Of Cars and Chili


We had a swell time at the recent Rodeo Chili Cook off and Classic Car Show. We sold juices, waters and sodas to thirsty patrons and enjoyed the excellent weather and camaraderie. JSHS Teacher Dean Colombo arranged for 6 seniors to help JSEF with the event. I want to thank Dean for sending such helpful, resourceful, attentive individuals. They even went all over the event and sold Prom raffle tickets as well as hauling beverages all over for mobile sales. Thanking them by name, they were: Hannah Clark with her dog Jack, Kelsey Connel, Markell Hogg, Samantha Lenzi, Molly McCain and Tony Singh. Thanks kids...you did a great job and we’re very grateful. Some reminders: please visit donorschoose.org. It’s there where you’ll find our local teachers listing classroom needs. We at JSEF monitor the site and donate to each and every request. At present there are some listings and any dollar amount is welcome. Typically, we seed the request with a healthy dollar amount, community members send in donations and very often, larger deep pocketed foundations pick up the balance when they see enough community interest. Our teachers then get the tools they need to give our kids the quality education they deserve.

Have you seen our recent API scores (Academic Performance Index)? JSHS and Carquinez both are going through the roof and we’re higher than most schools around us. Many thanks to our Superintendent, teachers and administrators for their diligence in giving our kids a quality education. Parents, community and businesses have a role here as well as your donations and work make a huge impact on providing the needs of our schools that the state could otherwise not provide. Thanks to everyone who has given to John Swett Education Foundation and if you’re due for a donation of any amount, send your tax deductible amount to JSEF, P.O. Box 455, Crockett, CA 94525. To make it even easier, you can make your donation securely online at this site. For questions or to brainstorm call Beverly Hill at 510-541-5778.

Buy “Get Away to Monterey” Tickets


Tickets to the Get Lucky Prom on Saturday November 10, 2012 are available right now online! This year's theme is "Get Away to Monterey." Dinner, drinks, dancing, a silent auction, a raffle, and a light show will be just some of the highlights. Some lucky people will also win an all expenses paid trip to Monterey or the latest iPad. Raffle tickets are on sale and you need not be present to win; tickets are $5 each or a book of five for $20 (Hint: we’ve not printed that many so odds are pretty good). To get your raffle tickets, call Beverly Hill at 510-541-5778 or you can buy them at the Prom. We’re just as busy as we can be collecting awesome goods, services and experiences for the Prom’s Silent Auction and what a great time to shop for the Holidays. Among the offerings are Disneyland tickets, Museum passes, movie passes, restaurant certificates, several art pieces and a whole lot more. You need to be present to take advantage of the auction (but who wouldn’t want to be at the event of the year?).

The Prom dinner buffet consists of: shrimp cocktails, caesar salad, garlic bread, chicken cacciatore, veggie lasagne and assorted desserts. Getting hungry? Come to the Prom. You can buy tickets by clicking below or call 510-541-5778. We’re dusting off our dancing shoes and primping for our Prom photos. In keeping with the Monterey trip raffle, our signature drinks include Grapes of Wrath (a wine cooler), Monterey Sunset (a twist on tequila sunrise), Old Man and the Sea and well, you get the idea. Ed Tannenbaum will be conducting an extraordinary interactive laser show for your entertainment pleasure and DJ Nic Capule will be spinning tunes.

So we’ll see you at the Prom, Saturday November 10th at the Crockett Community Center. Doors open at 7 p.m. Click below to buy your prom tickets online to make sure you reserve your place!


Help Our Kids Reach a Better Future


The Annual Giving Campaign is a once a year fundraiser that helps to preserve and enhance programs in our schools during a time when budget cuts threaten our children's educations. As a resident of Crockett, Rodeo, Port Costa, or Hercules, you belong to a larger community that prides itself on a strong public school system. To maintain the quality education our community has historically offered, our schools depend on grants from the John Swett Education Foundation to support numerous initiatives -- computers and technology in the classroom, new textbooks, support for the band, additional training for teachers, and more -- that help to fill the gaps left by limited state funding.

