School Background:
Located in San Dimas, California, Fred Ekstrand Elementary School serves grades K through 5 and the students to teacher ratio is 22 to 1. Students are often children of migrant workers who tailor their migration according to the farming calendar. The children live in a non-stable environment and transfer in and out of schools while their families often rent rooms in the local motels. Many migrant families consist of single parents and the children end up homeless and in a bad living environment.
According to 2013-2014 California SARC, over 53.6% of students at Fred Ekstrand Elementary are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Student learning sign language to learn tolerance.
2014-2015 California Student Poverty FRPM Data, over 62.3 % of students receive free or reduced priced lunch.
What We Do/Results:
Since 2010, the Tzu Chi Education Team has committed to a yearly tutoring/mentoring program at Fred Ekstrand Elementary School. Working with the school, volunteers consistently tutor at risk students once a week. By providing one on one tutoring/mentoring to students with academic needs and/or facing hardships in life, the volunteer becomes a consistent adult figure in the student’s life. In March 2014, Ekstrand Elementary was recognized as a California Distinguished School. In their application to the state, Ekstrand acknowledged the Tzu Chi Education Team for its dedication and efforts; a contributing factor that helped to differentiate Ekstrand Elementary from other schools.