Ever since the cross burning at Tokay High School a few years back, the Breakthrough Project has worked to encourage good relations among the increasing diversity of the people of Lodi.
The Breakthrough Project is a nonprofit corporation, generously funded and backed by General Mills, one of Lodi's finest corporate neighbors (and yes, I eat Cheerios every morning!)
The Breakthrough Project sponsors two standing task forces. The first is a "response" team which operates under a memorandum of understanding with the Lodi Police Department, and provides for the immediate cooperation and presence of Lodi's citizenry at the scene of all hate crimes in Lodi. The second task force concerns community education, and enjoys a growing reputation for its commitment to Lodi's quality of life.
Each year the community of Lodi sends money to the principal of Lodi High School to fund a "Breakthrough Award" to the graduating senior from Lodi High School who best exemplifies the spirit of the Breakthrough Project: "To break down barriers of racism and bigotry of all types, and to build bridges of social inclusion among all students of Lodi High School."
The Breakthrough Award is never less than $500, and has been as much as $1,500. The worthy senior from Lodi High is chosen by the principal and the senior class vice principal and counselor. So let's break some piggy banks and send some small checks payable to "Mr. Atterbury/Breakthrough Award." Send them to: Principal Atterbury, Lodi High School, 3 S. Pacific Ave., Lodi, CA 95240.
Randall W. Rosa