Books, school supplies and more funds might come to mind when thinking of the needs of a school district. But when asked for the needs of the San Pasqual Valley Unified School District in Winterhaven, Calif., Dr. David E. Bealer doesn't list textbooks and supplies or requests donations of money.
Although all those things would help, the superintendent points out a different type of need.
“Our students need jackets and socks for the cooler weather. Our shortages cover all of our district schools, although the highest need is at the elementary and middle schools,” Bealer said.
SPVUSD, which includes K-8 grades and high school in the same district, has about 850 students in five schools: preschool, elementary, middle, high school and alternative high/adult school. The district also has a community day school.
Forty-five percent of the student population is Native American, mostly members of the Quechan Tribe, and 41 percent are Hispanic students.
The district's role is to educate children and prepare them for success in life, but it's hard for students to learn when they don't have warm clothes or a full tummy.
Clothing donations can be made at the district office, which is located at 676 Baseline Road, at the corner of Baseline Road and Route 1.
Food donations can be made to the Imperial Valley Food Bank, located down the street from the district office at the Imperial County Family Resources Center, also known as the “One Stop” building.
The goal of the Winterhaven FRC is to ensure the education, health and well-being of students and their families, to increase the likelihood of student success.
The center integrates medical, social services, mental health and education service to provide a holistic approach to addressing the needs of youth and their families. The center serves not just the families of children attending the district, but all residents of the Winterhaven area.
Bealer pointed out that another way community members can help students in the district is by participating in Paradise Casino's Annual Toy and Food Drive. Community members may take a new toy or nonperishable food item to the casino at 450 Quechan Drive in Winterhaven. The toy giveaway will be held on Wednesday (Dec. 19) at the Paradise Events Center.
On a more academic level, “our district also has a continuous need for substitute employees in pretty much all occupations,” Bealer said.
Substitutes are needed for teachers (bachelor's degree required), custodians and groundsmen, instructional aides (paraprofessionals), clerical and qualified school bus drivers.
In addition, Bealer said, “we are currently advertising for a two temporary (long-term) elementary school teachers.”
For more information on ways to help, call the district office at (760) 572-0222.