Cal-SAFE provides services for teens

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Cal-SAFE provides services for teens

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The visitor parking lot has been occupied by construction workers, heavy machines and large amounts of building materials. The new California School Age Families Education facility has been under construction here for 11 months. This facility is apart of Cal-SAFE, a support program for student-parents that serves students district wide. The addition of this building will allow for student-parents to be able to continue their high school education and avoid being reliant on state aid services according to the program coordinator, Rachel Asman.

“[Cal-SAFE is a program for] students who are going to be a mom or a dad. They provide daycare services, education and nutrition,” Assistant Principal Dave Mussatti said.

Only fifty percent of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by the age of 22 according to the Center for Disease control. This is one of the main reasons that Cal-SAFE was created. They assist student-parents under the age of 18 since they are more at risk of dropping out of high school than other students. They also offer other services that cater to the needs of each of the parents who enter the program to help with raising their child. This includes parenting classes and access to medical resources, for both the children and the parents. The classes offered help develop parenting skills, self-sufficiency and career education. The children are also provided with enhanced school readiness courses. These courses help detect any learning delays that the child may have in which they then intervene appropriately. Both the parents and the children are given access to medical resources such as medical screenings. The Cal-SAFE facility was moved from San Pasqual High School to Orange Glen High School, in order to provide a more central location for students. The building at SPHS was also more than 40 years old and beyond repair. The creation of this new facility will provide higher quality resources for the student-parents.

“Without a support program, like Cal-SAFE, only 38 percent of teen parents graduate,” Asman said.

The building was finished in late October, but will not be used until early January. It will help 90 to 110 students district wide and help break the pregnancy-poverty, according to Asman.

“It’s a good resource for our kids…helps get you connected with social services. Will help with parenting classes. Another reason to stay at this campus,” Mussatti said.