Central Peninsula Church Promotes Redwood City Reads!

A Message For CPC Members

Redwood City Reads is one of CPC’s “For Our Neighbor” service opportunities. It’s part of Generations United that Angie Ibarra started. She attends Peninsula Covenant Church and has a passion for low income families in Redwood City.  She is in the process of building teams for the upcoming school year and is expanding the work on the KIPP Excellencia campus (formerly Fair Oaks campus). As the summer season wraps up, Angie would love to know if the CPC family of believers would like to reach out to this community. Would you like to be part of serving these children and showing them the love of Jesus?

There are many ways to get involved. One is to be part of Redwood City Reads by reading once a week with a child so they don’t fall behind in learning English. Perhaps you’d like to make a gift bag for a teacher or assemble backpacks with Angie’s team. Here’s a video about the work of Generations United. I’ve been helping children read for a few years at this school through Angie’s organization, and it has been a joy and privilege to see them progress and not fall behind in their classes.

Email me if you’re interested in any of these ways to serve or have questions at jmarshall@cpc.org

Academic Enrichment Centers

Academic Enrichment Centers

An Opportunity to Invest in Children’s Literacy in North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, CA

 

Introduction

As most educators would agree, nothing is more foundational to academic success than the ability to read. The link, in other words, between literacy and competency in math, science and engineering is irrefutable. For this reason, developing the reading skills of elementary-age children sits at the core of our Academic Enrichment Centers (AECs). Through its Redwood City Reads program, adult volunteers become reading buddies for our young learners. From this mentoring relationship, students are supported and encouraged in the whole of their education, e.g. homework and study skills. We go further, however, by connecting the students’ families to a host of supportive and life-enriching services, including workshops or classes in nutrition, exercise, martial arts, parenting, housing and immigration. In short, through our AECs, children do not have to learn alone. You are invited to invest in their future today, through the work of Generations United.

Prioritizing Silicon Valley’s Latino Youth

Over a fourth of Silicon Valley’s 3 million residents are of Latino heritage, many from generations who settled here long before the region’s cities were incorporated. They have long played a vital role in the region’s economic prosperity and cultural vitality. Recent immigration policies at the national level have had an adverse effect on this community. Moreover, the spike in housing costs is pricing out these vulnerable families. An inequitable distribution of wealth, and a school district deficit of over $10M, has wreaked havoc on the public schools, particularly on the Latino North Fair Oaks community. A slew of consolidations and closures have sent hundreds of families scrambling. Such disruption in already difficult circumstances have made the academic challenges for our young people even greater. As Manuel Pastor, Director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, reports, “the percent of the valley’s Latino students meeting the 8th grade math standards – key to the high-paying jobs of the future – is less than half the figure for all students.” And as the industry well knows, proficiency in math and science is critical to accessing employment in tech, a sector that increasingly recognizes its need for more cultural diversity. AEC’s are our response to help meet this challenge.

Funding Needs

For academic year 2019-20, we plan to run four AECs that serve North Fair Oaks and the surrounding community. Three will be connected with public school campuses (one being a charter), and the fourth with a local church in the vicinity. AEC expenses include compensation for a lead and assistant site coordinator, shuttle transportation (for the church site), program supplies, and costs associated with administration, outreach, volunteer-training, and external partnership coordination. Each site requires $50,000 to run, and with the help of private contributions and grants, we can meet our $200,000 goal.

About Generations United

Our mission is to empower Redwood City & North Fair Oaks children and their families to reach their full potential. Led by a passionate, competent staff and hundreds of volunteers, our organization promotes community, wellness, and academic success through several local initiatives. In partnership with local schools, congregations, nonprofits and corporations, we not only provide academic enrichment centers for the children, but complementary services for the entire family, including English-as-a-Second-Language, nutrition education, fitness programs, personal safety, and emergency assistance. Generations United is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, EIN# 51-0666650.

July Newsletter

Greetings!

Thank you for investing in the work of Generations United. It’s wonderful to be able to update you on our work this past summer.

