Visalia Unified aiming to connect students in and out of classroom

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Saturday, August 6, 2022
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Visalia Unified is kicking off a new initiative to connect students in and out of the classroom.

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The first day of school for thousands of Visalia Unified School District students is just days away.

Superintendent Kirk Shrum says he's looking forward to the opportunities students will get this year.

"This is the first time, I think, in about 2 or 3 years, that we are going to have as close to a normal start of the school year as can be," says Shrum.

On Friday morning, Shrum announced the launch of the One Visalia Connected initiative.

The program will connect students to activities they're passionate about: including arts, sports, internships, mentorships and volunteer opportunities.

"We know that when kids are connected to something beyond just a book, they feel better about themselves, they have better grades, and they have better attendance," says Shrum.

One Redwood High School Senior dreams of becoming a lawyer and shared the impact her two internships, including her most recent one at the District Attorney's Office, had on her.

"Those two internships, it gave me so much experience that now, when I went to ask for a job, they were like, 'Oh, you've done those two internships, you can get the job done'," says Aanchal Singh.

Redwood Junior Clara Houser is involved in video production classes and says it helped her find her passion and motivation.

"I look forward to working on my projects and being with my friends and getting to film. It's a passion of mine," says Houser.

The district is hopeful thousands of students will get similar opportunities, setting them up for long-term success.