The After School Learning Centers:
*Both After School Learning Resource Centers run at capacity and we are thrilled, averaging 25-30 children at Sierra Mobile, and 20-23 at Courtyard.
*We loved our partnership with the EOC Seniorcorp Foster Grandparents program for our homework helper/ tutors this year, and the children are loving having an extra 'grandparent'. Our kids are thriving! It's been so great, we signed an MOU to continue with them through 2019!
*Thank you Granville Homes for a large donation of books! The children are all excited about new adventures in reading they will be able to take, and that they got to keep their books! What a treat! 'Oh, the places we'll go" Dr. Suess! ... and to Charmaine Fitzgerald with another donation of books for the holidays - many children will benefit!
*Thank you Valley Children's Hospital & Safe Kids for the donation of bikes that will be used as an incentive for good grades with a drawing held at the end of the school year! And thank you Brianne & Kyler (Friends of VC) for the generous donation of coats & toys for the families we serve!
*Our summer programs for 2018 were stupendous! Sierra Mobile started with a Preschool-1st grade program in the morning, followed by a 2nd-8th grade program until lunch. Courtyard started a 2 day a week summer enrichment program for all ages K-8th. All programs incorporating a Summer Reading Challenge and STEM projects. Our children were able to experience Science & River camp (Thank you Highway City Science Center), summer camp (Care Fresno), and the Cat Haven!
*Our summer hot lunch program in collaboration with Building Better Communities served over 850 lunches this summer.
* In an area that has concentrated pockets of poverty, where we run our programs, it is very exciting to be able to say that 4 of the young ladies who came to the Learning Center when they were younger, helped as they got older and through much encouragement as to their capabilities are now in college! One completed her Dream Act paperwork, another is in the final stages, and the third was excited to announce she wants to go into forensics and is attending Reedley College. Great job- Jessica, Sandra, Marleni and Raquel.
* Two other young ladies whose mother works at Highway City Thrift, and they have both helped there and at the Learning Center, are attending UCLA Way to go! Brianna and Bernice.
*The Connections Program (Central Adult Learning Disabled Students) partnered with us on several projects this season: They cleaned the carpets from all the high traffic use of that many children monthly, organized our supply/games/materials closets, as well as took our book corner and labeled all the books with their AR Reader level! This taught these students life skills, and gave them work experience.
Thank you Amanda & team. We truly appreciate the partnership.
Highway City Thrift:
*We recycle! We are doing our part to be earth healthy! Your non-wearable clothing and shoes is recycled & reused, being turned in carpet padding, car insulation, rags and more! Now we are looking at projects & art that can be done with old t-shirts. Stay tuned!
*Over 200 people worked 350+ "shifts" this year in work experience through county programs, disabled adults through two programs, those completing community service hours that receive training while at our facility, dignity based work programs, and volunteers.
*We completed our 3rd year of English Language Classes (ESL) through a partnership with Central Unified, and our site was at capacity. 20 adults were enrolled and 15+ adults completed the 3 days a week classes. These are mostly parents of our Afterschool children and they want to understand the language better to help their children more. In the spring, 11 students received certificates of completion- 4 on on their 3rd year of learning English! Way to go students and teacher Melinda!
*Our Farmer's Market style - fresh food distributions, is a much needed resource in our area, as we have large pockets of 'Food deserts' (homes that have at least 1 time per month where there is food shortage). We will continue with these monthly food giveaways on the Central Community Church campus who has partnered with us as well as Community Food bank, Central High Interact Club and Fresno Pacific. We have served over 5400 people to date, many families and seniors depend on the fresh produce to have healthy choices for the month.