Monie de Wit for
Santa Barbara School Board
Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Monie de Wit. I am a local photographer, literacy advocate and parent. I am running for Santa Barbara School Board because I want to help many of our most vulnerable students by supporting them, their families and creating empathy, awareness and systemic change in our local public school system by making literacy a higher priority, improving communication with the board and community, and getting a FCMAT report, a state audit of our district. This will be the catalyst for closing our stubborn achievement gap and ending the school to prison pipeline which wounds far too many.
Santa Barbara is a tale of two cities. Most of us think of Santa Barbara as “paradise” with so much natural beauty, Mediterranean climate, protected and enriched by our Channel Islands and south facing orientation along with the Los Padres National Forest and beaches surrounding us. We are also home to wonderful music and enrichment with Arts and Lectures, the Bowl, SB Opera, the Arlington and Granada just to name a few of my favorites. What is less known, and in the shadows is the disparity within our school system and the fact that we have the second highest county poverty rate in a state with the highest poverty rate. Children raised in poverty have adverse childhood experiences.
Literacy is a human right. Literacy is also the Santa Barbara School District Achilles’ heel, it’s blindspot. Over half our typical students are not reading at grade level. All with learning differences are a negative 113 on CAASP Scores. La Cuesta High School 2018-19 4% at literacy and 2% math. Literacy disrupts the school to prison pipeline. Literacy lifts children out of poverty by increasing their self esteem and ability to participate equally in society. When a student can’t read at grade level by end of third grade 74 % will still be behind in high school with high probability of dropping out or getting pushed out of school by the school to prison pipeline. Many youth who struggle with literacy and special ed wind up in Los Prietos Juvenile Detention Facility. I am committed to ending the relationship between the education system and the justice system. Please listen to an exceptional photographer Richard Ross talk about the juvenile justice system and read his book, Juvie.
Please listen to Photographer Richard Ross and his first hand experience documenting the US juvenile justice system for over a decade. This usage is purely educational and does not mean to suggest that he endorses me. If we as a community want to stop wounding more children by pushing them out of the education system and into the justice system we must treat literacy like the human right it is.
Monie de Wit In The News
Talking with Santa Barbara School Board Candidate Monie de Wit
After Years of Blasting District, Outspoken Literacy and Dyslexia Advocate Makes a Bid for the Board ...
Newsmakers With JR Video Interview with Monie de Wit
Santa Barbara Board of Education candidate Monie de Wit discusses her campaign platform, including a change in how reading is taught, better district ...
Literacy is a Human Right
Talking with SB Board of Education Candidate Monie de Wit: ...