Thanks to a grant from the San Diego Foundation, The Cesar Chavez Service Clubs managed a 2022 Summer Level Up Program for San Diego Unified middle and elementary school students. Created in summer 2021 by the San Diego Unified School District and The San Diego Foundation, Level Up SD, features in-person classroom instruction in the mornings at neighborhood schools with San Diego Unified teachers and afternoon summer activities offered by dozens of nonprofits in communities across the city. The Chavez Clubs was one of more than 100 non-profits selected to manage a program for the summer of 2022.
This summer, more than 80 middle and elementary students participated in the Chavez Clubs program. Students from Roosevelt Middle, Logan Memorial, Central Elementary and several other schools were led by Chavez Club Managers through a fun, five-week learning adventure covering socially relevant topics; Organizing & Advocacy, Arts & Culture, and Community Service. Chavez Club Managers Ariana Gallegos, Andrew Sanchez, Rosario Perez and Veronica Vargas led through students through an engaging curriculum they developed with Chavez Clubs Curriculum Director Natalie LeGerrette.
The Organizing and Advocacy Track allowed students to learn how to become involved in issues affecting their community. Students learned about young environmental activists like Greta Thornberg, studied issues like the proposal for free transit passes for students and they even got to visit City Hall to meet Mayor Todd Gloria and Council President Sean Elo Rivera.
The Arts & Culture track explored the impact of the arts on culture. Students leaned about photagraphy from local photo artist Nanzi Muro and they met with young adult books, Berenice Badillo and Beatrice Zamor and Macedonio Arteaga, a professor of theater from SDSU.
The students looked forward to Fridays when they went on a field trips to key places related to what they studied during the week. Field trips included a visits to the Barona Native American Museum, Chicano Park and to San Diego City Hall.
All of the students had amazing experiences and developed new friendships for the future. On the last day at Chicano Park, students exchanged phone numbers and many were in tears to be at the end of the program. Our club managers were also sad to see the 2022 summer Level Up come to a close but we all look forward to the opportunity to manage this amazing program again next year.