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Archived News Release from 2006

For Immediate Release

Redwood City 2020 Awarded $90,000 Grant; Also Wins Prestigious San Mateo County School Boards Association “J. Russell Kent Exemplary Program Award

Redwood City, CA - May 8 , 2006 - Local collaborative Redwood City 2020 has been awarded a $90,000 grant ($30,000 per year for three years) from the Westly Foundation for its Youth Development Initiative. This Initiative provides a variety of positive youth development opportunities throughout Redwood City.

The grant will be used to expand Redwood City 2020’s youth development efforts by establishing a Youth Development Coordinator position at Kennedy Middle School. This pivotal position will lead the John W. Gardner Center’s research-proven Youth Engaged in Leadership (YELL) effort as well as other during- and after-school activities.

The Westly Foundation is thrilled to partner with Redwood City 2020 in providing meaningful opportunities for kids at Kennedy Middle School to engage in fun and productive activities," states Steve Westly, Chairman of the Westly Foundation. "Investing in youth is always a great way to leverage funds – we 're glad we can help.” Visit the Westly Foundation web site.

At the same time, Redwood City 2020’s Community School Program at Taft Elementary School has been awarded a San Mateo County School Boards Association “J. Russell Kent Exemplary Program Award.

The Community School Program focuses on student empowerment in a nurturing academic environment, promoting respect for individual differences, self-confidence, and self-esteem, enabling youth to overcome obstacles and achieve their educational and life goals. This outstanding program includes an on-site Family Center with counseling, home visiting support and education, health insurance, outreach and enrollment, and linking families with community resources; academic support in reading and math, homework help, a life skills curriculum, and recreation; homework tutoring at the on-site PAL facility two nights a week; a science specialist teacher three days a week; access to free dental care; an on-site Parent Coordinator; parent education programs, and more.

The Taft Community School effort expands the whole concept of school and education by opening up our doors to the neighborhood and bringing vital services inside our campus” said Michelle Griffith, Principal of Taft Elementary School. Visit the Taft Elementary School webpage.

The J. Russell Kent Award honors and recognizes outstanding programs in San Mateo County public schools. The award program provides an opportunity for recipients to share their unique and excellent programs with other educational groups and to learn about other county-wide educational efforts.

Redwood City 2020 is a remarkable community partnership, designed to support the success of all youth and families and to engage and strengthen the community. This collaboration is comprised of the City of Redwood City, the Redwood City Elementary School District, the Sequoia Union High School District, San Mateo County, Stanford University / John W. Gardner Center, Wells Fargo Bank, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and Kaiser Permanente.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter by sending an email to



Tajel Shah, Executive Director
Redwood City 2020


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