August 2018
Mt. San Antonio from Rancho Cucamonga: photo by Amanda Walker
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Healthy RC Partners with the Cucamonga School District

Local kids and families are set to benefit from new initiatives - in and out of the classroom.

healthy-rc kids

Healthy RC has partnered with the Cucamonga School District (CSD) to pilot a Community School Model (CSM) at Los Amigos Elementary. A Community School is both a place and a set of partnerships between the schools and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. The City of Rancho Cucamonga and the Healthy RC initiative are using the CSM as a comprehensive approach to build an equitable culture of health and ensure that all children in our city are healthy, ready to learn and reach their full potential. Health barriers frequently prevent children and youth, particularly those from low-income households, from actively engaging in learning. Children who are regularly absent from school due to chronic health problems, such as asthma, miss essential learning time and quickly fall behind their peers. Using public schools as hubs, Community Schools brings together many stakeholders to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. From financial literacy to health and dental services, to hands-on opportunities to explore career options in school and afterschool, this approach draws heavily on community assets to better support students and their families.

To focus collaborative efforts at Los Amigos Elementary, Healthy RC developed a CSM subcommittee that consists of various partners that include (but are not limited to) CSD, City departments, local businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, and residents. The subcommittee meets once a month to develop and identify targeted strategies to meet the specific needs identified by the community. As part of an extensive assessment of Los Amigos Elementary (surveys, bilingual focus groups, stakeholder meetings), Los Amigos Elementary families identified access to healthy eating and physical activity opportunities, neighborhood safety, lack of infrastructure, and access to healthcare and mental health services as top priorities.

Healthy RC has worked closely with the Cucamonga School District and Los Amigos families to identify their needs and develop targeted strategies to bridge the gap between families and resources. We are excited to continue this partnership and implement Community School strategies in Fall 2018 for the Los Amigos Community. Although this program is currently being piloted at Los Amigos Elementary, we look forward to implementing best practices and strategies at other schools within the CSD and throughout the City to make Rancho Cucamonga the healthiest city it can be.