Rialto neighborhood to benefit from healthy lifestyle grant

Families in one of Rialto’s underprivileged neighborhoods will get some much needed after school tutoring and mentoring thanks to a $25,000 donation from the Walmart Foundation.

The contribution will help fund The Leaven Program, an onsight nonprofit center at Quail Ridge Apartments aimed at improving the health and school performance of at-risk youth.

Representatives from the area’s local Neighborhood Market were on hand April 30 to present the check to The Leaven directors for its Pathways to Healthy Lifestyles, an all inclusive tutoring, fitness and health education program free to residents in Quail Ridge. The contribution to The Leaven was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s California State Giving Program.

Also on hand were Mayor Pro Tem Ed Palmer, City Administrator Mike Story, Rialto Unified School District Interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam and RUSD Board Clerk Joe Martinez, along with city fire and police officials in support of the program.

“These funds secure the program for the next year and allows us to continue providing the assistance necessary to these children,” said Mike Tadlock, The Leaven’s operations director.

The Leaven at Quail Ridge, which branches from similar programs in Northern California neighborhoods, is the first of its kind in the Southern California region and first opened its Rialto tutoring center in Sept. 2011.

It provides after-school tutoring during the week to students living in the Beechwood apartment neighborhoods along with youth residing within a mile radius.

Since opening its doors, the program has had a significant impact on students living in the neighborhood, Tadlock said.

“The success is reflective in grades and choices in lifestyle. It’s definitely making an impact,” he added.

Story has also seen the benefits of the program and said there has been a significant difference since The Leaven and program directors have been able to make changes internally, “better than what we would have been able to do because they work with the kids directly.”

 

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