 

We held 2 distinct summer camps in Redwood City. One was held at an existing location: Schaberg/Roosevelt with 18 students, while a brand new endeavor took place with our newest church partner, Redeemer Lutheran. Redeemer has a successful private school and a longstanding local church. Pastor Paul Schult has been in

Redwood City for a few years and had been looking for ways to bring the two groups together, all while identifying a local partner for outreach. Our meeting in January sparked a conversation and led to the fulfillment of a longstanding dream for us. God’s timing is perfect. The closure of Fair Oaks and Hawes Schools left many people in our community heartbroken and displaced. The realization that perhaps we could host a summer camp at a local church seemed to be the perfect idea for these precious families who had felt abandoned, marginalized and disillusioned. Many students who have experienced the pain of school closures in RWC found themselves showered with the love and care of a family of believers coming together with one purpose: to love!

We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of over 121 adults and 28 LIT’s (leaders in training) who came together to serve 70 children; it was nothing short of a miracle. Generations United has been serving children in local schools since 2012, but this was our first endeavor at a local church. We are grateful to report that this was by far our most exciting summer ever! We believe everyone involved was touched in a positive way for the better and God was glorified!

The opposition to our plans was intense. We had planned to use the church’s bus which broke down a month before we launched. Three days before we launched we lost our lead teacher. God totally used this opportunity to allow us to trust Him! It was remarkable as a few weeks before I distinctly knew I was to send for my daughter (Crystal), a veteran missionary leader and children’s minister to come out to help lead an aspect of the camp. She literally saved the day! I know we couldn’t have done this camp without her. She sacrificed being home with her husband, and my grand-daughter Tishy was the youngest student and mascot for the camp. The team that Redeemer put together was stellar. I could tell endless stories of how each of the individuals made this local mission trip an incredible adventure. It was miraculous what happened on so many levels.

We put together a prayer team (thank you Mary Lou Morton & PCC), an incredible kitchen crew that cooked home made breakfast and lunch daily. Some of the Redeemer ladies found themselves seeing the work they did together as “cooking lessons.” It was indeed a positive cross cultural experience. There are too many highlights to count. Watching people of different ethnic groups, stories and backgrounds was priceless! All we can say is that we and our community were changed for the better and God was glorified. GU has served many of these families over the course of 6 summers and by far they all said this was their best! We are hoping to have an opportunity to connect again in the future to celebrate together and share great stories. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if we got together to celebrate more often? Please enjoy the pictures attached and witness the smiles, joy and cross cultural outreach.

Thank you for your incredible hearts, love and sacrifice. We welcome you to continue journeying with us to serve children and families. This school year we will launch our after school programming to 100+ children for our 7th year . We will remain on the former Fair Oaks campus working with KIPP Excellencia with 850 students. Our expectation is to serve a few hundred, as well continue on the 2 existing campuses we work with. This will require lots of prayer, local missionaries, volunteers and mentors on local school campuses. Will you join us? We covet your prayers, your finances, your time, and your talent. Would you consider becoming a monthly financial donor? With our expansion we will need more staff. This is a big request as the unemployment rate is low and most organizations serving families are vying for the same people.

Lastly, as we wrap up our camp, we would ask you to pray for the 160+ new volunteers and 70 children, as well as for the new school year. We are non-stop and in the throws of our backpack drive in July/August. We know that we have aggressive goals, but we are desperate to do ALL we can to see children succeed in the years to come!.

I leave you with a thought from The Power of Proximity “We can see evidence of injustice all around us, whether in continuing incidents of racial inequality or in the systemic forces that disenfranchise people and perpetuate poverty. It’s important to learn about the city’s inequities and to be a voice for the voiceless any way we can.”

Angie Ibarra
Executive Director, Generations United

Generations United Camp, Sponsor A Child

Calling out to all our Generations United Family

 

This summer we embark on an amazing three week Summer Camp adventure serving 65 North Fair Oaks children at a local church. Redeemer Lutheran has opened its doors graciously to a community who is brokenhearted over the closing of their beloved community school in Redwood City! These beautiful children all live well below the poverty level in a city where economic displacement abounds. We have an amazing opportunity to demonstrate love! Join us June 17th through July 5th from 8:30am to 4:00 pm.

