Weeks before Oakland Unified School District commenced a new school year, Alameda Health System (AHS) participated in a school supply drive for Bella Vista Elementary, one of Highland Hospital’s neighboring schools. AHS chief operating officer Luis Fonseca was on site to help deliver the supplies to Principal Linda Flynn. In total, AHS staff donated:


200 packs of paper
150 erasers
65 back packs
50 rulers

1,000 pencils
125 boxes of crayons
50 boxes of markers
40 pencil sharpeners

225 glue sticks
100 notebooks
50 pair of scissors
24 boxes of tissue

200 pens
100 folders
50 boxes of colored pencils
Dozen bottles of hand sanitizer

Flynn expressed immense gratitude for the supplies. “Please tell everyone at Alameda Health System thank you! On the first day of school some students show up all stocked and ready to go and other students just show up.”

According to Flynn, teachers are trained to identify students who need school supplies and those students are given the opportunity to choose what they need from the donations.

“Children who participate in this activity tend to take good care of their belongings and it instills a sense of pride and ownership. It allows them to feel that excitement that goes along with back to school shopping,” said Flynn.

Fonseca commended AHS staff who participated in the drive. “It’s great to be able to give back to our community and the next generation of students,” said Fonseca. “I hope that next school year we collect even more supplies for students to ensure they start the year off right.”

Fonseca noticed the dozens of pictures in the room of rising 1st graders holding signs that stated their career aspirations. He mentioned to Flynn that he saw many kids with signs stating they wanted to be doctors or teachers, but he didn’t notice any that said hospital administrator. She told him not to feel bad because no one chose principal either. Fonseca plans to return and speak to students on career day.