Richmond reverend wins prestigious Jefferson Award

Ed Fund awards $27K in Black History Month grants to WCCUSD schools
Nystrom Elementary in Richmond

Longtime Richmond activist Rev. Andre Shumake Sr. has received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service for his leadership in an after-school program that is reportedly helping to close the achievement gap for African American students at Nystrom Elementary, according to the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD).

The school district featured the well-known Shumake in a profile story this week.

Rev. Andre Shumake Sr. is being interviewed by KPIX 5 on Tuesday at Nystrom Elementary for earning the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service. (Photo credit: WCCUSD)

KPIX 5, a longtime partner of the both national and local Jefferson Awards, is set to broadcast a story about the reverend’s recognition tonight (5 p.m.), Thursday (noon) and Saturday (6 a.m.). The story can also be heard on KCBS Radio, 740 AM, tonight at 6:50 p.m., 9:40 p.m. and 11:50 p.m., as well as Sunday at 11:50 a.m. and 3:50 p.m.

Established in 1972, the Jefferson Awards encourages and honors individuals for achievements and contributions in public and community service.

Shumake was nominated for the award for his leadership as site coordinator and school community outreach worker for WCCUSD’s Mafanikio Academic Coaching Program at Nystrom Elementary, according to the district’s report. Mafanikio is Swahili for “Achievement.”

The after-school program was created during the 2016-17 school year in response to concerns from parents about academic progress of African American students, according to the district. The program aims to instill in students that they come to school focused and willing to learn, pay attention and follow instructions.

The program has been helping to raise test scores, Nystrom Principal Jamie Allardice said. Shumake’s leadership was credited in getting the kids to believe in themselves and excited about learning.

“When I greet them on campus, I say, ‘Welcome back to paradise,’” Shumake states in the district article. “Anytime you can show up somewhere and learn, that is paradise.”

Find out more about about the program began, and how Shumake, along with teachers and tutors, helped make it a success, by reading the full story on the school district’s website here.