The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

5 of years of commitment bears fruit

 

The Shafter Learning Center celebrated its fifth birthday on Tuesday night with a party that included activities for the children, tours of the facilit, and a number of organizations on hand giving information on their services.

Among those on hand were representatives of the Shafter Youth Center, part of Community Action Partnership of Kern, the Shafter Recreation and Park District and the City of Shafter. They were offering residents a chance to voice their opinions on what attractions and services should be included in improvements that are being planned for our city parks.

Dr. David Franz, director of the Learning Center and of the Shafter Education Partnership, said that it has been a very successful five years, and they are looking to expand to offer even more programs and services to the people of Shafter, young and old.

It was 2010, when Franz was brought into the City of Shafter to help improve the educational opportunities here in Shafter. With cooperation from the Richland School District, the City of Shafter created the Shafter Education Partnership, with the goal of investing intelligently in Shafter’s students, increasing the proportion of Shafter students who graduate from high school ready to continue their education or successfully enter the work force.

They also put in place reading programs that stressed the importance of having the students reading at a proficient level by the third grade as a goal. They determined that the earlier a student begins to read, the better the student will be able to develop into good students as they progress through the upper grades.

This meant summer reading program and tutoring programs, as well as after-school programs that included an emphasis on homework assistance and enriching the students on a personal level.

The center soon became a model for other cities, big and small, with the partnership with the Shafter Branch of the Kern County Library. They began by offering classes in English, computers, math and other subjects. This curriculum grew year by year as a variety of classes were offered to young students and teens, as well as classes for adults.

Today, the center offers classes that fill up quickly, with over 500 students expected to attend this summer.

 

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