The Long Beach Unified School District will partner with the City of Long Beach on two U.S. Department of Justice grants totaling $529,000 to help prevent youth violence, enhance the safety and health of the community, and further implement the goals of Safe Long Beach, the City’s Violence Prevention Plan. The city announced the grant awards this week.
A $250,000 grant will expand community outreach and local resources to assist families and children affected by violence. Funding will be used to develop a public awareness campaign about the impacts of violence, and coordinate a citywide Family Strengthening Conference for parents, families, caregivers, service providers, social workers and the faith-based community. As part of this grant, expert training will be provided to more than 80 Safe Long Beach partners who offer specialized care and services for children that are victims of abuse or exposed to violence in the home.
A $279,000 grant will be used to support Long Beach students, improve school attendance and reduce truancy. City staff will work with LBUSD to further implement the “All In” attendance campaign and engage the community in helping to make sure students attend school regularly. As part of this partnership, LBUSD will receive $100,000 of this grant.
Earlier this year, LBUSD was honored by State Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson as a model of attendance improvement and dropout prevention. The school district plans to build on this success with the help of the latest federal grants.
Torlakson recognized LBUSD's use of data and other strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism. The school district last year reported a significant reduction in the number of chronically absent students, or those who miss more than 10 percent of the school year.