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Summer School That Lets Kids Choose Classes Gets Support From Sheriff

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

 A non-profit group's summer school programs are growing in popularity with children… and with the Sacramento County Sheriff's department. 

The People Reaching Out program provides free summer school classes and lunch at local community colleges.  Students attend three days a week…if they wish… and they get to choose their classes.

Sheriff Scott Jones presented a check for fifteen thousand dollars to the program on Tuesday.

JONES: "Especially with our renewed commitment to youth outreach trying to intervene in young people's lives before they start having the opportunity to make bad decisions and become on our radar for other reasons, and this is just a great way to continue to do that." 

The Sheriff Department's donation comes from auction proceeds of property and evidence seized from convicted criminals.

 One of the kids in the program this summer is Trevon Sellers.  He says he's learning more than just what's in the classroom.

SELLERS: "They teach you the right way, how to stay out of trouble, listen to parents.  They teach you ways to avoid trouble." so you don't end up in jail, juvenile hall or anything.  This is the right path to life, this is where you start."  

The program uses older kids to mentor younger ones.  Program CEO Staci Anderson says the children have responded to the idea of choosing what they will study. 

ANDERSON: "I think what speaks even bigger what we're doing is these kids stay the entire time. And, again, it's not…they don't have to stay.  So there isn't a lot out there and they love this program."

Anderson says half of the students who go through the programs improve their grade point averages the following year.  
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