Making The Grade

National Headquarters  |  March 11, 2020

Making The Grade

If education is the key to success in life, what happens to those who can’t access one?

The neighborhood of Bayview-Hunters Point, San Francisco, is so dangerous that even nearby businesses refuse to deliver here.

Recently near the school there was a shooting at the the bus stop where two people were injured, one fatally shot, all around the age of 18…

Play Video

But the more dangerous a place is, the more desperate their need for help.

A Happy Campus is Born

The Happy Campus Program was created out of this desperate need in 2006. Volunteers reached out to schools in Bayview-Hunters Point to see how they could help.

Tzu Chi began by equipping the students with the tools they needed to succeed. Volunteers donated both backpacks and uniforms at the MAGIC Back-to-School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway in Bayview-Hunters Point.

Everyday when you put on your uniform you’re going to say to yourself, I am proud of my Bret Harte, and I want to do my best…

Play Video

Play Catch Up

These schools are often unable to reach what is considered average on the Academic Performance Index.

These children are as bright and as talented as any children anywhere. They may lag their peer group in some subjects but it is amazing how fast they learn when somebody helps them.

Play Video

Local university and high school students also volunteer as tutors. Many of the children in Bayview-Hunters Point would never have considered attending higher education, but that is now beginning to change.

Previous slide
Next slide

When I grow up I want to go to be a doctor, but first I have to go to college to get my education.

Play Video

In 2011, Malcolm X announced that their students had outscored the San Francisco School District in mathematics for the first time ever!

What they have shown the children is that they are a group of adults who will support them, guide them and put them on the path of success. And they come not once in a while, but always.

Roll Call

But despite volunteers’ efforts, attendance still remained a problem.

Tzu Chi partnered with the Board of Education to create the Perfect Attendance Incentive Program.

The fact that we honor and highlight all of our students that have perfect attendance, it really sets that example to show everyone that perfect attendance is a direct relation to how we help close the achievement gap in this area.

Play Video

Class Is In Session

Tzu Chi has even given the students a chance to learn about a completely new culture.

Play Video

During the summer of 2013, Tzu Chi volunteers took the children of Malcolm X Elementary on a field trip to Chinatown to practice what they had learned in class.

Off Campus

Bayview-Hunters Point has an unemployment rate of 19 percent, 4 times the average of San Francisco. To help, Tzu Chi created a job center.

Volunteers find jobs on the internet then help the parents apply for these positions.

I’m passionate to bring the job center to the school, because we cannot solve the problem for the kids until we help the family, help the parents.

Play Video

Tzu Chi even delivered basic essentials like food and furniture to the families that were most in need.

Tzu Chi has received recognition by the Board of Education for their work in the San Francisco area.

San Francisco wishes to acknowledges the Tzu Chi Foundation which has been an incredible partner to the school zone of Bayview. They provide incentives to increase attendance and volunteerism in our schools.

Play Video

The Tzu Chi League

Given the success of Happy Campus in San Francisco, the program is being replicated in other areas of the United States.

Happy Campus is currently in 4 regions — California, New York, Texas, and in Washington, D.C.

Tzu Chi will continue expanding the Campus to support students from low income families all over the nation. Will you help us give them a chance?


More News Stories