Tagged Education

Kelsey Jones, 93 “Drum Major for Youth Passes”

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones was an extraordinary businessman and self-taught C.E.O. of Jones Building Materials (“The Lumber Yard”) in Richmond, California for over 50 years.  Jones Building Materials was one of the first youth employment agencies in Richmond.  He hired many youth off the streets and gave them summer jobs to keep them busy and out of trouble.  Many of those youth went on to become school administrators and elected officials.  Jones Building Materials was the lone supplier for many new churches and other new buildings throughout the Bay Area.  He worked hard and gave much.
The Jones family joined Davis Chapel CME Church in North Richmond and later Kelsey Jones became one of the founding/charter members of St. Peter C.M.E. Church in El Cerrito, under the pastoral ministry of Reverend James S. Belcher.
Kelsey Jones was a born leader and served on the Steward Board, Trustee Board, Lay Council, Christian Methodist Men Fellowship, Sunday school, and most notably, the Usher Board.  What he enjoyed as much as the Usher Board, was working with the Board of Christian Education/CYF-Youth Department. Kelsey faithfully attended Church Conferences and Official Board meetings. The church could always depend on Kelsey to provide transportation. He created a van ministry that transported the young and old to conventions, meetings, conferences, and fun outings.  He also sponsored St. Peter’s Boy Scout Troop and Sports Teams and helped finance Richmond youth competing in the NAACP National Academic, Cultural, Technological, Scientific, Olympics (ACT-SO).
Kelsey Jones was a community advocate. He kept abreast of the issues and gave his support for resolution.  He was involved in several neighborhood councils, NAACP Life Member and a member of the Vicksburg, MS Social Club, King Chariots and Pride of Richmond Lodge No. 74, A.F. & A.M.
For many years Kelsey Jones worked closely with NAACP presidents such as W.A. Williams, Matt Barnes, Charles Blue, Lee Howard, Lloyd Madden and other preceding presidents of the Richmond Branch NAACP. Kelsey served on the Executive and Membership Committees.  He played a major role in annual membership drives soliciting memberships from business and churches, serving as the face for the organization to build positive working relationships and social justice for the African American community in Richmond.  Kelsey was also a founding member of the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP under the presidency of Judge Charles Wilson.
Kelsey was a master gardener; he planted each season and produced one of the best community gardens in West County. Church members, business associates, families and friends were welcomed to the backyard to harvest whatever they needed to complete a family meal.  His collard greens, green onions, beans, lettuce, beets, and cabbage graced dinner tables for many years.
Kelsey Jones mentored many West County youth that developed into successful and productive individuals.  His community involvement allowed him to provide resources and opportunities for youth and young adults who were interested in community service, business practices, and politics.  He was a teacher, financier, role model and friend to the young and old.

Mayor Davis Opens “Inventor’s Lab”

Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis is surrounded by children as he cuts the ribbon for the opening of The Lawrence Hall of Science “Inventor’s Lab” on June 26.

The Lawrence Hall of Science “Inventor’s Lab” had a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at its Vallejo site located at the Norman C. King Community Center 545 Magazine Street Vallejo CA 94590. The hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday 3PM – 7PM and Saturday and Sunday from 11AM – 4PM.
“I am encouraged by this important educational facility and activities for our youth” said Mayor Osby Davis at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, June 26, 2011.
Hazel Wilson, member of the Vallejo City Unified School District board, said that the center will serve not only youth, but school district staff, parents and the community as a whole. “We think this will be a wonderful opportunity,” Wilson said.
Services include:
•  Family fun for all.
•  Science- and engineering-themed birthday parties
•  School and community workshops for grades kindergarten through eighth
•  Professional development workshops for educators
Visit their website at, www.lawrencehallofscience.org OR call them at (707) 648-4620.

Chevron announced a new program with the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund

Chevron  announced a new program with the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund (The Ed. Fund) and online education charity DonorsChoose.org to fund science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) oriented classroom project requests submitted by public school teachers in West Contra Costa County.
In collaboration with DonorsChoose.org, which connects individual donors with public school classrooms in need, Chevron will provide up to $60,000 to support classroom projects in West Contra Costa Unified School District via the charity’s “Double Your Impact” program. Chevron’s funds will be used to match contributions made by donors to STEM-oriented projects before April 1, 2010.  If the $60,000 has not been fully expended after that period, Chevron will apply any remaining funds to other DonorsChoose.org projects across the West Contra Costa District in need of additional support. Chevron also is working with The Ed. Fund to raise awareness of the program to local school districts in an effort to increase the number of projects posted on the site and increase donations from the community.
“Supporting classroom projects in the Richmond area will inspire more students to take interest in the science, math, engineering and technology fields,” said Mike Coyle, General Manager of Chevron’s Richmond Refinery.  “By working closely with DonorsChoose.org and The Ed. Fund, we can create opportunities for West County school districts to implement creative new programs and provide teachers with the tools they need to encourage students to pursue successful futures.”
Any public school teacher in West County is eligible to submit project requests on the DonorsChoose.org website.  Projects can range from the purchase of lab equipment to new computers or even portable greenhouses. Everyday visitors to the site can browse the project requests and help fund projects of their choice by contributing any amount.
“Students in our area still need ongoing support to be given the educational experience they deserve despite the budget crisis that our schools are currently facing,” said Jennifer Henry, Executive Director of The Ed. Fund. “Chevron’s generous support and financial funding means teachers and students can have opportunities to offer innovative projects that support student learning despite some of challenges they are facing in today’s world.”
Chevron’s participation with The Ed. Fund and DonorsChoose.org in West County is part of the company’s statewide collaborative effort with DonorsChoose.org.  As with the West Contra Costa Unified School District program, Chevron is matching donations through the “Double Your Impact” campaign for selected classroom projects posted on DonorsChoose.org from public school districts in the Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles Basin.  The support for these programs is part of Chevron’s California Partnership, an initiative to invest in education and economic development in California by expanding the company’s relationships with nonprofits that are focused on supporting underserved communities. More information on the California Partnership can be found at www.chevron.com/ca.

PG&E’s Black Employees Give Scholarships

Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Black Employee Resource Group is now accepting applications from aspiring college students for financial assistance through the group’s scholarship fund. The program will provide ten university-bound students up to $1,000 to $5,000 each in aid for exemplary scholastic achievement and community leadership.
All college-bound students living within PG&E’s Northern and Central California service area are welcome to apply. In 2009, the utility’s employee resource groups awarded $246,000 in scholarships to help 157 students with their college expenses.
To apply for a scholarship, students need to complete a basic and supplemental application. Complete scholarship information, including award criteria and applications, are posted on the PG&E scholarship website at www.pge.com/about/community/scholarships/.
Completed applications must be postmarked and mailed to the specific employee resource group by March 1..