New building for low-income, at-risk youth |

New building for low-income, at-risk youth

Cory Fisher

A county facility designed to serve South Tahoe’s at-risk youth and low-income families with children up to age 5 has opened.

A formal dedication ceremony took place Tuesday afternoon at the site of the former Employment Development Department on Kyburz Avenue. The building provides classrooms, office space and computer technology that links the site to county offices in Placerville and the Internet.

Program components in the new facility include:

— Charter Community School, Community Action for Responsive Education (CARE III) – Students who have been expelled from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District or referred for truancy, multiple suspensions or school credit deficits will attend core classes in a structured setting. The roughly 40 students in grades 7 to 12 will have three instructors and a full computer lab enabling them to take classes on-line.

— Early Head Start and Head Start – Programs for low-income pregnant women and families with children ages 0-5. Operating 12 months a year, the focus is on health, nutrition, self-sufficiency and parent and child education.

“Those who have been there in the past won’t recognize it – it’s been completely remodeled,” said Assistant Director Suzanne Milton. “We hope to see a nice sharing of services between older and younger kids.”

For the past five years, space for the CARE III program has been donated by the Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church, said Diane Deitchman, CARE program coordinator. The new, spacious facility will allow for more collaborative projects and instruction to the roughly 40 students, enabling more students to spend time in a regular classroom setting. Many currently are on independent study.

Although federally funded, satellite Head Start programs already exist on the campuses of Bijou and Al Tahoe elementary schools, Deitchman said the building will allow for more families in the community to be served both on-site and in their homes.

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