Assistance League® of Diablo Valley is a nonprofit, member volunteer organization dedicated to improving lives in our community through hands-on programs. Five of its eight philanthropic programs serve students. At the chapter regular meeting on June 11, MDUSD Assistant Superintendent Rose Lock, who presently serves as one of eight Chapter Advisors, praised the chapter’s philanthropic programs’ significant impact on the district’s students.
A veteran educator of 39 years, Ms. Lock’s credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Secondary Teaching and Administrative Services, a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, as well as doctoral studies in Instructional Research and Curriculum Development, all accomplished at various California institutions of higher learning. One of the first “techies” in the education arena, Ms. Lock has advocated for and developed technology programs and authored two mathematics texts. An active participant in the No Child Left Behind and Blue Ribbon School efforts, she has also devoted 16 years to teaching mathematics to middle and high school students.
Ms. Lock began her presentation by stating that in 2013-14, Assistance League of Diablo Valley’s philanthropic programs served 2000 students in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. She then alluded to R.E.A.D./Listen, The Kids on the Block, a nationally acclaimed program that uses puppets to address such issues as learning differences, physical challenges and bullying, and Operation School Bell®, another nationally acclaimed philanthropic program that provided clothing and shoes for elementary school students. Secondary level students benefited from the chapter’s Scholarships program, while Teacher Grants allowed district teachers to enhance their curricula to benefit students. Ms. Lock also thanked Assistance League of Diablo Valley’s two auxiliaries, Assisteens® and Buena Vista and noted the “staggering number of hours” volunteered by all.
Ms. Lock then optimistically predicted that Assistance League of Diablo Valley’s philanthropic programs’ will realize an even greater impact due to school friendly changes in California’s education budget practices. A Local Control Funding Formula appropriates monies according to students’ needs rather than by students’ daily attendance. No longer restricted, funding is now based on student population, socio-economics, English learner population, foster youth services, student reading levels, class size for grades K-3 and technology program needs for high school students. Another support, California’s Local Control Accountability Plan protects a curriculum that addresses twenty-first century needs. It empowers MDUSD to reinstate summer school sessions, athletic programs, as well as music and art instruction in the elementary schools. Lastly, a Common Core Curriculum, now practiced in 45 states, implements critical thinking skills and a literacy program based on nonfiction reading to improve reading in all subject areas. These efforts encourage higher level thinking that not only teaches students what to learn but, more important, how to learn.
Interestingly enough, Ms. Lock concluded by praising chapter member volunteers for connecting with the students, who might not recall titles of books read to them, but remember that someone shared their joy of reading. Likewise, children attending the Kids on the Block performances readily approached the puppets during the Q and A session.
The close working relationship cultivated over the years between these two entities and recent state directed instructional improvements promise to have a compound effect on this community’s most valued assets, its students. To learn more about Assistance League of Diablo Valley and its eight philanthropic programs, please visit this website: diablovalley.assistanceleague.org.