Students Interact With Officials In Summer Bridge Programs

(This article contains excerpts from rusdlink.org.)

Over the past several weeks, students enrolled in RUSD Summer Bridge programs have had a unique opportunity to learn about our community and government by speaking directly with local, state and national leaders. Congressman Mark Takano, Assemblyman Jose Medina, Riverside, City Councilman Mike Gardner, and Darlene Trujillo-Elliot, Assistant to Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey and Riverside firefighters were among those who took part in this project.

Photo credit: RUSD

Photo credit: RUSD

Students participating in the community history project included those in the AVID Excel Middle School programs at Chemawa, Sierra andUniversity Heights Middle Schools and English Language Learner students from across the district.  Working with Taylor Libolt, Curator of Education for theMission Inn Museum, students learned about our community, researched government roles and wrote and practiced interview questions for dignitaries.

My broad goal with our community history project is to teach students about local history in non-traditional ways,” Darlene Trujillo-Libolt noted. “This is accomplished through guided research, walking tours, photography, mural design, and of course oral history interviews.  I hope that our students were able to gain insight into the many untold and unseen histories of Riverside by speaking with and learning from our community leaders and professionals.

Photo credit: RUSD

Photo credit: RUSD

The Summer Bridge Programs are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.  Riverside is committed to nurturing an environment where everyone is involved and everyone has a voice.  Riverside is a city for everyone and by everyone. Riversiders respect and value the cultural heritage, distinct needs and varied input of each of our neighbors, while proactively engaging them across historical dividing lines.

To read more, click here.

Don’t Miss Restaurant Week In Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from riversideca.gov/dineriverside/)

Be sure to participate in Riverside Restaurant Week, and take advantage of all the great deals and discounts available.  Help support local restaurants and dine within the city.

Riverside Restaurant Week exemplifies seizing our destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  Participating restaurants throughout the city are being highlighted to promote the great dining experiences  available to Riversiders.   Our city promotes an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

Click here to see what restaurants are participating!

RestaurantWeek2014_spotlight-0

When is Riverside Restaurant Week?

Friday, June 20, 2014 through Sunday, June 29th.

Do I need to register?

No, registration is not necessary. As you dine at each participating restaurant, just let them know you’re there for the Riverside Restaurant Week special! Reservations are encouraged for those restaurants that accept them.

Who is supporting the event?

The City of Riverside alongside Riverside Downtown Partnership and Arlington Business Partnership.

For more information on Riverside Restaurant Week, click here.

 

Riverside Artnival Has Great Turnout

(This article contains excerpts from the Riverside Arts Council)

Artnival 2014 was a great opportunity not only in terms of serving a traditionally underserved population with a free, family-friendly event, but also as a cross-county promotional effort.  Approximately 300 people attended the event over the course of the day.  The Riverside Arts Council assisted The Community Foundation with the culminating activity of its Arts Regranting Program Inland Empire (funded through The James Irvine Foundation).

Photo credit: Patrick Brien

Photo credit: Patrick Brien

Victor Valley had a musical petting zoo, with one of the students served through the program there to demonstrate instruments for children and to guide them in trying the instruments out for themselves. The High Desert Cultural Arts Foundation had an exhibit of the work created by students, as well as a drawing workshop and a performance of work created in their children’s theatre workshop. The group from tps had an exhibit and a workshop.

This family oriented Artnival event is a great portrayal of seizing our destiny’s unified city pillar.  Riversiders from all backgrounds came together to be a part of the event and join in the fun.  People are brought together around common interests and concerns, while the unique character of Riverside’s neighborhoods and diverse communities are celebrated and valued. 

Photo credit: Patrick Brien

Photo credit: Patrick Brien

Events such as this have the power to have a far greater impact than numbers will show. One of the teenaged performers from the High Desert Cultural Arts Foundation is autistic. Until just a few months ago, she was non-verbal. When she began the program funded by The Community Foundation, she began to speak. At Artnival, she sang a number with her mother. No one in her family would have ever imagined that she would be able to stand up on a stage in front of a group of people, much less sing a song. Through Park and Rec’s sponsorship of this event, this girl was provided a therapeutic opportunity that will have a lifetime’s worth of benefits.

