Fontana, California

Virtually every segment of the community collaborates every day in new and creative ways to give the youth of Fontana, CA the best chance at living successful and fulfilled lives. Fontana boasts many glowing examples of dedication to educate and empower youth, including the new Lewis Library and Technology Center. The community has long dreamed of a place where all children have equal access to education, where teachers can turn for classroom resources and students can get help with assignments, and where parents feel safe knowing their children are learning and enriching their futures.

The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council is designed to cultivate and support youth leadership in the City of Fontana. Since 2003, this partnership between the City and School District, has allowed Fontana's youth to work side-by-side with the City Council and learn leadership, local governance and organizational skills, while having a voice in policy decisions and taking an active role in addressing youth issues. Fontana high school juniors and seniors are appointed for a one-year term and must maintain a GPA of at least 2.3.

The Fontana After School Program Coalition is a three-year old partnership between businesses, and public and non-profits entities, as well as the Fontana Unified School District (FUSD). Nearly 3,000 public school students stay after school for homework assistance, activities, sports and a healthy snack. The program targets at-risk and latch-key children and aims to combat the childhood obesity epidemic.

In collaboration with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the City offers programming at the Jack Bulik Teen Center for at-risk youth including a Volunteer Internship Program where youth volunteer at local community centers while obtaining valuable transferable job skills, work experience, and supplemental work- related classes. The Boys & Girls Club provides support to young people that is significant but distinguishable from that which they receive elsewhere. Research shows that the Club plays a key role in decreasing delinquency, increasing academic achievement among youth, and enriching access to technology, as well as increasing career goals and improving attitudes toward school.

In today's No Child Left Behind climate, along with quickly growing populations and diminishing resources, time spent in school is no longer enough to ensure achievement. The Fontana Unified School District launched a drop-out recovery plan which provides students a high school diploma in a setting other than a comprehensive high school. FUSD's Workability Program places Special Education students in businesses for on-the-job training. Three high schools have Smaller Learning Communities Learning Grants, which provide students a smaller high school setting experience within the larger population. Fontana High School is a National AVID comprehensive high school - one of only a few across the nation. AVID is a fourth- through twelfth-grade system to prepare students in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility.