Lynwood Unified School District is among 37 local government agencies to receive a grant from the California Department of Justice Tobacco Grant Program as part of the state’s widespread efforts to reduce the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.
The $201,285 in funds – authorized under the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 (Prop. 56) – will go toward establishing a set of goals and timelines centered on enhancing resources for students via student-led awareness campaigns, youth outreach, prevention programs and more.
“The Tobacco Program grant is a significant step forward for our District and reinforces our commitment to fostering secure and healthy learning environments for our students,” Board President Alfonso Morales, Esq. said. “It will allow us to strengthen our resources for the betterment of our community and will aid us in continuing our mission of relieving barriers to success for all of our students.”
The DOJ received an overwhelming $48 million in grant requests with only $21 million being available statewide for the 2023-24 fiscal year. The 37 awardees include law enforcement organizations, public health departments, school districts and other local government agencies that collectively demonstrate the mission of the Tobacco Grant program and its approach toward enhancing the welfare of local communities.
In June 2020, for instance, the District joined school districts across the nation in filing a class action lawsuit against JUUL Labs Inc. for its role in creating a school vaping crisis and e-cigarette epidemic resurgence in youth nicotine addiction that impedes the learning environments in schools across California. Earlier this month, Lynwood Unified was awarded a $424,500 settlement.
“Our gratitude goes to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice for providing us with these funds for our community,” Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite, Ph.D. said. “The Tobacco Program grant underscores the District's unwavering commitment to student welfare and academic excellence and emphasizes our mission to provide a nurturing and secure environment in which students can thrive and reach their full potential.”
The Tobacco Grant serves as an addition to the District’s ongoing efforts in cultivating a proper learning environment for students, including Red Ribbon Week activities held in October, engaging workshops, and counseling resources that bring awareness to substance abuse and provide those struggling with the necessary tools to thrive.