This is a dream come true and we are looking for 65 people to invest $350 to provide a scholarship for each of these children participating in GU Camp, consider being a prayer partner, or volunteer! We may not be able to keep their school doors open after June 7th, but we commit to do all we know to ensure they are learning, feel loved, are fed 2 meals, be in community, and get a dose of God’s love in a day when hope is so needed.

Join us on Thursday, June 6th 8:30am to prayer walk around the Redeemer campus.

Our mission is to empower the children and families of Redwood City & North Fair Oaks to reach their full potential…in this generation and the next. This is our hope for Summer 2019.

Sincerely,

Angie Ibarra
Executive Director, Generations United

May Newsletter

Greetings!

It is a bittersweet time in Redwood City. Although we are incredibly excited about a number of amazing things happening in the next month, we are also aware of the pain felt by our precious neighbors in NFO whose school is closing in June. Some are still making decisions about where their children will go. Please pray as many are beginning to experience much sadness. At GU we are grateful you have been on this journey with us! There is no way we could do this without your heart, love and ongoing encouragement!This month we celebrated our 12th year serving Redwood City Schools and reminisced with some dear families as we celebrated Easter together.
May is a time of transition. We are asking you to consider joining us on a number of fronts. You are welcome to come out and join us as we bid farewell to the Fair Oaks students on Friday, 5/10 – interestingly enough, that is Mother’s Day in Latin America. Our plan is to bless the families with a beautiful send off and gift cards provided by our very own Rica Ruiz.

Moving and School Closures

With the transition of many students in RCSD we have been asked to clear out our 3 classrooms. The schools needs to make many changes to their existing campuses to make room for the influx of students. We will be wrapping up our programs as follows:
John Gill – A2 – last day for RWCR Monday, 5/13
Fair Oaks – Room 20 – last day for AEC & RWCR Friday, 5/10 – Dia Del Nino
Roosevelt – Programming continues until the end of the school year Friday, 6/7
We will pack up the classroom, but not until 6/3.

We Are Hiring!

We are hiring a team member to assist us in closing our classrooms and preparing for summer. We will need your assistance with this endeavor. There will be lots of packing of books, supplies, materials and of course some heavy lifting as we determine where we will move/donate or toss items.

3 Week Summer Outreach

Monday, 6/17 — Friday, 7/5 (no program 7/4)

We are incredibly excited about our summer programming. We will have a tremendous outreach to our families from North Fair Oaks that will be hosted on the Redeemer Lutheran campus. This has been a long-standing dream to offer a program like this and we would love for you to join us! We have identified some teachers who will join us and already have volunteers signed up from Redeemer! We will provide transportation for the families in NFO and have a goal of a total of 60 children in attendance (40 from NFO and 20 from Redeemer Lutheran), This has never been done and we are excited to offer a cross cultural experience for children and families. It’s a local mission trip right in our city!
We hope you will join us as we will continue to offer reading, but in addition to that we have a full schedule of great programming for the whole family. Mothers of the children are invited to join us as we will provide breakfast and lunch, sports, VBS, games, ESL, and so much more. We will have a movie night, Zumba, field trips, music, Bible stories and we’d love to have you join us! All of this needs to be bathed in prayer – we’ll have lots of opportunities for that! While many are on summer break, we are on summer MISSIONS!
  • If you want to sponsor a child you can DONATE here
  • To VOLUNTEER please sign up here

Backpacks – Our Annual Drive

We are so grateful for our partners and plan to distribute 1,000 backpacks to children as we have for 6 years. We will need help with that endeavor in July.
Lastly, in the Fall our plan is to continue on all 3 RWC campuses. We are grateful for our relationships in Redwood City! When the time is right, I’m sure we’ll need help moving some items onto the campus! Be on the lookout for more information on that in July as well.
Our deepest gratitude to you we couldn’t fathom doing this without you. Please continue to pray and ask God what part you can play in this great endeavor.

