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Sign up now to participate in the Colton college and career fair

If you’re interested in making a difference in a young person’s life and helping your own business or institution, participant applications now are being accepted for the Second Annual CJUSD College and Career Fair, to be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at the Gonzales Community Center, 670 Colton Avenue in Colton.  

Four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, technical/trade schools, businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations are welcome to participate in this event at no charge. The focus is college and career readiness.

This event is a collaborative effort of the Colton Joint Unified School District and City of Colton with sponsorship from the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Horace Mann Insurance (Marcos Mata), Farmers Insurance (RossVeckey Agency) and Omnitrans.

“We are excited and proud to bring the CJUSD College and Career Fair to our community for a second year,” said Superintendent Jerry Almendarez. “Last year’s event was a huge success with more than 3,000 in attendance and we are looking forward to another great event where our students can get the information they need to plan for the future.”

“The Mayor and council are excited to partner with CJUSD for the Second Annual College and Career Fair,” added Colton Mayor Richard De La Rosa. “We are always committed to assisting the district’s students with a jump start to higher education opportunities.”

The fair will provide students and families a “one-stop shop” where they can meet representatives from four-year colleges and universities, community colleges and technical/trade schools as well as business professionals who will be on hand to discuss a wide variety of career pathways. Workshops also will be presented to help students to plan for the future.

New this year will be a “STEAM” activity center where younger students can explore hands-on science, technology, engineering, art and math activities.

A limited number of booths are still available at no charge. Please note that all presenters must showcase materials that are appropriate for school-aged children and intended to help them learn more about possible career and college choices. The district reserves the right to decline vendors or materials if they are deemed inappropriate or in violation of board policies.

Businesses and organizations can sign up to participate at

Colleges, universities or career/technical schools can sign up at

Those needing assistance with registration or for answers to more questions, please contact CJUSD Communications Specialist Jacquie Paul at 909-580-6502 or for more information. Because spaces fill fast, it is recommended that those interested sign up as soon as possible.

Gear Up & Read at the San Bernardino County Library

The San Bernardino County Library invites you to build your mind and participate in our Summer Reading Program: Gear Up & Read!

Throughout the summer, the County Library will host amazing programs and activities as well as give away fantastic rewards at all 32 of our branch libraries. Participating is easy: beam in to your local San Bernardino County Library to sign-up and become part of this read for rewards program to earn exciting weekly incentives.

Gear Up & Read! is part of our county community’s Vision2Read effort. Vision2Read,, is a project of the Countywide Vision,, designed to promote literacy in the county by highlighting literacy-related programs and volunteer opportunities.

This summer, the County Library has a goal of reaching a 10 percent increase in both circulation and participation in the Summer Reading Program, which would put participation at 40,000 individuals.

Reading for rewards is just the beginning. The Library will host various STEM-themed programs including storytime, crafts, discovery time as well as awesome performers who provide exciting, entertaining and educational shows the whole family can enjoy.

The Summer Reading Program is open to all ages so come on in and sign up the entire family. The best part – this program is absolutely free!

The fun doesn’t stop there. The County Library will offer special drawings for children and teens who meet the County Library Reading Challenge. The children’s challenge is to read at least 45 books or the equivalent in pages and minutes to receive a ticket. For teens, the challenge is to read at least eight books or the equivalent to get a ticket. In addition, each child and teen who reach the challenge will receive a ticket for a chance to win a Kindle Fire 7” tablet at their branch library. Also, for every 25 items checked out this summer, receive a ticket for our countywide drawing to win one of the grand prizes which include Samsung Galaxy Tablets, a Nintendo Switch gaming system, a 4 pack of Disneyland tickets and more.

Check out the San Bernardino County Library website,, for details on the kick-off events and program information.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County Library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

Vision2Read literacy campaign wins two national awards

The Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read, won two 2017 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) in the category of civic education and public information and for its website,

NACo is an organization that honors innovative and effective county government programs that enhance services for residents. Awards are given nationally in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. This year, NACo recognized 605 entries from 108 counties in 29 states.

“It is phenomenal news that Vision2Read is receiving national acclaim from the National Association of Counties,” said San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre. “It’s been exciting to see the collaborative nature for the support of our Vision2Read initiative for the advancement of early literacy across our region. With the implementation of additional early literacy efforts like the countywide Footsteps2Brilliance’s launch this year, I am certain there will be more great news and recognitions for our countywide literacy efforts in the future.”

