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File #: 19-230    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 3/7/2019 Departments: BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 1
On agenda: 3/26/2019 Final action: 3/26/2019
Title: Measure K: Adopt a resolution authorizing a one-time grant of district-discretionary Measure K funds, not to exceed $50,000, to Sojourn Project - Bay Area for the provision of mobile classroom presentations and immersion journeys for San Mateo County middle and high school students and teachers during the 2019-2020 school year, and authorizing the County Manager to execute the agreement.
Sponsors: Dave Pine
Attachments: 1. 20190326_r_Soujourn.pdf, 2. 20190326_a_Soujourn.pdf

Special Notice / Hearing:                         None__

      Vote Required:                         Majority

 

To:                      Honorable Board of Supervisors

 

From:                      Supervisor Dave Pine, District One

Subject:                      Use of District-Discretionary Measure K Funds - Supervisorial District 1

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

title

Measure K: Adopt a resolution authorizing a one-time grant of district-discretionary Measure K funds, not to exceed $50,000, to Sojourn Project - Bay Area for the provision of mobile classroom presentations and immersion journeys for San Mateo County middle and high school students and teachers during the 2019-2020 school year, and authorizing the County Manager to execute the agreement.

 

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BACKGROUND:

Measure K is the half-cent general sales tax initially approved by San Mateo County voters in November 2012 and extended in November 2016 for a total of thirty years. The Board of Supervisors (“Board”) and County staff have conducted study sessions and community outreach efforts to inform priorities for Measure K spending for FY 2017-19.

 

On May 16, 2017, the Board approved the FY 2017-19 Measure K allocation plan in which the County anticipates Measure K receipts of approximately $81.6 million annually. The plan included $7 million in one-time loans or grants each year during FY 2017-19, divided equally among the five supervisorial districts, for district-specific needs and projects. District 1 has submitted a request to use its district-discretionary Measure K funds as shown below and described in the Project Summary section of this memorandum:

 

District/Project

Amount

District 1 (Supervisor Dave Pine) - Sojourn Project - Bay Area: to support the provision of mobile classroom presentations and assist in providing scholarships for students in need

  $50,000

 

This item is consistent with the criteria for district-discretionary Measure K funds approved by the Board in December 2018, with the following exception: Sojourn Project has requested half the grant amount as an up-front payment, with the remaining half to be paid on a reimbursement basis upon completion of the project. The Board may approve this exception to the criteria by adopting the resolution.

 

PROJECT SUMMARY:

This is a request to authorize a grant to Sojourn Project - Bay Area (“Sojourn”), and to approve the resulting grant agreement in an amount not to exceed $50,000 to provide for mobile classroom presentations regarding the Civil Rights Movement. The County Manager’s Office will administer and manage the proposed agreement.

 

The mission of Sojourn is to enlighten through experiential learning to transform lives. Sojourn studies the civil rights movement and uses the lessons of the movement metaphorically to affect social change in student’s lives. Sojourn’s complacency-altering mobile classroom presentations confront students with the truth about inaction and empowers students to stand up for their values. Sojourn also provides immersive journeys, through which students meet historic figures that have become icons and who were ordinary people instrumental in defining the true character of the United States during the civil rights movement. Students become inspired to take the lessons they learn from these icons and implement them in their own lives and gain a deep understanding of the value of nonviolence, speaking out against injustices, and having moral courage to speak out for social change. Students also realize that language can become a weapon of violence, and that they need to use all their tools to speak out against inequality conveyed by racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic language. Through their participation in the Sojourn Project, students emerge as more engaged citizens with a focus on becoming positive change agents.

 

Sojourn’s year at a glance:

 

Phase 1: Schools reach out to Sojourn to schedule Mobile Classroom Presentations

Phase 2: Sojourn delivers a Mobile Classroom Presentation to students. At the end of the presentation, students can sign up to join their parents at a parent information meeting to learn about the Immersion Journey. (details below)

Phase 3: Students enroll for the Immersion Journey, and begin meeting with teachers in order to prepare for their upcoming trip. Students also join their parents at four parent information meetings.

Phase 4: Students travel on the Immersion Journey.

Phase 5: Students work to complete the college credit and community service requirements, supported by their teachers and Sojourn staff.

 

Sojourn’s program includes:

                     Mobile Classroom presentations to San Mateo County high schools. (Note: the presentations reach up to 25,000 students per year, depending on the number of schools participating in a given year.)

