s like a
light goes on,² said Shannon. The program aims at improve academic
performance and graduation rates among African American students, who
account for more than 11 percent of the district¹s 132,000 students.

Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to support and enrich
the communities the retail company serves. Today that equals more than $3
million every week to support education, the arts, social services and

Project Ujima programs are free to parents and families, as are all programs
offered by the Parent Outreach and Engagement Department, headquartered in
the Ballard Parent Center in Old Town. For more information, contact the
center at (619) 293-4431.


Elneda Shannon at (619) 293-4431,
Bea Fernandez,
Parent Outreach and Engagement Department

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