Alejandre and Cal State University San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales are leaders of the Countywide Vision project’s Education Element group. The Education Element group is charged with developing strategies to achieve the Vision’s Cradle to Career Goal. The group identified early childhood literacy as a critical first step on the path to success. Reading at grade level by third grade is one of the greatest predictors of children’s success in school, their likelihood of going to college and their future earning potential, according to a 2010 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The community-driven Countywide Vision project took on literacy as its first public-facing campaign in September 2015 after learning that 69 percent of San Bernardino County third-graders did not meet state English language/literacy standards that year.

The County of San Bernardino, San Bernardino Council of Governments, our local city, school, special district, business and nonprofit partners recognized literacy impacts all elements of our community – public safety, education, wellness, jobs and the economy. An educated workforce will attract employers and investment to our county. Vision2Read promotes existing literacy and reading programs, directing those who need reading assistance to programs, encouraging members of the community to volunteer to teach others to read and raising overall awareness of the importance of reading for academic and economic success.

The San Bernardino County Information Services Department and United Ways of San Bernardino County worked together to design and provide a literacy resources and volunteer opportunities portal to the website.

“Our goal is to connect families and their children with the resources for a bright future and it was our pleasure to partner with the Countywide Vision project to do just that,” said Gregory Bradbard, president and CEO of the Inland Empire United Way.

Vision2Read launched at a September 2015 Family Reading Rally where the Molina Foundation donated 50,000 books to schoolchildren. In January 2016, First 5 San Bernardino invested $250,000 to expand the Reach Out and Read program in the county, which provides books to pediatricians to give to their patients to reinforce reading as a critical activity for brain development. In summer 2016, libraries countywide held a summer reading program challenge, increasing the number of participants by 28.3 percent in 2016 with 47,632 people compared to 2015 with 37,122 people. Over the first 15 months, 92,400 people participated in numerous events and reading challenges held at County Library branches.

On Dec. 6, 2016, the Board celebrated the campaign by recognizing 35 Reading Heroes – people nominated by the community for their contributions to literacy.

So far, more than 170,000 people have been connected to literacy programs through the Vision2Read campaign and its events.

Probation, Literacy Club install Little Free Libraries

The San Bernardino County Probation Department has partnered with The Literacy Club to install Little Free Libraries at two probation buildings in support of the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read.
The mobile libraries were unveiled April 24 at the Adult Central Day Reporting Center and the Youth Justice Center, both in San Bernardino. Built to look like dog houses, the libraries are designed to honor San Bernardino County Probation Department K9s, Chester and Cody.
Deputy Chief Probation Officer Tracy Reece attended the unveiling and explained that the Vision2Read campaign, launched in 2015 in San Bernardino County, coincided with Probation’s development of the Little Free Libraries Project. In line with the Countywide Vision, this program focuses attention on the importance of reading, and connects people to available literacy resources and volunteer opportunities in San Bernardino County.
Deputy Chief Probation Officer, Tracy Reece, read to a group of children at the Youth Justice Center afterwards she stated, “The gift of reading never ends, and it is our hope that this provides an added resource for our probationers and their children.”
The Literacy Club, a non-profit organization, built the structures and supplied hundreds of new books for the probation libraries. Youth participating in probation’s Gateway and Building Skills programs will eventually learn how to construct 12 additional libraries to be put in probation buildings throughout San Bernardino County.
“The libraries are a great opportunity for children visiting with their parents to enjoy a book while they wait,” said Jean Chadwick, Executive Director of The Literacy Club. Readers are encouraged to take books home from the selection, which ranges from preschool to high school interests.
The Literacy Club has built over 60 Little Free Libraries in just over three years and given away more than 35,000 brand new books to kids who need them the most. Libraries have been placed in police station lobbies, parks, and community centers throughout Southern California, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Every library is customized for each location, including the theme, color and project name.
More information about The Literacy Club and their libraries can be found at

Vision2Read partners launch transformative literacy program

A new countywide early literacy program called Footsteps2Brilliance was unveiled today during a national press conference at the San Bernardino County Government Center. The program is part of the San Bernardino Countywide Vision2Read literacy campaign, a collective impact initiative involving multiple agencies working collaboratively to increase literacy rates among children and families in the county.

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, County Preschool Services, Children’s Fund and First 5 San Bernardino are partnering to deliver the new literacy program.

Parents interested in signing up for the app for their children may visit

Footsteps2Brilliance is an innovative early learning mobile technology platform that provides free access to early literacy activities to all families with children birth through pre-K who reside in San Bernardino County. The program provides a comprehensive curriculum of more than 1,000 English and Spanish books, songs and games that are fun for children and address the vocabulary gap.

