Learn4Life is a system of charter schools in Orange County; even prior to the pandemic, it proved to be a godsend for many low-income families. Its focus is to help students who have fallen behind or dropped out from public school get back on track for graduation while providing them with extra support.
One student in particular who attended the Anaheim location is Michelle Ibarra. Ibarra started at Learn4Life in her sophomore year of high school and recalled the many positive experiences she had while enrolled there. Additionally, the school site offers the use of computer labs, free tutors and specialized electives with the end goal of students becoming more interested in their education.
The program works by having students meet with their teachers twice a week to swap in homework and check in on their credit progress. It is through this one-on-one attention that students are given custom education plans for their year-round classes to complete the requirements for a high school diploma.
“It is each student’s responsibility to pace themselves and keep up with the work they are given,” said Ibarra.
Although a bit untraditional, Learn4Life offers many experiences that a public school would such as college fairs, camping trips and even driver’s ed.
With so many academic and personal resources available to them, students enrolled in this program not only survive but thrive as well. According to Learn4Life, 90% of their students are successful, many of whom come from low-income Hispanic or black communities.
“You could tell they had refocused on school; their strong bond with teachers helped to motivate them,” said Ibarra.
While many parents may seem uneasy about placing their children in such an unorthodox program, Learn4Life seems to be a viable option. As opposed to an expensive private school, Learn4Life is a nonprofit and tuition-free institution. Students are welcome to apply at any time of the year and are accommodated depending on their needs.
Removed “Homeschooling” from the headline at the request of the Learn4Life.
Removed “According to Ibarra, the program would use incentives such as gift cards, pizza parties and bus passes to motivate students to get work done.” from the article, as a correction was made by Learn4Life that they provide food for students every day and bus passes are available for any student that needs them.