• Print
Community Engagement

Pacific Beyond Our Gates Recognized with Community Awards

University of the Pacific’s Beyond Our Gates community outreach is being recognized by two community organizations for efforts to improve the lives of children and to advance literacy in San Joaquin County.
Oct 14, 2013

Literacy organization San Joaquin A+ recognized Pacific with the Spirit of Literacy Innovative Program Award at its recent awards ceremony. The University was also notified that the Beyond Our Gates Community Council will be recognized with an ABC Award from the Family Resource and Referral Center of San Joaquin next month.

"Through the Beyond Our Gates initiative, Pacific is committed to improving early literacy in San Joaquin County," said Jennifer Torres Siders, community relations manager at Pacific. "We appreciate the recognition by these two important community partners in our effort to improve lives across the region, and thank the many students, faculty and staff at Pacific who have contributed hours, energy and expertise to Beyond Our Gates this past year."

Reading by Third CampaignSan Joaquin A+, which offers parents and educators programs and services to help teach children to read, recognized the Beyond Our Gates initiative for rallying the community's attention, energy and resources around the common goal of improved early literacy. The university-led initiative has developed an annual literacy report card, launched a free grant-assistance program and hosted a series of public dialogues, among other accomplishments. The Spirit of Literacy Gala Dinner and awards presentation was held on Oct. 9 at the Wine and Roses Restaurant in Lodi.

Three other members of the Pacific family were honored for literacy efforts at the event. Emeritus professor Robert Morrow was recognized as a Champion of Literacy. Also a Beyond Our Gates community partner, Morrow was honored for a life given to education; including as a fourth grade teacher, Head Start director, Pacific professor and director of the local chapter of Bring Me a Book. Alumni Janet Yarbrough '87,'88, administrator of the STEP-UP after school programs in Stockton Unified School District, received the School District Literacy Leadership Award and Lilian Guerra '96, ELA Instructional Coach at King Elementary School, received the School Administrator in Literacy Award.

On November 7, the Beyond Our Gates Community Council will receive the ABC Award in the Agency/School category for its work in developing initiatives to improve education in San Joaquin County. The awards ceremony will be held at University Plaza Waterfront Hotel. Emeritus Professor Robert Morrow, will also be honored at this event with an ABC Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The ABC Awards, for Action on Behalf of Children, are presented annually by the Family Resource and Referral Center of San Joaquin to honor individuals and organizations whose efforts improve the lives of children and families in San Joaquin County. Family Resource and Referral Center provides a variety of child and youth development services that promote family wellbeing.  

Book BuddiesAbout Beyond Our Gates

Beyond Our Gates represents University of the Pacific's commitment to community partnerships that improve lives in our region. The initiative includes the Reading by Third campaign, as well as the Beyond Our Gates Dialogues and the Tomorrow Project.

The Beyond Our Gates Community Council brings together individuals representing the education, business, law, government, nonprofit, arts, faith and media fields to help envision and structure Pacific's continued community-engagement priorities and to devise strategies for aligning the community's resources toward improving the quality of life in San Joaquin County. The current focus is in developing initiatives in the area of education, specifically early literacy.

The Tomorrow Project encompasses youth academies launched or enhanced by University of the Pacific through Beyond our Gates initiatives that are geared toward improving literacy, school retention, high school graduation and college readiness for the young people of our region.

Beyond Our Gates Dialogues of Distinction are community forums held each year to fuel our ongoing discussion of how best to support education and improve quality of life - introducing cutting-edge views and experience-tested ideas from the country's top thinkers and practitioners.

Learn more about the background and ongoing work of Beyond our Gates at BeyondOurGates.org.