                     Presentations focus on a message of empowering youth through relevant Civil Rights stories, teaching non-violence and anti-bullying efforts, the power of one person, and registering eligible students to vote.

                     Sojourn offers two versions of the mobile classrooms to coincide with the school’s schedule: Block (90-minute sessions over two days, for a total of seven presentations), or Traditional (55-minute sessions during one day, for a total of seven presentations).

 

                     An optional Immersion Journey. Students and teachers who choose to participate/travel on the immersion journey spend the next several months reading selected texts, engaging in community service and fundraising. Sojourn also offers financial aid to students in need.

                     The Immersion Journey includes a 7-day trip to the Southern United States, where students visit landmark locations of the Civil Rights movement and meet real activists who contributed to positive changes in our history.

                     Sojourn offers three Immersion Journeys per year. On average, 100-150 participants join each journey.

                     The full cost of the Immersion Journey is $3,200. Sojourn encourages its participants to raise funds to offset this expense, and also offers financial assistance to students who qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch, or otherwise need help to raise their full tuition. Sojourn’s financial assistance ranges from 1-60% of the tuition cost, based on the participant’s need.

                     During the journey students complete rigorous coursework that centers on analyzing meticulously-curated and difficult to access primary source documents before they meet any of the speakers.

                     After the journey students complete 10 hours of community service, implement an action plan with other students from their school, and conduct an oral history interview to submit for 3 units of transferable college credit.

Measure K funding would support the expansion of mobile classroom presentations to more locations throughout the County, specifically in more middle schools, as well as supporting the financial aid scholarship pool for students participating in the Immersion Journey.

    Overview of Sojourn Project in the Bay Area/San Mateo County

Sojourn Project has operated in this region, and other areas of the nation, for 20 years. Presently, the following San Mateo County schools participate in the Sojourn Project: Aragon High School, Burlingame High School, Capuchino High School, Carlmont High School, El Camino High School, Hillsdale High School, Mills High School, San Mateo

High School, Sequoia High School, South San Francisco High School, Terra Nova High School, Westmoor High School, Woodside High School, and Woodside Priory. Sojourn also serves Taylor Middle School.

Goals of Sojourn Project in the Bay Area/San Mateo County

Sojourn Project’s primary target audience is public high school and middle school students, inclusive of all racial, ethnic, gender, orientation and economic identifications. Sojourn’s Mobile Classroom presentations and materials are carefully curated and updated with current events on a constant basis, being created on par with advanced placement American History class curricula, while also relatable to a broad range of academic proficiency. An estimated 25,000 students will participate during the 2019- 2020 school year in the Sojourn Mobile Classroom presentations, approximately 90 percent of which are from San Mateo County. The prime benefit for all participants, whether only through Mobile Classroom presentations, or the complete Immersion Journey, is a profound awareness of the American Civil Rights Movement and how the lessons of the Movement are relevant in the lives of every American, all races, and all walks of life in a contemporary context.

Sojourn Project 2019-2020 Fiscal Year Operations Budget (Note: exclusive of journey expenses.

 

Total Measure K Request: Not to Exceed $50,000

 

The release of funds will be contingent on the execution of an agreement providing for the County’s confirmation of the expenditure of funds during FY 2019-20 for the purposes stated herein. The County will disburse the funds to the following organization for the purposes described above:

 

Sojourn Project - Bay Area

10 Rollins Road, Suite 101

Millbrae, CA 94030

(650) 952-1510

info@sojournproject.org <mailto:info@sojournproject.org>

shannon@sojournproject.org <mailto:shannon@sojournproject.org>

 

PERFORMANCE MEASURES:

 

Description

Target

Increase the number of middle school and high school students participating on the immersion journeys by at least 10%

123 middle school students  158 high school students

Increase the number of community service hours by at least 10%

615 middle school hours  1,580 high school hours

Increase the number of college credits earned by at least 10%

123 middle school students earning 3 college credits  145 high school students earning 3 college credits

 

County Counsel has reviewed and approved the agreement and resolution as to form.

 

Funding for the Sojourn Project - Bay Area contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of a Collaborative Community by augmenting the understanding of local students and educators of the Civil Rights Movement and its continued impact on contemporary issues and public policy.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

There are sufficient Measure K funds for this specific FY 2018-2019 Measure K request. These funds are budgeted in the Non-Departmental Services FY 2018-19 Adopted Budget.