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San Diego's Monarch School Is Transforming The Lives Of Homeless Children

For many homeless children nationwide, receiving a top education is simply not an option. Getting to school each morning fails to become a priority when a child is worrying about where they will sleep that night, caring for their loved ones and finding enough food to eat.

One school in San Diego wants to make it easier for homeless and transient students to get an education and improve their lives. The Monarch School is one of the very few schools in the United States that cares for homeless students, letting them arrive early each day and get the help that they need. Monarch's program allows homeless students to take showers, wash clothes, sleep, eat and seek counseling -- all on the school's campus. About 400 homeless and transient children attend Monarch each year, Dean Calbreath writes in The Rotarian, the official magazine of Rotary International.

The school functions with the help of a non-profit known as "The Monarch School Program," which has raised millions of dollars to fund new school facilities, health care, provide food and pay social service workers. And students are responding beyond expectations: the school's attendance rate is an average of approximately 93 percent, school performance is improving and grade averages are jumping from Ds to Bs.

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