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Freshman Prep Program students visit elementary school back button

Students at the SMJUHSD’s Freshman Prep Program put into action skills they learned this year in their English and Leadership classes. Last week, students in English 1 returned from the last of three visits to David S. Sanchez Sr. Elementary School. Over a period of three weeks, twenty students visited five first grade classes and read to small groups of children.

Their English teacher said it was students’ idea. “I got my hands on over 125 new children’s books and asked my classes what they thought we should do with them,” Cortez said. She explained that one class suggested they donate them to Sanchez and another had the idea of reading some of the books before gifting them.

Participating students had nothing but positive comments about their experience.

“I want to go back because it was a great, it helped me be more social” said student, Adrianna Olmos.

“I really enjoyed asking the students questions about the book and seeing them raise their hand to participate, all super happy. I would really like to go back, it was fun,” explained student, Cyaira Gonzalez.

Students were asked to return to Sanchez next school year and increase the number of students and classes that participate. All participating students will return to the program as sophomores and expressed their desire to take part in this event once more.

Last week also culminated a unit on job skills in the ninth grade Leadership class. Members of the Arbor Education,

Training Program at the Workforce Resource Center, and Mr. Jay Allen, District Truancy Officer, spent time on campus conducting mock interviews last Friday.

Students learned about professional attire, how to fill out a job application and the creation of a resume. During the mock interviews students were graded on these skills and others like eye contact, a proper handshake, and demonstrating confidence.

“At first I felt nervous, but once I got in there it was a good experience. I learned how to go up to the interviewer and show that I was sure of myself and ready. I had to be myself and not act like I’m perfect. I felt proud of myself and now
I know I can get a job and do it full of confidence,” said student Pedro Garcia.

The community members conducting the interviews were very impressed and said many students interviewed better than some adults that come through their doors.

“The members from Arbor Education and Training Workforce gave our students the real-life practice that so many others never get nor acquire. My students are very special candidates that will be better prepared to join the job force,” claims Mr. Iniguez, program director.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.