New Fresno program is getting kids to school on the weekend

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On a foggy Saturday morning at Centennial Elementary School, classrooms are filling up with students. This is not detention, so it is not the breakfast club, but they do serve brunch and a healthy scoop of science too.

Saturday Academy is a pilot program designed to deliver lessons, mostly to make up for absences and raise attendance to 95 percent at the 13 Hoover High School area schools.

Julius Florez may appear to be playing a computer game on ice, but the hockey player is his incentive to learn about physics as he monitors the skater's speed with or without his gear.

"It slows them down because when you put more weight it's like you're putting more mass and it's going deeper into the ice and putting the brakes onto his feet," Florez said.

Younger kids are getting their first lessons in coding as teachers run five age-based classrooms.

Mr. Tovar from Centennial Elementary said, "The activities that we're providing for them are engaging but also beneficial as far as computer science and technology-based learning,"

About 100 kids come every week for the free food and free fun, and the numbers are growing, despite the day of the week.

"But the funny thing is we have parents and students asking 'Hey, is there Saturday Academy this Saturday?' so they want to be here. They're the ones asking us," explained Mr. Tovar.

Saturday Academy runs two Saturdays a month, for four hours a day.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.