Borrego Springs, California, is a small desert community of some 3,500 permanent residents located over the mountains east of San Diego. The community is completely surrounded by the 650,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, so isolated that there are no stoplights and there is no residential postal delivery. The population consists mainly of two groups: seasonal and permanent. The first group is comprised mostly of “snowbird” retirees who vacation here during the winter months. The permanent residents whose children and grandchildren attend our schools are often Hispanic. They provide the backbone of Borrego’s service industries — hospitality, landscaping, and housekeeping. This group is generally hardworking, living with basic necessities, and utterly committed to seeing that their children have opportunities to succeed, both academically and professionally.
Students in the Borrego Springs schools are struggling and all too often failing academically. The State of California annually scores the academic performance of its public schools. Borrego’s Middle School ranks at the bottom, the Elementary School only slightly higher. Only 10 per cent of our 8th graders passed the state-mandated math test in 2013. More than half of our 2nd and 3rd graders are not reading at grade level, potentially setting them up for a lifetime of disappointments. Administrators and teachers struggle to close this learning gap, but the challenges are great. Nearly 90% of students in the Borrego Springs Unified School District are still learning English. Many are living in poverty.
BASIC (Basic Assistance to Students In the Community) is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization committed to empowering youth and adults in the Borrego Springs community to pursue educational opportunities and achievement by providing grants, scholarships and programs that will help these students reach their potential and realize their dreams.
To accomplish our goal of enabling, educating and empowering Borregans, we developed BASIC’s Cradle-to-Graduation Program (C2G), a five-pronged approach, encouraging literacy at all ages, starting with the cradle through to graduation at all levels.
For more than 20 years, BASIC has given out awards totaling approximately $620,000 in scholarships and grants to Borrego youth and adults.
Recent BASIC Accomplishments:
Recent BASIC Accomplishments:
- local sponsorship for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, bringing age-appropriate books to children under the age of 5
- Support began for an in-the-classroom math aide for the middle school
- Introduction of the Summer Reading Academy for 2nd and 3rd grade students
- Continuation of the Summer Reading Academy for 2nd and 3rd graders
- Launching of the Summer Reading Academy for middle and high school students identified as English as a Second Language Learners
- 2018 - the birth of Learning Academy!
- Introduction of a Mathematics Academy to boost mathematics proficiency of middle school learners
- Continuation of the 2017 Reading Academy initiatives
- 2019 Continuation of Learning Academy
- 2021 Continuation of Learning Academy (despite COVID!)
- one class each for reading, writing, middle school math and English Language Development