 

Riverside Experiments With More Affordable Public Area ‘Hotspots’

(This article contains excerpts from an article by David Downey, published in the Press-Entreprise on May 30, 2014.)

About the middle of last decade, municipalities across the Inland region were jumping on the broadband wireless wagon, vowing to blanket communities with “Wi-Fi” service and connect residents of all income levels to the Internet.  Riverside ended up being the only city to follow through. It hired AT&T to build and operate a system that debuted in May 2007. The idea was to blanket 95 percent of the city’s 83 square miles with free basic Internet access.

Riverside abandons nearly citywide system, joins area cities that have opted for more affordable public area ‘hotspots.’

Riverside abandons nearly citywide system, joins area cities that have opted for more affordable public area ‘hotspots.’

Seven years later, Riverside is abandoning what is now an out-of-date, little-used system, said Lea Deesing, the city’s chief innovation officer.  Revamping Riverside’s public internet capabilities is a large project that will benefit all Riversiders, regardless of socioeconomic status.  This project exemplifies seizing our destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.   Riverside has made it a priority to ensure that all residents  have internet access.  Our community leaders collaborate to address issues, which lead to more inventive and multi-disciplinary approaches. 

“We plan to shut it off on July 1,” Deesing said, adding that 1,600 devices on light poles and traffic signals will have to be dismantled.  Riverside opted not to spend an estimated $6 million to replace and modernize the network. Instead, the city has decided to experiment with hotspots, something other cities provide.

It is becoming increasingly important for people to connect to the Internet to obtain public services, apply for jobs and maintain bank accounts, among other things, the report states.

While Riverside had plenty of company around the nation in the area of public WiFi, it was on its own in Inland Southern California. A handful of cities, however, have opted to provide limited service in area hotspots.

To read the full article, click here.

Unbreakable Bond: American Soldier Opens Home To Afghan Compatriot

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Skylar Kund, published in the Commuter LBCC on May 28, 2014.)

Riversider Chris Grigsby, 48, spent 17 years in the United States Army Infantry. His last deployment was for 13 months in Afghanistan. In February 2006, during this deployment, he met Lais Khan.  Khan joined the Afghan National Army after the Taliban killed his father. When he learned to speak English he became an interpreter, who is capable of speaking four different languages.

MARJAH, Afghanistan (June 28, 2010) Seabees, Marines, Soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army take a tour of an area surrounding a newly completed Mabey-Johnson Bridge project. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ace Rheaume/Released) Image via Wikimedia Commons.

MARJAH, Afghanistan (June 28, 2010) Seabees, Marines, Soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army take a tour of an area surrounding a newly completed Mabey-Johnson Bridge project. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ace Rheaume/Released) Image via Wikimedia Commons.

When asked to comment on the relationship between Grigsby himself and Khan, Grigsby said, “He saved my life both directly and indirectly more than once.”  After creating an unbreakable bond, when Grigsby’s deployment was over he flew home, and the two went their separate ways. Khan continued his work for the U.S. government, and Grigsby returned home to Riverside, California. They didn’t know it, but they would meet again in a very different place.

Seven years later, Grigsby received a phone call.  “Lais worked for the U.S. government the last 9 years. Now that the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban is trying to kill him and his family,” said Grigsby.  When Lais inquired about receiving a special immigrant visa and moving to America with his family of four, Grigsby didn’t just offer help to this man who had saved his life: he offered his home. A year later, Lais’ family, a family none of the Grigsby’s had ever met, moved in, bringing three trunks of their only possessions.

