News & Announcements

Step Up Youth Challenge Underway

November 2, 2011

On October 13, 16 teams of middle school students from large and small campuses around the county arrived at the Visalia Convention Center to begin projects that could have long-term positive effects at their schools. The teams were motivated and instructed on how to develop a service-learning project that could change their school culture and community for the better. The program, known as the Step Up Youth Challenge, is sponsored by the Tulare County Gang Prevention Task Force.

Step Up Youth Challenge Will Kick Off on Thursday

October 11, 2011

More than 170 youth representing 17 middle and junior high schools from throughout Tulare County will participate in a summit to kick off the Step Up Youth Challenge from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Visalia Convention Center.

The Step Up Youth Challenge is a seven-month program designed to engage a diverse group of junior high students in a service learning-based Challenge Project that impacts their school culture and community. Schools completing a project will compete in a challenge to win grants for their school. The program is sponsored by the Tulare County Gang Prevention Task Force, whose goal is to decrease gang activity and support the growth of positive options for youth throughout Tulare County.

Schools participating in the summit on Thursday will attend various workshops to help them create a plan to implement a Challenge Project to address a theme that is locally important to their school or community. For example, schools might address gangs, drug abuse, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, and suicide prevention.

“One of the most important features of Step Up Youth Challenge is that the projects developed for each campus will be youth-designed and youth-driven,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. "We know from experience that youth-driven projects have a greater potential for success as students take ownership in the process. We are anxious to see what develops and track the positive affects at each school."

2012 Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program Application Available

 

2012 Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program Instructions/Timeline/Overview/Scoring Page

2012 Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program Application

2012 Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program Budget Worksheet

September 13, 2011

The Tulare County Youth Commission is accepting applications for the 2012 Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program. The grant program provides $100,000 in grants for 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations that operate within Tulare County. Please visit http://stepuptc.co.tulare.ca.us/index.cfm/step-up-grant-programs/youth-commission-agendas/ to download all Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program documents.

The Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for non-profit organizations that provide programs and services aimed at improving the quality of life for at-risk youth.  Preference is given to programs working with youth that are in a gang or are exposed to the gang culture in an underserved area, new start up programs or programs that leverage other funds.

"The Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program is having a positive impact for those organizations that receive funding,” said Mike Ennis, Chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. “The Board is committed to providing positive activities for youth and this program is one way we can fulfill that mission.”

District One Vacancy on Tulare County Youth Commission

June 8, 2011

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors is seeking District One residents to fill a vacancy on the Tulare County Youth Commission.  The vacancy was created by the resignation of Mary Rodarte.

“Mary Rodarte was an outstanding member of the Tulare County Youth Commission.  She always ensured grant funds were awarded to the most deserving applicant,” said District One Supervisor Allen Ishida.  “I am hopeful that we can find another person of Mary’s caliber to join the Youth Commission.”

Winning Submission Announced for Step Up PSA Contest

June 7, 2011

A pair of El Diamante High School students won the top prize in a Step Up public service announcement contest.

El Diamante High School students Josh Adams and Jacob Guerrero were among eight groups of students who submitted 30-second Step Up-themed public service announcements for the Slick Rock Film Festival, the San Joaquin Valley’s premier student film competition.

District Three Supervisor Phil Cox said the Board of Supervisors and the Tulare County Film Commission partnered with the Slick Rock Film Festival in an effort to promote the Step Up anti-gang program among high-school aged youth. Entries were submitted by students from Fresno, Madera, and Tulare counties.

“The fact that students from across county lines submitted entries for an anti-gang category tells me the gang issue is a priority for San Joaquin Valley youth,” Supervisor Cox said. “I’m proud of all the students who submitted an entry.”

 

Summer Night Lights Program Dates/Time Set

May 25, 2011

Dates and locations for Tulare County’s Summer Night Lights Program in Farmersville, Porterville, and Visalia have been set.

The program aims to curb violence and other negative activity by keeping selected parks and recreational facilities open 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. every Saturday night from June 11 through July 30. Each location will hold a resource fair and positive programming for youth and families that attend.

Residents interested in finding dates and updates regarding the Summer Night Lights Program can visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Summer-Night-Lights-2011/212555658774103.

Third Annual Step Up Goshen & Unite Event This Week

May 23, 2011

Goshen will be the site of a Step Up gang awareness and prevention event this week.

The Third Annual Step Up Goshen & Unite Summit will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 at Goshen Elementary School, 6505 Ave. 308 in Visalia.

Supervisor Steve Worthley, who represents Goshen, said the goal of the event is to inspire Tulare County families to live violence- and drug-free lifestyles, pursue educational achievement and connect to their community in a positive manner.

“We know that these events are important because they promote dialogue and awareness in the community, but follow up is equally important,” Supervisor Worthley said. “Having a third Step Up event demonstrates that ongoing gang education and prevention efforts is a priority in Goshen.”

Supervisors Seek Applicant for County Youth Commission

May 19, 2011

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors is seeking District Three resident to fill a vacancy on the Tulare County Youth Commission.  The vacancy was created by the departure of College of the Sequoias President Bill Scroggins.

“Dr. Scroggins was an excellent member of the Youth Commission and always had the best interests of youth in mind,” said District Three Supervisor Phil Cox.  “I am hopeful that we can find another person of his caliber to join the Youth Commission.”

Slick Rock/Step Up talk to KMPH's Great Day program

May 13, 2011

District Three Supervisor Phil Cox and Slick Rock Film Festival organizers visited KMPH Channel 26's Great Day Program today.

Supervisor Cox talked about the new Step Up category in the Slick Rock Film Fest.

Check out the video below:

Step Up Porterville Conference a Success

May 6, 2011

Porterville and Tulare County leaders hosted the first Step Up Porterville Conference on May 5. More than 600 people attended the event.

