For more than 50 years the nonprofit, nonpublic Aseltine School has served K-12 students with emotional disturbances and learning disabilities from across San Diego county – those who do not learn like other children and whose behaviors were thought “too difficult” to work with by other schools.
· 70% of Aseltine students live at or below the poverty line
· 80% of students live outside of the “traditional” family structure
· 15% of students have a “known” history of abuse (physical, sexual, or neglect)
For these most underserved, vulnerable children, Aseltine is often the first time they receive the support and encouragement they need to develop healthy mindsets and skills.
In a unified effort to protect the wellbeing of students, staff and school communities, Aseltine School, alongside other San Diego County school districts and the County Department of Public Health, made the collective decision to remain closed indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
This closure does not mean our work with Aseltine students has stopped. We, just like other districts across the country, have worked hard to implement Distance Learning opportunities for our students, but this new educational landscape does not come without challenges.
Funds raised will support:
· Technology Access & Internet Connectivity: With the majority of our students living at or below the poverty line, access to the technology and internet connectivity Distance Learning requires has been a major hurdle. Without access to these required learning tools, providing our students with the special services they require like Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Counseling has also proven a challenge.
A portion of funds generated will help support the purchase of Wi-Fi hotspots and Google Chromebooks to provide our most in-need students with the tools they need to participate in this new, remote learning model.
· School Emergency Fund: Many of our students are also struggling with the basic needs that they would usually depend on Aseltine to provide. We have families in critical need of food and basic home supplies on a daily basis. With current events, the financial struggles these families already face have been exasperated, especially as family members are let go from the limited income sources that have sustained them in the past.
A portion of donations raised will be used to supply our most in-need families with gift cards to purchase groceries and basic home goods.
· Staff: Aseltine School has had to dip into our very limited reserve funds to support staff salaries during this time of uncertainty – this will not be sustained.
A third segment of funds raised will be used to support our staff who, especially now, work tirelessly to provide our students with the support and tools they need to confront and overcome their obstacles. Staff who have transformed the lives of countless young people by simply taking the time to hear them, making them feel, often for the first time, both valued and valuable.
Like many, our students are feeling an overwhelming anxiety during this time. They worry about when they will be able to return to, for some, the only safe, stable environment they know – Aseltine School. They worry about where their next meal will come from and if their family members and Aseltine staff members whom they count on will make it through safely. These are fears no child should ever be faced with, and it is because of generous donations that we are able to offer them even a small amount of comfort.
Thank you for considering supporting our school. Together, we will get through this.