Letters to the Editor

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Thank you to so many of you who have responded to our Year End Appeal. Your support enables Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) to offer a myriad of vital programs and support for Alameda students, including a relatively new focus: Mental Health.

So many of our young people are struggling with mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2021 37 percent of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44 percent reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year.

According to data from the California Healthy Kids Survey, 33 percent of seventh graders, 36 percent of ninth graders and 40 percent of 11th graders reported chronic sadness. Suicide was considered by 16 percent of seventh graders, 21 percent of ninth graders, and 19 percent of 11th graders.

At Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), surveys show that stress/anxiety and sadness/depression are the two most common challenges that our middle and high school students are facing, with 76 percent of those seeking services identifying anxiety/stress as their highest category and 24 percent identifying extreme sadness.

AEF is committed to supporting mental health care services by sponsoring Care Solace, a complimentary and confidential care coordination service that connects AUSD students, staff, and families with appropriate mental health care services. Can you help us support mental health care for our students, staff, and families?

To donate to AEF’s effort to provide mental health services to Alameda youth, visit www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=4U6SPEE3QYL2L.

If you are an AUSD student or family member and seek service, visit www.caresolace.com/site/alamedafamilies.

— Alameda Education Foundation

Alameda Community:
We, the members of the Alameda All Faiths Coalition (AAFC), have learned of the anti-Jewish and anti-Black graffiti at Alameda High School. The many faith communities represented in the AAFC share the conviction that all individuals deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and be offered the opportunity to live, learn, and interact in an environment free from prejudice, discrimination and harmful speech. Therefore, we must challenge anti-Jewish and anti-Black bias in all forms.

We respectfully encourage the AUSD Superintendent to take a strategic, intentional, and District-wide approach to addressing the concerns raised by the presence of the graffiti. We desire that each AUSD school offers a safe environment in which all students can thrive and succeed.

We respectfully encourage everyone who lives or works in Alameda to reflect on the dignity of every human being. It is our hope that the motto of Alameda, “Everyone Belongs,” will be achieved as everyone works diligently and consciously to ensure that all members of our city feel safe, respected and valued.
We offer our support to the schools and city as we commit to confront hate, challenge bias, and live into our shared values within our spheres of influence.

— Alameda All Faiths Coalition

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter to Alameda High School, Board, the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Board, AUSD Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi, and all residents of Alameda.

I have had the pleasure to be a volunteer at the Alameda Food Bank (AFB) for the past five years. It has been a privilege to work at the AFB, especially when COVID hit in 2020. The AFB rose to the challenge and the extraordinary efforts and changes made to accommodate the increased demand was simply extraordinary.

Yet, the AFB is operating under increasingly challenging conditions. The Alameda Point warehouse serves as the sole facility for all AFB operations and is in poor condition. The dilapidated facility lacks heat, has countless leaks, electrical and lighting problems, insufficient Internet service to check in guests, and the parking lot and walkways are uneven, subject to flooding and during the winter, there is no lighting. I have had to walk some elderly clients to their cars with a flashlight because they are afraid of falling. Even with all of these problems, the volunteers and AFB staff continue to provide the best service.

The AFB is everything the City of Alameda stands for — compassion, generosity and kindness to others. The mayor, City Council and community leaders regularly highlight the Alameda Food Bank for the important service it provides to our community. During this holiday season, I ask that our community leaders commit to ensuring the Alameda Food Bank has a permanent, safe and respectful facility, so that it can continue to provide food security to everyone who needs it, including our children and seniors.

— Karen Greaves

Editor’s note: To donate to the Alameda Food Bank, visit www.alamedafoodbank.org/ways-to-donate.