June Save The Dates

Saturday, 6/1 7pm  Century Redwood City, Generations United to sponsoring this movie with Bravemaker http://www.collisionsmovie.com/
Friday, 6/7  Last day of school
Saturday, 6/8  Benefit Concert (featuring our very wonderful Benita Hopkins 5pm Irvington Presbyterian, Fremont
Tuesday and Thursday, 6/11 & 13  Volunteer Orientation 5-7pm
Saturday, 6/15  AAD Dance performance, Redwood City

S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART & MATH

Three week camp: June 17 through July 5 (no camp on July 4th)

Locations: Schaberg Library/Roosevelt School & Redeemer Lutheran

Age Groups: 3rd-6th graders

Contact Benita Hopkins for more information at benita@generations-united.com or 510-967-6077

Already Registered? Pay here!


Number of children
Name of child (children)




Year End Update

Greetings, December 2018

We are so grateful to have you join Generations United, Inc. as we completely commit to the call to serve children and families at a deeper level. In 2018, we had greater vision and courage to engage with families who are facing such incredible trauma and pain as they decided whether to remain in the changing landscape in the Silicon Valley. Throughout the year, the community carried the weight and uncertainty of appending school closures in their underserved neighborhoods. As I write this letter, the school district just confirmed four school closures. In total, close to 2,000 children will be impacted as the district goes from 16 to 12 sites. Our role as a stable, trusted resource and educational support to the disenfranchised children and families is needed more than ever. We can only do this with your generous support.

Our mission is to empower the children and families of Redwood City & North Fair Oaks to reach their full potential…in this generation and the next. We believe we are bridge builders to strengthen communities. There are countless people in our city (young and old) who are blessed as they come together! We believe that as we stand together, we will become an even greater community. Through intentional engagement, ALL will benefit from a connection to one another as our lives intersect cross-culturally, intergenerationally, and across educational/income levels. We have a newly updated website www.generations-united.com where we will share many stories in 2019. We hope you will share yours with us! As we head into the new year, you will hear more about learning opportunities.

Since 2012, GU has stepped in to fill gaps in the community with academic enrichment programs, homework centers, ESL, parent support groups, family dinners, and fitness (e.g. Taekwondo and ballet). Together, these activities offer an important resource: community. GU’s leaders and volunteers collectively represent a crucial network of support that goes far beyond its programs. Such solidarity requires trust, and it’s this trust that enables our work to succeed. Many of our families are in deep crisis.

One family we are working with has two teenagers navigating adolescence and a 5-year old son who has physical and learning disabilities. They live with the fear of deportation and are working through expensive and difficult immigration processes. A GU volunteer is deeply engaged and loving this family on their difficult journey. We need many more caring volunteers to make a lasting impact.

We are grateful to continue our work and are exploring even more ways to engage with entire families in the community. We encourage you to continue to invite others and join us financially. We need to hire critical staff to lead our efforts as we expand our vision and mobilize more people to engage in cross-cultural, intergenerational, community work. The needs are great, but we know together we can make an impact!

Please respond today with your financial support, and have your investment doubled by a gracious donor who has offered to match up to $40,000 by 1/31/19. As our work to serve the women, children, poor and immigrants in our city is so important. We hope to be at the top of your year-end giving list. Thank you for standing with us and believing in us. I’d love to have you visit one of our locations soon! Sincerely,

Angie Ibarra, Executive Director

Celebrating our cultural diversity is core to what we’re about.

When we build relationships where we live, we discover the complexities of standing with the vulnerable and the commitment needed for long-term change. Proximity changes our perspective, compels our response, and keeps us committed to the journey of pursuing justice for all. Move beyond awareness and experience the power of proximity.

-Michelle Warren, The Power of Proximity

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New Website, New Challenges, New Energy!

Holiday greetings, dear friends!  

