Altamont Landfill Settlement Agreement
For 2 A Good Cause, Inc.
First let me say thank you to Altamont for allowing us the opportunity to expand our commitment to helping children, and schools in particular, in Alameda County.
Our first objective was to increase the number of schools with whom we were working. We were proud to add nine more schools. Though some received only a couple of deliveries from us, others received regular weekly to monthly deliveries.
Covid did distinctly affect our operations, and interestingly changed some of our goals. At the beginning of the grant year we were delivering books that some librarians had culled from their collection and delivering them to schools whose librarians and teachers could sift through and use. When the schools shifted to online learning and teachers nationwide were requesting books to be sent home with students, we began to deliver to those schools where parents were coming to the school . This was most easily achieved by delivering on the day and to the schools where parents were able to pick up food for their families from the school food programs. Hoover Elementary School, for example, became a hub in the community for agencies providing prepackaged meals, to the organic garden, and to the school lunch program itself able to provide for the community. We contributed a weekly supply of books for the families to take and keep. We felt that as our supply of books continues, this would not short the school itself in any way and maybe add some relief to the stress that learning at home has presented to some parents. It was all received with excitement and appreciation, and did at that point not need to involve staff and administration.
As a side note, though not involving Alameda County, we were able to ship books to some very rural schools in deep poverty districts. We were surprised and very pleased at the request for culturally and racially diverse books. After sending “I Am Malala” to a rural school in Georgia, the teacher wrote back that after she read it, she shared it with the principal and office staff who all loved it and were excited to share it with the students.
One school, Bancroft Middle School, was happy to receive 12 cases of books as there were homeless families in the park across from the school with students who had no way of learning online or attending Zoom classrooms. This is a community/school situation that we will continue to address.
It has become clear that next year we will need someone within our nonprofit to do in-person promotion to the librarians in the more wealthy school districts as there is clearly a hunger for books, even used books and we find no shortage of schools happy to have them.
It has also worked well that, in some of the districts that have previously donated to us, the librarians are still on staff and coming in to the schools. Contra Costa County, for example, still allows librarians to package books labeled for specific students and make them available for no-contact pick up. This has been a benefit to us in that with the school absent of students, more librarians are able to cull their shelves. This allowed us to continue operating as usual throughout the COVID pandemic.
One of the biggest changes in what our non-profit has been able to focus on has been our ability to expand our help beyond giving books to these schools with very low budgets. Because the schools are empty of students it is much easier to meet with principals and really assess how we can help and better meet their needs.
One such principal is Paulette Smith of James Madison Elementary School in San Leandro. She expressed that there were quite a number of students with learning differences, and some on the spectrum of autism. They had hoped to create a room that permitted such students to be helped separately. Thanks to generous grants like yours we were able to provide them with “wibble-wobble chairs”, balance equipment, kinetic manipulatives such as fidget spinners and squeeze balls. We sent over a piece of furniture that holds separate bins for textural engagement such as water, beans, magic sand etc. They now have a full setup for engagement of many levels addressing many learning styles, and we are in an ongoing way able and willing to help provide what this “sensory classroom” needs. Going forward, should this grant continue, we hope to begin to provide this opportunity to other schools.
The principle mentioned above wrote to us: “2 A Good Cause has been an amazing partner with Madison this school year. Thanks to you our students will return one day to a brand new sensory room!”
In addition, though most schools have a breakfast lunch program, many teachers still see children who are hungry. As we are able to afford, our non-profit has chosen to expand into providing some schools with a rodent proof lock up pantry. We have cultivated a connection with protein bar companies. Cliff Bars has already provided a school and a food distribution center with their bars on our request. We dream that every public school eventually has this capacity and connection so that teachers can stop spending their own salaries on supplies.
Below is a list of schools we are closely working with during Covid (it is not a complete list of the many schools we work with).
Donating books and learning materials to:
- Madison Elementary School, San Leandro
- Bancroft Middle School, San Leandro
- Montera Middle School, Oakland
- Hoover Elementary School, Oakland
- Westlake Middle School, Oakland
Soliciting books from:
- Springhill Elementary School, Lafayette, Ca
- Wagner Elementary School, Orinda, Ca
We thank you beyond what this can express for you care, interest and financial support in helping us do what we do.