Think Together’s 2024 Champion of Change: Colton Joint Unified School District

This month, Think Together is proud to recognize Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD) as one of its 2024 Champion of Change award recipients.

Through 14 years of partnership, Colton Joint Unified and Think Together have worked together to leverage public funding, like Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P) grants and After School Education and Safety (ASES) funding to provide enhanced program offerings to 3,766 students in 22 schools across the district. Colton Joint has also received 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding at nine school sites within the district as well.

In addition to implementing Think Together programs in the district, Colton Joint Unified also supports the integration of community partners into Think Together’s afterschool and expanded learning programs, allowing more students to have access to innovative learning opportunities.

“The Champion of Change Award for Think Together is given to partners that go above and beyond leveraging their resources to really make a huge impact and difference for their kids,” said Randy Barth, founder and CEO of Think Together. “This year, we’re proud to present this award to Colton Joint Unified School District for their innovative approach to scaling academic and enrichment programs so more kids can pursue their greatness.”

Think Together students in Colton Joint Unified are being introduced to music through Drums Speaks©️ and Dhasa Care Foundation, theater through L.A. Arts Group, as well as competitive sports through organizations like the LA84 Foundation.

Within the district, Think Together runs TK-Kindergarten, traditional afterschool programs and non-instructional day sessions for summer, winter, and spring breaks. In addition to academic support, students are developing social-emotional learning skills, music composition, active listening and teamwork.

Salvador, dad to Think student Abrianna, has noticed positive changes in his daughter once she started attending Think Together in Colton Joint Unified. His son was enrolled in Think Together prior to his daughter, so Salvador can tell firsthand the positive difference having two kids in Think Together has made for his family.

“She gets her homework done. She doesn’t have to worry about that when she gets home,” shares Salvador. “Her drive. She’s very motivated anyways, but I think it just gives her a way that she doesn’t have to rely on us. She’s relying on herself to get things done.”

Brenda, a single mom, attributes her daughters’, Truly and Lyra, newfound spirit to their school’s Think Together program in Colton Joint. Their father passed away five years ago, resulting in an understandable shift in their moods, but Brenda says they are now more open since attending program and have made many new friends.

Through the partnership between Think Together and Colton Joint Unified, the district has been able to expand their daily program of before and after school to a total of nine hours at certain school sites.

“It just brings so much joy to my heart to see what Think Together does for our community by providing opportunities where students can be happy and learn,” said Colton Joint Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Miranda. “I’m very happy with Think Together, and as long as I am superintendent, we are going to continue to offer these programs to our community.”

Watch the video below to see how Colton Joint Unified School District is changing the odds for kids with Think together.

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