Afterschool Learning Provider, Think Together supports RivCo school districts with distance learning

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. — With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and public health crisis nearing its ninth month and no end in sight to the current lockdown and social distancing mandates, school districts throughout California and the nation are continuing to adjust and being forced to come up with innovative ways to serve the students within their districts.

One such program is Think Together, California’s leading nonprofit provider of afterschool, expanded learning and school improvement programs. Think Together offers virtual lessons focused on social emotional learning, healthy living and academic support; with academic enrichment and homework help that aligns with the curriculum students learn in their school day.

Funded in part through an After School Education and Safety (ASES) grant awarded to the City of Moreno Valley, Think Together’s Afterschool Expanded Learning Program served 4,000 students in the 2019-20 school year and has served more than 46,000 since beginning in 2007.


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Think Together partners with the City of Moreno Valley, along with the Moreno Valley and Val Verde Unified School Districts, to offer afterschool and expanded distance learning programs at 43 of the two district’s elementary and middle schools throughout Moreno Valley and Perris.

Throughout the state, Think Together supports public schools with virtual and safe, in-person afterschool programming, daytime distant learning support and vital ancillary services including wellness checks, Spanish-English translation services, meal and digital device distribution, learning packets, school supply kits and more for students in the region.

Think Together is providing elementary and middle school students across California with both digital and in-person afterschool enrichment, STEM-education, and social emotional learning. MVUSD and VVUSD are currently receiving programming in a virtual environment. Photo Credit: Think Together

So far, nearly 181 students have enrolled in VVUSD’s Think Together afterschool and expanded learning program via distance learning and planning is well under way to provide an additional 952 students with the option to enroll in Think Together’s in-person program.

In addition, 246 TK-6 students are enrolled in Think Together programs at MVUSD and participate in virtual lessons focused on social emotional learning, healthy living, academic enrichment and homework help that aligns with the curriculum students learn in their school day.

Earlier this week Think Together was proud to announce that the City of Moreno Valley was honored by the League of California Cities with the prestigious Helen Putnam Award for Excellence; for the City’s continuing commitment to innovation and improving the quality of life for residents in Riverside County. 

Sponsored by the League Partners Program, the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence is considered the highest honor bestowed upon a city project or program in California, and was designed to recognize and promote the outstanding efforts and innovative solutions made by city governments each year.

In addition to the Helen Putnam Award, the joint partnership was also selected as a 2019 California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) Award of Excellence recipient. The City’s ongoing stewardship of the program partnership, combined with the outstanding curriculum, continual grant-seeking efforts and academic and social opportunities provided to youth contributed to winning this award.

“We are happy to maintain Think Together services to offer additional support to families and are proud of the recognition for the Helen Putnam Award,” Moreno Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora said of the award.

“The Think Together partnership is a great program for our students that allows us to utilize that after-school time for academic enrichment and social development,” Kedziora continued; adding, “We appreciate and value the work that they do for our families, especially during this time that they need it the most.”

As part of its afterschool programming, Think Together offers students virtual and in-person recreation to help provide opportunities for physical activity and youth development. Photo Credit: Think Together

The successful collaborative partnership among the City, Think Together, and the two school districts has also allowed the City to be awarded a five-year federal grant to fund a similar program at an elementary school for the summer.

Of Think Together’s partnership with the City of Moreno Valley, VVUSD Superintendent of Schools Mr. Michael McCormick said, “Our Think Together regional leaders have been the ‘gold standard’ in terms of planning for the safe return of students and staff.”

“They have gone above and beyond in developing procedures that address every aspect of a student’s day from the time they arrive in the parking lot for drop off, to instructional support time, to break times, to departure and return to their parents/guardians at the end of the program,” McCormick continued.


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A strong advocate for expanded learning and afterschool programs such as Think Together, in October, Dr. Yxstian Gutierrez, Mayor of Moreno Valley served as a guest speaker at the organization’s Lights on Afterschool event to bring awareness to afterschool programs and their essential role in education.

The City also showed their support by lighting the iconic M on Box Springs Mountain in blue and yellow in honor of the advocacy campaign.

“In our program, we spend about $12 a day to provide each student with about three hours of academic support and healthy socialization, all within a safe, welcoming and caring environment,” said Mayor Gutierrez. “I’m no Wall Street stockbroker, but I know an obviously great investment when I see it.”

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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.