From the outside it may appear to be just another alternative school or continuation school but the teachers here see it differently.
“Kids are here because they had had a lapse in judgment or gotten in trouble and this is a second chance for them,” said teacher Katie Hammond.
Many of the students here also come to realize the community day school is not the place they thought it would be.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was you know. I really liked it. Like when I first got here I already had a lot of love you know. Like people coming to me and not judging me about my past. They see what I am inside, said student Carlos Velasquez.
The community day school in the Clovis Unified School District accepts students 4th through 12th grade, throughout Fresno County. The staff here at the high school help students get back on track academically with a focus on changing their behavior
“We want them to respond positively in the classroom end disruptions and be happier while at school so that they are more successful in the classroom”.
There are 49 kids attending the high school, many are from foster homes, group homes, there are no booster clubs or parents groups helping out …so when teacher Katie Hammond heard about Chevron’s fuel your school grant program..she was excited.
“And I was very interested in it because it was going to give me access to some technology if they do indeed fund it to help my special Ed population,” said Hammond.
Three teachers submitted grant proposals through donors choose, an online non-profit, where teachers can post classroom projects for funding. This year Chevron had committed to funding up to $200,000 worth of projects in Fresno County.
“Education is just a paramount importance to us and so that’s one of the reasons we are bringing fuel your school to Fresno County for the first time this year,” stated Chevron Representative Megan Lopez.
Just a few days ago Hammond found out that all three projects received funding from the grant program. She had requested two IPads to help her special ed students
“We are excited about the IPad, it makes them feel special when, they’re going to get them and have them in their hands their going to feel like wow you know I mean something.”
Another teacher requested garden equipment, for the garden her students will soon plant,. Math teacher, Chris Gee, requested a grant to help buy reward treats for the students.
“A lot of our kids are in group homes, foster kids so even though they are taken care of there are a lot of little things they don’t get so this is our way of ok behave here and we will give you some of the things you normally don’t get,” said teacher Chris Gee.
Hammond says the teachers are willing to go the extra mile for their students because they think they are special and deserve the best.
“Having a student like Carlos and we have several others this year and every year we have a few special ones. They make me want to come to work everyday they make me happy, I love my kids and I love teaching because we make a difference everyday in these kids lives.”
That caring from the teachers and a company that takes interest in young people isn’t lost on these students.
“To me it made me feel special, like they are paying attention to see that we really need stuff like that people that actually want it.”
“It makes me want to keep doing what I’m doing, doing good push me forward still and not fall back.”
Chevron just wrapped its fuel your school program for this year and is still accessing the results and grants awarded. It will be a few weeks before the gift is delivered to the community day school