As San Diego County and so many other communities across the nation have declared a local and public health emergency in response to COVID-19, Ocean Discovery Institute is taking significant and necessary actions to mitigate risks for our volunteers, staff, students, and the community of City Heights as a whole.
We have made the difficult decision to suspend our regularly scheduled programming, in alignment with San Diego Unified School District’s policies, through April 24th. In the meantime, we have worked diligently to refine our vision for impacting our students and community during this incredibly difficult moment in time. We continue to monitor the situation, the needs of our community and are working closely with San Diego Unified School District to determine how we can best support students and families while maintaining the safety of all.
To support these emergency efforts, we have established a special Community Action Fund. We are grateful that our partners at Price Philanthropies acted swiftly to commit a very generous leadership gift that will support our efforts and the health and wellbeing of the City Heights community.
We need your support now more than ever and ask you to consider a gift—of any size—to support this work. Please contribute to the Community Action Fund.
The following is a summary of Ocean Discovery’s emergency community action:
1. Address Food Security Needs
Through our partnership with Feeding San Diego, beginning on March 23rd, we will provide daily, healthy dinners to-go for our community. While breakfast and lunch is being provided at nearby schools, dinner has not been available, and this will fill a critical gap for our families who often are not able to access the sites available during earlier meal times.
2. Provide Critical Mentorship
As we know, mentoring plays a pivotal role in the development of a young person. During a time of crisis, these relationships become even more crucial. Our team of Discovery Fellows has built extraordinary mentoring relationships with our young people and is positioned to provide social/emotional support, inspiration, and resources. Collectively our Fellows will regularly connect with our 225 members by phone and virtual means.
3. Implement Tech Training
In low-income communities, the lack of access limits students’ opportunities in education, employment, health, social services, and limits the dissemination of knowledge. The San Diego Unified School District has responded swiftly to the current crisis so that during the week of March 23rd, our students will receive devices and data (i.e., mobile internet) to support their plan for distance learning. As the schools switch to on-line learning platforms, Ocean Discovery will provide the tech education our students and families need. This can result in improving immediate access to education and narrowing the digital divide for our students and families.
4. Offer Educational Supplies
Along with healthy meals we’ll be providing, students will be able to pick up age-appropriate education supplies and activities that will be theirs to use at home during this time.As we continue to provide immediate services to our community, we are simultaneously preparing our systems and curriculum for our return to full operations. At that time, we will be able to maximize the number of students we reach, as well as the quality of programming they will receive.
We know that this is a very difficult time for our community. While we continue to provide meals, mentoring, and STEM to Go educational packets at the Living Lab every M-F from 3pm to 5pm, we also wanted to share with you a list of resources that might fill a need. Below you’ll find links to:
- Educational Resources
- Wi-Fi, Internet Access, Utility Services
- Computer Distribution Application
- Low-Cost Computer For Qualified Individuals
- Health and Wellness Service
- Food Services
- Employment & Financial Support Resources
- Resources to Help You Recover from a Lost Job
- Housing Resources
- Diaper Banks
- COVID FAQs
Wi-Fi, Internet Access, Utility Services
Computer Distribution Application
Low-Cost Computers For Qualified Individuals
Health and Wellness Services
Employment & Financial Support Resources
Paid Family Leave
Paid Sick Leave
One Fair Wage
Resources and financial assistance for restaurant or hospitality workers
Fund for families
Fleet and Family Support Center
SD Immigrant Rights Consortium Monetary Support
Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants – DRAI Program
Legal Aid at Work Financial Support
Employee Rights Center
Resources for domestic workers
Hunger Free Kids Updates
P-EBT Application Deadline Extended
Emergency CalFresh Allotment Extended