The Reach for the Stars Program will produce responsible citizens who have the 21st Century skills they will need to become successful in college, career and life.
Whittier City School District and the Community of Whittier believe that our children are our future. We have formed a partnership to provide Community Learning Centers at local schools that provide a safe and nurturing environment for students and community members to learn and grow. We will integrate our resources in an effort to strengthen our community, increase academic achievement and decrease crime and violence for Whittier City youth and their families.
The Reach for the Stars program opened its doors in March of 1999 with four elementary school sites. The program was originally funded by a grant offered through the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the State After School Education and Safety (ASES) grant. In 2009, WCSD and its Community Partners applied for 21st Century Community Learning Center funds. With this funding, we were able to add the Jump Start Program at four school sites who were under Program Improvement. The Jump Start Program included a Summer Learning program, a before school program and 160 additional students who were on after school waiting lists.
In February of 2010, we received the Packard Foundation Summer Enrichment Community grant. This grant provided for an additional 420 at-risk youth from the seven elementary school sites that were not part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center summer program. Each of the seven sites was able to send 60 of the most at-risk students to one of the four 21st CCLC funded sites. The Jump Start Summer Program implemented a highly integrated approach to learning. This approach helped to prevent summer learning loss in our at-risk youth. In 2013, Whittier City School District received a new 21st CCLC grant award allowing the program to expand its Jump Start Before, After and Summer Programs. For the several years, WCSD and its many community partners have been able to serve approximately 1,500 students after school at nine elementary and two middle schools.
Reach for the Stars (RFTS) is funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant and the After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program Grant. The state/federal grants require that students attend everyday until 6PM. We operate all school days at all (9) elementary schools and (2) middle schools.