In the News

Contest - Directing Change

Directing Change Student Film Contest

Educate and engage students through the film making process resulting in more knowledgeable and compassionate peers, community members are future fimmakers, leadrs and advocates.

Program Goals:

  • Promote school-based prevention programs
  • Support education and advocacy efforts through showing films

The Program:
  • Is open to high school students in California
  • Invites students to develop a 60-second film about suicide prevention or ending the silence about mental illness
  • Awards both the first place winning team and the associated school cash prizes and awards
  • Provides every school with educational resources and a free suicide prevention or mental health program
  • Recognizes students and schools at an award ceremony in Sacramento at the end of the school year

The 2015 Directing Change Award Ceremony:
Riverside and San Bernardino counties will host an awards ceremony recognizing regional winners at the Lewis Family Playhouse in May.

What are the prizes for High School and University of Califonria Students?
For High School Students: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be selected in each category from nine regions within the state of California by a regional judging panel. (If less than 15 entries are received from any given region it might be combined with another region at the discretion of the contest organizers.) To see which region your school falls into, click here.

Regional Prizes in each category:
  • 1st place: $500
  • 2nd place: $250
  • 3rd palce: $250
  • Schools associated with the winning film in each category, in each region receive $250
  • All regional first place winners will be provided with travel stipends to attend a legislative briefing at the Capitol and the award ceremony in Sacramento
  • Winning ffilms will be featured on the Directing Change compliation DVD and the program website
The winning film from each region, in each category will move on to a second, statewide round of judging. A new judging panel will review and score the films and determine the first, second and thrid place statewide winners. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony in Saccramento at the end of the school year. In addition, the Directing Change team will select up to 3 films in each category to move onto the statewide round of judging.

For University of California Students: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be selected in eacch category by a judging panel and announced at the award ceremony in Sacramento.

Prizes in each categoy:
  • 1st place: $500
  • 2nd place: $250
  • 3rd palce: $100
  • First, second and third place winners will be provided with travel stipends (for up to two students) to atend a legislative briefing at the Capitol and the award ceremony in Sacramento
  • Winning films wil be featured on the Directing Change compilation DVD and the program website
Deadline to submit: February 16, 2015

Contact: Shanti Bond
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Register and Learn More at:

Lefty's Reading Challenge


It's that time of year again! We invite all schools from the Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles county areas to participate in one of the coolest reading programs around! If you are not yet familiar with Lefty's Reading Challenge, please read the information below!


Lefty’s Reading Challenge is a free literacy program that gives schools an opportunity to win money for their libraries, school-wide pizza parties and free race tickets for staff and students and parents!

Since 2009, Lefty's Reading Challenge has been an enormous success with thousands of students participating. Our 2014-2015 program had over 120,000 students read over 700,000 books in over 3,600 classrooms, all in just a month’s time. Isn't that cool?

Lefty’s Reading Challenge is seen by educators as a useful tool to stimulate reading and is in compliance with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) requirements.

So how does Lefty's Reading Challenge work?

  • Students complete 20 books or reading assignments during the month-long Reading Challenge
  • Students return a signed Registration Form and receive a FREE membership to Lefty's Kids Club
  • Based on enrollment, schools with 100% participation will earn prize money for their school library.
  • Schools must register to participate in the challenge.
  • If your school registers by November 7, 2014, your Principal and (2) guests will be invited to ride in the Official Pace Car on our 2-mile oval at speeds of over 120+ mph!
  • This program is FREE to all participating schools
Registration is now officially open! The deadline to register is January 9, 2015!

Register at:

Want to get your school involved? Contact us today.

For questions about Lefty's Reading Challenge contact:
Daisy Mercado
Account Executive, Youth Affairs

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Phone: 909-429-5611

News Release - Alcoa Foundation Grant $30,000

Alcoa Foundation Grants $30,000 to The Alliance for Education

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, California, Nov. 20, 2014 – Alcoa Foundation has announced a $30,000 grant to The Alliance for Education, San Bernardino County’s premier partnership between businesses and education communities working to foster Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning both in and out of the classroom in all age groups. The Alliance is focused on supporting strategic work in three areas: education, family involvement and economic and workforce development.

Alcoa Foundation made the announcement after Alcoa announced today that it had completed the acquisition of Firth Rixson, a global leader in aerospace jet engine components with facilities in the Sheffield area. The Company closed the transaction, which was announced on June 26, 2014, after receiving all of the required global regulatory approvals and arranging financing for the deal.

“Alcoa Foundation’s commitment to supporting STEM education is key in changing the future for our students and communities,” said Debra Mustain, Interim Director, The Alliance for Education. “We welcome their partnership and look forward to sharing exciting learning experiences in the field including opportunities to explore STEM careers and educational options beyond high school.”

The funds will support The Alliance for Education’s continued effort to increase interest in STEM by engaging diverse and under-represented populations in rigorous real-world academics and educational events. At least 2,500 students from 10 schools will increase their knowledge about postsecondary and career opportunities in STEM-related fields.

“Alcoa Foundation focuses on projects that increase the number of students enrolled in STEM studies,” said Scott Hudson, Principal Manager of Social Responsibility and Community Outreach, Alcoa Foundation. “We believe this partnership with The Alliance for Education will help foster future leaders in California.”

Alcoa Foundation was established six decades ago to extend Alcoa’s values to benefit the communities where it operates. Since 2000, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $10.3 million in Southern California, partnering with nonprofit organizations to address community development needs and advance Alcoa’s core priorities around environment and education.

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Alcoa
A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 62,400 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at and follow us on Facebook at

About Alliance for Education
The Alliance for Education is a partnership among business, labor, government, community and education in San Bernardino County in Southern California. Our mission is to produce an educated and skilled community that provides a qualified workforce for the continued economic well-being and improved quality of life for all residents. Since February 2002, the Alliance members and executive board have advanced a collaborative effort that has aligned common goals of key educational institutions, workforce preparation training organizations and committed stakeholders to achieve three goals: Education (Strengthen a standards-based, academically rigorous and technically advanced education with relevant, work-based learning opportunities provided by business, labor, and community partnerships), Family Engagement (Provide family education, parent engagement activities, and literacy support programs and resources through education institutions, businesses, and community and faith-based organizations) and Economic and Workforce Development (Utilize current systems of workforce preparation in order to effectively align common goals and resources and deliver services, education and/or training to students and adults countywide). For more information, visit, follow @Alliancefored on Twitter at and follow us on Facebook at