We are thrilled to introduce our new, freshly unwrapped website to welcome the new year.  Designed with love by our dear Silicon Valley partners, Exclusive Image, we hope that its vibrant colors and beautiful faces capture for you the renewed energy with which we enter 2019.  As the executive director of Generations United, I want to express my God-ward thanks for all of you. Some of you are reading this as long-time volunteers and supporters of our work.  Others of you may be learning about Generations United for the first time and are feeling called to join in. Whichever the case, your interest brings much food to the soul, nourishing me and our whole team for the good and hard work that lies ahead.

Many of you are aware of the paradox that is Redwood City and the larger Silicon Valley within which our city rests.  The innovation, technological prowess, and entrepreneurial spirit concentrated here, reverberates around the world. Unquestionably, the Valley is transforming the way that humans relate, work and live.  With prolific innovation comes prosperity. As geography professor Richard Walker points out, if this region “were a country, it would rank among the top twenty, just ahead of the Netherlands, Turkey, and Taiwan” with a gross domestic product of over $780 billion last year.  But such great prosperity comes to some…at great cost to many others.

As I write this, the Redwood City School District is in painstaking deliberations about the fate of several of its schools, all four of them at which Generations United has loved and served since our beginnings.  Fair Oaks Community School has been a place of safety and stability for hundreds of families in this beautiful but struggling Latino immigrant neighborhood for several generations. In fact, the librarian has been on this campus for 35 years! Tech wealth, particularly in these past two years, has brought housing and living costs soaring, and further displacement by school closures will further exacerbate the struggle to live and thrive in this place.   

But while there are reasons to dismay, we at Generations United are choosing to hope.  To have hope in the richness of community and collaboration we have with so many wonderful congregations, nonprofits, government agencies and, of course, the local schools (do visit the “Partners” page).  We are grateful for the growing numbers of businesses that are donating their skills, talents, backpacks and school supplies for the cause. We thank the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Saga Foundation for their generous support for leadership development and capacity building for our expansion onto new sites in 2019.  Last, and certainly not least, we celebrate the God-given gifts, time and energy of the hundreds of loving volunteers that do the day-to-day work of uniting people, across generations, for a better future.   

In closing, I wish to share a personal story.  Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to join a team from my church, Peninsula Covenant, on a trip to Spain.  Albeit a beautiful country, we went not to take in the sights but to visit the work of refugee intake, shelter and social services for the thousands of families that have been forced to migrate from Africa and other parts of the world due to war, famine, and poverty.  Suffice it to say, it broke my heart to see so many mothers and children (too often separated) stripped of everything they’ve had, and disoriented in a place not their own. But it also moved me beyond words to see the tireless efforts of so many volunteers, giving of themselves to the work of restoration and resettlement for precious, fellow human beings.  This experience changed my life, and gave me renewed passion and energy for the not-dissimilar challenges that so many children, mothers and fathers are facing right here on the peninsula.

We hope you enjoy our new website and, most of all, the opportunity it represents for you to join – or continue to journey – with us in the work of Generations United.  For those who are new, please go our “Contact” page and let us know what you’re thinking. Hope to hear from you soon, my friend!

God bless.

Angie Ibarra

Fair Oaks Thanksgiving 2018

We had a wonderful celebration with 100+ Fair Oaks family members (including children) attending the event. We prayed and Mary and I witnessed a miracle as donations came flooding in from many different sources. Many thanks to the wonderful people who brought turkeys, gravy, pies, so much food! Thank you to the amazing volunteers who served so beautifully and made this a wonderful celebration. Some FO families were at the RCSD board meeting until 12:30am yet made it out tonight with the cold, poor air quality and dark evening. Your smiles mean so much to so many! We had some wonderful dishes from the families and we do hope you got to try some!

Mary, it’s always an honor and joy to see your heart to serve the families. Your tireless commitment is an inspiration and I’m so very grateful to work with you for so many years. You are the BEST alumni EVER!

We continue to believe the BEST for our children and families as decisions are being made about school closure. We remain committed to our work of empowering families in NFO. Join us in working with children M-F after school. All are welcome as we have 128 children in the REACH program. We will continue to work with as many as we can through the end of the school.

Hoping you have an amazing Thanksgiving. We do have much to be grateful for. I know I’m extremely grateful for you and the work we do with children and families in Redwood City.