If you ever visit Cesar Chavez Elementary School or Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, chances are you’ll run into someone who works for the Jamestown Community Center, whether it’s a community liaison or Zach, the security guard who also teaches a weight-lifting class.
Now, thanks to the nearly $320,000 it received last year from a federal school improvement grant — a three-year, $45 million award given to the school district to turn around the city’s worst schools — the community-based organization has expanded programs that have been in place since the late 1990s and implemented new ones at both Cesar Chavez and Buena Vista Horace Mann schools. This grant represents 20 percent of Jamestown’s funding.
“It’s our job to ensure that those kids in our programs are receiving the highest quality youth development experience, because it will increase their chances of success,” said Claudia Jasin, Jamestown’s executive director. “Every single one of our programs is built around that framework.”
The grant is part of the city’s initiative to offer after-school options to all students who want them. By this fall, 91 percent of the city’s youth could find an after-school slot, according to the San Francisco Afterschool for All Initiative.
How “the highest quality youth development experience” looks on the ground can differ widely depending on the student’s background, age and previous encounters with a structured classroom.
Here are different shades of that experience in comic form.