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PLACE Gives Homeless Students Opportunity to Learn

PLACE Gives Homeless Students Opportunity to Learn

In one San Diego school, about 400 homeless students are annually given the same opportunity as more fortunate peers- the opportunity to learn and grow.

The PLACE (Progressive Learning Alternative for Children’s Education) has been in operation since 1987 and has evolved into its current status as the Monarch School after a partnership with the San Diego Rotary Club saved it from having to close its doors.

"In a public-private partnership, the San Diego County Office of Education continued to pay the teachers’ salaries and provide textbooks, and the nonprofit covered most of the remaining costs, such as real estate and construction expenses, health care, food, and other social services," according to

The Monarch School is currently situated on 51,000 square feet and includes 13 full-size, glass-lined classrooms, an atrium, chrome fixtures, turf for play and even help from volunteers throughout the community to perform health check-ups for students, the article said. This is all thanks to the millions of dollars that the Rotary Club has continued to raise for Monarch's improvement.

The facility isn't the only thing that's improving. "...performance has been steadily improving: Over the past six years, Monarch’s score on the California Academic Performance Index has climbed from a relatively low 506 to a three-year average of 644, although it still has a way to go before it hits the countywide average of 834," the article said.

The school prepares students for life beyond school, providing internships and teaching life-skills needed for a career.

Additionally, the school offers after school programs such as the Butterfly Enterprises project where students utilize time after school to participate in entrepreneurial activities such as "setting up a business to make and sell jewelry, with various students assigned to production, sales, accounting, and marketing."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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