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Champions of Change in 2024

By William Redman
Community Writer
05/09/2024 at 10:11 AM

California's leading nonprofit provider of afterschool, expanded learning and school improvement programs, is proud to announce it has recognized Colton Joint Unified School District with its Champion of Change Award at the district’s board meeting on May 2.

Since 2010, Think Together has partnered with Colton Joint Unified to offer after school and expanded learning programs to students free of charge, serving more than 3,500 students this year. Within the district, Think Together runs TK-Kindergarten, traditional afterschool programs and non-instructional day sessions for summer, winter, and spring breaks.

“The Champion of Change Award for Think Together is given to partners that go above and beyond leveraging their resources to really make a huge impact and difference for their kids,” said Randy Barth, founder and CEO of Think Together. “This year, we’re proud to present this award to Colton Joint Unified School District for their innovative approach to scaling academic and enrichment programs so more kids can pursue their greatness.”

By tapping into a range of funding streams including, but not limited to, Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP) grants and After School Education and Safety (ASES) funding, Colton Joint Unified was able to successfully eliminate students off waitlists for their afterschool programs while simultaneously serving between 150-200 students daily at each of its 22 elementary and middle schools.

In addition, Colton Joint Unified has integrated various community partners into Think Together’s expanded learning programs. The programs introduce students to music through Drums Speaks©? and Dhasa Care Foundation, theater through L.A. Arts Group, as well as competitive sports through organizations like the LA84 Foundation.

“Colton has the unique ability to see a challenge and face it. They come in and make sure that not just every student has what they need, but every staff member has what they need,” said Rhonda Scott, Think Together’s General Manager for the San Bernardino Northeast region. “With the expanded learning opportunity, Think Together has been able to expand to offer more students and their families the invaluable opportunity for a safe place to be in the hours after the school bell rings.”

Think Together recognized Colton Joint Unified at the district’s public bord meeting held on May 2. The event was held as one of several events this spring celebrating expanded learning programs.

“It just brings so much joy to my heart to see what Think Together does for our community by providing opportunities where students can be happy and learn,” said Colton Joint Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Miranda. “It is just transformational. I’m very happy with Think Together and as long as I am superintendent, we are going to continue to offer these programs to our community.” 

About Think Together

For over 25 years, Think Together has partnered with schools to change the odds for kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements and scales academic solutions to take today's education leaders to the next level and contribute to a future where every student graduates with all life options available to them. What started as a single neighborhood afterschool site, now serves more than 200,000 students in over 675 schools, from San Jose to Palm Springs. Through a multi-pronged approach, Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators. For more information, call (888) 485-THINK or visit