County Board of Education
President Mark Anderson has thrown down the gauntlet—literally. Tossing out an
oversized glove from the dais at this week’s board meeting, Anderson announced
"Mark´s Mustache Must Go," a campaign to raise $30,000 in scholarships for
low-income student to attend 6th grade camp, a San Diego institution for the
last 60 years. If that amount is reached, Anderson will shave his trademark
mustache, another San Diego institution, and approximately 100 more students
will have the chance to attend camp.
“I´ve had this little ‘cookie
duster’ of mine for 42 years straight, but it would be worth the sacrifice to
help 100 more students who otherwise couldn’t afford it get out of the city, go
to the mountains and make a lifetime of memories,” said Anderson. “Regardless of
how much money we end up raising, the funds are going to go to those students
who need it.”
Due to budget cuts, the number of students who are able to
attend 6th grade camp has been diminished. School districts have fewer funds to
assist students in need; many districts are opting to not participate because
they can’t afford to pay for students who can’t or won’t pay their own way.
The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), which operates the
camps, has kept the cost of attending very low. In fact, SDCOE has supplemented
camp for students by paying the difference between what a district/parent pays
for a student to go to camp and the actual cost of running camp, but that is no
longer sustainable. Anderson is challenging the three generations of San Diegans
who have attended 6th grade camp to step up and fill the void.
entity that has embraced the challenge is Bridgepoint Education, which has
generously offered a dollar for dollar match of donations made up to $25,000.
“Bridgepoint Education believes in promoting education and in supporting
youth in the communities we serve,” said Bridgepoint Education Chief Executive
Officer Andrew Clark. “We are proud to support the efforts of the SDCOE to
provide San Diego’s youth with an opportunity to experience sixth grade camp and
learn at outdoor school.”
"We appreciate Mark´s willingness to really
put himself out there on behalf of students, not just in his electoral district,
but across the County," said Dr. Randy Ward, County Superintendent of Schools.
"I hope the San Diego community will pick up the gauntlet like Bridgepoint has
and help us serve even more children."
An estimated one million students
have attended outdoor school in San Diego County. Sixth grade camp serves about
12,000 students each year, providing them hands-on learning opportunities that
incorporate the state science framework.
Find out how you can help by visiting the Outdoor Education Foundation website.