Thanks to a unanimous vote of support by the Santa Barbara County Board of Education last week, Los Alamos is on track to soon be home to the nation’s first overnight charter school for foster kids. Known as The Children’s Project Academy, the proposed facility, when fully functional, aims to serve some 120 students in grades 7-12 by providing them with a year-round place to call home, living alongside teachers and “foster grandparents” on a sprawling 114-acre property, all while receiving a rigorous college-prep academic experience.

According to school CEO Wendy Read, the next step for the freshly approved charter is to complete a fundraising campaign of some $1.5 million dollars in order to hopefully break ground on the property — which was purchased last fall — sometime next year. The Children’s Project has been six years in the making since a group of concerned citizens began meeting to try and problem-solve the troubles facing teenage foster kids in the Santa Barbara community as they try and work their way toward a high school diploma. The school’s board includes San Marcos High School history teacher and former county educator of the year Eric Burrows.


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