The below video was created by The Porterville Recorder.


The event was scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Porterville Church of the Nazarene on West Olive Avenue.

Concerned citizens, community leaders, community-based organizations, the faith-based community, school officials, city and county leaders, and law enforcement attended the event.

Step Up Service Learning Grants Awarded

May 3, 2011

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors Tuesday announced the four winners of the Step Up Service Learning Grant Program.

The Step Up Service-Learning Grants Program is designed to fund small-scale, youth directed projects that focus on reducing adolescent violent crime, aggression, delinquency and/or substance abuse.

Recipients of the Step Up Service Learning Grants and brief community project descriptions are:

2012 Summer Night Lights program kicks off this week
June 12, 2012
2012 Summer Night Lights program kicks off this week

Youth from throughout Tulare County will have a number of opportunities this summer to participate in safe, late-night recreation activities through the Summer Night Lights program.

Slick Rock/Step Up Mentioned on KSEE 24

March 29, 2011

Tulare County has partnered with the Slick Rock Film Fesitval, the San Joaquin Valley's primier student film festival. Slick Rock Film Fesitval event organizer Scott Smith appeared on KSEE 24 yesterday to talk about the film festival and several new categories, including one for Step Up. Read more to watch Smith in action.

Step Up Testimonial: Courage to Change
Step Up Testimonial: Courage to Change

Courage to Change of Exeter offers a great story on how a Step Up grant is changing the lives of at-risk youth.

Step Up Service Learning Grant Applications Available to High Schools

January 25, 2011

The Tulare County Youth Commission is accepting applications for the 2011 Step Up Service Learning Grant Program. The grant program provides $25,000 in grants for public or private high schools in Tulare County.

The Step Up Service Learning Grant Program funds small-scale, youth-directed projects that focus on reducing adolescent violent crime, aggression, delinquency and/or substance abuse. All proposals must include service learning projects. Only public and private high schools are eligible to apply.

"The service learning grants are great opportunities for high schools and students in our County," said Mike Ennis, Chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. “The Step Up Service Learning program provides youth with an opportunity to learn responsibility, work ethic and job skills while improving our community.”

Supervisors Allocate $100,000 to Non-Profits Who Serve At-Risk Youth

December 7, 2010

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors today awarded $100,000 in grant funding to eleven non-profit organizations throughout Tulare County through the Step Up Youth Activities Grant Program.

The County-sponsored program is intended to foster prevention and intervention programs that work with gang affiliated or gang exposed youth in Tulare County.

"The Board of Supervisors is pleased to fund these programs that provide positive experiences for Tulare County’s youth," Chairman Worthley said. "I commend each organization for the hard work that they do in making a difference for our youth."

2011 Step Up Junior High Service Learning Grant Applications Available

The Tulare County Youth Commission is accepting applications for the Step Up Junior High Service Learning Grant Program. The junior high service learning grant program allocates $20,000 for grants to Tulare County’s junior high schools. There is one $4,000 grant available in each Supervisorial district.

The Step Up Junior High Service Learning Grant Program provides funding for the selected schools to create student led projects that address gang involvement, crime and delinquency. Youth participants will create a project that positively affects their school and surrounding community. It is hoped that through the service learning program, junior high students will gain an appreciation for their school and nearby community and teach valuable lessons about commitment, determination and work ethic.

"We are very excited to offer this program for junior high schools in Tulare County," said District Three Supervisor Phil Cox. “The service learning program has been very effective with high schools, and the younger students should thrive in performing their community service projects.”

Poplar To Host Step Up Event

October 14, 2010

Tulare County Probation officials want to stem the blight of gangs and graffiti in the unincorporated community of Poplar by offering a Step Up event this weekend.

The Step Up to Our Future Poplar, scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, is designed to encourage and support families to work together as a community and provide contacts with local public safety and social service agencies of Tulare County. The event will be held at Pleasant View Elementary School, 18900 Ave. 145 in Poplar.

Service Learning Program to Expand to Middle Schools

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors today approved a $20,000 boost to the Step Up Service Learning Grant Program – a move that will allow the popular program to be implemented at middle schools countywide.

The Step Up Service Learning Grant Program is designed to fund school-based projects that target the involvement of school-aged youth who are gang-affiliated or at-risk of joining a gang. Since 2008, 18 high schools from throughout Tulare County have participated in the program. The Supervisors’ approval allocated funding for service learning projects at the middle school level.

“There is no doubt that the Step Up Service Learning Grant Program will make an immediate impact on the middle school youth who will participate,” said District Three Supervisor Phil Cox. “Giving our youth the opportunity to participate in service learning projects is an effective way to positively influence them before gangs can reach them.”

Terra Bella to Host Step Up Event Oct. 19

Leaders with the Tulare County Gang Prevention Task Force and the Terra Bella Union School District today announced plans for the first Step Up event to be held in southeast Tulare County.

The Step Up Terra Bella Community Summit will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010 at Carl Smith Middle School, located at 23825 Ave. 92 in Terra Bella.

“We want parents in the Terra Bella area to better understand how to deal with the gang issue,” said Frank Betry, Terra Bella Union School District Superintendent. “We also want to reach parents and students and teach them the skills to avoid being entangled with gangs.”

Tulare County Supervisor Mike Ennis, who represents Terra Bella, said the gang awareness summit's goal is to inspire families in Terra Bella, Richgrove, and Ducor to live violence- and drug-free lifestyles, pursue educational achievement and connect to their community in a positive manner.

“Step Up gang awareness summits are a great tool to promote a community-wide dialogue regarding the gang, drug, and violence issues that plaque some of Tulare County’s unincorporated communities,” Supervisor Ennis said. “The Board of Supervisors is proud to assist communities battle these problems that impact so many people.”