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Two thousand local kids will be a little bit warmer this winter.

Granville Homes and the Foundation for Central Schools have teamed up to provide new coats and school spirit wear for the district’s students, some of whom received their new apparel Wednesday during a drive-through event at Saroyan Elementary School.

Coats for Young Students, Spirit Wear for Older Ones

This is the 16th year that Granville Homes has supported the foundation’s Coats for Kids program. The homebuilder’s donation of $15,000 helped more than double the number of new coats distributed to children in preschool through third grade and spirit wear for older students.

“We are proud of our 16-year partnership with the Foundation for Central Schools and their Coats for Kids program that provides some of the basic essentials to our underserved families here in Fresno!” — Granville Homes president and CEO Darius Assemi

The foundation provided $7,000 to purchase spirit wear for students in fourth grade through high school.

Darius Assemi, president and CEO of Granville Homes and publisher of GV Wire, apologized for not being able to attend this year’s Coats for Kids since he is still recovering from COVID-19.

“We are proud of our 16-year partnership with the Foundation for Central Schools and their Coats for Kids program that provides some of the basic essentials to our underserved families here in Fresno!” he said in a prepared statement. ” … God speed in your education. You are the future of our community!”

(Darius Assemi is the publisher of GV Wire.)

Need Is Great

Superintendent Andy Alvarado said the coats and spirit wear are greatly needed by Central’s students, of whom 70% have food insecurity and lack winter clothing and whose families are now dealing with income loss because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m grateful to Granville Homes and our annual sponsors, Harris Construction and SIM-PBK, that continuously support the efforts of the Foundation for Central Schools,” he said.

The foundation  is a nonprofit organization that encourages community investment and involvement in the district and supports staff with classroom grants and student events.

District spokeswoman Sonja Dosti said the coat distribution at Saroyan was scheduled for midday so that parents could also pick up their children’s school meals on the same trip.

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