Center Schools recipient of Nathan Yip grant

Courtesy Photo Middle School principal Luis Murillo, who is actively involved in Center School’s Parent Engagement program, addresses a group of parents involved with Center students.

CENTER — Center Consolidated Schools was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the Nathan Yip Foundation. This grant was first received in the spring of 2017 and the new round is a renewal and slight increase in funding. 
The Nathan Yip Foundation is focused on supporting access to education, particularly in rural schools. For more information about the Nathan Yip Foundation, visit their website at
The grant was secured and coordinated by Center High School Principal Kevin Jones with support from counselor Katrina Ruggles and district parent engagement coordinators Othon Mendez and Guadalupe Mendez. This grant supports home visits in the district in an effort to promote school to home communication, collaboration, and positive relations. 
According to research by the California University at Sacramento, home visits have been found to increase student performance, increase parent involvement, reduce discipline problems, and increase positive attitudes toward school. Toward this effort, in the spring of 2017, staff did fifty home visits with parents.  In the 2017-2018 school year, staff completed 214 home visits. This school year, this fall staff completed 122 home visits so far.
According to the foundation’s website, Center struggles with teacher recruitment and retention and has been working hard on bridging the gap between the community and its families, also the school and its teachers and administrators. Parent-teacher engagement is a priority.
The Nathan Yip Foundation continues to work with the community to develop its home visit program which compensates teachers for their extra-curricular outreach efforts and provides opportunities for parents to get involved and learn about their kids’ progress at school.
Teachers pair up, ensuring that one is a Spanish speaker, and connect with parents in their own homes. Not only does this enable teachers to live a day in their students’ shoes and empathize with their kids in the classroom, but it also creates an open line of communication for parents and teachers built on regular interaction and trust. The foundation reports incredible success with its outreach home visit program.

Diversity training for Center middle and high school teachers
The website also reports that through a partnership with Youth Celebrate Diversity (YCD), five teachers from Center Middle and High schools participated in the Diversity Leadership Institute for Teachers. This all-day event provided in-depth training focused on how teachers can translate their desire to celebrate diversity into actionable plans in the classroom, around the school and throughout the community.
YCD provided underwrote the cost for teachers to participate in the conference. NYF provided a grant for travel and lodging expenses while in Denver.

Math textbooks for
Center High School
Another project featured on the website is the foundation’s recent conversations with teachers at Center High School about budget cuts and lack of funding. Following this conversation, it was mentioned that students have not had new textbooks in many years.
Through funds raised from the 2018 Chinese New Year special live appeal, Center High School received a grant to entirely replace all 160 high school math textbooks for six levels of math courses, from pre-algebra to calculus.


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