Wils on Elementary School in Richmond, where I used to work as a substitute teacher, is an example of everything that’s right and wrong with our schools.
The right part is the students and teachers. The kids are so sweet and so eager to learn. And the teachers are so dedicated, despite laboring under constant fear of losing their jobs. But the wrong part is the appalling lack of resources. All the cultural enrichment programs have been cut, and these are kids who desperately need them because many have never had the cultural experiences that you and I take for granted.
Many have never been to a ballgame. Or the library. They have never traveled on BART. Or seen San Francisco, or the ocean, or snow. They have never seen the Cal campus, much less allowed themselves to dream that they might go to school there someday.
But for the past 28 years a nonprofit support group called the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund — Ed Fund for short — has tried to fill in the gaps.