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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Shafter showing PRIDE throughout community


Last updated 9/20/2023 at 1:07pm | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

A new C-Train storage unit, donated by American Refuse, allows the group to store more items at the school.

Shafter High School has always been a place that takes pride in their history, achievements and students and staff. These days, there is a bigger emphasis on this pride with Shafter PRIDE helping its students and allowing them to shine.

This is not a program as much as creating a culture that has a built-in support system consisting of students and staff counselors. In every classroom, PRIDE posters are displayed, giving expectations to students to follow those characteristics in their everyday lives. P (Pride). R (Respect), I (Integrity), D (Determination and E (Enthusiasm) are the characteristics that Generals strive for and ones that recognized on campus. Students earn golden tickets through demonstrating these characteristics, which they can use to purchase items at the Student Store.

Along the same line of showing Generals Pride, the school also has a Pride Pantry. Headed up by Katie Young and a dedicated group of staff and teachers, the Pride Pantry meets the material needs of the student, be it toiletries, clothing, food, hygiene items and more.

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This program came about a few years ago when students and staff were living through covid. Young said that she and other teachers were making home visits to students to check on their progress when they noticed a deep need for essential items.

"We were a group of moms who know how challenging school is and what it takes to thrive in that environment," she said. "I grew up and didn't have a lot of money. I would have loved to have a Shafter High shirt, or sweater or something, but we didn't have the money. I know what it is like for some of these families who are struggling."

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Young said that she and the other teachers started purchasing some items themselves to give to those in need. As they saw the need growing, they decided that the problem was bigger than what they could do by themselves. This grew into a program that helps hundreds of students a year, and has the support of several groups in Shafter, such as the Shafter Womans Club, Shafter Rotary and Shafter Kiwanis.

Lynnda Martin, of American Refuse, has helped the group with a couple of C-Trains that they can store items they are collected. They now have a couple of drives throughout the year, as well as being open all year round for individuals and businesses who would like to donate.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Sabrina Macias, a member of the Shafter PRIDE team, talks about the needs that are being met for the students.

"You can't imagine the smiles on these kids' faces as they get a pair of jeans, or a sweater, or just items that they can use every day. It is worth all of the work we put in," Young said .

To donate to the Shafter Pride Pantry, contact the school at 661-746-4691, or just come to the office. They also have a Wish-List on that you can donate to as well.


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