We cannot wait for the state of California to restore funding for quality education. Our children are growing and developing and they will not wait. We need your help if the John Swett Unified School District is to remain a premier district that continues to offer a full curriculum and enrichment programs for our children. Your contribution, whether large or small, directly assists our students and their education.

The John Swett Education Foundation (JSEF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation, meaning your contribution is fully tax deductible. Please join us in giving whatever you can and make a difference. Each dollar counts! All funds will be used to support student success in the 2012-13 school year. Your help is greatly appreciated.

To donate by check: Donations with a donation form (click to download) can be mailed to: John Swett Education Foundation P.O. Box 455 Crockett, CA 94525 Please make checks payable to JSEF.

To donate online: It's even easier to donate directly on our website. Just click the button below to get started:
  For answers to common questions about JSEF and donating, please
click here.


Our Schools: Then and Now


John Swett Unified School District (JSUSD) is a small school district located in northwestern Contra Costa County in California, serving the communities of Crockett, Rodeo, Port Costa, and the City of Hercules. JSUSD was rated the fifth most diverse school district in the entire country according to a recent New York Times article “Diversity in the Classroom,” which examines the impact of recent immigration on primary education. Their Diversity Index measures the percent chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group. Higher numbers indicate a more diverse student body. JSUSD received a score of 75% on this index, easily ranking first in Contra Costa County. Overall, the district’s 1,708 students in 2009 were: 23.5% White; 21.0% African American; 19.1% Hispanic; 16.9% Multiple Races; 9.4% Asian; 8.8% Filipino; 0.8% Pacific Islander; and 0.7% American Indian (California Department of Education). Linguistically, about 20% of District students are “English Learners,” with native languages such as Spanish, Punjabi, Pilipino or Tagalog, Vietnamese, Pashto, and more. Such great diversity simultaneously creates multiple challenges and new opportunities in educating students.

Guitar Auction Raises $9,350


It isn't every day that you get a chance to meet one of the world's biggest rock stars and the opportunity to bid on his guitar, but that's just what happened recently to the crowd at a special joint fundraiser for the John Swett High School Band Boosters and PAINTS (Promote Art in the Schools). If you haven't already figured out the name of the singer and his band from the photo and its background color, well, you probably need to listen to more good new music. Anyway, as many of you know our friend Billie Joe Armstrong and his Green Day band mate Mike Dirnt grew up in our area and once attended John Swett schools.

The guitar auction was the high point of PAINTS' Bird House Gala and Auction on May 25th, held in nearby Piedmont. After Billie mingled with the crowd the auction bidding began and the hammer didn't come down until $9,350, a very nice price for an autographed guitar. This amount was then split between the JS Band Boosters and PAINTS, leaving the Boosters with $4,675. However, Mr. Armstrong was kind enough to match this amount for John Swett, leaving the Boosters with the guitar's full sale price to spend on their myriad of needs (new electric and acoustic intruments, repairs to existing instruments, uniforms, etc.). JSEF's role in all this was simply acting as the fiscal agent on behalf of the smaller Boosters organization, but we thought the news was good enough to share.

Band Boosters helps to support and maintain the venerable band program at John Swett High School, which has been around since 1928. If you'd like to learn more about the group and the music program itself, be sure to visit their website at http://www.johnswettbandboosters.org.

If you're a Green Day fan and would like to make a donation of any size to support Billie's hometown school district or the band program at John Swett High School, please help us out by donating today. We're a tax deductible 501(c)(3) organization that supports John Swett Unified District schools and we definitely would appreciate anything you could give. Who knows, your support may help us produce the next musical prodigy from the area.

We'd like to thank Billie Joe Armstrong for his generosity and giving back to the community. We look forward to Green Day's three (!) new albums being released in the coming months, beginning on September 25th. Feel free to come back and play the Crockett/Rodeo area anytime!