Calwa Elementary opens emotional support center for students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Unified's Calwa Elementary School is finding ways to meet the social-emotional needs of its students, which have increased throughout the pandemic.

At the beginning of the year, the school opened a social and emotional support center for students.

Every day and during each recess, Victor Ledezma makes his way to The Eagle's Nest.

"It's really relaxing, and I get to have fun with my friends and play the games we like," he said.

The sixth-grader is one of many students who found it hard to enjoy school these past two years.

"It was kind of sad because a lot of people were having bad times during these years because it wasn't going very well around the world," shared Ledezma.

However, that's changed. Ledezma comes to school excited and ready to learn.

"It's going pretty well," he said with a smile. "I have pretty good grades."

The Eagle's Nest may look like a game room, but the goal is to serve as a welcoming space for students who can gain the social-emotional skills lost during the pandemic.
Vice-principal Curtis Smith said student behavior has drastically improved since January.

"When they come here, they're learning turn-taking. They're learning sharing," Smith said. "Sometimes those are difficult for some students, so when they come here, they learn those in a fun way."

However, the fun room isn't what's making the difference.

According to Principal Antonio Sanchez, it's because of the staff who create meaningful relationships with the students.

"Which opens the door to targeted and individualized intervention for our students," Sanchez said.

The Eagle's Nest has become a popular spot for Calwa students. The school is now looking to expand into a new room to accommodate more kids.

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