Kaiser announces $10.5M grant to help youth

Kaiser Permanente is contributing $10.5 million to support youth and violence prevention programs throughout Oakland.
November 29, 2010 5:57:35 PM PST
There's good news in Oakland for both police and the public schools. Kaiser Permanente announced a $10.5 million donation. It is desperately needed money that will sustain some programs that otherwise were on the chopping block.

"This is truly a transformative moment," said Dr. Tony Smith, the Superintendant of Oakland schools.

Oakland's superintendent and police chief were both elated at a press conference as Kaiser Permanente announced they were giving away millions of dollars to support community programs.

"We have a responsibility to play a leading role in improving the health and well being of this community," said Greg Adams, the president of Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Kaiser is the largest employer in the city. They're giving $7.5 million to Oakland Unified School District to keep the doors open to health clinics like the one at Oakland Technical High School. The money will help expand clinics into middle schools.

"People have been saying that our schools need to be the center of the community and with this grant it will only become more true," said Smith.

Another $2 million will support a project called "Remember Them" to build a social justice monument and park and teach children about famous humanitarians and another $1 million will save an Oakland police program called "Our Kids" or "OK."

"I wasn't expecting this much. I would have been happy with $100, but end up with $1 million? That's outrageous, that's good stuff," said Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts.

The money will keep the police department's violence prevention program going for three years.

"Mentoring is seeing police officers in a positive light, not someone who takes your mother, or dad or aunt to jail, but helping you to succeed, that's the function of our job," said Batts.

Even this money isn't enough; Oakland schools hope the Kaiser donation inspires other Oakland-based companies and foundations to give more and Batts is going to Washington D.C. on Tuesday to seek millions of dollars in federal support of community policing.


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