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Community Map:

West Covina
Unified School
District

Crystal Sanchez
EDSC 522
The West Covina Community
After taking a close look at the surrounding areas and school districts
near my home, I chose to map the community resources of West Covina Unified
School District, especially because I had completed my observation hours at one
of the schools here. This district is not only very expansive, but also very diverse.
While exploring the resources within the city, it struck me that many of these
resources are meant to encourage after-school learning development as well as
social skills. Some programs in West Covina focus on parental involvement, and
others focus on the learning and social needs of students. Online resources were
also found among many of the middle schools and high schools, demonstrating
the district’s focus on developing the students’ 21st century skills. I chose to
format the community map through the abstract approach since the goal is “to
learn as much as possible about a variety of community assets and services”
(Tindle, 2005, p. 3). As educators, we should be aware of all the possible and
diverse resources available for the individual needs of our students. Since “our
concern is with those assets currently at a school or that can be accessed for use
by the school to provide support for students,” I decided to begin my search for
community resources by focusing on those used directly by the school district
(Adelman, Taylor, 2006, p. 978).
West Covina Unified School District
Programs
These programs are available to all students in all of the district’s schools.

➢ Y-ASES: an academic after-school enrichment program that provides WCUSD students with
additional opportunities for academic and social development and growth.
- It is partnered up with the local San Gabriel Valley YMCA
- Students meet up to 5 days a week from school dismissal until 6:00pm
- They are able to participate in activities such as: STEM, Homework Help, Reading Intervention/
Readers Theatre, Lexia Computer Program, CATCH, Bullying Prevention, Stop, Drop, & Read,
and Drama
➢ Online Resources: the district encourages schools to interact with online technology so that
students, parents, and families may fully develop 21st century skills
- This includes resources like OWL, Turnitin, Assist, College Board, Google Classroom, Khan
Academy, Schmoop, Proquest, Illuminate Parent Portal, and TECH Talk for parents and families
West Covina Public Library
The Library provides many opportunities for families to work together
towards the students’ education, especially during the summer break.

➢ Homework Help: free guidance and tutoring for students from K-6
at the library, and also available online through Live Homework
Help for students from K-12 and may be in English, Spanish, and
Vietnamese
➢ Family Storytime: allows the chance for parents to be active in the
development of their children’s reading skills
➢ Teen Advisory Board: a social opportunity for young adults and
teens from ages 12-18
➢ L.A. County Library Summer Reading & Discovery Program:
available to all County of L.A. Libraries, which includes West
Covina
➢ Discover & Go: free passes and tickets to particular museums and
cultural institutions during the summer for all those who have a
library card
West Covina Civic Center

The city of West Covina conveniently has the Library and the Civic
Center situated right next to each other, encouraging people to take
advantage of the local resources. The Civic Center includes City Hall, the
Police Department, and the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse.

➢ Shop Local After School Program: launched by the city in


partnership with the school district and local businesses, this
program encourages residents of the city to shop at local retailers
to give back to local schools
➢ Youth Council: enables students to interact with the local
government and have their voices heard, and it also provides
scholarship opportunities
West Covina Civic Center, Cont’d.

➢ Police Explorers: the city’s police department offers the


opportunities for young adults ages 14-21 to explore the
purposes, mission, and objective of law enforcement, it includes
career orientation experiences, leadership opportunities, and
community service activities
➢ Cameron Park Community Center: this park offers a variety of
programs, such as fitness, performing arts, sports, specialty
classes for youth and adults, youth and adult open gym, and
special activities
Hurst Ranch Historical Center
Hurst Ranch is a local, non-profit historical landmark in West Covina
that provides students and members of the community the
opportunity to learn about the city that they live in. The ranch was
established in 1906 and is open to the public today so that people may
explore and better understand the past; many students have the
opportunity to visit the ranch during field trips and personal visits.
Retired teachers, trained docents, and a Hurst Family member help
visitors experience life on a ranch in the early 20th century.
In Conclusion
The main interconnections between these resources revolve around social, academic, extracurricular, and
cultural aspects of the community. Students are provided with many opportunities to develop their role in society, and
parents and families are given the chance to interact and become more involved with their child’s learning and growth.
The West Covina Unified School District and the city’s community builds a strong support system for the overall
development of the youth; students are encouraged to be well-rounded and involved with their local society. Many of
these community resources are adopted and supported by WCUSD, even the city’s civic center, parks, and historical
landmarks. However, when one takes a critical look at these community resources, one comes to the conclusion that
there are certain potential gaps and missing types of resources. Because “Parents are also invaluable resources for the
academic, social, and psychological development of students,” I found that the West Covina community has plenty of
room to improve in this particular area (Comer, 1986, p. 446). Parental activity is encouraged in resources intended for
students from K-8, but once students hit high school, the encouragement of parent involvement is deficient. Also, I found
that there were several missing resources in regards to cultural development; students in the community need to be
provided with the opportunities to express their cultural identity, and the West Covina community barely even scratches
this surface. In order to fully provide students with the proper socio-political and academic support, the community
needs to offer these cultural resources. Since “the creation of learning communities based on the principles of parent and
community involvement, collaborative governance, culturally responsive pedagogy and advocacy-oriented assessment”
produces “outstanding results for migrant and low-income students,” it is critical that community resources are able to
address the needs of all students in the diverse population (Lopez, 2003, p. 7). Overall, WCUSD and its surrounding area
offer many interesting and well-supported resources for the students of the community , resources that cover the socio-
political, academic, extracurricular, and cultural elements of society.
References

Adelman, H., & Taylor, L. (2006). Mapping a School's Resources to Improve Their
Use in Preventing and Ameliorating Problems. In C. Franklin, M. Harris, & P.
Allen-Meares (Eds.), The School Services Sourcebook: A Guide for Social
Workers, Counselors, and Mental Health Professionals (p. 978). N.p.: Oxford
University Press.
Comer, J. P. (1986, February). Parent Participation in the Schools. The Phi Delta
Kappan, 67(6), 446.
Lopez, M. (2003, December). Transforming Schools Through Community
Organizing: A Research Review. Family Involvement Network of Educators,
Harvard Family Research Project.
Tindle, K., Leconte, P., Buchanan, L., & Taymans, J. M. (2005, April). Transition
Planning: Community Mapping as a Tool for Teachers and Students.
Research to Practice Brief, 4(1), 3.