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Youth

RYSE Commons: building on dreams of Richmond youth

September 2019 marks a new beginning for the RYSE Center. One of Richmond’s most prominent youth organizations, the center recently broke ground on construction for its new, 37,000 square foot building, known as RYSE Commons. RYSE first opened in 2008. Conceived as a sanctuary from urban violence, it is a place where youth can work, seek therapy, hold discussions, learn new skills, and create art in a safe space. Now, 11 years later, RYSE Commons is a product of ideas…

City council tightens vaping regulations over health concerns

Richmond’s City Council unanimously approved a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes, including vapes, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t deemed safe. The measure, passed Tuesday night amid mounting nationwide concern over harm to health, will go into effect in 2020. There have been six vaping-related deaths reported in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Contra Costa County has seen one suspected case of vaping-related illness, according to Dr. Chris…

Richmond Art Center showcases the work of the Social Justice Sewing Academy

Bright, colorful quilts adorned the hallways of the Richmond Art center last Saturday. It quickly became clear that the meticulously crafted works of art carry meaning in every thread. A quilt embroidered with the image of a police officer choking a black person includes the stitched phrase ”I can’t breathe” on his face. Above the officer’s head hovers the question: Protect and Serve? The quilts are part of an exhibit titled “Empowering Threads: Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy.”…

‘We’re school shopping for mediocre:’ Richmond’s students and parents try to navigate a ‘broken’ education system

Seventeen-year-old Phillip Poe starts his days early. He gets up at 5:45 a.m. so that he can catch a ride to BART with a family member. Then he takes a train to catch a bus, arriving at school just before 8 a.m. His days end late, too. He often doesn’t return until 10 p.m., sometimes taking a long bus ride home after evening varsity basketball practice. After finishing homework, he gets to bed by midnight, catching less than six hours…

Report shows half of Richmond’s charter schools have substandard financial accountability and lack parent engagement

Seven charter schools in Richmond were among 43 charter schools in the state found to have faulty records for funds generated by high needs students, says a report by nonprofit law firm Public Advocates. The report published this year by the advocacy organization known for working with low income communities to bring strategic policy reform found that the charter schools were not abiding by state guidelines. The Local Control Accountability Plan and Local Control Funding Formula are state guidelines adopted…

Richmond small business owner kickstarts neighborhood party to boost childhood literacy

Reading is a struggle for many of Richmond’s youth. Almost half of students in West Contra Costa County Unified School District are unable to read at grade level.   To boost reading in Richmond, the owners of R&R Coffee hosted a party on Monday for local families at the Bridge Storage and Artspace, where food and books were given away. It was “like an adventure” for her children, said Richmond mom Sherab Osugi. She said the party made her children,…

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