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Innovative Sacramento County Office of Education Program Wins Golden Bell Award

LINKS Program Recognized for Impact on High Risk Youth

CSBA Golden Bell Awards

A pioneering Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) program that motivates high risk and at risk youth to succeed in school and reach their educational and life goals is receiving high honors. SCOE's LINKS Academy program will be honored in the 31st Annual Golden Bell Awards program of the California School Boards Association (CSBA).

"The Golden Bell Award signifies excellence in education and we are elated our LINKS Academy Program is receiving this distinguished recognition," said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools. "This incredible honor is an acknowledgment of how SCOE is making a significant difference in the lives of our students."

"This is a prestigious honor and a wonderful acknowledgement of the tremendous efforts by our hard working teachers and staff to provide our students with opportunities to become productive and contributing members of society," said Board of Education President Harold Fong. "Our LINKS program is engaging students and helping them take ownership and control of their lives through education and job training."

LINKS is a SCOE career technical education program in which services are tailored to individual students based on their specific needs instead of through traditional, scripted education. It is a program, and a philosophy, that helps students find a new direction, build a better future and take control of their lives. The program, for youths ages 14 to 18, is a bridge between academics and real job readiness with service learning in the community and opportunities to earn money.

"Consider LINKS more than an educational program. It is a belief system that encompasses a program which involves individual learning plans, extra support, role models, career development, job skills training, and much more," said Martin J. Cavanaugh, Deputy Superintendent, and architect of the LINKS program. "Our ultimate goal is to actively engage every student and help open their eyes to all of life's great possibilities."

LINKS stands for:

  • Leadership in everyday life
  • Ingenuity in thought and practice
  • Navigating choices
  • Keeping the promise
  • Sufficiency in preparation

Admission to LINKS is not automatic. Students must earn a spot on the team. The program is part of the curriculum at every SCOE campus. Enrollment is based on availability and referral from home district schools.

The highly respected Golden Bell Awards will be presented at a special ceremony during CSBA's Awards Luncheon at the Marriott Hotel in San Francisco, on Saturday, December 4, 2010 from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. The event is held in conjunction with the California School Boards Association's Annual Education Conference.

The CSBA Golden Bell Awards program promotes excellence in education by recognizing outstanding programs in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. The Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of the education programs necessary to address students' changing needs. The goal of this awards program is to contribute to the development and evaluation of curriculum, instruction and support services.

The Sacramento County Office of Education is no stranger to the Golden Bell. In 2008, SCOE's ROP Manufacturing Technology-Welding program, at the now closed Carson Creek Jr./Sr. High School within the Sacramento County Boys Ranch, received the prestigious honor. In 1999, the Outreach Construction Technology Program was also recognized by the California School Boards Association with a Golden Bell.

Custom metal LINKS sign
LINKS students