Senator Portantino Secures Funding for Wellness Programs Benefiting the Bonita Unified School District

Monday, September 13 2021

For Immediate Release: September 13, 2021

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400

Senator Portantino ecures Funding for Wellness Programs Benefiting the Bonita Unified School District

Sacramento, California – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) announced today that his budget request for the La Verne San Dimas Educational Foundation has been approved by the Legislature.  The budget allocation will support wellness programs for students attending Bonita Unified School District in the cities of La Verna and San Dimas. Senator Portantino has long championed support for mental healthcare.

“Now more than ever, we need to support our youth and empower them with the tools they need to navigate their transition to in-person learning,” stated Senator Portantino.  “The pandemic has taken a toll on our students and it’s important they have access to the support they need.  Wellness programs are critical for the overall wellbeing and academic success of our students and I am happy to be in a position to help Bonita’s.”

The La Verne San Dimas Educational Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, was established in 1983 to support the students and staff of the Bonita Unified School District (BUSD).  The Foundation provides support for various programs in the school district, including grants for hands on history for fourth grade students, funding to expand arts curriculum, career technical education grants, science camp grants, and perseverance awards for students who have overcome obstacles.

Recently, the Foundation increased its support of students and staff by focusing on wellness.  The newly approved state funds will help expand the wellness focus by providing financial support for additional counselors at BUSD.  It will allow the Foundation to support much needed district programs that will ensure students’ physical, social and emotional health as they navigate their school years.

“Wellness to me is a combination of emotional, social, physical, and spiritual comfort,” stated Alta Skinner, President of the La Verne San Dimas Education Foundation.  “By providing services, therapy programs, and counseling for students and staff at Bonita Unified, we can help them with sustainability and purpose.  Every human being needs purpose. We are very grateful to Senator Portantino for helping us achieve these goals and improve the wellbeing of our students.”

Advocating for student wellness reflects the Senator’s dedication to improving mental health outcomes for youth. The Senator previously authored SB 972, which required schools to print the suicide hotline on student identification cards.  He also dedicated three years to pass SB 328, which pushes back school start times for middle and high schools.  Earlier this year, Senator Portantino introduced SB 224 and SB 14 to address the growing mental health crisis among California’s youth by implementing mental health education and training programs in schools.  He is the father of two daughters.  His youngest daughter volunteered in her school’s wellness center highlighting the importance of drop-in support opportunities for our campuses.