Since moving in, the public outpour has been amazing. From food to a car, the Riverside community has reached out to the family. One donor named Sandra Reierson passed on her family’s car to the Khan family.  “We’re so glad it went to a good home. The first time we drove that car was to pick up our granddaughter,” said Sandra Reierson.

The transition for the family has been relatively smooth. The families get along well and the children have entered the local public school.  We would all be lucky to have friends like the Grigsby’s.

This story of friendship, adversity, and the resilience of the human spirit is a remarkable example of seizing our destiny’s unified city pillar.   We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.  Not only did the Grisby family generously open up their home, the people of Riverside made an effort to welcome the deserving Khan family as well, and that is exactly what sets our community apart from many others.  Riversiders are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation and world.  

To read the full article, click here.

 

Local Students Participate In State Competition

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Stephen Wall, published in the Press-Enterprise on April 26, 2014.)

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.  Three pivotal figures from the civil rights era took center stage Saturday, April 26, at Riverside Convention Center.

This year’s theme for the event at the convention center was “Rights and Responsibilities in History.”  Students from Valley View reenacted a Martin Luther King speech, the Montgomery Bus Boycott in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, and the Kennedy assassination.

Kieran Silva, a sophomore at Ramona High School in Riverside, explains his three-dimensional display, "From Silence to Action," Saturday, April 26, during National History Day - California, at Riverside Convention Center. Photo Credit: Stephen Wall

Kieran Silva, a sophomore at Ramona High School in Riverside, explains his three-dimensional display, “From Silence to Action” Photo Credit: Stephen Wall

“These historical figures that took a stand, it came with consequences,” said Gabriel Baxter, a 17-year-old senior. “JFK was shot and killed. Martin Luther King was shot and killed. Rosa Parks was sent to jail. It really goes to show you that no matter what, there’s going to be consequences if you take a stand. But the reward is sometimes greater than that consequence.”

Students participating at the state competition advanced from the school site, district and county levels. Projects included dramatic performances, documentaries, papers, websites and exhibits.

Kieran Silva, a sophomore at Ramona, created a three-dimensional display, “From Silence to Action,” about the harmful effects of pesticides. The exhibit was centered on Rachel Carson’s 1962 book “Silent Spring,” which spurred environmental awareness.  “I’m really passionate about protecting the environment, eating organic food, and trying to reduce my carbon footprint,” said the 16-year-old. “What we do today affects future generations.”

Isaiah Morrow, a senior at Ramona High School in Riverside, went back to medieval times for his individual dramatic performance about the First Crusade.  The 17-year-old wore 45 pounds of metal links and carried a sword. He had a bible, scrolls and a backdrop with a black curtain and a map of Jerusalem.

Isaiah Morrow, a senior at Ramona High School in Riverside, gives a performance about the First Crusade Saturday, April 26, at Riverside Convention Center. The 17-year-old was one of nearly 1,000 students across the state to participate in National History Day - California. The winners of the state finals advance to the nationwide competition June 15 to 19 at University of Maryland, College Park.  Photo Credit: Stephen Wall

Isaiah Morrow, a senior at Ramona High School in Riverside, gives a performance about the First Crusade Saturday, April 26, at Riverside Convention Center. The 17-year-old was one of nearly 1,000 students across the state to participate in National History Day – California. The winners of the state finals advance to the nationwide competition June 15 to 19 at University of Maryland, College Park. Photo Credit: Stephen Wall

“I want people to understand the past, to realize rights and responsibilities can apply to any time frame, and to remember such events,” he said. “It’s important to interpret every factor, and to analyze all the different elements of a scenario so the same mistakes don’t happen again.”

The students who participated in the event on Saturday are a model of the seizing our destiny pillar, unified city.  All of the students who were involved, with different backgrounds and beliefs, were brought together around common interests and concerns.  They put their differences aside and focused on a few of the pivotal figures from the civil rights era that have made substantial contributions to the country that we know today.  Riversiders are working together everyday to not only address local issues, but to also have a positive impact on the region, nation and world.

To read more, click here.