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People’s Self-Help Housing brings Camino Scholars to Templeton 

People’s Self-Help Housing brings Camino Scholars to Templeton Unified School District

–More students in San Luis Obispo County will have access to People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)’s nationally recognized education program Camino Scholars thanks to a new partnership with the organization and the Templeton Unified School District. Starting this month, PSHH will be bringing their afterschool programming onsite to students at Templeton Middle School.

“Although the pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone in the academic world, it has also provided many opportunities,” said PSHH Director of Education Joanna Dominguez. “There has been a paradigm shift leading to innovative solutions, especially with local school districts. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Templeton Unified; this will immeasurably support students here on the Central Coast.”

Beginning mid-April, students enrolled in the program will be able to access free, PSHH educator-led, supportive afterschool programming onsite at Templeton Middle School. Students will meet throughout the week and will be able to maintain the social distancing and hybrid learning models per the recommendations of San Luis Obispo County. The model is a replicable option for providing personalized academic student support outside of school hours, and PSHH is looking to develop similar partnerships with additional school districts throughout the Central Coast.

“Camino Scholars is making it possible for Templeton Middle School to serve our students in a way that we’d be unable to provide without its support,” said Heather Contreras, principal at Templeton Middle School. “The after-school support is going to be critical to the success of our students involved on both an academic and a social-emotional level.”

Camino Scholars, PSHH’s nationally recognized education program, has been serving hundreds of students this past year using a hybrid learning curriculum. During this time, students have shown marked gains in their reading skills and advancements in math – in some cases, improving by over 60-percent. Students have benefitted from small learning cohorts, supported by in-person instruction personalized to their individual needs, at specially developed Academic Support Centers.

“We are so excited to have Camino Scholars offering homework help to our Templeton Middle School Students,” said Debby Garcia, assistant principal at Templeton Middle School. “People’s Self-Help Housing has been a positive asset to our students and the community. We are grateful for the interventions they provide to our students.”

The expansion of the Camino Scholars program in Northern San Luis Obispo County was made possible by a two-year grant from Must! Charities. The relationships fostered by the foundation staff with school district staff, parents, and students – who have all witnessed the multi-faceted challenges of learning during COVID-19 – has allowed the program to set seed at the PSHH Rolling Hills affordable housing development in Templeton, and now beyond.

Under regular circumstances, Camino Scholars serves over 400 students per year at its 11 onsite learning centers which are located across three counties. As evidenced by standardized test scores, the curriculum significantly improves math and literacy skills and accompanies students on the path of lifelong learning. The program also helps prepare college-bound students with application assistance, financial aid navigation, career exploration workshops, campus visits, and mentorship. This relationship continues through graduation of the terminal degree; the program just saw its first student enrolled in Ph D. studies.

To learn more about Camino Scholars, visit pshhc.org/education.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.