“Literacy is a priority in our county. Early literacy skills lay the foundation for a child’s success from cradle to career,” County Superintendent Ted Alejandre said. “Children who are not proficient readers by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.”

In January 2017, a cohort of 1,500 students in county preschool programs were selected to use Footsteps2Brilliance and measure their literacy growth. To date, participating preschoolers have read 22,240 books and more than 5.1 million words. As part of the launch, Alejandre and program partners are encouraging all families with birth through pre-K children in the county to join a challenge to read an additional 3 million words by Sept. 1, 2017.

“Footsteps2Brilliance enables us to cross the divide between children who have a seat in a preschool and those who do not,” said Diana Alexander, director of Preschool Services for the county. “We get to provide all birth through pre-K children with an amazing literacy software program that will bring several modes of learning right into their home. This is an exciting time for San Bernardino County!”

Among the benefits of Footsteps2Brilliance is that the platform’s educational resources can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet or computer with or without an Internet connection. Research shows that more than 80 percent of parents own smartphones or mobile devices.

“Through the Footsteps2Brilliance platform, families, schools and the community have access to high-quality educational tools to accelerate vocabulary and literacy skills using the devices they already own,” noted Karen Scott, executive director of First 5 San Bernardino.

According to Stacy Iverson – president and CEO of Children’s Fund – every dollar spent on quality early childhood interventions produces a $14-$17 return. “No single strategy offers a greater return on investment than providing children with the tools they need to read proficiently by third grade,” she said.

Research shows the greatest disparity of knowledge among children is the vocabulary gap – the number of words a child knows from birth through third grade. Children from low-income families hear 30 million fewer words before the age of four than their more affluent peers. This is compounded by the fact that 61 percent of low-income children have no books in their homes.

Approximately 20 percent of families in San Bernardino County live in poverty and 34 percent speak Spanish in the home (according to census data). Based on data from the California Department of Education, nearly 19 percent of school-aged students are classified as English Learners and more than 72 percent qualify for free and reduced lunch.

The San Bernardino County literacy partnership is unique and will serve as a blueprint around the nation to achieve early literacy success in dual language communities on a countywide basis.

“We are honored to partner with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools to give all children equal access to high-quality bilingual English and Spanish literacy instruction. Already, we have seen this unique countywide collaboration bring the community together with a strong commitment and a plan to support all early learners. We believe this will be a powerful model for other districts across the nation to follow,” said Ilene Rosenthal, CEO of Footsteps2Brilliance.

About San Bernardino Countywide Vision2Read:
Vision2Read is a collective impact initiative involving government, education, health care, public safety, business and labor, community and faith-based leaders, and parents and families. Vision2Read supports the San Bernardino Countywide Vision and its regional educational goal of supporting the success of every child from cradle to career. It is designed to help improve literacy throughout San Bernardino County by connecting people to literacy programs.

About Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc.:
Footsteps2Briliance, Inc. is the breakthrough early learning platform that accelerates early achievement by uniting the power of mobile gaming technology with the latest in cognitive research. Footsteps2Brilliance provides enticing, interactive, 24/7 learning experiences that digitally link school and home to give students the edge they need for success in school today and the world tomorrow.

San Bernardino County Library hosts Cover to Cover Club

burgerJoin the San Bernardino County Library as we partner with In-N-Out Burger again this year to promote reading among children this spring. The Cover to Cover program kicks off on Saturday, March 4 and will run through Saturday, April 15. This program will encourage students to read in all communities across the County.

To participate in this program, visit any of the 32 San Bernardino County Branch Libraries to sign up. Participants must be between the ages of 4 and 12, and a parent or guardian will need to sign to acknowledge reading accomplishments. For every five books read, an achievement award and voucher for a free hamburger or cheeseburger will be issued. Each child may earn a total of three awards and vouchers for the duration of the program.

In support of the Countywide Vision’s Vision2Read literacy campaign, this program will help to improve literacy among children ages 4 to 12, with the help of incentives, inspiring an excitement to read, providing achievement goals and encouraging a reading routine.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serve a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision, by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system, please visit http://www.sbclib/org/ or call (909) 387-2220.

San Bernardino County Library celebrates Seuss

dr-seussThe San Bernardino County Library invites you to join in the celebration of everyone’s favorite author, Dr. Seuss. A week-long celebration of reading and Dr. Seuss is in store, in support of the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read, and NEA’s Read Across America initiative. Starting Saturday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, March 4, each of our 32 branch libraries will host a special-themed storytime or event featuring popular Dr. Seuss stories.

All SBCL branches will host fun programs for the whole family which include crafts and, of course, reading favorite Dr. Seuss stories. Select branches will offer opportunity drawings and more. Please check with your local County library for more details.

NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading initiative and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

Wrightwood Elementary students form a ‘Walking School Bus’

walking-school-busA Walking School Bus is a group of children who walk to school together under the supervision of trained adult leaders. The program promotes good health, a cleaner environment, and reduced traffic around school.

At Wrightwood Elementary School, students participate in the Walking School Bus on most days and by the time they get to school they are alert and ready to learn because they have had their exercise. This is a great example of how children and adults can get physical activity into their daily routine.

Click here for more information about the program. Click here to get involved or start something similar in your community.

This program is a great example of children and adults who have a Vision2BActive!

Board of Supervisors endorse Vision2BActive initiative

Tvision-2bactivehe Board of Supervisors today endorsed Vision2BActive, a new campaign designed to encourage physical activity with the goal of improving health and wellness in San Bernardino County.


Only 23 percent of San Bernardino County adults and 34 percent of our youth get the recommended amount of physical activity, according to the most recent data from the California Health Interview Survey. In its 2008 issuance of “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended adults get 150 minutes a week of physical activity and children ages 5 to 17 were encouraged to move at least 60 minutes a day.


“We know that a healthy community means a prosperous community and that’s why we support Vision2BActive,” said James Ramos, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “I encourage residents to make the time to be physically active and take advantage of opportunities to play in the county’s parks, lakes, deserts and mountains. Let’s welcome 2017 with a New Year’s Resolution to get healthy.”


Health has a direct and profound impact on the quality of life of the county. Vision2BActive supports the public’s Vision for a “complete community”, especially the jobs and the economy, education, wellness and public safety elements of the community. It is a public campaign of the community-driven Community Vital Signs effort, which has completed an in-depth analysis of the current health of the county, developed evidence-based goals and priorities, and gathered resources to assist organizations and agencies in the county to develop or enhance programs and policies to better meet the health and wellness needs of residents.


Regular physical activity can produce a variety of long-term benefits for San Bernardino County residents regardless of their age, background or abilities. Physical activity is fun and includes the easiest movement such as walking or throwing a ball around to the most challenging exercise like running or mountain biking. Throughout the campaign, will serve as a resource and provide residents with information about physical activity events, fitness tips and a GIS map featuring places to be active in the county.


The San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) Board of Directors will be asked to endorse Vision2BActive at its Jan. 4 meeting.


On Jan. 7, all San Bernardino County residents are encouraged to get their New Year’s Resolutions started and participate in the Vision2BActive Challenge. Post a photo or video or livestream a physical activity such as gardening, walking, or playing basketball, on social media using #Vision2BActive and challenge three friends to participate. Posts will be shared on Facebook at San Bernardino Countywide Vision or on Twitter and Instagram @SBCVision. For inspiration, watch this video Ramos made for the campaign.


The Countywide Vision was adopted in June 2011 by the Board of Supervisors and the SANBAG Board of Directors in partnership with the community in order to develop a roadmap for the future of San Bernardino County, which includes creating a healthy and prosperous future for all who live, work and play here. Vision2BActive is the second public campaign of the Countywide Vision Project following the successful Vision2Read literacy initiative that started in September 2015.

Reading Heroes recognized for their contributions to literacy

reading-heroesThirty-five Reading Heroes who raise the bar for literacy throughout San Bernardino County were recognized by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday as part of the Countywide Vision project’s Vision2Read initiative.

In February, the Vision2Read campaign asked the public to identify people in the community who go above and beyond the call of duty to motivate others to read and improve literacy skills and nominate them as Reading Heroes.

“I’m pleased to learn that so many sectors in our community are collaborating to improve literacy in this county,” said James Ramos, chairman of the Board of Supervisors.  “These Reading Heroes come from private business, public schools, libraries, and community organizations. Several of these Reading Heroes are spending their own personal time to make sure our children and adults are learning what they need to succeed in life.”

The Reading Heroes are:

Laurey Aydelotte volunteers in classrooms at Wrightwood and Phelan Elementary and Pinion Mesa Middle schools helping children read.

Carol Baker of Baker’s Drive Thru sponsors the Baker’s Book Club and donated the land for the Baker Family Learning Center in Muscoy.

Amber Claflin gets the children of Etiwanda schools excited about reading by implementing a Battle of the Books competition and keeping school libraries open during the summer.

Dawn Coberly created an accelerated reading program at her school in the Snowline School District and works during the evenings to teach literacy to adult learners.

Stacy Diemert is a High Desert Juvenile Court school librarian who works with struggling readers to bring them up to speed and orders books in advance so they don’t have to wait for new material.

