From left are Riverside school district Superintendent David Hansen, retired Lt. Roy Mabry, Assistant Director Carrie Antrim, CIW Warden Kimberly Hughes and Mr. and Mrs. Ramirez.

From left are Riverside school district Superintendent David Hansen, retired Lt. Roy Mabry, Assistant Director Carrie Antrim, CIW Warden Kimberly Hughes and Mr. and Mrs. Ramirez.

CIW, other agencies partner to reward students

The California Institution for Women (CIW), Riverside Unified School District (RUSD), non-profit Correctional Employees Youth Group Continuing the Dream (CTD) and the Riverside Police Department recently participated in a ceremony at the Central Registration Center in Riverside.

The ceremony was held in honor of Monroe Elementary students who successfully improved their school attendance and grades.  The students received bicycles refurbished by inmates housed at CIW and donated to the RUSD by CIW and CTD.

CIW Warden Kimberly Hughes joined retired CIW Correctional Lt. Roy Mabry (who is serving as Chief Executive Officer for CTD), RUSD Superintendent Dr. David Hansen,  and Sue Lynn Jones, representing the Riverside Police Department, to present the Ramirez family with bicycles. The Riverside Police Department also provided the Ramirez children with helmets and locks for each bicycle.  Mr. Ramirez said his four children worked hard to get to school each morning and to improve their grades.

“The women (inmates) love giving back. It’s a win-win situation,” said Warden Hughes. “It allows the children to look forward to something and to have something tangible for their accomplishments of going to school and furthering their education. We are always looking for innovative ways to give back to the community.”

Retired Lt. Mabry said, “Bicycles seem to really work for kids. It’s good to see them focus. Although the program is just the beginning of a solution to a larger problem, it’s a good start.”

Superintendent Hansen said, “In the face of varying circumstances, our students work extremely hard to stay on track. It’s great to know that we have community partners who care so much about the student families of Riverside that they would reward our students with a donation like this.”

In March of 2015, CIW reestablished their bicycle refurbishing program and committed to providing bicycles to students.  CIW attends weekly School Attendance Review Board (SARB) hearings held in the San Bernardino and Rialto Unified School Districts.

The SARB hearings are held for chronically truant students who have more than 20 unexcused absences and are at risk of failing. During SARB, students are encouraged to improve their attendance and informed if they make a personal commitment, CIW and CTD will award the student with a bicycle. CIW and CTD have awarded approximately 20 bicycles to students who have made a personal commitment and rose to the challenge of improving their attendance.