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Just because schools are closed (for the most part) doesn’t mean students can’t have school spirit — and the Assistance League of Fresno is making sure all 1,350 students at Central Unified’s Teague and Hanh Phan Tilley elementary school can celebrate their schools.

Nancy Price

School Zone

Through its Operation School Bell program, Assistance League members and Assisteens Auxiliary volunteers passed out spirit wear shirts bearing school names Wednesday at Teague and Thursday at Tilley.

Teague Elementary spirit wear shirt

Assisteen is the Assistant League’s volunteer corps of high schoolers.

Proceeds from the Assistance League Thrift Shop and corporate donors fund the costs of Operation School Bell, which helps kids succeed in school by providing new school clothes and supplies, literacy tutoring, food, and health assistance.

Assisteens Auxiliary gives high schoolers experience with philanthropic work, fundraising, and leadership opportunities.

“We are immensely grateful to the Assistance League of Fresno and its Operation School Bell program for giving basic necessities such as clothes, shoes and toiletries to many of our students in need,” Superintendent Andy Alvarado said. “The spirit wear shirts will be a wonderful gift to our Teague Knights and Tilley Panthers during the most challenging year in our district with families experiencing economic hardships due to the effects of COVID-19.”

Speaking of Central

There’s still time to answer Central Unified’s online survey on possibly renaming, or keeping the names, of Central West and Central East high schools. The board voted in September to establish all three of the district’s high schools, including yet-to-open Justin Garza High, as independent high schools.

Up to now, Central East and Central West have operated as a single school on separate campuses. The survey asks whether to restore Central West’s original name, Central High, and to keep Central East as Central East.

The deadline to get your opinion counted is Friday. Here’s the survey link.

Fresno Pacific Celebrates Arts Center Groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony last month at Fresno Pacific University marked the start of construction on the Warkentine Culture and Arts Center, a 26,000-square-foot building that will include a mainstage theater with seating for 400, a black box theater seating about 100, an art gallery, and support spaces.

The building’s namesakes are longtime supporters Al and Dotty Warkentine, who talked about how the idea for the center was generated by Dotty Warkentine’s experience as a music teacher instructing students in classrooms not designed for music.

The goal of the center is to improve teaching and learning about music, theater and the visuals arts and also involve communities in nearby neighborhoods and across the Valley.

The $14.6 million center on the north side of Fresno Pacific’s main campus in southeast Fresno is scheduled to open in late 2021 or early 2022.

Al and Dotty Warkentine were among the speakers at the recent groundbreaking. (Fresno Pacific University photo)

 

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