Karen Duns volunteers and works overtime to encourage children in Highland to read by helping select books that will pique their interest and connect them to lifelong reading.

Michelle Dusick works with local schools to encourage literacy for people of all ages on their journey to recovery and wellness in San Bernardino County.

Cindy Easterly helps children and adults build valuable literacy skills as a volunteer for the City of Rancho Cucamonga’s public library.

Skylynn Ellison is an 11-year-old from Fontana who is already a published author of the book “Sky’s the Limit: The Drama Queen,” about a girl who stands up to bullies.

Melany Espinoza is a student at Phelan Elementary School who does household chores to fund the purchase of new books to read to her own goats, cows and horses.

Alyssa Gammell is an Oak Hills High School student who encourages friends and classmates to read by writing stories so interesting they want to read more. Her ultimate goal is to become an author.

Dr. Jane Guttman is a teacher librarian for Juvenile Court Schools in San Bernardino County and encourages literacy for incarcerated youth at risk.

Lydia Harjehausen is a library technician at an elementary school in Yucaipa who motives children and young adults to reach each day.

Lisa Hazen dresses up as the Cat in the Hat for children at the Adelanto Branch Library and brings stories to life for children with her enthusiasm.

Linda Holden holds reading competitions and other literacy events for students and parents to motivate even the most unlikely readers to become successful at the Mission Crest Elementary School library in Hesperia.

Niki Jack is an avid reader who completed about six and a half years of adult reading in three months while a student at Mary Putnam Henck Intermediate School in Lake Arrowhead.

Martha Kennedy is a retired teacher who works with adult literacy learners that meets at Lugonia Elementary School in Redlands.

Cindy Kimble-Pirner inspires her preschoolers in San Bernardino County schools to learn to read in unconventional ways and through reading games such as “popcorn words” and “bubble gum” words.

Brad Letner is a Rotarian who established a literacy program aimed at pre-kindergarten children in the Victor Valley area which pairs community members with a child for an hour, three days a week to improve their literacy skills.

Pamela Martinez leads the successful Young Readers program at the AK Smiley Public Library in Redlands that serves thousands of youth each year.

Kristen Mungcal works with peer advocates and program managers in the county to help develop writing and reading comprehension skills for adults improving their quality of life.

Suzanne Oliver, a retired Victorville librarian, takes her trained therapy dogs to schools and libraries so children can read with them and to them to improve their literacy skills.

Jerry Patterson spends one day every week at Warm Springs Elementary School in San Bernardino reading to classrooms of children. At Christmas time, he provides a book to each student.

Frank Perez founded the Colton nonprofit Rewritten where he works with at-risk youth to empower them through education and literacy.

Denise Perry, a first-grade teacher at Lugonia Elementary School in Redlands, stresses the importance of reading to her students and their parents by encouraging them to read at least 15 minutes a day together.

Lynette Ramirez launched the Ready4Reading Book Club in the High Desert to collect books so underprivileged children, often transients, could have access to literacy.

Sharon Regalado, a retired teacher, works with adult literacy learners that meets at Lugonia Elementary School in Redlands

Ashenden Salazar tutors and reads at the STEM Charter School in Barstow helping other students achieve their goals.

Courtney Saldana implemented KinderGo which puts a library card in the hands of every Ontario kindergartner and holds the Ontario Teen Book fest where teens can meet their favorite authors in person.

Kenneth Thomas, an elementary school student who reads at a 12th grade level, constantly has a book in his hand and encourages his sister, his friends and classmates to read.

Jim and Judy Watson funded the Watson and Associates Literacy Center at Cal State San Bernardino, a tutoring facility designed to help students struggling to reach grade-level proficiency.

Diane and Paul Williams helped create the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library and they raise funds for Friends of the Library which pays for books and literacy programs.

Chris Wilson, a second grade teacher at Fairfax Elementary in San Bernardino, built a Reading Room in his classroom and filled it with donated books.

Vision2Read, an initiative of the Countywide Vision project, aims to raise the bar on literacy in our county by focusing on the importance of reading, connecting people who need help or who can help to literacy resources. Sixty-three percent of San Bernardino County third graders did not meet 2016 California English language arts and literacy standards and 32 million adults nationwide can’t read.

Literacy has an impact on a number of elements in our community such as jobs and the economy, education, public safety and wellness. When literacy skills are nurtured and encouraged, children and adults can reach their potential, the local economy can continue to prosper and the county will have a more educated workforce to attract employers to the region.

Visit for additional information about the campaign and literacy resources.

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