CA Lieutenant Gov. and locals discuss wellness center initiatives at Redwood

Simone Wolberg

Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, met with 16 other community leaders at Redwood on Jan. 20 to discuss next year’s wellness center.

Discussions revolved around plans to integrate outside professionals into the wellness center and classrooms, according to Jessica Colvin, Redwood’s Wellness Director.

Newsom, along with the mayor of Larkspur, the vice mayor of Corte Madera, Associate Executive Director of Huckleberry Youth Program, and Project Coordinator for Twin Cities Coalition for Healthy Youth, participated in the meeting.

Colvin said that Newsom came to support the initiative because as mayor of San Francisco in 2003, he piloted and funded work with wellness centers across hundreds of San Francisco schools.

“[Newsom] is very committed to the program here at Redwood.  When we asked him to join us, he replied with, ‘100 percent yes.’  He is so excited that Redwood, his alma mater, is bringing wellness to its campus,” Colvin said.

Newsom

In a recent draft of a wellness center pamphlet, Colvin wrote about on-campus collaboration “with community-based organizations, clinics and local universities to bring additional expertise directly to the students at the school site.”

“It can be very hard for outside community organizations and professionals to find a way into the school to provide student services,” Colvin said.  “We hope to make the wellness center a hub for the community members.”

To carry out this goal, Colvin has conducted over 200 meetings with 84 community members, including some high-level politicians.  She hopes to continue meeting with community members to grow support for the program.

“Redwood parents have shown overwhelming support.  The mayor from Larkspur said he is totally behind wellness.  So we are gaining a lot of headway,” Colvin said.

The wellness center is set to open in the fall of 2015 if enough money is granted for the program, Colvin said.

Colvin, along with Wesley Cedros, Senior Director of Student Services for the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD), presented community input and support for the upcoming wellness center to TUHSD board members on Jan. 13.

Colvin’s next meeting with the board is on March 10.  It will include information which will hopefully convince the board to fund these services, according to Colvin.

“This is it.  If we don’t get the money needed we can’t create the program we want.  We have big dreams and hopes for what a wellness center could look like—all we need now is the financial support to do so,” Colvin said.

If needed, other financial aid could come from Redwood parents, local politicians, and other community members.

According to Colvin, once the wellness center is fully financed, plans on its location and construction will be drafted.