Lynwood Equity Department Improves Student Performance, Cultural Awareness during Memorable Year

Lynwood Unified School District’s Equity Department completed a second successful year of inspiring students while fostering equity and cultural proficiency throughout the community. Participating in more than 40 events over the course of the school year, the District’s students and families were exposed to high-level conferences, field trips and encounters with successful professionals.
 
“I feel like, through the Equity Department, the District has really made an effort to include people of all backgrounds and educate us on one another,” Firebaugh High School student Ariesce Crowe said. “This was a special school year, filled with events that will stick with me.”
 
During the fall, hundreds of Lynwood Unified students attended both Latino and Black College Expos to expand their higher education opportunities. LUSD parents participated in workshops and learning trips while administrative teams and staff members engaged in professional development sessions. Middle and high school students received daily mentoring and tutoring support with the help of the equity coordinators.
 
More than 300 elementary students attended fall and spring Leadership Academy sessions, which develop community leaders. Over 1,500 students took part in after-school enrichment activities through the LEAP and Think Together programs.
 
Through the work of the Equity Department, LUSD was awarded three grants this year: The 21st Century Supplemental Grant for expanded learning, which will award $850,000 per year for five years; California Arts Commission for school performances; and an Elevate Your GAME mentoring program grant from Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. In addition, the American Honda Foundation selected LUSD for $3.1 million of in-kind services to establish a STEM pipeline.
 
“We are so appreciative of our partners who have allowed us to dedicate more resources to enriching the lives of all students,” Equity Director Patricia Brent-Sanco said. “Our staff worked so hard this year to inspire our children through events and mentorship, and we’re pleased to see the effort reflected in student success.”
 
The Equity Department produced positive results in the classroom through its partnership with the National College Resources Foundation’s Movement Program, which employs peer advisers to improve classroom performance. As a result, all Lynwood, Firebaugh and Vista high school students in the program improved their grades.
 
“I want to congratulate our Equity Department staff on a strong year that raised the standard of success for the District,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “I had the pleasure of attending many of the events sponsored by the department, and they were bursting with energy and life lessons that made a strong impression on students.”
 
The Equity Department has continued its work through the summer, sponsoring a Scholastic Literacy Event in June that allowed 250 students and their families to explore the power of reading.